Jesus showed by example how to serve, but he also preached how to serve. In part 7 of the “Servanthood for Kids Series,” the Sermon on the Mount is again discussed to point out additional verses about service. Jesus knew that part of his leadership role as a servant required teaching others how to serve. In this lesson, kids will see how their words and actions must work together to be a true servant of God.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Servanthood for Kids: The Life of Jesus
OBJECTIVE: To identify verses in the Sermon on the Mount that tell us how to be Christ-like servants.
MAIN IDEA: A true Christian servant will put others’ needs first, trust God, and treat others with respect, love, and kindness.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Matthew 5:22 & 40-44, Matthew 6:19-21, 24, & 25-26, Matthew 7:1-5, 12, & 24-27
MATERIAL(S): Writing utensils, index cards
Introduction (10 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, we want our lives to be known for serving you and serving others. Give us the wisdom we need to learn and act on the truths found in the Sermon on the Mount. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Pass out the half-sheet handout “The Beatitudes – Review” (see attachment) to remind the students of last week’s lesson. Consider discussing the first question as a class to get them started. Upon completion say, “Remember that God promises us blessings when we are obedient to his word. When our motives are right, God will reward us for serving him and others.”
Lesson (20 minutes)
Transition into the lesson by telling students that the Sermon on the Mount is very long, but one of the main points is how to be a true, servant-like follower of Jesus. Say, “We are going to focus on some verses that teach us how to be better servants.” Make index cards with verses ahead of time to pass out for each person to read:
Matthew 5:22 – Being angry with someone is like wanting to murder them in your heart.
5:40-44 – Give to others, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 6:1 – Don’t practice servanthood to receive praise and attention from others.
6:19-21 – Store up treasures in heaven such as wisdom, love, righteousness, and service.
6:24 – You can’t serve God and money.
6:25-26 – Don’t worry!
Matthew 7:1-5 – Don’t have a spirit of criticism (e.g. hypocrisy within accountability).
7:12 – Treat others the way you want to be treated.
7:24-27 – We have a solid foundation if we follow Christ’s teachings.
Matching Game (10 minutes)
Create an additional set of cards with the summaries of each scripture (from the lesson). Ask students to match their scripture cards with the correct summary either from memory or by reading the verses again. Read the matches out loud to the class and make sure they are correct. Comment, “Doing these things can be hard because we live in a world of sin. However, when we submit ourselves to Christ and ask him for help it becomes easier because his desires become our desires. So, do we have the desire to trust him and be obedient?”
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Being kind, generous, loving, humble, and trusting in God helps us be Christ-like servants. When we put our selfish desires aside we will truly be able to show the world how a relationship with Jesus matters more than anything else.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, help us keep our eyes on you and our desires on your will. Give us opportunities to serve you this week and tell others about Jesus. Amen.”
Servanthood Lessons in the Life of Jesus
This lesson is part of a 10 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that follows the life of Jesus and explains how he was a model of serving others.