At the beginning of this new year, let’s ask ourselves this question:

Do the students I lead know they are an important part of the family of God?

During their preteen years, many students struggle to feel valued by each other, their families, and sometimes, even God.

Use this lesson to encourage students to celebrate the qualities that make each of us different, unique, and important in the Body of Christ.

Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry



Bible:Romans 12:3-5

Bottom Line: Each person has an important role in the family of God.


  • A toolbox containing the following tools: hammer, saw, plane, screwdriver, ruler, sandpaper, and a drill.


Note: This game is¬†similar to “Fruit Basket Upset”, but instead of fruit, you will be using names¬†of tools.

Instruct students to form a circle out of chairs.

Make sure there is one less chair than there are students playing the game.

Choose one student to stand in the middle of the circle – they will be “it”.

Next, using the list below, assign the name of a tool to each student.

  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Wrench
  • Level
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Plane

There should be four students for each tool name.

For example: If you have twenty students, you should use five tool names, and there should be four students per tool name – 4 Hammers, 4 Saws, 4 Wrenches, 4 Levels, and 4 Pliers.

Instruct students to remember their assigned tool name.

On GO, the person who is “it” will say a tool name.

Next, everyone with that tool name, and the person who is ‚Äėit‚Äô has to grab a different seat.

One person will be left without a seat and then becomes the new ‚Äėit‚Äô. ‚Äė

‘It’ can call more than one tool at a time and all of those who have the tool names that were called must choose a new seat.

Or ‘it’ can call ‚Äėtool box upset‚Äô and everyone must find a new seat.

Play several rounds until all students have had a chance to switch seats several times – or everyone has been ‘it’.


After the game, say: How many of you have used all of the tools that we named in our opening game?

Unless, you have built something before, you probably haven’t used most of those tools.

Can a couple of you share something that you have created using tools? (Allow responses.)

I have a quick story to tell that will help you understand why each of the tools that we mentioned is important.

Have tools on hand to use as a visual for the students while you are telling the story.

There was trouble in the workshop.

The tools were unhappy and were having an argument about who was the best.

They argued about who was needed the most.

They talked about how peaceful the workshop would be without the troublemakers!

Some of the tools blamed the hammer for starting all the trouble.

He was far too noisy Рso, he needed to go.

But, the hammer blamed the saw.

He said that she couldn’t make up her mind what direction she was going and was driving everyone crazy constantly just going backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards…

No, the saw would not be blamed.

She was accusing the plane.

The plane’s work was much too shallow.

He was always skimming the surface and never doing any meaningful work.

The plane was sure that the screwdriver was at fault because she was constantly going round and round in circles and making everyone dizzy.

The screwdriver insisted that the ruler was the most troublesome tool in the whole workshop because he was a bully, always measuring the others by his own standards.

After long and careful study, the ruler said he had no doubt that the sandpaper was at fault for the difficulties in the workshop.

Sandpaper was always rubbing the others the wrong way and making them angry.

The sandpaper protested loudly and said there could be no doubt in her mind that the drill was the culprit, as everybody knew he was so boring!

Then, the carpenter arrived.

He knew that each of the tools had equally important jobs to do and all of them were needed to complete the task…

The carpenter was making a bird house for the garden.

First, the wood would need to be measured, so he picked up the ruler.

Now the wood was measured and the different sections marked, the carpenter needed a tool with which to cut the wood and only the saw could do this.

But the wood was a bit bumpy and needed leveling…

It was the plane’s turn to complete this task.

The carpenter was very pleased with his work but the wood was a bit rough and needed smoothing.

That was when the sandpaper came into the story.

Now, there was a big hole to be drilled on one of the pieces to allow the birds to get in and out of the house and smaller holes were needed for the screws…

The drill was ready for that task but what about a tool to screw all those bits together?

The screwdriver was ready to take her turn.

When the birdhouse was finished the carpenter searched for one last tool to nail it to the tree…

Of course, last but not least, the hammer was there Рready and willing like the others had been.

And so the work was completed with all of the tools involved at different stages of
the task.

What is the moral of this story and the message for us today?

Everyone has value and we need to work together!

The Bible has a similar illustration in Romans 12:3-5.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

It’s easy to compare yourself to someone else and decide if their abilities make them more important than you.

But, that’s not how God sees us.

Because He created us, He knows the unique qualities that each of us possess.

Our gifts and talents, the things that we’re good at, don’t function individually in the same way as they do when we are using them in the bigger picture of the family of God.

For example: sandpaper is only useful when there is wood that can be smoothed out and rough edges removed.

Without the wood, the sandpaper is unable to fulfill what it was created to do.

Without the sandpaper, the wood would remain unfinished and flawed.

In the same way, we need each other to fulfill the purposes that God has for us.

As we start this new year, ask God to reveal your place in the family of God.

And realize that every person is important – no one is more valuable than another.

Close in prayer.


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