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This is a study that are designed to be used after a service project. It can be used alongside the first study before the service starts.
Servant events are a valuable tool for teens to expand their sphere of understanding and influence. Dedicating time and attention to others reminds students that we are called to live in humility and service, as Christ did. It often “feels good to do good,” but youth need to also reflect on the purpose of giving to and serving others. We don’t earn Heavenly gold star stickers from what we accomplish. However, when we reach out to others, it is as though we serve Jesus Himself.
In this study, teens will reflect on the importance of having a servant’s heart and living with humble devotion to God. This lesson is intended to be completed following participation in a servant event, as a review and preparation for future activities.
*Note: specifics of lesson details will vary, depending on the size and dynamics of the group and what specific service event is taking place. Please adjust accordingly. (Total time: approximately 45-50 minutes.)
Opening Activity Suggestions: (5-10 minutes)
Invite students to take some time to review and reflect on the completed servant event. Ideally, this study will take place soon after the activity, and most students will be able to participate in both. As teens think back on the activity, consider having them write down thoughts on a white board or on small anonymous note cards. Depending on the specific details of the servant event, have students discuss some of the following possible questions:
- Name one person that you met/encountered during this activity. What was memorable about that individual?
- How will this experience shape you moving forward?
- What went well in this experience? What was challenging?
- How did God provide during this event?
- Why is it important to get out of our comfort zones and serve others?
Scripture Exploration: (15-20 minutes)
Split students into pairs or groups, depending on how many students are present. Provide each group with a Bible passage to review. Encourage students to consider how each passage relates to the concept of serving. Suggested verses include:
- Matthew 25:31-46 (Whatever we do to the “least of these” we do for Christ; serving others is the same as taking care of Jesus Himself.)
- James 1:27 (We have responsibility to “visit orphans and widows in their affliction” …this could also apply to caring for all who are in need.)
- Mark 12:28-31 (The great commandments we have are to love the Lord with all heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we are properly doing the first, then loving our neighbors should naturally follow. Loving God leads to loving those He has created.)
- Proverbs 27:17 (We “sharpen” and build each other up; we are not meant to live in isolation but support one another.)
- You may also look at stories from the Gospels that describe the actions of Christ, and connect Him as an example of servant leadership and sacrifice.
After allowing time for students to study their verses, bring youth back together and have groups share what they learned from God’s Word.
Discussion and Application: (10-15 minutes)
Have students consider how their acts of service demonstrated care for others and respect for God. Challenge them to continue habits of service.
- What was the physical result of this serving event?
Answers will vary according to the nature of the event.
- What is something that was challenging to you? Where did you need God’s grace and help during the service?
Use this as a chance to catch where young people maybe needed to repent or consider challenging situations.
- How were you reminded of God’s great love for you during this serving event?
This is where we can remind young people of God’s forgiveness and a chance to still work through them.
- How might the Holy Spirit have helped your group reflected the love of God as a result of this activity?
Consider again the purpose of the event and how it honors God.
- What can you do in the future to follow up or continue with the theme of this event? How might it have changed your thoughts or attitudes?
- How can you remember that serving others is truly serving the Lord?
Remind students that our lives should be lived in devotion to Christ. Our work reflects what God has first done for us. Whatever we do and however we do it, we need to act with the needs of others in mind before our own recognition or reward. Challenge students to find ways to genuinely serve the teens around them, as well as those who will be blessed by the activities of the group.
Close with a word of prayer. You may have students take turns praying, if they are willing, or see if one student leader would be open to praying. Pray for those who were blessed by the servant event, and pray that it would not be a one-time circumstance but lead to many opportunities to love and reach out to others.