Middle School

Being Great Means Serving!

Lesson 9 


Winter 2019-20


By: Frieda Nossaman 


January 26, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Jesus defined “greatness” as serving others.

Bible Basis:

Mark 10:35-45

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard and markers

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about teens choosing to serve others as they explore Jesus’ definition of greatness.

Memory Verse:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”
—Mark 10:45

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about teens choosing to serve others as they explore Jesus’ definition of greatness.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard and markers

As students join your group time today, reminisce about the wonderful holiday season that students recently celebrated and invite students to write on the whiteboard a way they helped others, served, or volunteered in the last month or so. If you have your own examples or situations where your church helped others, share them on the board also.

Serving others can take on so many forms! Sometimes just befriending people and inviting them over for a meal with our family can be just as much an act of service as pitching in with local charities or churches to help those in need in our community. These acts of caring and service don’t only need to happen in the month of December, service can happen all year around and it should!

The following video is about a volunteer group in the Washington state area who use their hands, tools, and time to help low-income residents better their homes.

Share the following video [3:10]:
Putting Electronics Aside, Teens Focus on Helping Others

These Washington area teenagers are volunteering their time to help a family of a disabled boy have a wheelchair ramp so his family can come and go from their house with ease.

  • What is something these teens are learning as they do this project? (Construction skills, carpentry, teamwork, etc.)
  • What do these able-bodied students learn about being disabled as they work on this project? (Students take time out to be in the disabled person’s shoes [called empathy training] by using crutches or wheelchairs, etc. to get around. Students also get to see the project from beginning to end and meet the family they are helping and witness how much their construction project helped someone else.)
  • Why would these teens or anyone else ever give up their time and skills to be involved in a project that is hard work? (Answers will vary. Students might express that it is evident how much this project helped this family and so there would be satisfaction at helping someone who couldn’t help themselves. Some might mention having been helped in the past by someone, and that paying it forward is the right thing to do, etc.) 

There are many reasons to participate in service projects. Today we’re going to talk about a reason that we might not always think of—Jesus’ definition of greatness. Let’s check it out.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • List of service projects available at your church

Before this step, contact your church office for a list of possible service projects your class might become a part of: Shoveling walks, sanitizing nursery toys, straightening pew book racks, etc. You might also be aware of community projects your group could do as a whole to volunteer, serve, and/or help others.

Jesus told His disciples that He came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).

  • Jesus came to serve. Who did He come to serve? (Have students read today’s memory verse: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”—Mark 10:45. Answers may include that Jesus came to serve all of us by dying on the cross, Jesus also served the sick, the poor, the crowds, His disciples, etc.)
  • When you think of today’s society, do you think people serve more or want to be served more? (Invite conversation.)
  • Who could we serve? (Answers will vary. Some ideas might be: neighbors, children in the church, the homeless population, struggling families, the sick, etc.)

If you were able to obtain a list of church service projects or came up with another service project idea, share about it now and have students contemplate the part they can play, personally, to serve others as a youth group. If a project idea is not in place, invite students to share ways they can reach out, as a group, to the needy people just mentioned that could be helped.

Discuss as a class when a good time would be to fulfill this service project, the specific needs that would need to be addressed, and ways students can address these needs. After a concrete service idea is in place, pass around a piece of paper and a pencil or pen and encourage students to write down one way they will serve alongside others in this youth group.

In conclusion, play the following music video by Matthew West called “Do Something” and let it spearhead your students to action [4:05]:
Matthew West – Do Something

Close in prayer asking for God to show us people who we need to serve and strength to “do something” to serve others as Jesus has served us.

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