GOD VIEW: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SERVICE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. SERVICE IS A REFLECTION OF THE CHARACTER O F G O D .
Key Question: Why should you serve others? Service often includes going above and beyond to help someone in need. For many preteens, they might wonder why they should go to all that work. This question gives them a chance to discuss why it’s worth it to go out of their way to serve and help point others to Jesus.
We start the month in John 13:1-17 where Jesus offered an incredible example of service. When the disciples show up to the meal with Jesus, their feet would have been dirty from walking the roads of Jerusalem. Their feet would have been disgusting! Instead of allowing a servant to come and wash their feet, Jesus took a basin and a towel and did the work Himself. The disciples were astonished that their Lord would stoop to such a level.
Bottom Line: Serve others because of what Jesus did for us. When we need that extra measure of strength to do what it takes to help others in need, we can remember all that Jesus did for us. He not only lived a life a service, but He gave His life as the ultimate example of service. We reflect His character when we serve the people around us.
Key Question: How can you serve someone today? Service is often something preteens know they should do, but they may not know exactly what they could do or how they can serve. We hope to give kids a chance to talk about the tangible ways they can help others. They don’t have to wait to use the gifts God gave them; they can use them right now.
Next, we look at something Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:10-11. He reminded people in the early church how God’s Holy Spirit gave each of them a spiritual gift. These gifts are not for our own benefit. Rather, they should be used to benefit everyone. When we use those gifts, we can point others to Jesus.
Bottom Line: Look for ways to serve others. Kids are just becoming aware of the needs around them. As leaders, we can help them notice the people around them who may have a need they can meet. God gives gifts to everyone who follows Jesus they can use to give back and help others know Jesus.
Key Question: What do you have that you can use to serve others? Everyone has something that God can use to serve others. Preteens might just need some help identifying them. We pray that through this lesson, kids will start to see the things in their own life that they can offer to help.
In week three, we discover one of Jesus’ most famous miracles recorded in John 6:1-13. Jesus saw the large crowd that had followed Him and decided to feed them. A boy offers his lunch: five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took the boy’s gift and used it to feed over 5,000 people.
Bottom Line: Use what you have to serve others. Sometimes kids might look at a situation and wonder if they have anything they can offer to help. We hope they remember that God can use whatever they have to do some amazing things. They just need to be willing to use it to serve others.
Key Question: What would happen if you never
got credit for serving? Preteens are growing up in
a generation who posts everything they do to social media—especially those moments where they serve others or go on a missions trip—to make themselves look good. We want kids to think that doing the act of service is enough. In fact, it’s better if no one knows they did it in the first place.
We close out the month with Matthew 6:1-4. During this part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains that when we serve or give it shouldn’t be in a way that is showy and puts all of the attention on ourselves. Rather than making a big deal about our own acts of service, He says to give to others in secret.
Bottom Line: Serve others without looking for applause. Typically, when we do something for someone else, we want everyone to know what we did. After all, having others compliment us feels good. But we hope that kids start to understand that when we decide to give in secret, the act of service becomes totally about the other person and not themselves.