Boy, it’s hard to not grumble and complain! Sometimes tough things happen and our moods and attitudes take a hit. But what does God want us to do when we are frustrated? Can we choose whether or not we complain? In this fifth lesson of the Kid’s Club series, children will learn to take responsibility for their personal responses to difficulties. Also, they will learn how to choose peace (instead of grumbling) when hard circumstances arise.
TARGET AGES: 4-12
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:14-15a – “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure.”
MAIN IDEA: Grumbling is a choice and God wants us to choose peace instead.
Memory Verse Activity (20 minutes)
MATERIAL(S): White board or poster board
PREPARATION: Write the verse (Philippians 2:14-15a) on the white board or poster board.
WHAT YOU WILL DO:
Tell the class that today’s lesson is all about choosing NOT to grumble. Give them examples of when you are most prone to grumpiness and ask for a few volunteers to comment on what makes them grumpy. Then read the verse out loud with the class at least two times. Explain that God desires for us to choose others things – like peace or even joy – instead of a bad attitude. Also, practicing peace means we will grow to know more about the Lord and be a better example for others. Then ask the class to take turns reading one or two words out loud at a time until the entire verse is read (each child will pick up where the last child left off). Consider assigning an order – such as where the children are sitting – to make the activity more understandable. Also, be sure to help the younger children who may have a difficult time reading or keeping up with the activity. After several rounds, ask for volunteers to recite the entire verse from memory. Then continue the activity as time allows.
“What Can I Do Instead?” Activity (15 minutes)
MATERIALS: index cards
PREPARATION: Write the prompts (but not the italicized answers) on the index cards.
WHAT YOU WILL DO:
Read each prompt to the class and ask for a volunteer to state a way to react appropriately (and without a bad attitude) to each scenario. Then read each suggested answer before moving on to the next prompt. Once all the prompts have been read, remind the children that we always have the choice to respond with grumbling or peace. Encourage the class to think about good ways to respond to challenges because positive behavior gives glory to God.
- Receiving a bad grade on a test at school.
Try to study longer next time and ask the teacher for extra help.
- Being late to church because I didn’t wake up on time.
Make the best of the situation and pray and ask God for help.
- Getting grounded for talking back to my mom.
Cool off by going for a walk. Then think of a nice way to apologize.
- Earning a detention at school for being rude to my teacher.
Use the detention time to write a letter of apology to my teacher.
- Having a lot of homework to complete in one night.
Complete the easiest assignment first and then tackle the rest of the work.
- Being bored at church when I’d rather be home playing video games.
Help the other kids at church with their lesson materials.
- Not being able to play outside with my friends because it’s raining.
Invite a few friends to my house to play games inside.
- Having to do my chores instead of seeing a movie with friends.
Ask your friends to help you complete the chores and then you can all go see the movie.
Birthday Cards Mission Project (20 minutes)
MATERIALS: Birthday cards (multi-packs), markers or pens
PREPARATION: Gather markers and other writing utensils. Also, obtain a list of birthdays either from the church or a biblically-based non-profit organization.
WHAT YOU WILL DO: Ask, “Do you like knowing secrets? Well, I have a secret way to stop myself from being grumpy!” Tell the class that serving others, especially in fun ways, helps give us an attitude of joy. Show them how to carefully sign each card so the name is legible. Also, older children may consider writing a short message. Comment, “It’s so easy to sign birthday cards! How does it make you feel to do something nice for other people (good, happy, thankful, etc)? Why do you think serving others is a good way to help us have good attitudes (e.g. because we are obeying God)?”
Prayer Time (5 minutes)
Take prayer requests and ask for volunteers to pray. Close the prayer by asking the Lord to help us have good attitudes and choose peace, instead of grumbling, as we serve him.