Teaching Stewardship through the Parables

Jesus taught
us to be good stewards through the stories that He told. In fact, more
than 50% of Our Lord's parables dealt with stewardship - with how
people used time, talent or treasure; with how they contributed to the
community; or with how they reached out to others. Certainly,
integrating parables or other Gospel stories into your classroom study
routine might be a good way to help students begin to realize more
fully that God calls each of us to be His stewards.

Some ideas for teaching parables and other Gospel stories in your classroom include:

  • Designate
    a time once a week or once a month for putting aside other work and
    reading and reflecting on a parable or Gospel story.
  • Assign
    a different group each week to be responsible for presenting the
    parable - possibly reading it, acting it out or depicting it through
    artwork.
  • Ask students to write a prayer that
    would help them remember the message in the parable or Gospel story.
    Use these prayers in class throughout the week.
  • Read
    the Gospel in advance and possibly even the readings in front of it so
    that you can give the students some background information and also be
    prepared to ask them some questions about Jesus' message.
  • Break
    students into small groups and give them time to discuss the story.
    Then let them report back to the entire class on their discussion.
  • Read a parable or Gospel story before art class and then ask students to depict the message through their artwork.
  • Challenge students to retell the story in a modern-day version.

Here is a list of some parables and Gospel stories that have a stewardship theme.

  • The Birds in the Sky and Flowers in the Field - Matthew 6:25-34
  • The Hidden Treasure - Matthew 13:44
  • The Costly Pearl - Matthew 13:45-46
  • The Feeding of the Multitude - John 6:1-15

(The
version in St. John's Gospel is great for children as it features a
child bringing forth the meager offerings of fish and bread that end up
feeding thousands.)

  • The Unmerciful Servant - Matthew 18:23-35
  • The Rich Young Man - Matthew 19:16-24
  • The Generous Employer - Mathew 20:1-16
  • The Wicked Tenants - Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19
  • The Servant Entrusted with Supervision - Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46
  • The Talents - Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27
  • The Widow's Mite - Mark 12:41-44
  • The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:25-37
  • The Friend at Midnight - Luke 11:5-8
  • The Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-21
  • The Vigilant and Faithful Servants - Luke 12:35-48
  • The Barren Fig Tree - Luke 13:6-9
  • The Tower Builder - Luke 14:28-33
  • The Lost Coin - Luke 15:8-10
  • The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32
  • The Unjust Steward - Luke 16:1-7
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus - Luke 16:19-31
  • Washing the Feet of the Apostles - John 13:1-16