Who wants to be a millionaire? – Materialism

Bible base

Luke 12:13–21

Aim

To help students reflect on whether it makes sense to want material wealth for its own sake.

Things you’ll need

  • Sweets for prizes, enough for at least three or four ‘rounds’ of the game, eg one tube of Smarties, a Mars Bar, a small box of chocolates, a big box of chocolates.
  • Three or four questions, each with a choice of four answers for the ’Who wants to be a “chocolataire”?’ game.

Preparation

Prepare your questions and the choice of answers for each. Think about what the school and students you will be visiting are like. You could include questions relevant to that particular school. Include some answer options which are just for fun. Don’t make the quiz too easy, but use questions and answers which will make it likely for your volunteer to ‘win’.

Presentation

1 Start by asking how happy they are with what they are like, and with what they own. Say that you are going to have a vote. You want them to put up their hands for each of the following.

Hands up if…

  • you would like to be better at sport.
  • you think you are pretty good at sport already.
  • you would like to be better at art.
  • you would like to be a better singer
  • you would like more money.

Comment briefly on their voting, pointing out that on the whole people would like to be better at things than they are at present, even things they are quite good at anyway.

2 Ask: ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ Mention the TV game show, briefly making it clear what the game is about, in case some of the audience haven’t seen it. Say that you’re going to play a version of this now called, ‘Who wants to be a “chocolataire”?’

Ask for a volunteer who would like to be a ‘chocolataire’. Play the game with increasingly ‘difficult’ questions, but with answers likely to be known by this age group. Include some entertaining ones too. They must choose between four answers (a, b, c, d) and can use the lifelines of: ‘Ask the audience’, ‘Phone (ask) a friend’, and ‘50/50’. Award the increasingly bigger prizes after each round (ie Smarties, a Mars Bar etc). Aim to get your volunteer to the last prize!

In your role of the game show host, build up the tension with appropriate commentary and comments to the contestant and the audience.

Note: Adjust number of rounds and time you take to play this, according to the amount of time you have for the assembly. Be careful not to let this go on for too long.

Reflection

1 After your ‘winner’ has been congratulated and thanked, comment that ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ is a great programme, it’s very entertaining etc. Then point out that, although it’s enjoyable to watch, the game plays on people’s greedy nature: to get more, even though they’ve got plenty; the feeling that more is better; the desire to get what you want.

2 Tell the Bible story of the farmer who kept building bigger barns (Luke 12:13–21). Explain that through the story Jesus makes the point that this man was foolish for spending his whole life worrying about getting wealthy, when he wasn’t going to be able to keep it anyway. As far as God was concerned, he was poor, not rich, because he only cared about himself.

Response

1 Explain that Christians believe God has given us the responsibility of using what he has given to us – our possessions, talents and abilities – wisely for him, for the good of others.

2 In a time of quiet, ask students to think about each of these questions in turn.

  • How do I use what I have?
  • How do I use my money?
  • How do I use my gifts, abilities and talents?

3 Challenge the students to try to give something or use one of their talents for someone else today.

4 If appropriate, end with a short prayer, thanking God for all he has given us, and asking for his help to use the gifts he has given us for the good of others.

5 You could finish with a light comment that, whilst there’s no pressure, the new “chocolataire” might like to share his fortune with others after the assembly!

Note: Check with the school first, that they are happy for chocolates to be given out in this way, and that encouraging the winner to share his prizes isn’t likely to cause problems for teaching staff or others.

 

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