Responsibility: Showing you can be trusted with what is expected of you.

Today’s Bible Story: Say What You Need to Say (Use Words Wisely) • Ephesians 4:29

Monthly Memory Verse: Suppose you can be trusted with something very little. Then you can also be trusted with something very large. Luke 16:10a (NIrV)

Life Application: Responsibility—Showing you can be trusted with what is expected of you

Suggested Songs: Our God, Reckless Love, Peace Like a River

Praise & Pray: Sing along with the provided worship videos and Pray. Access Songs Here.

What You Might Pray: “Dear God, today help me to learn how my words matter. The words I use can be hurtful or helpful. Please let me to see why I need to be careful with my words. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”

Read God’s Word Together: Ephesians 4:29 (Need a kid friendly Bible? Check out our suggestions here.)

Family Devotional and Discussion

What You Do:  Watch the complementary video together as a family and discuss today’s question

What You Discuss: “Words can hurt. We need to be careful with our words. You can let your words get out of control and be hurtful or you can use your words wisely and be helpful. Is it always easy to watch our words? No, but can we do it with God’s help? Definitely. We need to STOP and THINK before we speak. Is what you are going to say helpful or hurtful? If it is hurtful, does it need to be said? Sometimes the answer is yes, it needs to be said but MOST of the time the answer is no. Why do your words matter?”

Pre-K Devotional Download  (Be sure to check out the Thinking Song Activity video.)

Elementary School Devotional Download

Pre-Teen Devotional Download

Bible Story Review: Open the Bible and read together as a family Ephesians 4:29.

  • Ask a REVIEW question first then use the DISCUSS question next to prompt deeper conversation.
    • REVIEW: What is something good that words can do?
      • DISCUSS: Why do you think encouraging or positive words are so powerful?
    • REVIEW: What is something bad that words are able to do?
      • DISCUSS: Why are hurtful or negative words so powerful?
    • REVIEW: How does Ephesians 4:29 describe the words that should not come out of our mouth?
      • DISCUSS: When do you find it most difficult to not say something you shouldn’t? What can help you stop yourself before that happens? (Remind kids that evil/unwholesome words are not just hateful or curse words. Lead them to consider how complaining, gossiping, and disrespect can be just as wrong.)
    • REVIEW: Fill in the missing word: ___________ is showing you can be trusted with what is expected of you. (responsibility)
      • DISCUSS: In what ways does controlling what you say show responsibility?
    • REVIEW: Finish this sentence. “Use your words ­________.” (wisely)
      • DISCUSS: What are some ways you can use your words wisely this week?

Pray and Bless Your Family

What You Need: Sandpaper (optional)

What You Do: Ask for prayer requests.

  • Hand out sandpaper squares.
  • Ask family members to think of a time they may have let their words be more tough than gentle.
  • Pray and ask God to help you use your words in a wise way to build people up.
  • Encourage kids to throw away their sandpaper at the end of the prayer as a way to symbolize throwing out the tough words they say.

What You Might Pray: “Dear Jesus, thank You for the forgiveness You give us in the times we allow our words to be tough like sandpaper. Please help us use our words as an encouragement to everyone we talk with! Even when we meet times of challenge, frustration, or hurt, help us remember that we can make a choice not hurt others with our words. May every person we come in contact with see a glimpse of You through the way we speak. Thank You for the example You give in the Bible to help change the world when you [Bottom Line] use your words wisely. Pray for prayer requests. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Additional Activities:

What You Need: Building materials such as: Blocks, Legos, or Marshmallows, toothpicks, timer or phone timer, and Twister® spinner or quarter

What You Do: Divide your family into teams or compete as individuals.

  • Give each individual / team several building materials to build a tall structure.
  • Explain that the individuals / teams will build towers as fast and as high as they can in 30 seconds with their building materials.
  • Set the timer for 30 seconds and let the teams build.
  • When the timer stops, instruct the teams to take turns with the spinner / quarter.
    • If you don’t have a spinner, flip the quarter. “Heads” equals hand and “Tails” equals foot.
  • If the spinner lands on a hand or heads on a quarter, the team gets an extra hand, which mean you help them with their tower for the next 30 seconds.
  • If the spinner lands on a foot or tails on a quarter, the team must take down a total of five of their building materials then answer a review question.
  • Continue to play as time and interest allow.

Review questions:

  1. Who wrote the letter that we read part of today? (Paul)
  2. What church did he write this letter to? (the church in Ephesus)
  3. Wildcard! Say something encouraging about someone in your group.
  4. Where was Paul when he wrote this letter? (in prison)
  5. What was the point of the Bible truth that we read today? (We should use our words wisely and to build each other up.)
  6. Say something encouraging about someone in our group.
  7. Who gives us the perfect example of using words of hope, truth, and love? (Jesus)

What You Say: “Now those were some pretty impressive towers! How did you feel when some of your tower had to be taken down? (Allow time for responses.) Yeah, I bet. But let me ask you this. How did you feel when you got an extra boost to make your tower even taller? (Allow time for responses.) Those are some great thoughts. Our words can either help build others up, like we built these towers, or tear a person down like when we tore those towers down. Has someone ever made you feel awesome with their words about you? (Allow time for kids to share stories.) It’s both awesome and a BIG responsibility to have the power to build people up with our words. This week, make the choice to stand up, [Bottom Line] use your words wisely, and lift the world around you to epic heights!”

What You Need: “Compliment Who” Activity Pages (DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE), scissors

What You Do: Instruct family members to get into pairs.

  • Give each group a deck of “Compliment Who” cards and ask them to cut them out.
  • One at a time, kids draw a card without looking at it, stick it on their head, and their teammates give them clues about who the person on the card is.
  • Instruct the kids to use words of encouragement and compliments of the person instead of normal descriptions.
  • For example, for a sanitation worker they can say, “You do an incredible job of getting rid of smelly stuff. You are also a fabulous driver with that big ol’ truck!”
  • Once the person on the card is guessed, the kid / family member can put their card to the side. Then, the next kid / family member draws a card.
  • Repeat at least until each kid / family member has a chance to draw a card and guess who’s on their head.
  • Once kids finish their game, encourage them to think of other people in their life they can build up and encourage with their words.

What You Say: “We can forget how easy it is to see the good in people and use our words to inspire others. It can even be fun! [Make it Personal] (Tell about a time someone used their words wisely toward you and showed you Jesus’ love.) Here’s the thing, God put us on Earth to point everyone to Him. When you [Bottom Line] use your words wisely, everyone around us has a better chance of feeling His love and knowing Him! Every day we need to remember the awesome responsibility and role we have to show everyone the love of Jesus through our powerful words.”

Story Time Videos: Click the links below to watch a video.

You Are Special

When I Pray For You

Because I Love You

The Golden Rule