Needs and Wants

Greed and Materialism

Edge Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Edge Night is to help the youth keep in perspective the things they want and desire in life. If they can recognize the difference between wanting and needing something, they can avoid falling into traps of greed and getting caught up in the materialism of the world.

About this night

Greed and materialism is a difficult topic for us to explore because it challenges all of us to take stock of what we have, what we want, and how blessed we truly are. We read in Scripture, “Do not love the world of the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). To have material goods is not bad, but the Church warns us that we should not be consumed by the desire to have material goods. Greed and materialism take our focus off of loving God and our neighbor and place it on loving “things.” The focus of tonight will be on differentiating between our needs and our wants – and on sharing the excess that we do have.

For the Edge night tonight, we will start out by making commercials trying to sell something the youth come up with. This will give a glimpse into how we are all convinced we need things that we really do not need. It would be great for someone who has been on a mission trip to give the Proclaim for this night – to help give the perspective of how blessed people who have less than us truly are. The youth will be creating lists of what they want for their birthday, what they own now that they truly need, and what they own now that they do not really need. Those lists will lead to a reflection on recognizing how much we do have and a challenge to share with those who have much less.

Parental Notice

During tonight’s Edge Night, we talked about greed and materialism. We focused mainly on how most of us have more than what we need. We helped the youth to understand the difference between “want” and “need.” It is ok to want things, but we have to keep these wants in perspective and not get carried away with either the things we do not have and want or the things we do have and really enjoy. True joy comes in right relationship with God and healthy relationships with family and friends.

Some topics of discussion for the ride home might be:

  1. What does it mean to get carried away with the things we want or have already?
  2. What’s the difference between what we need and what we want?
  3. How can our family be more active with charities, by donating items, money, or time and energy?


Have a background set-up as a home you might find on a mission trip. It should be very simple – just a bed, a small table, and a small cabinet – and it should be worn but clean. Show how much pride is taken in these few objects a person in a third world country would have. If the walls and floor could appear dusty or brown, it would help with the image.

Supplies List

• Paper

• Pens

• Random Props for the commercials

• Handout A: “Treasures in Heaven”

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