God’s Story of Work for Kids

Small Group Study / Produced by partner of TOW

God's Story of Work for Kids - Introduction

Both children and adults need to work, whether that work is paid (like a paper route) or unpaid (like folding the laundry). But for many adults and children, work has become a dirty word. Work means things that we don't want to do. We may even think God doesn't care about our work, only about praying or reading the Bible. But a look at the Bible reveals the opposite. God Himself is a worker. He has designed us for work. And God values our work deeply. Work is a good thing! When children and their parents learn about God's plan for work, their daily activities take on a new meaning and holiness.

This 12 lesson curriculum is a free resource designed to teach children to see work through God's perspective.

For each lesson the curriculum includes

  • Large group lesson
  • Small group activities
  • Parents take-home sheet to work through the lesson together during the week 

Feel free to use this material in your Sunday school program, in your church youth group, or in your own home.

Table of Contents

1: God is a worker

2: A Partner, Not a Robot

3: What Work is God up to?

4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet

5: For Such a Time as This

6: I've God Work to Do

7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God

8: Work That Matters

9: God in our Monday to Sunday

10: Salt and Light

11: Turning Up the Wattage

12: Work Rewards

Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 1: God is a Worker

Main Idea 

God is a worker.

Props

  • potted plant
  • paintbrush
  • gym weight
  • crown

Opening

Leader: The Bible tells us who God is and what he's like. God is loving, compassionate, good, perfect, and holy. I have 4 objects here with me today - a crown, a plant, a paintbrush, and a weight. Which of these do you think shows best who God is? (Hold up one object at a time and ask children to raise their hands if they think that object is the one that best shows who God is.)

Actually, ALL of these show who God is. One is not better than another because God is ALL of these and so much more.

How do you think a crown shows who God is? (Invite children's responses.) Yes, God is king. He is ruler over our world, this planet, the galaxies - everything! There is no one more powerful or bigger than God.

How do you think a gym weight shows who God is? (Invite children's responses.) Yes, God is strong. God also designed muscles and speed. He knows the joy of running, being coordinated, and being fast.

How does a paintbrush show who God is? (Invite children's responses.) Yes, God is creative. Your fingerprint is not like anyone else's. God is an artist!

How do you think a plant shows who God is? (Invite children's responses.) Yes, God is a worker. Genesis shows God creating light, sky, land, seas, planting a garden and creating all kinds of living things. There are over 950,000 kinds of insects on earth today.  Though the exact number is not known, there are about 400,000 species of plants. God created so many different things with incredible detail. Genesis shows God getting his hands in dirt to make the first human being. 

Let's take a look at today's scripture.

Scripture Lesson

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Genesis 2:4-9

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Leader: Work means putting in energy or effort to produce something. What are the ways you see God working in this passage? (Invite children's responses. As children respond, draw the answers on large Post-Its or on a whiteboard. The visual will help some children remember. If there's a child who can draw well, invite him to be the drawer.)

Yes, God made the heavens and the earth. God made streams to water the ground because he had not yet sent rain. God formed a man from the dust and breathed life into him. Verse 8 tells us that God planted a garden and made all kinds of trees grow.

God was very busy making the world. He is a worker. Genesis 2 shows us God working on making the world. But did God make the world and then stop working? Of course not! How do we see God working today?(Invite children's responses.)

We can see God at work in each of our lives. He takes care of us, provides for what we need. God is at work in neighborhoods, cities, nations and the world.

Closing

Leader: (Hold up objects from the beginning of the lesson) Can anyone tell me, which of these best show who God is? Yes, you're right! All of them show who God is. God is king, he is strong, he is artistic and he is a worker. In the coming weeks, we'll learn more about how God sees work, and how we can become God's co-workers.

Let's pray. God, today we learned that you are a worker. You are a king who rules over everything, and yet, instead of just sitting back on your throne, you work every single moment to take care of your children. Thank you for being such a good God. Help us to see you in our own work, as we do homework, help out at home, and do chores. We know you're in it with us. We love you and bless you, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 1: God Is a Worker

Props

  • post-its (3 per child)
  • pencils
  • markers
  • bibles
  • timer with alarm
  • God-at-work-charade-cards.pdf (print these out and cut them up to create 10 charade cards)
  • A large paper with these words written on it: made, formed, breathed, planted, put, created, sent, hammered, weeded, dug, cleaned, wrote, finished.

Opening Activity: Sharing Work I Enjoy (5 minutes)

Give each child 3 Post-its and a pencil to jot down 3 kinds of work they enjoy. Examples might be drawing or playing with a sibling or taking care of an animal. Have kids share one of their Post-its.

Teacher Tip: What you share will help set the tone for the sharing. Think of something specific that you enjoy and be ready to share it.

Review: Each of us is different. God made us that way. The things you enjoy doing are a special way God created for you to make a difference in the world.

God at Work Charades (10 minutes)

Stack the charade cards in a pile. Have one child (or a pair of children if there are more than 10 children in the group) pick a card from the pile and act out this kind of work that God does. The other children have to guess. They are guessing the answer to the question "What is God doing here?"

Review: God is at work every minute of the day all over the world. He loves us and cares very much for every person.

Work Word Search (10 minutes)

Post the sheet of paper on the wall with the work words on it (made, formed, breathed, planted, put, created, sent, hammered, weeded, dug, cleaned, wrote, finished). Have students form a relay line on the other side of the room. Give each child a Bible and read Genesis 2:4-9 together. In turn each student runs to the sheet and circles a word that can be found in Genesis 2:49, or crosses out a word that is not in that passage. 

God as Work Popcorn Game (5 minutes)

In Genesis we find God creating many things. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Sit in a circle and go around the circle, each person calling out something God created (monkeys, bananas, humans, etc.) The goal is to name as many things God created as possible before the timer runs out.

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Ask if any students have an prayer requests to share. Pray for these requests and thank God for being actively at work in each life.

Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take-Home Sheet for Lesson 1: God is a Worker

This Week's Focus: God is a Worker!

This week we learned that God is a worker. Genesis 2:8 shows God as a gardener. The important role work plays in our own lives is one way we reflect God's image. Today's lesson introduced the idea that God is a worker and showed ways God is at work even today. We usually describe God with characteristics such as holy, good, just, kind, merciful, and generous. We often think of God as king, ruler and Lord - images that might convey being above working. But we will learn in the following lessons of this series that God not only works today, God is in the work that children and adults do. 

Do This Week's Workout: God Hunt!

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. As you go on this hunt, see how many ways you can find God at work. It may be things you see, words you read or hear, or even smells in the air.

  1. Choose a place with your child to take a walk.
  2. Before you leave, explain that each of you will look for different ways that you see God at work. If children desire, they can take a notepad to jot down or even draw their ideas.
  3. Walk through the area and share as you go. For example, if you walk through a playground, you can notice that God's creativity in the different personalities of all the children and adults.  Or if you walk through the grocery store, smell the produce. It took a lot of time, sunshine, rain, and hard work to make each thing grow. God provided all of that. God also provides jobs through the store, which then helps provide many more things for employees and their families.

Talk about it: How was it to look for God at work? Was it hard? Easy? Did you find more of God at work than you expected to see? What were some of your favorite finds?

Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot

Main Idea

God created us to be partners in His work.

Props

  • several pieces of blank cardstock paper
  • tape
  • markers
  • 2 clothes hangers, one labeled ROBOT and one labeled HUMAN
  • loaf of delicious looking bread or cheese or anything children might like to eat

Opening - Robot (Simon Says) Game

Like as in Simon says, children will be given verbal cues first using the phrase "robots" instead of "Simon says." If they don't hear the term "robot" they should not obey (similar to Simon says).

Examples of cues:

  • Robots, march in place.
  • Robots, run in place.
  • Robots, walk in place very slowly.
  • Robots, stop.
  • Robots, jump up and down.
  • Robots, jump faster.
  • Stop! (if any children stop they are out since the word "robots" was not used.")
  • Make up your own...

Leader: Genesis 1:27 tells us that God made human beings, you and I, in his image. To be made in someone's image means that what is made is like the original person. You are made in God's image - meaning that when someone looks at you, there are many things about you that show who God is. We are able to think, create, design, run, fix and grow things because God made us to be like him. God didn't make us robots that just do what he tells us to do.

How cool is that? Look at someone next to you and tell them, "I see God in you!"

One of the ways you and I reflect God's image is that just like God, we work!

Robots and humans both work. But what's the difference between how a robot works and how a human being works? (Invite children's responses. As kids respond, write each answer on a card stock and tape to the appropriate clothing hanger so that the answers form a long hanging row of descriptions. Examples of answers could be: Robots do as they are told. Humans think. Humans create. Robots can be turned off. Humans sleep Humans are alive.)

Humans are very different from robots, aren't they? God could have made us robots that do exactly what he commands. He could have made us all robots that just take orders and do them. Instead God made us alive - He breathed life into the very first human being. He gave us the ability to think, create, dance, invent, move, figure things out and so much more. When we work, we have freedom to come up with things on our own and do things for ourselves.

Instead of robots, God made us partners in his work. A robot is something you command to do things that has no control over its own ability or freedom. A partner is someone who shares a goal with you. Together partners take action towards their shared objective.

Scripture Lesson

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group

Genesis 2:15-20

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field.

Leader: What is one of the ways in this passage that you see God inviting humans to partner in work? (Invite children's responses.)

Yes, God invites Adam to name the animals he made. How fun is that? God does everything perfectly and is the most creative of all. He could have made the best names, yet he bring the animals to Adam to see what Adam will come up with.  God enjoys getting our input on things and having us partner with him. He enjoys sharing the experience with us. Can't you just imagine Adam saying, "Hmm, this strange animal that swims that makes funny noises... The noises kind of sound like... I know! Let's call it a duck!" I can just picture God and Adam laughing and having a lot of fun.

Today, God is still the same. He enjoys working with us and invites us to be partners in his work. You are created not to be a robot, but a partner.  

(Hold up the loaf of bread or whatever food object you've prepared.) Bread is delicious. But it does not grow on trees. Someone has to do something with what is already there. Because of work, we can turn grain into flour and then into all kinds of delicious bread and pasta. How many of you like cheese? It's delicious but without work there is no milk, butter, cheese, or ice cream. Being able to work is a special privilege where we get to experience the joy of producing something good out of simple materials around us.

