The word action being spelled with letter cubes. The T is about to be dropped in. This symbolizes that actions speak louder than words as this lesson plan on the parable of the two sons demonstrates.

About This Lesson Plan on the Parable of the Two Sons

This Actions Speak Louder than Words lesson plan on the Parable of the Two Sons helps us consider that we cannot just say we are Christians. We must also act. And we must sometimes have the humility to admit we were wrong and then do the right thing.

Opening Game for Actions Speak Louder than Words

Start this lesson plan on service by playing Charades (see the complete instructions and words to use).

Follow up with a couple of questions:

  • Did you find it difficult to communicate using only actions?
  • Which was the most difficult word or phrase? Which was the easiest?
  • What makes it so much easier to use words instead of actions?

Most of us prefer using words to communicate. Using actions is more difficult. But sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Imagine you, Will, and Rita are working on a long term group project for school. You are dividing up the tasks which must be done this week. When you give Will his assignment, he tells you that he is going to be really busy for the next few days and won’t have time to do it. Ugh! That means more work for you. You give Rita her assignment and she tells you she understands it and will get it done right away.

The next day, Will calls you and says “I realize that was really unfair for me not to do any of the work for this week. I’ll take care of part of the assignment.” You talk it over and he takes one of the more difficult tasks.

The day before the work is due, the three of you have a meeting to put your work together. You have your work done. Will has completed his task. Rita says, “I never did it. We had a big family event over the weekend and I was tired.”

How do you feel about Will and Rita’s contributions to the project?

Scripture Reading for Lesson Plan on the Parable of the Two Sons

Matthew 21:28-32 (The parable of the two sons) – the Gospel Reading for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion?

A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’

He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards changed his mind and went.

The man came to the other son and gave the same order.

He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.

Which of the two did his father’s will?”

They answered, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.

When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

Matthew 21:28-32

Discussion for Actions Speak Louder than Words Lesson Plan

We have probably all been in a situation where somebody said they would do something and then didn’t follow through. This can be really frustrating. In this case, their actions are telling us something different than their words.

  • How does it make you feel when somebody promises to do something and then doesn’t do it?
  • What are some of the things we promise to do as Christians which are difficult to carry out?

And perhaps we’ve found ourselves in situations where we started to make a bad choice and then reversed course and did the right thing in the end.

  • Is it difficult to admit you were wrong and try to make it right? Why?
  • How can the sacraments of the Church help you with this?

As Christians, we are called to be “doers of the Word”. That means we must not just learn about what Jesus teaches us. We must act.

Small Group Reflection Questions for the Service Lesson Plan

  • What are some concrete ways you can act on your faith this week?
  • How will these things help your community?
  • How will these things help your faith grow?
  • Are you willing to change in order to make your community a better place for everyone?

Challenge for the Actions Speak Louder than Words Lesson Plan

Pick one specific thing you want to do this week to put your faith into action. Come up with one word to remind yourself of the action you want to take. Write that word on a prayer rock and carry it with you as a reminder.

(See the prayer rock activity for specific instructions)

Prayer for the Lesson Plan on Actions Speak Louder than Words

Conclude by praying in a One Word Spontaneous Prayer Circle.

One Word Spontaneous Prayer Circle

A one word spontaneous circle is a way to encourage spontaneous prayer in a group. The simplicity helps group members participate even if they are a little intimidated by spontaneous prayer.

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

This Amy Grant version of the classic song goes well with this Actions Speak Louder than Words lesson.






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