Photo by aisletwentytwo on

Who doesn’t love a big bag of money?

The kids in church on Sunday sure did. We were telling them the story about how Jesus got his disciples, and when we shared the part about Levi the tax collector, (insert BOO HISS here- nobody likes tax collectors) and how Jesus wanted him to be part of the group he hung out with, we pulled out a golden bag of coins to help the children imagine him.  We told the kids how quick Levi was to leave everything behind, and how he threw a big party for Jesus and his tax collector friends, which threw the religious people into fits.

“I wonder what your favorite part of the story is,” we asked at the end of the story.

“THE MONEY BAG!” several kids called out.

Who doesn’t love a big bag of money?

A big bag of money means SUCCESS! Possibility. Freedom. Power.

Some people think that if you’re smart enough to get a big bag of money, you’re smart enough to be in charge. Some people think it means you’re so smart that you don’t need to listen to anybody.

But Jesus went to Levi’s booth, and Levi listened. He heard Jesus ask if he would come along with him. Would Levi do it? He did. He left his big bag of money to follow Jesus.

Come along with me. You’re hired.

We also shared the part of the story about Simon Peter, and how he first met Jesus when he was having a bad fishing day. They were catching nothing ’til Jesus showed up and got in his boat. Jesus taught the people on the shore and afterwards told Simon Peter to fish some more. The nets got so full that the boat nearly sank.  Simon Peter saw it, fell down and said, “Go away from me, Lord. I’m not good enough to be with you.”

Come along with me. You’re hired.

What made Jesus pick these people? We asked the children about that. “I wonder what kind of people Jesus wants to be his disciples.” Here’s some of what they said.

*Good people

*Anybody- even bad people! (You can see there was some debate on this subject!)

*Ones that aren’t perfect

*Maybe people who weren’t always followers but changed their minds to be one

Hmm. I like these descriptions. Being a disciple sounds almost doable.

But how did it really happen? I mean, why would they leave big bags of money or a normal fishing life they understood to follow this man? We asked the children. They thought hard.

“They knew he was more important than anything else.”

Is Jesus more important than anything else? Is his message more important than anything else? This message of love of God and love for fellow humankind, of mercy and justice for all, of feeding the hungry, healing the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and welcoming the stranger- is this the most important thing?

If it is, then maybe we have a job to do.  We’ve always had a job to do, but maybe the need is ramping up right now.

But are we up to the task? What does it take to be a disciple today?

The children made a list. Here are some of the instructions:


*Listen to God, follow God and obey and love him

*Read the Bible

and one of my favorites:

Be a student and a teacher about God.

Be a student and a teacher about God. Good gracious, these kids are so wise! Don’t fool yourself that you know everything. Be ready to learn, but also ready to share what you know. Let others see God in you.

May God shine down his love on us and whisper, “You’re hired!”