Closing

Leader: Can anyone tell me the difference between being God's robot and being God's partner? (Invite children's responses.)

Let's pray. God, we learned today that we were made in your image. We are like you in the way we work. Not only are we able to work, we were made to partner in your work. Thank you for sharing your work with us. It's much more fun and meaningful to be able to create and think than to be robots that just take orders. Help us to discover the cool ways you made us able to work throughout this week. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot

Props

  • God-made-you-a-partner-in-his-work.pdf worksheet (one copy for each child)
  • 2 large circles of paper per group (If you don't have large paper, tape together 4 letter-sized sheets of paper, then cut out a circle
  • markers / crayons

Opening Activity (5 minutes)

Ask children to share a time that they helped somebody do their work. It could have been anyone - a teacher, parent, sibling, friend, or a stranger. How did they feel about being able to help? What did they enjoy about the work?

Worksheet: God Made Us Partners in His Work (6 minutes)

Give each child a copy of the God Made You a Partner in his Work worksheet. Ask children to circle the words that describe what a partner does, then circle the words that describe what a robot does. They can add their own words to the lists. Review the lists together.

Robots, Partners and Pizza Game (15 minutes)

Place one large circle in the center of the group. Tell the children you will be the master, and they are the robots. The circle of paper will be a pizza pie, but they must decorate it the way you tell them. Give out orders such as "Robots, put 15 slices of pepperoni on your pie. Robots, put broccoli on your pie. Robots, color your pie green." (Give specific orders, suggesting things that the children might not like on their pizza.) (Alternative - You can invite a child to be the Master and give the orders.)

Place the second circle in the center of the group. Tell the children that now they will be partners, not robots. You are all part of a pizza shop and you need their help to create some really creative pizzas. Have them work together to come up with a new pie.

Review: Ask the children: What did you enjoy about being a robot? What did you not like? What did you enjoy about being a partner?

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Ask each child to pray for the person to his/her right. If they are unsure how to pray, you can model and they can repeat. Or lead them in the following prayer. Explain that you will start the prayer, and when you pause they can add any names or requests they want to pray for.

Leader: Dear Jesus, thank you for our class and for teaching us today that you want us to be partners in your important work. You know each of us by name. You made each of us and love each of us so very much. You know the things we want to bring to you and right now we lift up ____________________________. In Jesus' name, amen.

 

Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take Home Sheet for Lesson 2: A Partner, not a Robot

This Week's Focus: I am God's Partner in Work

This week we learned that human beings were made by God in his image. As human beings, we reflect who God is in how we are made - which includes our ability to work creatively.  What a privilege that instead of creating robots that execute his orders, God designed us to be creative, to think like him and to partner with him in his work. From the very beginning God invited Adam to help name the animals he made. God desires relationship with us not only through prayer and reading his word but through work.

Do this Week's Workout: Project Partners!

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work our the week's focus with your child - in action. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

God is working all over the world - and right here in your neighborhood, school, and home. Talk together about a place God is working that you can partner and join this week as a family. Pray together and see if there's something or someone or somewhere specific that God brings to mind. 

Here are some suggestions to get ideas rolling:

  • Partner in caring for the poor. Make sandwiches to give to the local homeless.
  • Partner in caring for creation. Sign up to volunteer to weed a local park, or go as a family to pick up garbage in an area. (Pack gloves, thick garbage bags, and sanitary wipes.)
  • Partner in caring for the lonely. Make a card to brighten the day for someone who could use a bit of cheer. 
  • Partner in welcoming people. Take a room in your house that could be made more welcoming when people come over. Think through small things you can do to make it more welcoming and work on it together. (For example, paint and hang up a blessing verse on the living room wall, throw away clutter, etc.)

Talk about it: What impact did you see from partnering with God? What gifts/abilities that God gave you were you able to use to partner with him? Take time as a family to point out and affirm the gifts you saw in action in each other. Be specific, such as "I saw your gift for organization in how you remembered to pack the gloves."

Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?

Main Idea 

God's work is the restoration of his original design.

Props

  • broken pieces of a mug or other broken object
  • a branch or stick
  • whiteboard or large Post-It
  • whiteboard marker

Opening

Leader: Have you ever tried to fix something that was broken? I have a pile of pieces in my hand. Can you guess what it might have been? (Invite the kids to make guesses.)That's right, it was a mug. If I work very carefully and patiently, I can try to put it back together so that this messy pile of pieces can become the mug it was originally meant to be. That's called "restoration."

Actually, ALL of these show who God is. One is not better than another because God is ALL of these and so much more.

The word "restoration" means to have something return to the original condition. Sometimes famous works of art become hard to see over time due to many years of soot, grime, and buildup on the original work. Restorers who work for museums carefully clean the artwork to reveal its original beautiful colors and design.

During the past two weeks, we learned that God is a _______ (Invite children to fill in the blank.) Yes, God is a worker! And he made us not to be robots but ___________ in his work. (Invite children to fill in the blank.) We are invited to be partners in God's work.

But what work is God up to? It's a lot tougher than putting a mug back together. To understand the work we are invited to partner in, we need to first take a look at Genesis 3.

God had created the perfect world. His original design was very good. There was no pain in work, and Adam, Eve and God enjoyed a free, loving relationship with each other. It was a joy to tend the garden. God had made a beautiful garden with hundreds of trees and plants. In it, there was one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that he told Adam and Eve that they should not eat from because they would die. Now let's take a look at what happened next.

Scripture Lesson

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Genesis 3:1-8

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Leader: Remember how God didn't make human beings robots? He could have made it so that humans only did the right thing all the time. But instead, he gave us free will - the ability to choose what we want to do. Adam and Eve were free to choose, and they chose to do things their way instead of trusting God. As soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed, the original design God had for the world was broken. (Snap the stick in half for emphasis.) What changes in Adam and Eve's relationship with God do you notice happen immediately? (Invite children to respond.)

Yes, immediately Adam and Eve felt shameful of their nakedness and felt the need to make some kind of covering. And instead of freely talking to God, they were afraid when they heard God walking in the garden and hid. Shame. Fear. Hiding. All these things have no entered God's design. In fact, all realationships were now broken. The four key relationships Adam and Eve had - with God, each other, creation, and themselves - were no longer completely good, loving, and trusting. Even when they looked at their own selves, they felt ashamed and guilty, no longer free to just be themselves.

In this terrible moment whre Adam and Eve chose against God's desires, what is wonderful to read is the next verse.

Genesis 3:9

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

God knows everything. At that moment, as Adam and Eve were hiding in fear, he knew what they had done - and still, he moved towards them instead of yelling or getting rid of them. God always seeks relationship with us, no matter what we have done. Think of a time that you did something wrong. Perhaps you got upset with someone or said something mean. Even when we do something wrong, God always moves towards us in love wanting to work things out with us, instead of turning his back on us.

The original good design that God had for all creation was now broken. But God doesn't give up or get rid of Adam and Eve to start over. Instead, the Bible tells us the story of God's patient love - how over hundreds of years God patiently worked to step into the mess that had been made. Ultimately, God gave his only son, Jesus, to be born into our world to die for sin once and for all, and pay the price for all of us. through Jesus, anyone who believes in him can come to God without fear and have a restored relationship with God - and through this restored relationship with God, we can have a restored relationship with others, ourselves and creation.

As a child of God and member of God's family, we get to partner in God's important work to restore our world back to the original design. To restore something, you have to know what is broken. A ceramic restorer will look at these broken mug pieces and know what it should become. A painting restorer looks at a painting and knows that there are bright colors and details hidden under the layers of dirt everyone else sees.

What are some of the broken things you see in our world? (Invite children to respond. Write a list on a whiteboard or large Post-It.)

Examples:

  • fighting / war
  • broken families
  • kids who are hungry
  • homelessness
  • bullying

Can you help me think about what God's design and desire is for each of these?(Write God's plan next to each listed item.)

Examples:

  • fighting / war -> loving relationships
  • broken families -> families together, supporting each other
  • kids who are hungry -> every kid with enough food to eat
  • homelessness -> every person with a safe place to live
  • bullying -> people saying encouraging words to each other

Closing

Leader: So far we have learned that God is a worker and that we are made in his image. Being made in God's image means that we are also created to work. God invites us to join his work of restoring the world back to his original design where relationships with God, people, our own self and creation were not broken but whole and loving.

Let's pray. God, thank you for not leaving our world broken but coming to rescue and restore our world and each of us back to your original design. Thank you for letting us join you as partners in this important work. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to? (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?

Props

  • small puzzle of at least 9 pieces, but no more than 25 pieces
  • blank sheet of paper for each child
  • pencils or colored pencils

Opening Activity: Trivia Review Puzzle (10 minutes)

Lay out puzzle pieces on the table or floor. Lay a corner piece out to start. As you ask the following questions that review the past weeks, the child who answers correctly can help add ap piece to the puzzle. Continue until the puzzle is complete. Feel free to add your own questions.

Teacher Tip: What you share will help set the tone for the sharing. Think of something specific that you enjoy and be ready to share it.

Questions:

  1. What are some of the things God first made when He made the world? light, sky, waters, animals, plants
  2. Who created Adam and Eve? God
  3. What was one of the first jobs God gave Adam in the garden? naming the animals God made
  4. What did God warn Adam and Eve about? to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
  5. What did God say would be a consequence of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? they would die
  6. What did Adam and Eve do immediately after eating the fruit? their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked, so they made coverings out of leaves
  7. What did God say when Adam and Eve were hiding? God said, "Where are you?"
  8. What kind of work is God up to today? restoring the world back to his original design
  9. What is an important way that God began restoring our world back to the original design? He sent his only son Jesus to die for sin
  10. What are the 4 key relationships God is looking to restore? our relationships with God, with each other, with creation, and with our self

Draw/Write & Chat (20 minutes)

Give each child a blank sheet of paper.

  1. Ask them to draw or write a description of a place they often go - i.e. school, library, playground, etc. Can you share what you've drawn? Where is it? How often do you go?
  2. Ask children to think about and draw or write down what they might see if everyone there knew God loves them and had a relationship with God. What would be different? For example, everyone in school would want to please God not him or herself. Perhaps Bible verses would be there to encourage people praying for each other.
  3. Ask children to think about and draw or write down what they might see if everyone there had a good relationship with each other. What would be different? For example, there would be no bullying in school. You might see everyone playing together instead of being in cliques.
  4. Ask children to think about and draw or write down what they might see if everyone there took good care of the things around them - plants, desks, books, animals, etc. What would be different? For example, the classrooms would be clean and things would last longer.
  5. Ask children to think about and draw or write down what they might see if everyone there had a good relationship with their self and could think of themselves the way God wants for them. What would be different? For example, no one would feel ashamed of who he or she is. You might see people who are confident and smiling or people who are trying new things they want to do instead of letting fear stop them.

