Kids Lesson 8: Work That Matters

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 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?


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