3 Ingredients for Working with God (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.

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


  • Large cardboard box


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.


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.

3 Ingredients for Working with God (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.


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.


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.

3 Ingredients for Working with God (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: 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