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Ask children if they have any prayer requests that they would like prayer for. Feel free to share your own. Pray for the requests or invite a child to pray for the class.

Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to? (Parent’s Sheet)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take-Home Sheet for Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?

This Week's Focus: God is working to restore the world

This week we learned that God is actively working to restore the world back to his original good design. We see his commitment to do this in how he sent his only son, Jesus, to pay the price for sin. The primary focus of God's restorative work revolves around four key relationships - our relationship with God, our relationships with each other, our relationship with our self, and our relationship with creation. As children of God, we have the special privilege of partnering with God in his work of restoring these relationships back to his design.

Do This Week's Workout: Restorers in Action

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

Invite God into this time as you begin. Pray together and ask God where he might be inviting you as a family to partner with him. Together, choose one area from the list below to partner with God in restoring and think about one specific thing you can do together in that area that will help bring this relationship closer to what God desires. Some ideas are listed below to help spark your own:

Relationships with God

  • Prayer walk a neighborhood. As you walk, take turns praying out loud for what you feel led to pray for. You can invite God into homes and families, ask him to provide jobs for those out of work, etc.
  • Invite a friend to attend church and share a meal afterwards.

Relationships with each other

  • Each member of the family can think of one relationship that is not doing well and design a way to show love to that person, whether through a card, reaching out to talk to them, etc.
  • Reach out as a family to a neighbor who is alone.

Relationships with self

  • Ask each family member to take a moment to think about one way he or she struggles in being comfortable in his or her own skin. Help each other think together about what would help. Note: It's so important that if you address this, you make the effort to listen and ask questions instead of offering only solutions. Validate the person and show you care about how what was shared makes him or her feel.

Relationships with creation

  • Think of a way that as a family you can live greener lives. Decorate cloth bags to bring to the grocery store, or do a home audit of your energy use as a family.

Talk about it: How was it to make intentional effort to partner with God in restoration? What was hard, what was easy? What did you learn about God in the process?

Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet

Main Idea 

God designed each person uniquely.

Props

  • vase
  • real flower (lying by the vase)

Opening

Leader: Take a look at this vase. Someone thought about it and designed the shape, color, and look of it. There was thought and time that was put into making this vase. Let me share two scenarios of how this vase could be used.

First, imagine after all of the thought and work that went into making it, this vase gets put into a storage closet and the door is closed. It just sits there for years, gathering dust on a shelf, unseen and forgotten by everyone. do you think this is what the vase was made for? No, the vase was made to be seen and used.

Now imagine a different story. Instead of being put into a storage closet and forgotten, the vase is put in the middle of the living room table. It's used to hold fresh flowers. (Put the flower inside the vase.) Every day it's seen by people in the family and the guests they have over. The color and design of the vase is seen and enjoyed by others.

Which of these do you think is the better story? (Invite children to respond.) It seems like the second story is better, because the vase is being used in the way it was intended. Also it adds something to the lives of others by being seen and used.

The same is true for you. No one in this room, and on this planet, was created by God just to exist and then die. Each of you was created with specific gifts, talents, abilities, and personalities. You were put in a specific place, not to be hidden away. God wants you to use all your gifts and abilities to be part of God's team, working on his project to restore the world.

God never does things in a hurry or sloppily. He is thoughtful and intentional in how he designs. Just think - no two fingerprints in the world are the same. He knows how to make more than 7 billion fingerprints differently. No two people are exactly the same. When God made you, he gave you unique gifts, talents, personalities, and passions. The way you think about things, the way you like to work, the things you are able to do are all unique to only you.

Every single person has a special part to play using the unique ways we are made. In God's kingdom, no one is created for the sidelines. God's restoration project, his work to rstore the world back to his original good design, is so big that there is room for every single person on this planet to play a big part. The project can make use of a team of 7 billion people at one time.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a masterpiece? Ephesians 2:10 tells us that "we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

Some translations say that we are God's "handiwork" or his "masterpiece." Either way, we are made by God to do good works, not to be put away in a storage closet. Through the unique ways God has made you, you are able to partner with God to accomplish good things.

Scripture Lesson

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

1 Corinthians 12:12-20

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body.

Leader: It would be silly if every part of the body wanted to be an ear. The body wouldn't function. We would not be able to eat, talk smell, or breathe.

Every part of the body is important and has a special design and function. The same is true of you. You have a special design and function in God's plan. No one in history or on this planet right now is exactly like you. You are able to do things that others can't because of your unique background and abilities.

Take a look at someone near you and tell them, "You are a masterpiece!"

When we use who we are for his glory and not ours we will discover joy because this is what we were created for. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, creative, mathematical, spontaneous or planning, you were created in a specific way to use your gifts for God.

A lot of times, the news and television shows focus on certain people over others. Because of this, we might sometimes want to be like a famous athlete or a movie star or leader. But no one can be a copy of another person. God is so creative and loving that he has designed unique life stories for each of us. Think about it, it would be a lot easier for God to make all of our stories the same. Instead, he takes the time to design each of us in a unique way. If we are true to how God made us, we will find joy because it's who we're supposed to be and God will receive glory.

Instead of looking at others, today in small group you will be looking at yourself. What are your gifts and talents? What's your personality? What do you care about? What do you love doing? What do you dislike doing? Let's go discover the nose or ear or tendon or kidney - whoever you're supposed to be.

Closing

Leader: God, you made each of us so unique and beautiful. There's not a single person here whose name you don't know. Thank you for loving us so personally. Would you help us to discover what our unique design is? Help us to see and appreciate who we are instead of trying to be like someone else. Bless each person, God, and may each of us live out the design you have given us for your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet (Small Group Activity)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet

Props

Opening Activity: Different from You (5 minutes)

Sit in a circle and have each person think of 3 things that they think are probably unique to them and that no one else has done. Go around the circle and have each person share their 3 things. If no one has done any of them they get 3 points. Deduct a point for each thing shared that others have also done.

Review: Though we might have some things that we've done that are similar, how we felt about them is not exactly the same. Each of us has been designed quite differently.

Worksheet: The Me God Designed (15 minutes)

Have students fill out the worksheet. When completed, have each student share 1 or 2 things from their worksheet with the group.

Review: What do you like most about yourself? What do you find the most interesting about someone else in the group?

My Puzzle Piece (10 minutes)

Have kids decorate their puzzle piece with things that represent who they are. (You can either decorate large pieces of a real puzzle, or cut puzzle piece shapes out of paper for each child.) For decoration ideas, the children can use their inventory worksheet. Tape the puzzle pieces together or hang them on the wall.

Review: What do you think about how God made people? What is something new you appreciate about how God made you or someone else in the group?

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Remind the children that God uniquely designed them in the unique ways they described in the worksheet. God has a special purpose for each child in his plan. Ask children if they have anything about their unique design that they want to thank God for. Ask if there are any things they have a hard time accepting about themselves, and ask for God's help. Pray for the requests or invite a child to pray for the class.

Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take-Home Sheet for Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet

This Week's Focus: God has designed each person uniquely

This week we learned that just as the eye and nose each have a unique design and function, we each have unique and important parts to play. God has designed each person with a purpose. When we try to be someone else, we miss out on the joy of fully seeing our unique design and how it fits into God's plan. When we know God and live for him, using all our gifts and skills, we find great joy and purpose. Sometimes it's hard to see ourselves, though. Kids need encouragement from their loved ones about who they are and what they bring to the family.

Do This Week's Workout: Family Inventory

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

Write each person's name on the top of a blank sheet of paper, one for every member of your family. If everyone in your family can write, pass the papers around. Each person writes down the unique gifts, personality traits and abilities they see in each person. Or if your children are too young to write, brainstorm out loud about each person in your family:

  • What do you think this person is good at? (think about talents as well as natural abilities like problem solving, listening to others, fixing things, etc.)
  • What do you enjoy most about this person't personality?
  • What does this person add to the family dynamic? (for example, silliness, laughter, preparation, safety, etc.)

Talk about it: Go around the family circle and share the answers to these questions:

  1. What are you surprised to hear about yourself from your family?
  2. Did hearing this feedback change the way you think about yourself?

Consider throwing a party to celebrate how God designed your family.

Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This?

Main Idea 

God designed when and where we live.

Opening

Leader: Raise your hand if any of these things seem strange:

  • You see cars on the highway.
  • If you need to buy clothes, you open your computer and order things to be sent right to your door.
  • You can talk with a friend via video cha.t
  • You travel to another city in the United States, miles from you, all within one day.
  • When it's dark, you brighten your room with just a flip of a switch.
  • You don't know the meaning of a word, so you look it up on the internet.

These things don't seem strange to us because it's how we live at this moment in time. Now raide your hand if any of these things seem strange:

  • If you are a girl, you only wear dresses. If you are a boy you only wear breeches and boots.
  • Everyone in your family sleeps in the same bed.
  • Every toy you play with you have to make yourself.
  • When you need soap, clothing, or butter you make it at home.
  • At school, everybody from kindergarten to high school studies in the same room with the same teacher.
  • If you want to travel from New York to Louisiana it takes five weeks.

These seem strange to us today, but they were all normal to anyone born in the 1600s in the United States. They would have been shocked to know that today you can travel from New York to Louisiana in just three and a half hours by flying in the sky.

Not only did God design how you look, your unique talents and abilities, and your personality, he designed the time and place where you were born.

There's a reason you were born today and not in the 1600s.

We're going to take a look at two people from the Bible. Each of them was born in a unique time and place by God's design. The first is an orphan girl who had neither mother nor father. The other is a man who has special talents for working with his hands.

