Salt and Light (Sunday School Lesson for Kids)

Small Group Study / Produced by partner of TOW

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.


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


Our work for God affects the world around us.


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 taking care of who and what he's given us, right where we are, with faith, hope and love.


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 enthusiasm 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.

Peyton 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 commissioner 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.


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 using our work. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Salt and Light (Classroom Activity for Grades 2-5)

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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.



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.


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.

Salt and Light (Take-Home Activity for Parents and Kids)

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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.

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.


  • 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 "Thinking of 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?