We’re learning about the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Jesus’ most famous sermon! It’s called the Sermon on the Mount because he stood up on a hill—or mountain—to preach. Today we’re learning that Jesus preached about how God loves a giving heart.
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORSHIP
“Heart of Giving” handout:
What was your favorite gift last Christmas, or on your birthday? It’s fun to think about getting gifts. But Jesus loves when we give, too! Let’s find out what he said in the Bible about a giving heart.
If you could be famous, what would you want to be famous for?
A lot of kids today want to be famous! But imagine being famous for giving a lot. It could be time, money, or anything else you could give to someone.
Now’s your chance! You’re going to design a billboard to advertise to the world some things you’ve done that you think were generous. Maybe you gave money in the offering at church. Maybe you cleaned up your brother’s mess. Maybe you spent time reading to a little kid. Whatever you’ve done that’s generous, draw it on your billboard. You’ll use a piece of paper or the "Heart of Giving" handout as a billboard.
Distribute the “Heart of Giving” handouts. Have kids draw their billboards on the back of the handouts. If there are kids who can’t think of anything to draw, encourage them to draw something generous they’ve seen someone do.
Normally we would display a billboard on a major highway so everyone would see how giving we are. But let’s see what Jesus said about giving in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 6:1-4 -- Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Interesting. I don’t think Jesus would want us to display our billboards. You see, God loves a giving heart because he cares about the heart behind our giving! If we’re giving just to look impressive or get attention, that’s not a giving heart.
So let’s turn our billboards into private, heartfelt offerings to God.
Give Heartfelt Offerings
Have everyone fold their billboards in quarters so no one can see what they drew. Then have them draw a heart on the outside.
Next, have family members each draw a cross on a new piece of paper, and set their folded billboard on the cross.
(If using the handout: Have kids follow the directions on the handout to fold the paper into a heart, making sure the heart is on the outside and the billboard picture is covered up. Kids will fold all the outer dotted lines first, then cut on the solid line to complete the last two folds.)
• Why do you think God cares about why and how we give?
• What would giving with a giving heart look like compared to giving to get attention?
God loves a giving heart. By covering up your billboard and leaving it at the cross, you let your generous act be between you and God instead of calling attention to it. That’s the best way to give! So let’s practice giving our time and words in a secret mission.
Leave Encouraging Notes
Have families work together to write encouraging messages on several pieces of paper (be sure kids don’t sign their notes). Younger kids can help decorate the notes with pictures. If kids need help knowing what to write, here are some examples:
You just gave your time and words in a private way. Because your mission now is: the next time you go to a store, or the library, or any other public place, you can hide the notes around for other people to find! If you see someone find your note, don’t say you wrote it. Just let God get the credit for your gift. God loves a giving heart.
I challenge you to do more secret giving missions this week. It might not be completely secret, like if you help someone with homework. The person you’re helping would know. But just try to do generous things without telling anyone or drawing attention to yourself. Practice having a giving heart!
We’re learning that God loves a giving heart.
What are some ways people can give?
Let’s watch a video about kids who saved up money to give to something important.
Of all the ways kids raised money to give, which do you think you could do?
One of the kids said that she “wanted to make a difference and be part of something so big.” Why do you think it’s important to give?
What inspired you most about this video?
God loves a giving heart. These kids all gave up something they wanted in order to give money that would help build new churches. They knew their gift would make a big difference. When you give to church, you make a big difference, too!
God loves a giving heart. But sometimes it’s hard for us to have giving hearts! For most people, it’s more natural to want to take than to want to give. So let’s ask God to help us have giving hearts.
God, we don’t always have giving hearts. But we want to be more giving! Help us have hearts that give cheerfully and willingly.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thanks for joining us for online Sunday School! See you next week!