Scripture Lesson

The Bible tells us about a young Jewish girl who lost her mother and father at an early age. She was cared for by her cousin Mordecai who raised her as if she was his own daughter. The girl's name was Esther and she was beautiful. She happened to be alive at a time when the King of Persia was looking for a new wife. Esther also happened to live in the citadel of Susa, the place where King Xerxes' throne was. When the king made a search for the most beautiful woman in Susa to be his bride, he picked Esther. He didn't know that Esther was Jewish. Meanwhile King Xerxes had a helper named Haman who craved power. He asked everybody to kneel in front of him, but Mordecai refused because he would not kneel to anyone except God. This angered Haman and he decided to take revenge against Mordecai. He issued an order to kill all the Jews. Mordecai asked Esther for help, but she said she couldn't do anything to help. Then Mordecai convinced her that she could.

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Esther 4:12-17

When they told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”

Then Esther said in reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”

Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Leader: Because Esther was born at this time and place and because she was faithful with the talents, abilities and opportunities given to her, she was able to step in and help rescue the Jews from being completely destroyed. Even though Esther could have been killed for it, she went to speak to the king, and eventually she revealed Haman's evil plan. The king was furious with Haman and gave Esther power to do whatever could be done to protect the Jews.

Many other people in the Bible were selected by God for special projects in the time and place where they lived. One of these was Bezalel. He was gifted with wisdom, understanding and knowledge, and with abilities in all kinds of crafts. It was no accident that he lived when the Israelites were building a meeting place for God. The job required a master craftsman, and there were no factories or machines to make things. Bezalel was just such a person.

Exodus 31:1-6

The Lord spoke to Moses: See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. Moreover, I have appointed with him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you.

Bezalel was able to do the job just like God wanted.

Exodus 38:22

Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses.

It is no accident that Bezalel was born at that time and gifted with exactly that talents that were needed.

It's no accident that you were born with the talents, abilities and opportunities given to you at this particular time and place. Just like Esther and Bezalel, you may face a time when work is hard. But God gave you important work to do. He can also give you strength when you need it.

God is a master artist and he creatively works with time and people for his restoration project. In small group today, you will take time to think through the unique time and place God has prepared for you.

Closing

Leader: God, you made each of us so uniquely and beautifully. Not only that, you have also specifically crafted the time in history and the place you put us. Help us to see and appreciate the unique experiences, resources and opportunities you have given us. Nothing is by accident because we know that you are Lord of all. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This

Props

  • time-travel-cards.pdf
  • blank sheet of paper for each child
  • A copy of the Life Mapping Guidelines for each child
  • pens or pencils
  • colored pencils or markers

Opening Activity: Time Travel (10 minutes)

Place a stack of the Time Travel Cards in the middle of the group upside down so that the words are not seen. A student turns over the top card. He or she describes what it took to do the listed activity a hundred years ago, and what it takes today. Each student takes a turn mentally traveling back in time.

Review: How we live and how things are done today is quite different from a hundred years ago. God created you to be alive today in this particular time.

Worksheet: Life Mapping (20 minutes)

In this exercise students draw a map of their particular time and place in history. Give each child a copy of the Life Mapping Guidelines, a blank sheet of paper, and pens or pencils to work with. When completed, have each student share one or two things from their map that they are grateful God has given them.

Review: What is something you are able to do for God in your unique setting because you are alive today?

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Remind the children that God designed the unique time and place of their birth. Ask children if they want to thank God for anything particular about their current moment. Ask children if they have an personal prayer requests. You can go around the circle in popcorn prayer style, with each child thanking God for what he or she wants to having the next student pray for that child.

Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take-Home Sheet for Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This

This Week's Focus: God designed when and where we live

This week we learned that not only did God design who we are, he also placed us in a particular time in history. There are no accidents with God. The purpose he has for us coincides with the needs of the world and the work that needs to be done in this moment. A biblical example of this is Esther. Se was an orphan girl raised in Susa, the very place King Xerxes looked for a new wife. By being Queen, Esther was able to help the Jewish people when they faced annihilation.

Do This Week's Workout: Family Life Map

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

Supplies Needed:

  • A large sheet of paper (large enough to allow the family to easily gather around and write or draw on it together.
  • markers, colored pencils, pens or pencils

Place a large blank sheet of paper in the middle of the table or floor. Either a piece of butcher paper, poster board, or 8 sheets of legal paper taped together will work.

Write your family name in the center of the paper and draw a circle around it.

Around this circle, write down each place your family goes in a typical week. (Parks, stores, public buildings, etc.) Draw a circle around each of these place names and draw a line connecting these to the center circle.

For each of these places, answer the following questions either aloud or by writing or drawing the answers:

  1. What is this place like?
  2. What does this place need?
  3. What would this place look like if God was in charge?

See the example, what-it-might-look-like-if-God-were-in-charge.pdf

Talk about it: Go around the family circle and share the answers to these questions:

  1. What areas of need to you care about the most?
  2. Knowing the skills, resources and personality of your family, what is one thing you can do this week to make one of the places you go more like God wants it to be?

Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do!

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Kids Lesson 6: I've Got Work to Do!

Main Idea

God has work for ME to do.

Opening - Actors Needed:

  • Person A - a construction worker
  • Person B - a business person on a laptop answering emails
  • Person C - a student practicing drills for soccer
  • Person D - a mom trimming plants

One after another, each actor acts out their role as the teacher explains what they're doing via the script below. For fun, exaggerate the the roles.

Leader: Which of the following is an example of work?

Person A is a construction worker. He spends his day helping to build a new office building on Main Street. It takes a lot of strength to do his job.

Person B is a business executive at an advertising firm. In designing a new advertising campaign, she needs to answer many different emails between co-workers and the firm they are designing the campaign for.

Person C is a student at Easton Elementary School and on a local soccer team. He is trying to become a better player by practicing some drills.

Person D is a mom who has 3 kids who are at school right now. She loves to garden and has many different plants that she takes great care of. She grows her own tomatoes and cucumbers.

Which of these people is doing work? (Invite children to respond.) They are all doing different kinds of work. The definition of work is "effort put in to produce or accomplish something."

In the Bible, the word "work" shows up 555 times! That shows how important work is and how much it matters to God. Work is a big part of all of our lives. We see the word "work" right from the very beginning of the Bible and before humans even exist, God is working. In Genesis 2:2 it says, "And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done."

There are many different kids of work. How many can you think of? (Invite children to respond. You can start off with examples such as cleaning, studying, selling cars, doing laundry, etc.) It's not just adults that work - kids work too! Most kids go to school, work on homework, do chores, and play sports. What kind of work do you do? (Invite children to respond.)

Scripture Lesson

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Genesis 1:26-30

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Leader: Work is an important part of how God made us. Although because of sin, work can be hard sometimes, it is also incredible that God would give us a part to play in his big plan. By giving us the ability to work, we get to make a difference in the world and help restore it with God's help to what God originally designed.

It's not just adults that work. Everyone, including you, has work to do! Sitting in class and learning, helping take care of your sibling, cleaning up at the dinner table, making a card, practicing and playing with your soccer team, baking cupcakes, playing piano, writing a song - all of these things are work.

The work you do is an ability given to you by God.

Closing

Leader: God, thank you for the unique work you've given us all to do. Thank you there are so many ways that we can work just like you worked. Be with us in all our work this week. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do! (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Small Group Activity for Lesson 6: I've Got Work to Do!

Props

  • three index cards or pieces of paper per student
  • my_work_inventory.pdf
  • a large paper with the words "made, formed, breathed, planted, put, created, sent" scattered throughout. Around these words, write other random words to create a kind of word search
  • bibles
  • markers

Opening Activity: Work Charades (5 minutes)

Have each student write down an example of work on each piece of paper. Put the papers in a pile with the writing faced down. Divide the children into pairs. Have each pair draw a card and act out the work listed. The other child will guess what kind of work it is.

Review: God gave us the ability to do so many different kinds of work.

Worksheet: My Work Inventory (20 minutes)

Have students fill out how they spend their time each day on the work inventory worksheet, my_work_inventory.pdf. Have them put a star next to work they enjoy and a triangle next to work they find hard or not fun. Take some time to share - ask children to share one kind of work they enjoy and one kind of work they find difficult.

Review: The work each person does is unique and given by God - both the work that is ordinary and sometimes hard, and also the work that is special and fun.

Work in the Garden Word Search (5 minutes)

Have students open a Bible to Genesis 2:4-9. Tape up the large word search paper to the wall on one side of the room. Students will line up on the other side. Set a clock for five minutes. Each student will run, one at a time, with a marker, to circle a work-related word that can be found in Genesis 2:4-9. As one student finishes, they will pass the marker to the next student.

Share & Pray (5 minutes)

Ask if any students have any prayer requests to share. Pray for these requests and for God's presence to fill the work of each student.

Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do! (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Parent's Take-Home Sheet for Lesson 6: I've God Work to Do!

This Week's Focus: God has work for me to do.

This week we learned that work is a big part of all our days - whether we are kids or adults. The definition of work is "effort put in to produce or accomplish something." In the Bible, the word "work" shows up 555 times. This shows how important work is, how much it matters to God, and that it is a central part of our existence. Work is a big part of all our lives, and important part of the life God designed for each of us, and goes beyond just paid work.

Do This Week's Workout: How Do We Work?

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

Ask each other: What kind of work do you do? Which work do you enjoy most?

Put every family member's name into a hat and take turns pulling a name out.Pick a work task that this person normall does and do it for them this week. For example, a child might fold laundry for mom, while mom might do yard work for dad. Pick a time to meet again as a family to talk about the experience.

Or, pick and activity that one person in the family normall does alone, and work on it together as a family. It could be a household chore, a fixing project, a shopping errand, etc.

Talk about it: Go around the family circle and share the answers to these questions:

  1. What was fun? What was hard?
  2. What did you learn by doing someone else's work?

Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God

Main Idea 

Working with and for God means doing work with faith, hope, and love.

Props

  • Large cardboard box

Opening

Leader: Every human being on this planet - currently 7.4 billion people - works every day. Work includes cleaning a house, studying for a test, working for a company, or running your own business. Many of the 24 hours each day, 7.4 billion people are in motion working. Imagine you had the job of traveling around counting all the people who are working. If you worked hard and counted a thousand workers per day, it would still take you more than two hundred thousand years to count all the workers in the world.

Imagine what the world would be like if all 7.4 billion people worked for and with God. What difference would that make in everybody's work?

Often Christians try to work for God. But God would rather work with people. What do you think is the difference?

I need one volunteer to help me. (Invite a child up and ask them to carry the cardboard box.) When (child's name) is working for me, it means they are doing things on their own, whatever I tell them to do. But when (child's name) is working with me (carry the box with the child) we are working together. God wants us to work with him. It might be surprising, but God wants to be part of our everyday work.

