Use this object lesson on joy to teach kids how to experience true happiness.
Object Needed: Lawn Mower
Big Idea: If you remember to keep God first, nothing will ever rob you of the joy God gives.
We've included the text for this object lesson below and we even recorded a video to help give you ideas for how to teach it. Enjoy watching!
Joy Object Lesson Script
How many of you have been introduced to the lawn mower at your house? How many of you have grown up to the point that Mom and Dad have said, “It’s time for you to cut the grass.”
That was a big moment, wasn’t it? Ever since you were a child, you’ve watched your mom or dad cut the grass. You might have even had a toy lawn mower of your own. Most of us grew up watching the lawn mower thinking, “One day, that will be me. One day, I’ll be big enough to cut the grass!” Using the lawn mower is a milestone in growing up. It’s something you can’t wait to do, especially when you’re little.
Then the day comes. And what did you learn? Pushing a lawn mower kind of stinks. It’s hard. It can be extra hard on hot days, and it can be miserable on cold days. There are no shortcuts either. You have to cut one row at a time. If you’re lucky, you have a riding mower so you’re not walking the whole time. If you’re unlucky, your mom or dad has put in all sorts of trees, flower beds, swings, and other obstacles that just make it that much harder!
It looked like a lot of fun, pushing the lawn mower. But then you grew up, and you learned what hard work it could be. And when you’re out there in 110 degree weather, you wish you were too small to push the mower again.
You all will be making some big choices in the next several years of your life. There are other milestones ahead, like driving and graduation. And as wonderful as those seem, there’s a downside to those moments as well. When you start to drive, Mom and Dad are probably going to want you to work. And after you graduate, you’ll have to decide on a college, learn how to live on your own, and eventually go to work!
It’s okay to dream about the future. As a matter of fact, it’s a wise idea to plan ahead for these big moments. But don’t let your desire to grow up keep you from enjoying today. As tough as being a kid may seem, it’s only going to get tougher. And those big moments that you expect will make you happy—like cutting the grass—will not give you a joy that lasts.
The one thing that will give you lasting joy—no matter what happens in your life is a relationship with Christ. You may become a famous singer or an important doctor. You might become a bus driver or a life guard. If you remember to keep God first, nothing will be able to rob you of the joy he gives.