Summary: In Christ, as opposed to the world, the servant is greatest of all. Yet in most churches, it is the least of all gifts utilized.

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  Study Tools


Scripture Base:

Matthew 20:26-28; 22:39b; john 15: 12-13; Philippians 2: 1-11

The Point:

In Christ, as opposed to the world, the servant is greatest of all.

Stuff You’ll Need:

TV and VCR, the movie Sister Act (Touchstone Pictures), nails, tape


Before the session, write the Commitment Cores questions on a chalkboard or a sheet of newsprint.


Have students pair up using the colored dots. They will remain paired up throughout the whole lesson.


In our world, to most people, what makes someone truly great?

Who is the greatest person now living (aside from Jesus)?

Have pairs discuss these questions for three minutes.

When time is up, have students share some of their responses.

What makes someone great to God?

Have pairs discuss this for about two minutes.

Jesus called the disciples together and said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Jesus said this, so it’s true, but it’s so difficult to see how being a servant will lead to greatness of any kind, isn’t it?

In our world being proud, loud, ambitious, goal-driven, self-made, self-centered, highly motivated, powerful, and wealthy are the ways to greatness.

Good news-God knows all about this struggle and will help us meet the challenge. Let’s look at servanthood today and what it takes to be a servant from the heart.

The Message

Key Point # I: The servant’s heart

Let’s take a little quiz to see how we rank as servants.

Servant ’Tude?

After hearing each of the following statements, either extend a hand, which means, “That’s me!” or fold your arms across your chest, which means, “Nope! That’s not me!”

Others compliment me on my servant attitudes or actions.

I use my gifts and skills to serve my church.

I use my gifts and skills to serve my family.

Other people feel they can count on me when they need help.

I make it a habit to help those in distress.

When I see needy people or the homeless, it gets to me.

The needs of others are at least as important as my own.

I sometimes feel sad and ask, "God, why do you allow people to suffer?"

Others compliment me on my sensitivity and love.

I typically help people, even when it costs me time, cancels my plans, risks embarrassment, costs money, or even when their appearance repulses me.

Friends say I am someone they can talk to about anything and that I’m always there when they need me.

Have students turn to a partner and discuss the following questions. After a minute or two, have volunteers share their responses.

What did this test tell you about yourself?

How will you respond to what you learned?

Read Philippians 2: 1-2

In this passage God shows us two ways to live the life of the servant, as opposed to living a selfish life. First, we must consider others better than ourselves (verse 3). Second, we must look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others (verse 4). We must stay alert to the needs of others and how to meet their needs.

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