There are three special ingredients that will help us learn how to work with God. The three ingredients are: faith, hope, and love.

Faith. When you work with faith, you believe that God wants to be a part of what you're doing, and you believe that his presence in your work makes a difference. Believing these things is working with faith.

Hope. When you work with hope, you know that God can do surprisingly big things through your work. Your work is like a small seed - God can use your work to touch more people than you might expect, or make other things happen that you might not expect. Working with hope means that you don't limit how you see people and situations you are working with - you leave room for God.

Love. When you work with love, you do the task with all your heart. Even if it's a simple task like washing dishes. By working with love, you work to serve others as God would, bringing his attitude, work ethic, and care into whatever you do.

When you work with faith, hope, and love, you're not just working for God, you are working with God. You and God are partners in work.

Scripture Lesson

What does it look like to work with faith, hope, and love? Let's take a look at two people in the Bible we can learn from. The first is Paul. Philippians 3:4-9 tells us about his background.

Philippians 3:4-9

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.

Paul was someone who was extremely smart. He had studied with Gamaliel, a well-respected and well-known teacher of God's law. As a Pharisee, Paul would have memorized, known, and followed the 613 laws for how to follow God. He was someone who was 100% about following God. When he believed that Jesus was not God's son, he used his energy and time to go after the early Christians, dragging them to court to face death. He was determined that God should be honored. Acts 22 tells us that on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus, Paul had a supernatural encounter with Jesus. A bright light from heaven shone around him, and Paul fell to the ground. He heard a voice say "Why do you persecute me?" Paul asked who the voice was and heard, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, who you are persecuting." From then on, Paul's life changed. He spent his whole life working to make Jesus know.

When Paul worked with God, he added faith, hope, and love to his intelligence and determined personality. With these 3 ingredients, he reached many people who had never heard of Jesus. He could have built a career for himself teaching the Jewish law, but instead he partnered with God by working with faith, hope, and love. With faith Paul traveled to non-Jewish countries, believing that God would be with him and use his travel to make many more Christians. With hope Paul knew that the work he was doing was bigger than himself. With love Paul paid for his travel by sewing tents, instead of asking other people for money. Thanks to his work with God, many of us are Christians today.

Acts 16 tells about another person who worked with faith, hope, and love. Her name was Lydia. She was a businesswoman, selling purple cloth. She opened her home to Paul, even after he came out of prison. She had faith that talking about Jesus was important. She had hope that her home could be a place where many people, not just her family, could learn about Jesus. And she showed love to Paul by always giving him a place for rest and encouragement.

So, of the 7.4 billion people on the planet, some are working for their own fortune, while some are working for God but not with God's help. If you want to work with God, partner with him by doing your work with faith, hope and love.

Closing

Thank you, God, for giving us a way to know you through Jesus. We want to partner with you in every kind of work we do. Please teach us to work with faith, hope and love. We want our work to be filled with your presence. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 7: 3 ingredients for working with god

PROPS

OPENING ACTIVITY: Red light, green light, faith-love-hope (5 MINUTES)

Teach students 3 moves for the game:

  • Faith - forearms crossed in a cross shape
  • Hope - hands folded in prayer
  • Love - arms crossed across the heart, hugging oneself

How to play "Red Light, Green Light, Faith-Love-Hope"

  1. Start with everyone along the starting line
  2. Stand at the finish line, turn around, and say "Green light, 1,2,3!" - as you do, everyone will move towards the finish line to tag the leader.
  3. After a seconds say "Red light, 1,2,3." Everyone must immediately stop.
  4. Play this game, but instead of calling out "1,2,3" when you get them to stop, call out "1,2, Faith!" or "1,2, Hope!" or "1,2, Love!" Depending on the word that is called, students have to freeze in the position called. You can walk around and see if they wiggle - which usually gets the children giggling. Any players that move have to return to the starting line.
  5. Start a new round after the leader is tagged. The first person to tag the leader can be the new leader.

Remind students that because we know Jesus, we now work for and with Him. This means doing work with 3 things: faith, hope and love.

 

Applying Faith-Hope-Love: blessing Cards (25 MINUTES)

Explain to students that you are going to make cards to bless people with - reminders that God sees and loves them. Explain that you are going to pray together as a class to invite God into inspiring the decorations, in showing us who to give these cards to, and leaving them in the right places to reach people who need encouragement. Pray for the cards and ask God for His love. Ask students to take a moment to ask God who they should make the cards for. Provide a moment of silence for this. A random person may come to mind - encourage them to ask God whether this is from Him.

Make the cards. Have students fold construction paper in half, then tear in half to make 2 cards. Cut out a  heart from the God-sees-you-heart-printout.pdf, sign it and paste to one side of the paper. On the front, students can decorate with the name of the person they want to bless - or if it's a surprise, the title "I prayed for you today."

Leave the cards. Children can either give to someone they have designated or leave them in places that come to mind (i.e. church fellowship hall, bathroom).

Explain that how this activity was done was a way of inviting God into our work. By pausing, we first invited God into the process. We asked for His ideas and wisdom in who to serve with this project. We invited Him into our creativity and made these with love. We have hope and faith that by inviting God into this, we might be used by God to encourage someone who needed this message. We can do the same things with other work that we do during the week.

 

SHARE & PRAY (5 MINUTES)

Ask if any students have any prayer requests to share. Ask which are is the hardest - doing work with faith, with hope, or with love? Pray for these, and pray blessing on the children.

Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God (Parent’s Sheet)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 7: 3 Ingredients for working with god

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Working WITH and for god means doing work with faith, hope and love.

This week we learned that God seeks relationship with us. Rather than us working for him, he desires that we work with him. Three things that can help us approach work with God are doing work with faith, hope and love. In faith, we invite God into our work believing God desires to be present and active in all work - no matter how ordinary or small. In hope, we believe that God can do more with the work we do, those we work with and the situations we are in, beyond our efforts. God can do more than we imagine. As we work with love, we partner with God in being His presence in that work. Work with love leaves quite a different taste than work done as rote or without love.

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: how to do hard things

Have each family member think about the work they do. What is one task that has been particularly hard - that has been difficult to see God in? It could be something ordinary you do like a chore, or a challenging situation with other people. Agree as a family to approach that task this week with the following plan:

  1. Before starting the task, pray and invite God into it
  2. If there are difficult people or situations involved, remind yourself of the truth of what God can do in this situation, ex: "God, you see and delight in my co-worker. You desire more than anyone to see a healthy workplace. Nothing is impossible for you. The work I do today counts for you and for eternity." (It helps to pray this out loud.)
  3. Work with love - work as if doing this for Jesus
  4. Reflect immediately after the work - pause for a couple of minutes. How did it go? Where did you see God? What struggles came up for you and why? Confess to God if there is any sin to share and ask his help. Joy, freedom and deeper partnership with God come from being honest with our struggles, seeing what causes them and bringing them to God who can work in these areas as we invite him.

Talk about it: How did the week go? Has anything changed? If so, what are the changes? If not, what do you think is the reason for this

Kids Lesson 8: Work That Matters

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

LESSON 8: work that matters

MAIN IDEA 

Work that matters requires living as a steward or manager, not as the boss.

OPENING

Leader: How many of you would like your life to be one that makes a difference in the world? Where you know that because you lived, something changed for the better. Raise your hand. Who are the people in the world today that make a difference?

(Hold up a newspaper.) All around us, we get updates on what's happening in the world. There's headlines and articles in the newspaper and online. We see important news covered through television reports or on the radio. Who do we usually see shown on TV or in the news? (Invite students to respond.)

Yes, usually the media covers the stories of world leaders, the CEOs in charge of large businesses, celebrities, people involved in exciting news or current breaking news that's affecting a lot of people. Are these the people who are making a difference?

Think about five jobs that reach a different number of people. A CEO of a company, a janitor, a retail store manager, a store salesperson, and the President of the United States. Who do you think is most important?

Who is making the most difference? Well, it depends on who is working as a steward rather than as a boss. A steward is a person who manages another person's property or money. A steward manages these things the way the owner would want them managed. Christian stewards know that everything they have - their money, their abilities, their family and friends are all things God has entrusted them to take care of and manage. Stewards look at the work they do as managing things on behalf of God.

The people in the newspaper and the hundreds of people around us every day - the ones who are making a real difference - are the ones who are being good managers of what God has given them. A celebrity might not care about stewarding relationships and might treat people very poorly. Another celebrity might value the people around her and take care of those relationships. A classmate of yours might not care about his schoolwork. Another classmate might be working hard to learn new things and to be responsible for his work. 

It doesn't matter whether someone makes the headlines. What matters is whether they are looking to steward, or manage, the people, things, opportunities, and jobs that God has given them - or whether they are lookin gto use these for their own personal gain. Let's take a look at Jesus to see how he worked.

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

John 13:1-5, 12-17

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord - and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus, God's Son, has more power and abilities than anyone else in the world, and even more than the whole world combined. In this story, how did he use his power and abilities? How did he treat his friends? (Invite children to respond.)

Yes, Jesus served his friends and used his power and abilities for other people. He was the most powerful steward of what God gave Him. God has given you and me many things to be stewards and managers of: things we own, where we live, where we learn, our families, friends, and abilities. How are you taking care of them?

Managing something well means:

  1. You treat the thing or the person as belonging to God and not to you
  2. You handle it with love
  3. You invest time into developing or caring for it

When you manage well the people in your life and the things and abilities you have, you represent God to the world around you. By being a good manager you are joining God in his restoration project to heal broken relationships between people and God, between people and each other, and between people and creation. Nothing is more important than this!

CLOSING

Leader: God, you gave each of us many things: our families, friends, things we own, abilities and talents, our neighborhoods we live in, opportunities to learn and so much more. You created and put us here to manage these things well. Help us not take these things for granted or use these things for our own self. God, open our eyes to see the incredible responsibility you've given us and help us manage all of these well by your power so that you shine brightly in this world. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 8: Work That Matters (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 8: Work that Matters

PROPS

OPENING ACTIVITY: word race (5 MINUTES)

Review the spelling of the word STEWARDSHIP a couple of times. Leave a scrambled pile of the post-it notes on one side of the room. Set a timer with two minutes. Have students line up and race across, one at a time, to tape the letters to the other side of the room to spell STEWARDSHIP.

