In the biblical parable of the talents, the master gives three servants various numbers of talents and goes away on a trip. When he returns, he is pleased with the two servants who have doubled their talents but angry with the servant who hid his talent and did not increase it. Several activities will help Sunday school students better understand the parable.
Give each class member a bag of 15 to 20 pennies. Tell students the object of the game is to give their pennies away. If someone gives them a penny, they must give two in return. Play the game for four minutes. Have students count their pennies. Talk about what happened. Explain that the students who gave away their pennies the fastest ended up with more in return. They were "doubling their talents" like the good stewards in the parable.
Have students write a script for a simple play based on the parable of the talents. The play could be set in biblical or modern times. If the class is large, divide students into groups and do separate plays so that everyone has a speaking part. Once the script or scripts are finished, give students time to practice the drama. Have students perform the play or plays. Discuss the parable and ask what it means for us today.
Have class members make journal entries on directed topics. Ask students what their greatest talents are and how best can they use them to serve others. Have students consider whether they have any talents that they are hiding and, if so, how can these talents be developed to benefit others. Once students have concluded writing about their topics, invite them to share some of what they have written with the class.
In advance, ask each student to prepare a short presentation that he can share with the class. These could include musical numbers, poetry readings or displays of trophies or ribbons from athletic events. On the day of the talent show, first read the parable of the talents and discuss how it applies to our lives today. Then have each student share his talent and explain how he is "multiplying" the talent by improving it and sharing it with others.