Lesson Developed by
Jill Olds and Victoria Crooks
What is Wealth?
- Bibles or copies of the scripture
- If possible, the board game Catan
- Lists of characteristics, clothing, money – various elements of the game
- Laptop or media device with the YouTube video of the song Gone by Switchfoot
Setting the Atmosphere
- If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
- Consider centering the space with a lit candle (unscented for those with sensitivities), or with a simple symbol, such as a cross
- Consider having a ball or stuffed animal to throw around the circle, for the person speaking to hold when it is their turn
- If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform
17As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” 20He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
28Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
- Begin with a check in with members
- Open with prayer
- Read the scripture together
Select the option that best suits your group’s needs:
Exercise Option 1: Play the Board Game Catan (see more here)
- If Catan is not possible, create stations where youth can “build” a character.
- Begin by randomly handing out an assortment of characteristics, clothing items, and money. Then allow students to trade with each other for the money/clothing/characteristics they desire. You can set up a “currency”, so they know how much each item is worth, or let them navigate their trades on their own. Example: a college education is worth x amount of money, or a person can trade two characteristics for it. By the end, your youth have created their own “character”.
- Debrief about the process, what did it take to get to where you ended up? What was worth trading/selling? What was worth obtaining?
- Discuss the difference between monetary wealth, and the wealth of knowledge a character obtained.
Exercise Option 2:
Listen together to the song Gone by Switchfoot (This is a YouTube link to a teenager who made a great music video featuring the song – YouTube video)
Reflect together on the following questions:
- What does it mean to be “wealthy”? What does our culture say wealth is?
- Create a list of things that it matters to be wealthy in (eg. Kindness, faith, humor, joy, patience, etc.) How can we work towards being wealthier in things that really matter?
- How might focusing on some of these other things transform us?
- Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)
- Or, consider utilizing a check-out exercise.