Recently, I had the privilege of watching a missionary couple teach our kids about missions while telling the parable of the lost coin. It had all the makings of a great, interactive lesson that included elements that appealed to multiple senses and involved the entire audience.
I adapted their lesson to focus more on the Bible story itself and added a few elements of my own. You’ll also find some variations that you can add.
Keep in mind that the strength of this lesson is in the moments where the entire crowd participates. The moments where they count out loud or look around for the coin are the moments that will help you keep their attention. Place a lot of emphasis on these moments.
The Lost Coin: An Interactive Bible Lesson
Bible Verse: Luke 15:10b “…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Theme: God loves seeing one of his lost children return to Him.
Supplies: Small table, small bucket, 10 coins, flashlight, broom
Set-up: Small table in center stage with the bucket on top of it. One coin is planted somewhere in the room. The other nine coins, the flashlight and the broom should be easily accessible.
Lesson: In my hand, I’ve got ten coins. Count them with me as I place them in this bucket. 1…2…3.
This reminds me of a story from the Bible found in Luke 15:8-10. It’s the third story in a trilogy of parables told by Jesus to show us what God truly values. Help me count these coins again. Where was I? (Give the kids time to respond.) Oh, that’s right. 4…5…6.
In this story, Jesus told his audience about a woman. He doesn’t tell us very much about this woman. All he tells us is that she also had ten coins that were extremely important to her. Just like my ten coins. Speaking of which, where were we? You got it. Help me count a few more. 7…8…9.
Ten silver coins that were very important to her. But right up front, Jesus tells us that, as much as important as those coins were to her, she lost one. She was shocked. She turned on her lamp, swept her house and searched carefully. When she finally found her lost coin, she was so excited that she called all her friends over and celebrated with them.
Okay, where was I? That’s right, 10. Wait a minute. I don’t seem to have my tenth coin. Where could it be? Could it be taped underneath your chairs? Did I sneak it into your pockets? (Give the kids a chance to search their surroundings.)
I need someone to help me out. (Invite one or a few kids onto the stage. Give them the flashlight and/or the broom.) Let’s look around until we find my lost coin!
(Have the kids search until they’ve found the coin. After they’ve found it, they can go back to their seats.)
This coin is so important to me that even though I had the other nine, I could not bear to lose it. We place a lot of value on money, but there is something that God values much more. It’s us.
God wants all of us to be a part of His family and when one of us becomes part of His family, there is rejoicing in heaven.
Variations: Depending on your time, budget or style there are some things you can add to this Bible lesson to spice it up.
If you happen to be skilled in sleight-of-hand, you can perform the coin counting routine using your own version of the Miser’s Dream.
While the kids are searching for the coin, you could assist them by turning it into a game of Hot or Cold. They are “cold” when they are far from the object, the closer they get, the “hotter” they become. If you have a live musician, he or she could play a song an increase the tempo as the kids get closer to the object. There are a lot of fun possibilities.
Also, if you want to add an element that kids can take home with them, consider using plastic gold coins to teach the lesson. At the end of your service or segment, you can pass one out to each child.
Can you think of any more variations? Are there any interactive ways that you’ve told this or any other Bible story? Share in the comments below!