Review the meaning of the word stewardship: a person who manage's another person's property or money as the owner would wish them to. Another word for steward is a manager.

 

Management Worksheet (15 MINUTES)

Have students fill out the categories on their copy of what-im-in-charge-of-managing-for-God.pdf with all the things, people, and abilities that God has put them in charge of. If children are stuck or unsure what to write, help them think through what they have.

After everyone has filled out their sheets, ask students to share one thing they do a good job managing or taking care of, and one thing they have a hard time managing.

 

Group Think (15 MINUTES)

Pick a category that all the children have in common as something God has given them to manage - i.e. doing homework, siblings, etc. Ask them to brainstorm what it would be like to manage this area well. Write suggestions on the big piece of paper.

Remind the group of the three areas that are involved in being a good steward or manager:

  • You treat things and people as belonging to God and not to you
  • You handle things and people with love
  • You invest time into developing and caring for it.

SHARE & PRAY (5 MINUTES)

Ask if any students have any prayer requests to share. Pray for these requests, and for blessing on everyone in the room.

Kids Lesson 8: Work that Matters (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 8: Work that Matters

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Work that matters requires living as a steward or manager, not as the boss

Every human being longs to make a difference. This is part of God's design for us. There are true and counterfeit ways to fulfill this longing. The counterfeit way is to use the people, things and abilities in our lives for our self. The life-giving way is to live seeing the people, things and abilities in our lives as gifts and responsibilities given by God to steward and manage for him. A steward is a person who manages another person's property or money as the owner would want them managed. We se such a life of stewardship in Jesus. God's son washed the feet of his friends, the disciples, rather than seeking ot have his feet washed. As we live and work as managers, we help bring God's presence into our broken world.

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: HOW DO WE WORK?

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

  • To steward or manage something well means:
  • You treat the thing or the person as belonging to God not to you
  • You handle it with love
  • You invest time into developing or caring for it

Pick an area of your family life that could be better stewarded. It could be an area of your home or property, or a relationship that needs attention. Do you need to spend time doing physical work together? or doing relational work together? (talking together, praying for each other, etc.).

Decide on what you will do this week to steward this area of your family life. It could be a one-time thing such as a family work day, or it could become a weekly habit of unplugging together, or a daily habit of praying together every morning.

Talk about it: How did it feel to steward this together?

  1. What did you learn by doing someone else's work?

Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

LESSON 9: god in our monday to sunday

MAIN IDEA 

God is in our everyday work.

PROPS

  • dinner plate
  • Bible

OPENING

Leader: Which of these is doing God's work? (Hold up the dinner plate and the Bible.) Washing dishes or teaching the Bible? (Invite children to answer.) A lot of Christians believe that spending time praying or going on a mission trip or reading the Bible is doing God's work - work that will last - and that taking out the garbage, washing dishes, doing laundry, doing homework and everyday things like these is temporary work that is not as holy. But 90% of our week or over 150 hours is probably spent doing other things than praying, reading the Bible or going to church. If these are the only things that really matter, then most of our Monday to Sunday is spent doing things that don't count. Thankfully this is not true!

Doing God's work is not based on the religious character of the work - for example, activities like prayer and Bible reading - but whether they are done in faith, hope and love.

The right belief is to know that God is involved in all things and wants us to give all of our life to him.

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Colossians 1:16-17

For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Deuteronomy 6:5

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives - our emotions, our decisions, the things we care about, the things we work on - not just the times we pray. God is in 100% of the 168 hours we have each week.

When we know that God is in all things we know anything can be God's work. A nurse who takes care of patients with faith, hope and love is doing holy work. A construction worker carrying heavy supplies and helping to build a new office who does this work with faith, hope and love is doing work for God. A dancer who practices and performs with faith, hope and love is doing work for God. A student learning and studying with faith, hope and love is doing work for God. Each of these is working as God's co-worker and partner to bring his presence to the areas they work in. A son or daughter loving their parents and siblings is also working for God.

God is not only in some kinds of work. God is not only in some spaces like the church building or worship service or prayer times. God is in schools, local businesses, and all around us. God is in all things and constantly at work in the world all around us. Instead of finding God only in some activities, we find him everywhere! God is in our Monday to Sunday. He's a part of the jobs your parents have and the everyday work you do.

Though the Bible is full of stories of men and women who focused on teaching about God, it tells stories of people called by God doing different work.

Exodus 31:1-11

The Lord spoke to Moses: See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. Moreover, I have appointed with him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the covenant, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand, and the finely worked vestments for the priest Aaron and the vestments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the holy place. They shall do just as I have commanded you.

God filled Bezalel with the Holy Spirit - not to preach - but to have wisdom and knowledge to work with stones, metal and wood to build a beautiful place to worship God. Bezalel's calling from God was to be an expert craftsman. God has different work callings for each of you. Perhaps some of you are called to become business owners who provide excellent products and work environments that treat people with dignity. Or maybe you're called to become a great dad or mom. Or perhaps you're called to use your math and science skills to engineer better ways to travel. God's work is not only when you become an adult and get a job. The work you are doing right now is work you can partner with God in by doing it with faith, hope and love. God wants to bring schools, learning, and everything you're involved in back to his original design. By participating in these with faith, hope and love, you are God's coworker. 

An important thing to remember that God is in all work - whether it is seen by many or no one. What are some of the everyday kinds of work you do that no one really notices? (Invite children to respond.) God is in those things too.

Brother Lawrence was a monk who lived in the 1600s. He is known for a small book he wrote called The Practice of the Presence of God. At a monastery, monks have many different tasks in addition to prayer and Bible study. Each monk also has an assigned task they are responsible for in the care and upkeep of the monastery, such as taking care of the garden, farming, or cooking. Brother Lawrence had the task of washing dishes. He knew that God is in all work and washed the many dirty dishes with faith, hope and lots of love. As he did, he sensed God's presence just as much as he would in times of prayer.

God is in our prayer times and the times we are in a worship service. God is also in the ordinary dish washing, making of our beds, taking our the trash. When we do these with faith, hope and love, we will discover dish washing can also be holy work.

CLOSING

Leader: God, you are in all things and all around us. Often we think you're here in church with us or when we pray but forget you are right there with us when we're at school, on the playground, or setting the table for dinner. Help us not miss out on you and help us to join you in all of the ordinary tasks of our lives from Monday to Sunday. We want to bring your presence everywhere we go. In Jesus' mighty name we pray, amen.

Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 9: god in our monday to sunday

PROPS

  • clock or timer
  • paper to keep score and pen or pencil
  • large sheet of paper
  • pencils
  • the-kingdom-times.pdf
  • pens, markers, colored pencils, crayons

OPENING ACTIVITY: Work of a week race (5 MINUTES)

Divide the class into two teams. Put two minutes on the clock. The first person on each team runs to the teacher who is on the opposite side of the room and shouts a task they do anytime between Monday through Sunday, then runs back to the end of the line. The teacher writes down the tasks and keeps score. The team who lists the most tasks by the end of the two minutes wins.

Review that God is in every day, every hour and every second of each week. Each of us lived 604,800 seconds this past week. God was in every moment of it whether we realized or not.

 

God's Many coworkers map (10 MINUTES)

On the large sheet of paper, have students draw a circle with their name in it. Connect the circles to show they are all part of one team. Give each child a blank sheet of paper. Ask them to fill out the following:

  1. Draw a line from your circle and list the chores you are responsible for
  2. Draw a line from your circle for each member of your family
  3. Write down what kind of work they do under their name and where they work.

Remind the children that God calls us to partner with him in all things. Each child's faith, hope and love affects how the other people on this map experience  faith, hope and love.

 

the kingdom times (20 MINUTES)

Distribute a copy of the-kingdom-times.pdf to each student. Ask them to think of someone they know well whose work is unnoticed or underappreciated. God values this work. Newspapers often recognize people who are famous as if the work they do is more valuable. But God notices every single person, and the ordinary work they do with faith, hope and love counts. Create a newspaper headline and article showing off this person the way God sees him or her. For example, "Today, Mrs. Smith Folded Her Laundry!" or "Henry Did His Homework!" They can give their newspaper to the person as a way of saying that person's work truly matters.

SHARE & PRAY (5 MINUTES)

Ask children to lay their hands on the map they created and lead them to pray that each person listed would discover more of God in all 168 hours of this week. Bless the work of each person on the map.

Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 9: god in our monday to sunday

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: God is in our everyday work

God didn't just call people to be preachers, he also called craftsmen to work in the trades and he blessed them with skills to carry out their work. Often we don't see the holiness of the work that other people doall  around us. But God sees. God wants everyone's work to be valued. And he wants us to feel his presence in the work we do Monday through Sunday.

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: seeing the value in everybody's work

The Weekly Workout is a great way you can work out the week's focus with your child. Invite the whole family into this time. God is at work.

On a large piece of paper write the names of each person in your family. Draw a circle around each of those names. Then ask each person in your family what work they plan on doing this week. There might be multiple types of work that one person does: work for money, work in the home, work for school, and work  for fun. Draw lines out from each circle and write down the different types of work each person in your family does.

In the spaces left on the paper, write down people whose work affects your life. These could include a coworker, a fellow student, a teacher, a babysitter, a mailman, a family doctor, or the person who makes your coffee. Take turns pointing to each of these people and listing ways their work makes your life better. End by praying that God would be present in each person's work, and that each person would see the value in their own work and in the work of others.

Talk about it: What did you learn about the work of the people around you? Do you want to thank anyone for the work they do?

Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

KIDS LESSON 10: salt and light

PROPS

  • a plain boiled potato
  • a fork
  • a shaker of salt

MAIN IDEA

Our work for God affects the world around us.

OPENING

Leader: We've been learning a lot of different things about work. To recap, God is a worker and part of his design for human beings is being coworkers with him in his work. We get to partner with God in restoring all things back to his original design. We join him by takin gcare of who and what he's given us, right where we are, with faith, hope and love.

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

Matthew 5:13-16

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

Jesus compares his followers to salt and light. I'd like a helper for this demonstration, someone who's hungry. (Invite a child to come up.) Name of Child is going to taste this potato. If possible, I'd like you to eat all of it. How is it? Would you like some salt? (Add salt.) How is it now? (Thank student and ask them to return to their seat.) Have you ever had a meal without salt? That would be awful. Salt adds flavor. In Jesus' time, there were no refrigerators. Salt was used as a preservative to help keep food from spoiling. As the salt of the earth, we add flavor to the people and situations around us. Our influence - how we affect the actions, behavior and opinions of others - is how we are salt in this world.

