Colossians - Lesson 9

By Stafford North

How We Work

Colossians 3:22-4:1

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can explain the master/slave relationship of the first century.
  2. The student can list three underlying principles about being in Christian in today's work situation.
  3. The student can apply the principles to specific circumstances that might arise in the workplace.


  1. Have access to a chalkboard or marker board.
  2. Have worksheets ready.
  3. Print copies of the survey on last week's lesson on marriage to have ready at the beginning of class.


Being a Christian applies to every situation of life, including the workplace. Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (15 minutes)

  1. Check roll, welcome visitors, make announcements.
  2. Do survey on last week's lesson.
  3. Introduce this week's lesson.
    1. Read Col. 3:22-4:1.
    2. Q: Is Paul giving his approval to slavery as an institution? A: No. He is not a social reformer and has a higher mission than trying to change that social practice. Later, Christianity did play a part in ridding many nations of slavery. Paul's purpose here, however, is to teach slaves and master show Christianity will affect their relationship "in the workplace."
    3. So, our lesson today is finding the principles Paul uses in teaching slaves and masters so we can apply the principles to our situations today.
    4. Q: What would you consider your workplace? A: An office, a schoolroom, a gymnasium, a taxi, an airplane, a place to buy and sell, your home, a stage.
    5. A very important lesson to learn from Paul's letter to the Colossians is that Christianity affects every part of our lives. There are to be no hidden compartments. We cannot say, Christianity is OK on Sunday, or in Bible class, or in our home, but it does not affect how I live the rest of my life.The principles of Christianity are to be our guides in every aspect of life.

Learning Experiences: (25 minutes)

  1. Q: What are some underlying principles of Christianity which Paul uses to give specific instructions to slaves and masters? A: (1) Both the slaves and the masters serve the same master (Lord), who is Christ. Since this is true, slaves should do their work well and masters should be fair to their slaves. (2) Deal with each other with the right motive. Slaves, in a way that would please Christ. Masters, treat your slaves well because you want to please Christ. (3) Respect each other. Slaves you should obey your masters and masters you should do what is right for your slaves.
  2. Last week, we asked for you to think about how you could use Christianity in the workplace. Do you have any specific circumstances you could tell about? (Teacher: the discussion of these may fill a substantial part of the class time. If they do, then use fewer of the situations below. Try to keep this discussion focused on "the Christian way to act" in these situations.
  3. Keeping these principles in mind, how would you handle the following situations in the workplace?
    1. You are an employee and the boss is not a very kind person. He is rather harsh in the way he treats people, sometimes being overly critical of employees even in front of others. Sometimes he loses his temper. You like many things about your job and don't want to look for another place. How could you use your Christian principles to help in this situation?
    2. In your job, you are in contact with lots of fellow employees. What are ways that you might interest them in coming to church with you or in having a Bible study or in reading something about the church?
    3. You are a stay-at-home mom and want to use your home situation to share Christ with others. What are some things you could do?
    4. Sex in the workplace is becoming a more pervasive issue. What are some practices that Christians should follow to stay pure themselves and to lead others in a moral path?
    5. You are in the building trade and you need to get as much work as possible. You know that some of your competitors give a low price to get a job and then find extra items to do as a way of getting more money once the deal is struck. How should you respond to this situation?
    6. Will managers in today's business world have a harder or an easier time if they follow the principles of loving others and being honest in all they do?


  1. Read Ecc. 2:24. Q: What do we learn from this passage about our work? A: Our work is from God and we should respect it as such.
  2. Read Ecc. 3:22. Q: What does this passage teach about our work? A: We should enjoy what we do. Sometimes this may mean that we change our jobs. Or it may mean that we change our attitudes and stay in the same job.
  3. The situations above have given the application. But you could ask if, as a result of the discussion, anyone see something he/she will try to do differently.


  1. The participation in the discussion above will be the evaluation for today's lesson.


  1. Read Col. 4:3-6.

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