High School

Selfless Serving

Lesson 2 


Winter 2018-19


By: Caroline Ferdinandsen 


December 08, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Want to be great? Serve others!

Bible Basis:

Mark 10:32-45

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch and discuss a police officer’s efforts to inspire teen service as they consider the Kingdom formula for achieving 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 and discuss a police officer’s efforts to inspire teen service as they consider the Kingdom formula for achieving greatness.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

It may be more common to see YouTube clips of teenagers being silly, engaged in shallow pursuits, or pranking somebody, but that isn’t always the case! Let’s take a look at what’s happening in one community in Houston, Texas.

Watch the following video with your class and then discuss the questions that follow [4:02]:
“Houston Police Officer Inspires Teens to Give Back”

  • Does this organization remind you of any local outreach efforts in your own hometown? What can local organizations sometimes do better than national organizations? (Answers will vary. Local groups can target a community’s needs with more precision. It’s easier for a local leader to recruit volunteers, train its workforce, and affect change in a community.)
  • Have you ever volunteered before? What motivated you to sacrifice your time? (Students will share from experiences. Some students might admit they were gaining volunteer hours for a personal award, college application, or other reasons besides just wanting to participate in “good deeds.”)
  • Someone doesn’t have to believe in God to do nice things for people, but why do you think so many outreach programs are faith-based? (A deep love for Jesus prompts a deep love for other people. Christians “bear fruit” by showing kindness and compassion.)

Let’s face it: Serving others is hard, otherwise everyone would be doing it. But we have something more than just a desire to be nice. We have the Holy Spirit within us, nudging us to make a difference in someone’s life. When God gets the glory instead of us, we know we are following in Jesus’ footsteps.

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:

Before class, print out one circles template for each student (template here).

There are so many ways that a teenager can serve others, but the reality is that young people don’t always have the independent resources or mobility to volunteer overseas or even across town. The following exercise can help them become aware of all kinds of places to serve, big and small.

Hand out a paper circle template and writing utensils to each student. Before we leave today, we are going to think of some specific people we can serve. Let’s start with the largest circle. This represents people all around the world that need help. With a partner, write down some of the organizations or individuals that we can serve within that circle.

Students, with the help of a partner or adult leader, will think of foreign missionaries, national organizations (Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Compassion, etc.) and other global efforts whose primary goal is serving others. They will write them around the circumference of their largest circle.

We all know that our local communities have many needs, big and small. Can you think of some places right in your school and neighborhood that you can assist? Let’s use this medium-sized circle to write down opportunities to serve closer to home.

Continue this exercise, letting students brainstorm together. (December is a month where many local groups create outreach opportunities around the holidays.) Encourage adult helpers to prompt ideas among the classroom before writing them inside the middle circles.

Now we have the smallest circle of all. Let’s imagine these represent our homes and classrooms, our family and friends. Who are some specific people—right in front of us every day—that we can serve?

When students have finished filling in their three circles, discuss these questions as a group:

  • What is at the very center of all of these opportunities to serve? What holds it all together? (Hint: It isn’t our own selfish desire to look good. It’s Jesus Himself—the author of love and compassion and the perfect model of sacrifice.)
  • Should we wait until we feel like serving before stepping out? (Of course not! If we only serve when we feel like it, we would probably never take the risk. Deliberate planning doesn’t mean it’s not from the heart; it often takes discipline, too.)
  • Out of all these circles, which one is the hardest for you? Talk about it with your neighbor. (Not surprisingly, many students will find that the people closest to them are the hardest to serve.)  

Remind your students that serving others opens the door for meaningful dialogue about Jesus’ love. If we only see people as targets for evangelism—without addressing their physical needs—we risk hypocrisy and shallow faith. Serving others mean sacrifice, and that is a powerful example that can draw others into Jesus’ love.

When you are finished, encourage your class to take these service wheels home as a resource for further action. Instruct them to share ideas with parents and family members.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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