Advance Prep: Print out these job titles and cut them into individual slips of paper that contain just one job title. Fold slips of paper and place them in a container for dispersal during group time. Alternatively, you can give out job titles verbally.
CEO of a Fortune 500 Company Teacher’s Aid Chef Waitress/Waiter
Grounds Keeper High School Principal Pastor Childcare Worker
Vice-President of Operations Social Worker Dog Trainer Librarian
Web Designer Medical Assistant Nurse Project Manager
To begin this activity, read Ephesians 6:7 & 8 aloud. Have each person draw a slip of paper or assign a specific job title to each person.
Each person will answer these questions regarding their specific job title:
1. How hard would it be for you to do this job?
2. Would you enjoy this new role?
3. What “good things” (Eph. 6:8) could be done in this position?
4. In what ways could you serve others in this role?
1. Share something specific from the message or sermon passage that left an impression on you.
2. Consider Ephesians 6:5-8. A. What is the worst job you have ever had, and what made it so bad? How was your attitude when you did this job? How would doing this job “as to the Lord” change your attitude and feelings about it? B. Are you in a difficult job or position right now? How does working “as to the Lord” improve your attitude or your performance?
(Intent: This is an ice breaker with multiple parts. Consider using just a couple of questions that would be most relevant to your group. )
3. According to the Constable commentary, scholars estimate that about one-third of the Roman Empire’s population were slaves, many of whom were Christians. So this topic was relevant to those being addressed. A. List the behaviors Paul told slaves or bondservants to exhibit. B. What is the end result of doing this?
(Intent: A. To obey in service as you would to the Lord, doing God’s will from your heart. B. Paul reassures us that whatever good we do towards others, the Lord will give back to us.)
4. How can we apply these principles to the employee to employer relationship?
(Intent: As an employee, we are to treat our employers with the same submission and respect that we are to give the Lord. We align ourselves with our employers’ good goals and intentions; that is, goals that do not conflict with God’s clear commands. We choose to work with diligence for their benefit above our own. As employers or managers, we can treat employees with kindness and patience while holding them accountable and disciplining them for their benefit and growth.)
5. A. What does “rendering service with a good will as to the Lord, not to man” ESV mean? B. What if the boss or company is unjust?
(Intent: A. We work with enthusiasm, remembering that we are ultimately serving and glorifying the Lord while working for our employer, 1 Cor. 10:31. We guard our witness, 1 Tim: 6:1. B. See 1 Pet. 2:18-21: We respond as servants and patiently endure unjust treatment.)
6. See verse 9. Have you been a business owner, manager, or have you been in authority over someone? What are some successes that you have had? Are there mistakes that you may have made, and what could have corrected those errors?
(Intent: Examine a fleshly mindset versus a Spirit-led mindset as a group.)
7. Take a look at Micah 6:8. How does this verse relate to those in authority or under it?
(Intent: In context, the prophet Micah is addressing Israel’s sin. Rather than turning to rule-following, which leads only to outward submission, he calls them—and us—to follow the perfect law of the heart. We are to act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with our Lord.)
Whether we are an employee, business owner, manager, living a retired life, or in a family, we are all under the authority of someone—or in a position to control or be controlled through relationships. Review your various connections, and consider what actions you will take this week to honor others and submit in a way that glorifies our Lord.
Relationships can be complex and outside of our control: Ask the group to share specific petitions to our heavenly Father in the areas of submission, authority, wisdom, and Christ-like conduct as we relate with believers and the unsaved alike.