Servanthood for Kids – The Life of Jesus
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Christians often talk about serving others, but this concept is rarely explained in depth to children. The Bible is rich with examples of servanthood, but none greater than Jesus himself. This lesson plan will introduce the meaning of service, specifically in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Online access to the ten part series, leader notes and links to relevant internal resources:
Children aged 10 – 12 years old (although appropriate for ages close either side of this range too). Small groups. Beginning, Growing.
Good. Material is online and can be viewed as a pdf or printed as a hardcopy if preferred. Links to downloadable resources are easy to locate and various subheadings and headings guide the leader with ease through the different sections of each lesson.
Each lesson starts off with outlining the ‘objective’. The objective states for the leader what they should be helping the participants to learn. There is also a ‘main idea’ listed at the beginning of the lessons; the purpose of this is to explain the Biblical basis on which the objective has been formed.
The leader notes are extremely accessible. They clearly outline the order of running the session, as well as all the content. The language is easy to understand and concise. It includes instructions for the leader to know what to say and comment on so they can feel confident they will run a good session if they follow the script, but they can also deviate if more confident in their teaching.
Adults passionate about bringing children to Jesus. Experienced children’s leaders may choose to include their own content too.
Participant resources are minimal and primarily in the form of activity sheets which need to be downloaded and printed. These are relevant for the topics covered and more suitable for older children as they contain puzzles and writing definitions. Some lessons include verbal quizzes, index card activities and crafts (such as hand printing and decorating pencil cases) which are more accessible for the younger age bracket.
Preparation should be relatively minimal as the session notes include all points for discussion as well as question and answer prompts so leaders don’t necessarily have to think of their own material during the teaching parts. Materials need to be collected where there is a craft to do (in some sessions), and leaders need to print activity pages and ensure they are familiar with the content. Preparation should not exceed an hour for any given session, although more time may be needed if materials need to be bought. Very easy sessions to run.
This series is available online, with links to any other resources included in the session outlines. By subscription to the site, leaders may find other materials to use elsewhere if interested in doing so too.
Children interact with the leader most of the time by answering questions and participating in the teaching time. This includes completing quizzes too, either as a recap or as a learning method. Children interact with one another when answering activity sheets and during ice breaker activities.
Learning is mostly through finding answers in the Bible to questions the leader asks; the leader then explains the significance of the answer the children have found. Children apply learning to activity sheets and crafts, as well as to their views on why we should serve others.
This series is appropriate for Sunday school, after school clubs or small groups as each session is designed to run for approximately 45 minutes. The content is suitable for children aged 10-12, but it can be adapted for a few years above and below this range depending on the context. This 10-part series is best run in chronological order, but can be run as one-off sessions if desired (however the leader would need to give some context and miss out the recap). This series is well suited to areas with smaller space as the activities tend to be quite easy to prepare and not too messy. A good series to do if wanting to look at the topic of serving others and Jesus’ example of how to do it well. The materials are inexpensive and the directions are comprehensive while leaving the leader room to add in their own thoughts if they want to. If leaders want to deviate from the material and do different activities or crafts, there is only one option in each lesson so external sources would be required.
Children are encouraged to apply the material by completion of work sheets and by putting what they learn about service in to action. For example, one session has an activity to write a birthday card for a child in the community or an orphan who might appreciate a birthday card too.
Sessions are designed to run for 45 minutes, with 15 - 20 minutes of this time being spent as Bible teaching.
Biblical material is presented mostly by the leader asking a question, the children finding the answer in the Bible, and then the leader explaining the significance of the answer. Leaders are also prompted to ask questions for the children to answer, then once they have answered, to ask the children what they think the relevance of the passage is. This helps children to apply the passages to their lives today.
By learning about the servanthood of Jesus during his time on earth, children are inspired to help others as they learn the importance of being selfless over selfish. There are some activities within the material which then empower children to serve others in their own communities.
There is no specific theological perspective or denominational liturgy.
As this series is on servanthood, children are inspired to incorporate serving others in their daily lives through the example set by Jesus. They are also taught about the blessings which can come by serving others, even in hardship, through The Sermon on the Mount.
Children grow in faith by learning about the importance of serving others. They learn that they can trust God to bless their good works, and they learn the importance of humility through the example set by Jesus. Children are given the freedom to think about whether they agree with what they learn, and if they do agree, they are empowered to think about how they can act on it.
This series maps out in chronological order the biggest events in Jesus’ life, and by doing so, reveals to children God’s purpose for sending him. Children can choose whether to respond as the disciples did, or not, and are taught about how servanthood helps to achieve God’s purpose for humanity today. The children are asked lots of open-ended questions throughout the sessions too, allowing them to think outside the box.
This resource delves in to the real life issues caused by selfishness and not serving God. It then explains how serving others can help us too and empowers children to be active in their approaches to children less fortunate than themselves.
Personal evangelism is indirectly encouraged by teaching children the benefit of acting like Jesus in their communities.
Community involvement is key to this resource as children are focusing on servanthood throughout, and the importance of serving others. They complete activities on various ways to serve others and take part in ‘service projects’ along the way too. These benefit others around them and get children started in thinking about how to actively help those who may need it.
Not a direct focus of this series, but there is some mention of problems children in other countries may face and how we can be servants to them.
Not a direct focus of this series, although there is some mention of the importance of helping those not just in our own communities.
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