Jesus also said that we are the light of the world. Light helps brighten a dark place and also helps us see things that need to be fixed. With God's help we can brighten the world around us with good works, and we can help people discover the goodness of living life with God. When we show how we live for God, our witness is a light.

Today we're going to look at a few real-life stories of what living as salt and light can look like.

Barry Meguiar is President and CEO of Meguiar's Car Care Products, one of the leading brands nationally and among the top five brands internationally. His products are created with excellence, and he treats his employees well. Barry's joy and enthusiasn for life makes working at Meguiar's a great experience and shows what God has to offer.

Diane Bickle founded Glad Heart Realty in 2001 to help people connect to the right neighborhood and home. The agents go above what is expected to help clients find their homes and adjust to moving into their new location. By caring for their clients, Diand and her coworkers give their customers a taste of God's love, and make the homebuying process easier. 

Petyon Manning was the former quarterback for the Denver Broncos. He won two Super Bowls and played for 18 seasons. He played football well and he played it for God. When he retired, his coworkers described how he was salt and light to them.

NFL comissioner Roger Goodell said, "Peyton Manning's extraordinary career was driven by his talent, and incredible work ethic... He has served as a great representative of the NFL both on the field and in his community."

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones said, "Peyton defines excellence in every sense of the word."

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said, "It was a blessing to coach Peyton Manning. Nobody worked harder at the game and nobody prepared harder than Peyton. His preparation was the best I've ever seen with how he went about his business. There was nothing like his work habits. Each and every week, he did everything he could to get ready to play not only against the defense but against the coordinator."

Former Broncos and Colts wide receiver Brandon Stokley said, "Peyton, he made me better. He made a lot of guys better. We would have made the NFL probably, but Peyton made us all better. We were more because we played with Peyton Manning. And just think about how many guys can say that."

Through faithfulness over long periods of his career, Peyton was salt and light in the world of football by inspiring others with excellence and making them better.

As you live for Jesus each moment, being faithful with the people and work you have, you will be salt and light to those around you.

CLOSING

Leader: God, we have no power of our own but when we partner with you. You fill our work and something greater happens. With you, our work is able to touch and heal lives, brighten the world and make it better. We give our lives to you this coming week. Lead usin our work. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light (Small Group Activity)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 10: salt and light

PROPS

OPENING ACTIVITY: The Power of Light (7 MINUTES)

Pair up students. Explain that one teammate will be blindfolded by the other. After being blindfolded, the other teammate will hand them 10 straws of different lengths. In one minute, they must line up the straws by height order. After one minute, switch so that the other teammate has a turn. Repeat the activity - this time with no blindfold.

Review - Having light makes life so much easier. It makes an incredible difference. Jesus calls us the light of the world. We can help people see a better way to live and show who God is by living for Jesus and being lights.

WORKSHEET: My salt and light impact (15 MINUTES)

Give each child a copy of my-salt-and-light-impact.pdf  Review what it means to be salt and light as identified on the sheet. Have students fill out the sheet to identify where they are (or could be in the future) salt and light.

Review- Ask students what it might be like to live in a world where no food had any salt and to live without light. Salt and light make such a big difference in our daily life, and Jesus was very intentional when he used these 2 things to compare what Christians are like. Though students might not think so, when they live for Jesus in our broken world, they bring an incredible taste of God with them. The words and actions of faithful Christians are salt and light to those around them.

One or the other game (8 MINUTES)

Every time we meet someone or do something we have two choices. We either give light by shining for Jesus, or we bring darkness. Pair up students and have each pair pick one card from the pile of cards cut out from one-or-the-other-cards.pdf One person will demonstrate what it's like to be light, the other person will demonstrate what it's like to be darkness. Give students some time to prepare, and then let each group perform in front of the class.

SHARE & PRAY (5 MINUTES)

Ask students to share where they would like to do a better job being salt or light. Ask them to pray for each other and remind them that God listens to their prayers.

Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light (Parent’s Sheet)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 10: Salt and Light

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: our work for god affects the world around us.

We learned today that Jesus calls us the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world." Salt adds flavor and in Jesus' day it was used as a preservative to help keep food from spoiling. As the salt of the earth, Jesus says that we flavor the world and preserve what's good in it. Our influence - how we affect the actions, behavior or opinions of others - is how we are salt in this world. 

Light helps brighten a dark place and shows things that need fixing. As we choose to shine the love and truth of Jesus through our words and actions, we help people realize the goodness of God. 

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: thermostat for salt and light

A thermostat sets the temperature in the room. Brainstorm together ways your family can be a salt and light thermostat this week. Depending on your family's schedule, pick an activity:

Living Salty 1 - practicing the power of positive presence

Each family member will pick one place they interact with people regularly. Ask: what words do you typically hear there? What attitudes do you see there? Agree as a family to be positive in words and attitude in that place this week. Create a chart with each person's name and the place he or she picked. Have star stickers ready so each night that a family member is successful, he or she can put a sticker on the chart.

LIVING SALTY 2 - family project

Think of a place your whole family can show up and serve together in some way. Do something that goes beyond what's expected. 

Examples:

  • Practice making balloon animals and show up at a playground
  • Bake and package cookies for the local soup kitchen - add a handwritten note such as "Thinkin gof and praying for you." Pray over the recipients.
  • Go out to eat and leave the waiter a big tip.

Talk about it: How did it go? Did you affect the world around you through your work?

Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

KIDS LESSON 11: turning up the wattage

MAIN IDEA

God's light in us shines brighter in our world as we grow in our relationships with him.

PROPS

  • box filled with random items including loose sheets of paper to make a mess
  • unplugged lamp with a power outlet nearby

OPENING

Leader: (Tip over the box full of papers, as if by accident.) I don't know about you, but when there's a mess, I'd rather walk away to something new rather than do the hard work of cleaning it up. Thankfully God is not like me. 

In the beginning, God created a beautiful world full of live and joy. It was broken by sin when Adam and Eve chose to go against God's command. Today we see the mess that resulted as we look around us. There are big issues like poverty that affect millions and we also see brokenness in everyday life - unkindness, mean words, jealousy, selfishness, and people being left out. People often use their abilities and power to hurt other people instead of doing good.

But the good news is that God did not turn his back on us or the messy state of things. God sent his only son Jesus to enter this mess, pay for our sin, and make a way to restore the world to God's original design. Through Jesus we get to know God. And through Jesus we get God's authority to heal other people and fill all the dark areas of the world with light and joy.

If every person on this planet knew God and tried to follow Jesus' example, the world would be very different. Cliques and bullying would not exist in schools. Schools would be welcoming and exciting places to learn. There would be no trash in our streets. Everyone would have a home to live in and food to eat. Not a single animal or person would be abused or alone. People would listen to each other, see the value of each person and all of God's creation, and partner with God in their work.

God is actively moving through girls and boys, women and men all over the world who are lookin gto partner in all of live with him. But there's something very important to remember when we look to be God's partner.

Take a look at this lamp. It's not working? Why not? That's right, it's not plugged in.

It's the same way with us. God has given us a lot of power and ability to light up the world and restore things to his original design. But the key is we must be plugged in to God.

Think of the people you are most close with. To become close to someone takes time. you have to get to know them. When you spend time together you might share things with each other, laugh together, share something hard you're going through, help each other, encourage and challenge each other. With a good friend, you spend time enjoying each other. The same is true with God.

It takes time to know God and the more you come to know God, the more plugged in you become.

Here's 3 simple ways to grow in knowing God:

1. Include God. God is everywhere but he doesn't force himself to become your friend. In whatevery you do, you can pause, talk to God and invite him into what you're doing - whether that's homework, playing sports or music, dancing or cleaning.

2. Be Honest. True relationships grow stronger out of honesty. It's funny how often people who know God pray only what they think God wants to hear. With God wedon't need to try to look good or be on ourbest behavior. God knows our hearts and he loves to share life with us. We can be completely honest with what we say or ask. If we're sad or angry, we can tell him that. If we don't want to do something, we can tell him that too. Talk to God and see how he responds.

3. Listen for God. One of the best ways to grow in knowing someone is asking them questions about themselves and listening. Often when people pray, they are busy telling God things. A friendship takes two-way conversation. If only one person talks all the time and never listens, it's not a friendship. You can find out more about who God is by reading the Bible. If there's things you don't understand, ask God to help you understand. Ask God your questions throughout the day. Listen for what he might show you. God might speak directly to your heart or answer you through someone or something else. God loves having a relationship with us.

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

David is one of the most well-known kings of all time. But before he became famous, he was just a little lightbulb. As he got more and more plugged in with God, his light grew and grew. His light grew so big that it affected the entire nation of Israel.

Long before David became king, he was just a young boy. Like other youngest children in Israelite homes, David had the smelly job of taking care of the family sheep. Even at that young age, David knew God and included God in his work of being a shepherd. David would sing songs to God while out with the sheep and asked God to help him when a bear or lion attached the sheep. A lot of other children would have run off but David stood to fight the preditors and protect his sheep. Here is one of the songs that David wrote to God:

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; 
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff - they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

Starting from when he was little, David included God in his celebrations and in times when things were scary or hard. David was honest. His songs to God are full of feelings: anger, sadness, joy and questions. When David made a big mistake, he talked to God about what he did wrong. King David had a two way relationship with God. He would listen for what God wanted again and again. And over time, David's light grew.

David when from shining God's light in the fields with the sheep, to shining God's light while fighting the giant Goliath, and finally as king of Israel.

Sometimes it may not be easy to plug in to God. If you haven't ever experienced God speaking to you, it may seem hard to sit still and listen. It can be hard at the beginning. But God promises that we will find him when we look for him with all our heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

As you include God in all you do and if you are honest with him and listen for him, you'll shine brighter for God every day. God's light shining through you will touch lives all around you.

CLOSING

Leader: God, thank you for being the eternal light that shines in our darkness. Nothing can put out your light. Thank you for shining your light through us. Help us grow in our relationship with you, so we can shine brightly and bring hope to everyone around us. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage (Small Group Activity)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 11: turning up the wattage

PROPS

  • paper and pencil for each student or team
  • poster board, post-it notes, markers, and pens for each team
  • psalm-23-worksheet.pdf

OPENING ACTIVITY: Electrical impact (7 MINUTES)

Pair up students or have them work on their own. Give each person or team a paper and pencil. Tell them to jot down, in 2 minutes, as many things as they can think of that would be affected if they couldn't be plugged in.

