Thanks for joining us again as we do Children’s Worship from home!
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Who’s the Greatest?
(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)
I’m encouraged to judge, vote on or rank pretty much everything I see— performances, people, news stories, you name it! And I’m expected to rank them by our culture’s values: success, education, wealth and beauty. Those standards can easily affect my estimate of who’s worthy—even in God’s kingdom!
But here is the good news: When Jesus came, He replaced these commonly accepted values with just one new kingdom value—servanthood. Being the servant of all requires no success, no education, no wealth and no beauty—any of Jesus’ followers can be the greatest, even me!
When I include and value each person—building that person up by my words and acceptance—I show the world Jesus’ radically opposite value system. When I serve others, forgetting myself completely instead of wondering who’ll notice my servanthood, I can be great in Jesus’ eyes!
Activity One: Read the intro. Watch the video of the story.
Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts. Prayer.
Activity Three: Respond to the story by doing the activity.
Activity Four: Bless your children
Activity 1: STORY
Introduction to read to the children: This story is in two parts. The first part is explained below. The second part is watching the video.
Before class, tape a sheet of butcher paper to table top. Draw a simple path and several trees alongside the path. As you tell the story, follow the directions to use Lego figures or action figures to demonstrate the Bible story actions.
Jesus and His friends had been walking back to Capernaum, which seemed to be their favorite place to stay. (Place several figures to represent Jesus and His disciples walking along the path.) But as they walked, Jesus overheard something: Some of His friends were arguing, probably in low voices to keep Jesus from hearing!
Soon they arrived at the house where they were going and took off their coats. (Put figures at the end of the path with the disciples facing Jesus.) Jesus asked His disciples, “What were you all arguing about on the road?” Perhaps Jesus’ friends had thought they had kept Jesus from hearing them argue. But He had heard them!
The disciples must have felt pretty uncomfortable. They probably wondered, _How can we tell Jesus that we were arguing about which of us is going to be the GREATEST in His kingdom? _ Even though there were things about Jesus and His kingdom that the disciples didn’t understand, they certainly DID understand that their arguing showed how selfish they all were! The things they’d been saying to each other were NOT going to please Jesus!
Jesus sat down. He knew what the disciples had argued about. And He knew that they were confused about the very DIFFERENT kingdom Jesus had come to bring to Earth! Jesus leaned in to talk with His dearest friends. It was time to set them straight! Jesus looked at His disciples. “If you want to be first,” He told them, “you need to become a servant to all.”
What do you think the disciples thought about being servants? Could Jesus be joking? Nobody listens to servants! they probably thought. Jesus’ disciples wanted to be LEADERS. They didn’t want to be SERVANTS! This wasn’t at ALL the kind of kingdom Jesus’ friends were looking for! Why is Jesus saying these things?!
Jesus knew the disciples didn’t understand what He had said, so He called to a little child, “Come here.” He stood the little child in the middle of the room where everyone could see. (Add a figure to represent the child.) Then Jesus held the child and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me.” Jesus meant that children are so important that they should be welcomed just as Jesus would be welcomed
No matter who we are, we all have value in God’s eyes.
Jesus may have realized that the disciples still didn’t understand what being the greatest or the most important means. So on another day not long after this, Jesus helped His friends learn more about who is important and who isn’t.
Conclusion to read to the children:
Jesus taught His friends that EVERY person is important to God. Because God values us and loves us, He wants us to show other people the same kind of love. Read 1 John 4:11 aloud. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Instead of worrying about who is the best, we can serve others with no worries—and be the greatest in God’s kingdom!
Activity 2: DISCUSSION
- What were Jesus’ friends arguing about? (Who was going to be the greatest.) What did Jesus tell them? (To be the greatest, serve others.)
- What did Jesus do when His friends chased the kids away? (Invited the kids to come to Him. Said God’s kingdom is for them!)
- What did Jesus’ friends learn? (Jesus loves children. God values every person.)
- What are some reasons we know to value other people? (God loves them. God made them. God wants them to be part of His family.)
- What are some ways we can show that we value others? (Listen when they talk, even if we disagree. Treat others fairly. Be friendly to kids who might be lonely.
- Let’s pray now and ask God to show us how to value and love others.
Encourage children to pray for God to help them with something they need this week in their own words. Then, transition into a time of prayer for personal requests.
Activity #1 Print and color
Activity #2 Print and color
Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING
Sometimes we all want to be first or to be the best at something. Jesus’ words help us understand that being first doesn’t mean we’re greater or more important than others. In God’s eyes, because He loves us all, we are all valuable to Him. And because God values and loves all of us, He wants us to value others by treating them in loving ways.
This week remember that God values you and values others.
(______________), may you look for ways that God can use you to treat someone in a loving way.