This is a short script based on the parable of the lost coin to help children consider what God is like. It could be used alongside the story of the lost sheep and I’ve included an animation retelling the parable.
Before children arrive, place ninety-nine pennies in a clear plastic jar. Put a lid on the jar and secure it so little hands can’t reach the pennies—they’re a choking hazard. Tape one shiny penny to the bottom of one of your shoes with clear tape.
(hold up your penny jar and ask:):Can you guess how many pennies I have in my jar? Affirm all guesses, then say: It’s a big number. I have ninety-nine pennies in my jar, but I’m supposed to have one hundred pennies here.
One of my pennies is lost. Would you help me find it? I don’t want it to feel lost and alone!
(Ask for some volunteers – With the children, search the room. Check under chairs, on the floor, every- where. Then call the children back together and say:)
We looked everywhere, didn’t we? I guess my poor penny is lost. But wait—I know somewhere we didn’t look! We didn’t look at the bottoms of our shoes! Maybe my penny is stuck on a shoe!
(As children check shoe bottoms, let them discover that the penny is on your shoe sole. Take the penny off, place it in the jar, and again attach the jar’s lid securely. )
Thank you for your help! Now I have one hundred pennies again. All my pennies are safe here in my penny jar. Ask:
• Why do you think I care about one penny when I have ninety-nine safe in the bank?
• If I were a teacher with one hundred children, do you think I’d care if one child were lost?
Of course I would! Why do you think it would matter to me so much if you were lost? (Allow time for response)
Today we are going to hear a story about a lost sheep—a story that Jesus told to help people understand what God is like. God is like a shepherd who takes care of his sheep. Good shepherds always know how many sheep they have. They know when one of their little sheep gets lost or hurt just like God.
This might also be a suitable video that you could use to help tell the story of the Lost Sheep.
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