Use this 15-minute preteen Sunday school lesson: Labor Day to help kids discover the importance of work and rest.
1. What’s My Career?-As each child enters the room, place a tag on his or her back with a career written on it. Have one of the tags read “pastor.” Have kids ask each other “yes” or “no” questions to learn their identities. When a child guesses correctly, move the tag to the front.
2. Resting in God’s Love-Form two groups. Have one group do jumping jacks, and have the second group jog in place. As the children perform their “duties,” talk about their careers from the opener, sharing what they think would be the hardest part of their job. When kids seem to be tired, *ask: Are you ready to rest?
Have everyone sit on the floor. Then have the “pastor” read aloud Matthew 11:28.
*Say: Labor Day is a holiday to honor workers by giving them a day of rest. Jesus tells us that we can come to him anytime we’re tired, and he will give us rest. How can Christ help us rest?
3. Quiet-Time Journal-Give each child a notebook. Let children decorate these with fabric or wallpaper scraps and stickers. Have them title their notebooks “My Time With God.” Talk about how to use a journal. Kids can write their prayer concerns, what they read in the Bible, or a note to God. Encourage children to take time daily to rest in and reflect on God’s love.
4. Snack- You’ll need: Frozen bread dough (thawed), honey, and butter.
Tell kids to: Have each child take a handful of dough, form a strip, and twist it. Tell kids that challah is the traditional bread for the Jewish Sabbath. This twisted bread is similar to challah. After the work of baking is over, rest together and talk about any traditional meals or food kids have on the Sabbath.
5. Keep Up the Good Work-*Say: God gives us the opportunity to rest so we can continue to serve him. Your job now is to be a student, son or daughter, and friend. How we can serve Christ at these jobs?
Have kids write their answers on newsprint. Close in prayer, thanking God for the privilege of work and rest.
Carmen Kamrath is the associate editor for Children’s Ministry Magazine