Review - We're so used to having electricity today that we pretty much take it for granted. If we had a blackout for 2 hours, we would miss some of the things we're used to using. What happens when people are not plugged in to God? What happens when they are plugged in to God?

WORKSHEET: Psalm 23 study (15 MINUTES)

Read through Psalm 23 together.

  • Have students circle key word that stand out to them.
  • Ask students to write down 5 things about who God is and what he is like, based on how David describes God in this psalm.
  • Ask if they share David's view of God? Why or why not?

Review- How do we know someone is trustworthy or loving? It's usually because we've experienced someone as trustworthy or loving in the past. David experienced God as trustworthy and loving, when David was fighting lions and bears to protect his father's sheep, and when David fought the giant to save Israel. David also experienced God through  prayer and writing songs. God was there for David whether David was singing or fighting.

plugging in (10 MINUTES)

Break the class into 3 teams.

  • One team will brainstorm ways to include God in their everyday life.
  • The second team will brainstorm what it means to be honest with God in everyday life. What else is there besides telling God about something you did wrong?
  • The third team will brainstorm about how to listen for God. What are ways they've heard from God? What would help someone hear from God?

Give each team 8 minutes to work on a poster board with their ideas. Then invite each team to share with the group. 

Review- What is one new thing from these lists that you would like to try this week?

SHARE & PRAY (3 MINUTES)

Ask for prayer requests. Pray and bless the students, asking God to reveal more of himself to them in everyday life.

Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage (Parent’s Sheet)

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 11: turning up the wattage

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: God is in our everyday work

We learned today that our source of power for partnering with God is... God! We are like a lightbulb that can only light up when plugged into a power source, and God is the power source for us. As we grow in relationship with God, we are able to be more fully ourselves, and more fully aligned with God's desires for our work. Growing in relationship with God is like any relationship - it takes a commitment of spending time together where we include God in what we're doing, be honest with God, and listen for God.

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: THE examen

Pick an activity to do with your family this week:

option 1 - PRAy the examen individually and share

  • As a family, dedicate 15 to 20 minutes of each weekday evening to gather and pray silently.
  • Print the examen-guide.pdf for each family member.
  • Once the quiet time is over, gather together and share 1 sentence each of something you sensed from God.

option 2 - talk over these questions at the dinner table

  • What moment today made you most happy or thankful? (Initially you may need to name a few things in a young child's day to help them catch on.)
  • What moment today made you the most unhappy or least grateful?
  • How did you show love today? (For very young children, you may offer suggestions to clarify how someone shows love: Who did you share with today? Who did you help today?)
  • What was one time your actions or behavior were negative or you withheld showing kindness? (Again, for young children you might ask: Was there a time you did not share today? Was there a time you said a hurtful word or did not help?)
  • Briefly give thanks fo rthis time of reflection and for God teaching each of you to be more loving.

Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards

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This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

LESSON 12: WORK rewards

MAIN IDEA 

God will reward our work and the best is yet to come.

PROPS

  • 1 object for each of these materials: gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw (if hard to obtain, show a picture)
  • box of matches
  • 2 drinking glasses
  • a gold or silver object you're willing to burn (could be a small piece of jewelry)
  • a small clump of hay or a piece of wood

OPENING

Leader: God is all around us and in the work you do every day. The work you do matters today - it shapes you and it affects the people around you. Also, the work you do in your life will matter on the special day when Jesus returns.

I have a bunch of items here. (Explain what each item is and what it's made from.) Can someone come up and organize them in the order of most value? (Invite a student to do this. Ask why they put the things in the order they did.) Some of these materials cost a lot more than others. That's because they last longer.

Optional Experiment: Place a gold or silver object in one uncovered glass. Place the dry hay or dry wood in the other uncovered glass. Light a match and drop it into each cup.

If a fire happened, wood, hay or straw would burn up and become ashes. But the gold, silver and precious stones would still be sitting there when the flames die away. They can endure incredibly high temperatures.

The Bible compares our work to these things. Work that endures is work that we do with faith, hope and love. When you clean your room or take care of your brother or sister with love, it's like gold. As you work with faith, hope and love, you become more enduring yourself, more like Jesus. You can endure tough situations with character and caring. When you work with faith, hope and love you become like gold yourself.

When we work without faith, hope and love, that work is like wood hay or straw - it doesn't last very long and doesn't have much value. Let's take a look at the Bible passage.

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Read aloud or ask a child to stand and read for the group.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

These verses show us that God cares about the work we do. The word "foundation" in verse 12 refers to Jesus. All the work we do is built on who Jesus is and what he has done for us. As we follow Jesus in doing our work for him with faith, hope and love, it's like building a house using solid materials - gold, silver, and precious stones.

The "Day" mentioned in verse 13 is the Judgment Day when Jesus returns. One day, Jesus promises that he will return. Revelations, the last book of the Bible, tells us that when Jesus returns the work of each of our lives will be tested by fire. Our actions, small or big, our attitudes, our words, our thoughts - our entire life and how we lived it -matters to God and will be tested to see if it's hay or gold.

Depending on this test, the Bible mentions two kinds of crowns that God will award. The first, written as stephanos in Greek, is a crown of victory such as those made of laurel leaf and given to Olympic athletes. This kind of crown was given to those who overcame difficult situations. The other kind of crown is called a diadem -and is the type of crown worn by kings. Some people will receive this crown for all the souls they led to know God. Daniel 12:3 says, "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." Then the biggest best party will begin with Jesus presents to God all of the people who followed him.  The people will throw all the crowns they earned at Jesus' feet in adoration of him. In this way, our work becomes worship even to the very end of time.

We don't know the date for when Jesus will return. But we do know that our work matters very much to God. 

We all have things we don't enjoy doing. Next time you start folding laundry or doing homework and want to groan, remember that God's in it. What you're doin gis holy when you do it with faith, hope and love. Your work counts for eternity. One day God will say to you, "Well done."

CLOSING

Leader: God, it's amazing that the work we do - even ordinary things like folding laundry - matters to you. Help us become aware of your presence in all things and grow in doing small and big work with faith, hope and love. Shape us to become more like you as we do. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards (Small Group Activity)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY FOR LESSON 12: work rewards

PROPS

OPENING ACTIVITY: Gold, stone, straw (7 MINUTES)

Teach kids the motions for God, Stones, Straw. The motions are:

  1. Gold: arms straight down, held tightly against each side
  2. Stones: both hands open with fingers wiggling to symbol "twinkling"
  3. Straw: arms straight up and hands clasped to look like a straight line

Review the meanin gof each building material. Gold and stones both last through fire - these refer to work that is done for God with faith, hope and love. Stones are most likely referring to work that helps people come to believe in Jesus. Straw is work that doesn't last - it's not done for God.

Read a scenario from the list gold-stones-straw-scenarios.pdf.  Kids jump into the pose that they think the scenario demonstrates.

WORKSHEET: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Study (15 MINUTES)

Read through the passage together out loud. Have students answer the questions on the worksheet building-my-life-worksheet.pdf. Gold and silver are purified by fire and precious stones are produced out of incredible environments of pressure and heat. Wood, hay and straw become ashes and disappear when burnt.

Review- Who can you think of in the bible that lived a life that was probably built with gold, silver and precious stones? Who can you think of in the Bible that lived a life built with straw, hay or wood?

letters to jesus (10 MINUTES)

This is the last session of the curriculum. Give each student a sheet of stationary, an envelope and a pen. If possible, play instrumental worship music in the background as students work. Invite them to write to Jesus. He sees each of them and loves them very much. Each of them brings joy to his heart. Ask them to take some time to write a letter to Jesus about 3 things:

  • Their favorite kind of work
  • The work they find hardest
  • The kind of life they want to build

Thave them seal their letters and hold them in closing prayer.

PRAY (3 MINUTES)

Pray a blessing over each student individually. Ask God to lead them in a life built with gold, silver and precious stones, by the power of his Holy spirit.

Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards (Parent’s Sheet)

Back to Table of Contents

This lesson is part of God's Story of Work for Kids, a 12-week curriculum that teaches children to see work through God's perspective. To see all materials in this curriculum go to God's Story of Work for Kids Table of Contents.

PARENT'S TAKE-HOME SHEET FOR LESSON 12: work rewards

THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: GOD will reward our work

We reviewed today that all of our work - small and big, ordinary and special - matters very much to God. We learned that one day Jesus will return and test the quality of our work and the lives we have lived. Some lives will show they were built with solid materials that survive fire - gold, silver and costly stones. Other lives will be revealed to be made out of wood, hay or straw, things that get burned up in the fire. We work for Jesus with faith, hope and love so that our lives become more like gold.

DO THIS WEEK'S WORKOUT: thank you party

Plan a party to celebrate the work and uniqueness of each person in your family.

Some ideas:

  • Have each person make a dish that another family member likes
  • Personalize each place setting with not just the person's name, but the kind of work they do and a big "THANK YOU!"
  • Make crowns for everyone to wear
  • Use gold colored plates as a symbol of the value of each person's work done with faith, hope and love
  • Pray a prayer of blessing over everyone and their work before you eat - personalize the prayer and make it special by praying for each person specifically
  • Talk about the past 12 weeks and what you learned or what you want to keep practicing
  • Serve some sparkling apple cider and make a toast to each person and their work
  • Make it a team party - everyone helps set up, everyone helps clean up
  • Print the examen-guide.pdf for each family member.
  • Once the quiet time is over, gather together and share 1 sentence each of something you sensed from God.

OPTION 2 - TALK OVER THESE QUESTIONS AT THE DINNER TABLE

  • What moment today made you most happy or thankful? (Initially you may need to name a few things in a young child's day to help them catch on.)
  • What moment today made you the most unhappy or least grateful?
  • How did you show love today? (For very young children, you may offer suggestions to clarify how someone shows love: Who did you share with today? Who did you help today?)
  • What was one time your actions or behavior were negative or you withheld showing kindness? (Again, for young children you might ask: Was there a time you did not share today? Was there a time you said a hurtful word or did not help?)
  • Briefly give thanks fo rthis time of reflection and for God teaching each of you to be more loving.