Disclaimer: I did not come up with this lesson. I actually remember my children’s church teacher doing this lesson for us when I was really young—like 6 or 7. And if I remember the point of the lesson (putting God first) from that long ago, it is definitely a winner.
This lesson could go with any series on putting God first. I have done it to talk about offering, but putting God first in our time would also be a good conclusion.
I used this lesson with my Children’s Church (grades kindergarten-5), but honestly you could use it with youth group or Sunday school just as well. Just make the questions easier or harder depending on who your audience is.
All you need is a banana.
If you want more, you can check out the Printables! This includes printable directions for the lesson, questions for the kids, and FIVE printable activities for the students to do that goes along with this lesson! You don’t need them in order to do this lesson, but it makes it much better.
- Tell the students that you are going to talk about putting God first in your life—with your money, your times, everything. What does it mean to put God first? (Make time for Him, make sure that you give your time or offering before doing other things, etc.)
- Then tell the kids you are focusing on money today. Pretend that you get $10 of allowance. That $10 is the same as a whole banana. What is the first thing you should do if you want to put God first? (take out your offering)
- Now, let’s pretend you don’t do that because you get allowance on Monday and you don’t have church until Sunday.
- On Tuesday, your school is having a book fair, so you go buy something. It’s not all of your money, but it is some. You still have enough for offering (take a bite of the banana).
- On Wednesday you really, really need a candy bar. So you buy that. You still have money for offering. (Take another bite)
6. On Thursday, you give a dollar to a friend. Now, that is a good thing to do so you think it is a good decision. You still have some money left for the offering. (take a bite)
7. On Friday, you want to dress down (or something else if your kids don’t wear uniforms). So you pay $1. There’s still a little bit of money left for God… (take a bite)
8. On Saturday, you really, really want to hang out with your friends who are going to get ice cream. So you buy your ice cream (eat the rest of the banana).
9. Now it is Sunday, and look! There’s only the peel left. Is that good enough for God? The scraps?
10. We don’t want to give God the scraps! He deserves to be put first! The banana peel is like the pennies left in your wallet at the end of the week.
11. If you had started out by putting your offering by itself, then you would have made different decisions. You wouldn’t have decided to spend all of your money, because some of it was already destined to go to God.
12. How can we put God first in this story? (By setting our offering aside)
13. I know a story that is all about this. Read Genesis 4 (the story of Cain and Abel’s offerings). (BTW- this is my FAVORITE Bible translation to use with the kids)
14. Ask these questions:
- Why do you think God was mad about Cain’s offering? (Because he kept the good parts for himself.)
- Why do you think that he gave that offering? (He was selfish.)
- Why did God like Abel’s offering? (He gave god the best of what he had.)
- Why do you think he gave that offering? (He was putting God first.)
- Who put God first in the story? (Abel)
- How could Cain have made better decisions? (He could have given god the best of what he had.)
- How can we use this story in our lives? (We can put God first and give him the best of what we have.)
What is your favorite object lesson? Let me know in the comments!