About This Lesson Plan on Wealth
This Savvy Steward lesson plan will help youth understand that we must have a healthy relationship with wealth and materials goods. They cannot become more important than the Lord.
Opening Game for the Savvy Steward
Follow up with a few questions:
- Was that game fair? Why or why not?
- What makes you think a person is wealthy?
- How does our perception of wealth and status impact the decisions we make?
The world often tells us that wealth and the status that goes with it are what make us successful. Jesus shows us a different way.
Scripture Reading for Lesson Plan on Wealth
Jesus said to his disciples,
[“A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. ]
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”Luke 16:1-13 or Luke 16:10-13
Discussion for the Savvy Steward Lesson Plan
This gospel reading can be a little confusing. It can seem like Jesus is encouraging us to be dishonest and worldly. So first, a little explanation is helpful.
The steward was in charge of his master’s money. And he was supposed to take good care of it AND make more money. A common way to do this was to lend it out and charge interest. And the steward was allowed to add a commission for himself also. So he also made money by lending his master’s wealth.
This particular steward probably got carried away. Because he desired to increase his own fortune, he lent out too much of his master’s money. Then there was not enough cash on hand to run the household. So he wasn’t cheating his master, but he caused harm with his greed.
The master found out and the steward knew he was in big trouble for managing the funds so poorly. So he had a change of heart. Instead of being interested in material wealth, he decided to focus on gaining the good favor of the people in the neighborhood.
He called in all of the debtors and changed the agreements so they owed less money. This way they might be willing to take him in or do other acts of kindness for him after he got fired. He might have been cutting out his own commission, but the amount he took off means it is more likely he was cutting into his master’s funds, since he didn’t care about that anymore.
The master found out and appreciated his shrewdness. Perhaps there was hope for this guy after all. Although it does not say that the master kept the dishonest steward in his household.
The dishonest steward had a change of heart and realized that money isn’t everything. If a worldly person like this can turn away from the pursuit of material goods and wealth, then as disciples of the Lord we should be able to follow a different path also.
Jesus points out that we cannot serve both God and money. Wealth in itself is not bad, but if we are focused on obtaining it, then we are not focused on God. So like the steward in this parable, we must realize that the pursuit of money and status can get out of hand. The steward realized that the good favor of others was more important. We must realize that the Kingdom of God is more important.
Reflection Questions for the Savvy Steward Lesson Plan
- Is there possession you have which you would find difficult to give up?
- Have you had to ever make a difficult choice about money, such as working on Sunday instead of going to Mass? Or perhaps having to make a difficult decision about how to spend your money?
- How can wealth be used for the advancement of the Kingdom of God?
Challenge for the Savvy Steward Lesson Plan
This week, be aware of how wealth and status are portrayed in culture. When you see something which seems to be encouraging you to accumulate more things or money, think about what it would be like if it was encouraging you to love the people around you instead. Also be aware that some ads especially will make you think that material goods will make people love you more.
Prayer for the Lesson Plan on Wealth
Offer prayer intentions for the people who need our love and support. The Prayer for Generosity would be a good closing prayer.