Lesson Developed by
What It Means to Be Lost and Found
Tips to Prepare
- If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation.
- If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform
- Identify various items around the church (or a home) that you will want kids to search for in a scavenger hunt.
- Laptop or media device with the video “Fine By Me” by Andy Grammer” (YouTube clip.)
Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”
Introduction for Leaders
- Begin with a check in with members
- Ask a group member to read the focal Scripture
- Open with prayer
Select the option that best suits your group’s needs:
Exercise Option 1:
- Prepare a video scavenger hunt, and have the kids find various things around the church (or home) and take pictures of them with their phones.
- Talk about what it means to search for things, and the excitement/worry that comes with looking for things that are “lost” to you.
Exercise Option 2:
- Watch the video clip together. (YouTube clip)
- The video portrays the guy finally finding the girl he’d like to be in a relationship with, after looking for awhile. The girl is less sure. We then see the girl “lose” her iPod, but later finds it… and realizes that the guy has added a song on it: the very one we’re listening to. It’s about seeking and finding.
Reflect Together on the Following Questions:
1. How does it feel to think about a God who is always looking for both the older and the younger sons? What does that mean for us?
2. Who do you identify with most in this story? Are you the one who always tries to do everything right, or are you the one who forges your own path (sometimes having a hard time)?
3. How does it feel to think about having a relationship with God, kind of like as a parent? Does that sit well with you, or is that a tricky idea?
Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)