Enter the Gates

Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Three weeks before the end of the liturgical year, and we turn to gratitude as the guiding theme for worship. What does a life of gratitude look like? Or perhaps more importantly, what does it feel like?

Matthew 25:14-30

Learning Outcomes:

Students will understand the importance of using what we have to multiply the kingdom of heaven. Help them identify that sometimes what we have refers to money, but it can also refer to our time and abilities.

The Ice Breaker will challenge students to brainstorm ways they can use their money to help in their community and make an impact.

The Discussion enables students to understand this parable and the lesson Jesus was teaching, while making a personal connection.

The Activity allows youth to see the gifts/talents in one another, so they can encourage one another.

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but can be adjusted.

1. Opening Question/Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

Break students into three groups (minimum; if you have more groups, just offer the same amount to more than one group). Give each group an envelope with an amount of money in it. If you are meeting face to face, you can physically give students paper (or fake) money. If you are meeting virtually, then just send them a chat, so the amount is anonymous. Make sure that one group has a good amount of money ($100), another group has less ($50), and finally, one group has even less ($10).

  1. Explain that each group has a different amount of money. A group can do whatever it wants with this money, but the goal is to make a big impact in the community.
  2. Give them five to ten minutes to brainstorm ideas, without giving them too much direction.
  3. Then come together as a large group and have them share their ideas.
  4. Ask them ways they could take the money, multiply it, and have a bigger impact. (Using money to buy ingredients to make cookies to sell to make even more money is one idea.)

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today comes from Matthew 25:14-30.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

This is another one of Jesus’ parables. Who remembers our parable from last week? What was the challenge we ended with? (Motivating one another to be faithfully prepared for Jesus’ coming.)

  • What is the lesson Jesus is trying to teach through this story?
  • Do you think it was fair to treat the servants differently? (This could be a culture thing; see how the students respond. Should we support the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality?)
  • It’s not every day that we are given money. But what are we given each day? (Time, talents, relationships.)
  • How can these nontangible possessions be multiplied?
  • How can we use these nontangible possessions for the glory of God?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Gifts and Talents Pictionary: Have each person’s name in the group on a piece of paper. Each person then picks a piece of paper with someone else’s name on it. (If you are meeting virtually, you will need to assign names via private chat.)

  • Take turns playing Pictionary with students drawing the gifts/talents of the person on the piece of paper they picked so that everyone else in the group will be able to guess who they are drawing. Be sure you explain that they are not drawing physical attributes, but the gifts and talents of the person selected. For instance, if a person is good with children, someone could draw a stick person with smaller stick people all around them.
  • Once everyone has played, start a discussion.


  • How easy/difficult was it for you to think of a talent to draw?
  • Would it have been easier for you to draw something about yourself?
  • Why do you think God gave us all different talents, gifts, and passions?
  • What are some examples of people that you have seen use their gifts to multiply God’s kingdom? (Pastor is going to be the go-to easy answer but push the students to choose other than those in ministry in the church.)
  • In what ways could we collectively use our gifts? How could we individually use our gifts?
  • What goals to you have for your future that will help you multiply the kingdom/make an impact in our community? (Push them here beyond monetary things as well.)

End your time in prayer thanking God for making each of us unique and committing to exploring our gifts and sharing them with others.

50 minutes total time

Needed resources:

  • Paper (newsprint if face to face)
  • Markers, pencils, crayons
  • Paper with persons’ names written

In This Series...

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes