Tigers Christian Club -- Lesson for Wednesday, January 23, 2018
Adapted from “Not Having to be First All the Time” from Kids Honor Club from Biblical Parenting
Song: A mom's suggestion based on Mark 10:43-45:
“Whoever wants to become GREAT among you must be your servant,
And whoever wants to be FIRST must be slave of all.
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.”
Intro and follow-up questions: We’ve been talking about what honor means and how we can show honor to our families. Honor means treating people as special. It also means doing more than what’s expected and having a good attitude.
Today we are going to talk about selfishness and how we can honor others by looking for ways to serve them.
What is selfishness? Putting your needs and wants ahead of others.
Demo: I want to demonstrate this with a bow and arrow. Has anyone played with an archery set before? You can see I have a bow and an arrow, and there’s a target taped up over there. What should I try to do with these things? Hit the target with the arrow? Like this? (Attempt to shoot the arrow without pulling back on the string.) Wait, what happened? What should I do instead? Oh! I need to pull back on the arrow and string in order to make the arrow fly! (Try again, pulling back on the bow string to shoot the arrow.)
I want to suggest that pulling back on the arrow and string is like holding yourself back when you feel like doing something selfish. And what happens? When we put others ahead of ourselves, it builds character that allows us to handle more responsibility in the future. Jesus taught this -- that in putting others first, we will go farther in life. When we hold ourselves back (demonstrate again with the arrow), we will go farther.
Story/Skit: Who will help me act out this story? (Need a mom, two sons, Jesus)
From Matthew 20:20-28: One day a mom brought her two sons to Jesus. Her sons were both grown-up men. She had a request. She asked that Jesus give her sons the best seats when he started his kingdom. She wanted one son to sit at Jesus’s left and the other to sit at Jesus’s right. I think she wanted her sons to help Jesus rule his kingdom.
“What’s your favorite seat in the car? Do you have one at the table? Or on the couch? It seems like a lot of people fight to get the best seat or toy. Others fight because they want to be first. They want to be first to receive a cookie or first to be picked in a game, or first to choose an activity. Why do you think people tend to want to be first? It’s usually because of selfishness.
“How would you answer someone who came to you and wanted the best seat? Would you give it to him? Why or why not? What happens to a child who always gets what he wants?” That child might only think about what he wants and never learn to think about what others need. He might never learn how to take care of other people.
Now, do you think Jesus liked having the sons next to him? Yes! He loved it when people came to him. He wanted to spend time with them. He wanted to laugh with them. He wanted to help them. And he also wanted to teach them.
So when the mom and her sons came to Jesus, he could seek their hearts and he “knew that the request for the best seat came from selfishness.” He didn’t think that was good!
“Jesus knew that being the best means having more responsibility. The person in charge, or the person who gets the most now has a greater ability to help others. Jesus knew that if these guys got the best seat without having the character to go with that responsibility, they would end up hurting others instead of helping them.
“So, Jesus taught this family a very important lesson about life. He told them, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” That was an important lesson for the entire family to learn. What does it mean to be a servant? If two people both want to play on the same swing at the park, how does a servant handle it? If they both want to go down the slide and they run fast to get to the ladder, how does a servant respond?
“Does anything good happen to the person who lets someone else have the best seat or the first turn? Sometimes the only benefit is knowing in your heart that you know you did the right thing. But other times, people notice. And sometimes, people might even praise you for doing the right thing. Our Bible verse for today tells us what Jesus says about this:
Bible verse: Mark 9:35 says, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Can you say that with me?
Skits: How do people serve each other around you to make things work? Can you think of people at school who work to make the school run smoothly? Maybe you thought of the principal, teachers, cook, cafeteria workers, crossing guards, janitors. What would happen without those people? “Each of those people does a valuable thing for the school. They all make it run smoothly. The same thing is true in a family. When each person adds to family life, then things go much better.”
Or how about this example? My daughter and I are reading the same book about an astronaut who spent an entire year in space on the International Space Station. Actually, my daughter is already done with the book and I am almost finished with it. The astronaut’s name is Scott Kelly, and he went to space a few times before spending a year on the space station. But -- he never went alone. He always went with a crew of astronauts, and he takes the time in his book to describe how each person he flew with contributed in some way to the teamwork needed to make the missions work well. The astronauts listened to each other. They shared their food and supplies. They were from different countries and spoke different languages, so they learned other languages so they could understand each other. They helped each other with science experiments and repairing equipment on the space station.
When we work together as a team we go farther -- and what’s farther than a rocket going to outer space?
Now, some of you might want to train as astronauts some day, and here are some ways you can learn to serve each other right now in your own homes (from Say Goodbye to Whining by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, pages 126-128):
Today we’ve talked about how selfishness can make us want to be first or have the best of something. And we’ve learned that Jesus wants us to learn to be servants first. Putting others first is a way to honor others.
And when we do that we will find that putting others first does even more than honor others.
Remember when we pulled back on that arrow and string? That’s like holding yourself back when you feel like doing something selfish. And what happens? When we put others ahead of ourselves, it builds character that allows us to handle more responsibility in the future. Jesus taught this -- that in putting others first, we will go farther in life. When we hold ourselves back (demonstrate again with the arrow), we will go farther.
Prayer: Dear God, Teach us to serve others. Help us be willing to make others feel good instead of just wanting the biggest or best for ourselves. Teach us how to show honor to others. Amen.
Decorate An Encouragement Arrow Picture Frame: I have picture frames featuring our theme for today. Like arrows that need to be pulled back before they can soar, so too can we act as servants towards one another, putting others first. Doing so produces perseverance which builds character and, in turn, creates hope. Use the feathers, glue and stickers to decorate your picture frame, and take home a reminder of this important message!
Image of picture frame insert:
Parting on the rug: One way we can serve each other is with our words. We can say kind things to each other. Pass out Valentine’s Day heart candies with words of encouragements as suggested phrases of how to encourage one another.