Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?

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. 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)

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 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?



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