As a teenager I was pretty much consumed with myself. I was focused on what I wanted and the problems I faced. The concept of serving others was far from my heart and mind.
I’m thinking the students in your ministry might relate to that.
In fact, in this quick video I share a story involving myself, a truck (uuhhh…yes I’ve got issues), and humility.
It’s easy for students to get wrapped up in themselves (isn’t that true for us all).
Jesus teaches us a different way to live. He teaches us to be humble, which means we take the focus off ourselves and put it on others. Humility means we serve others.
Use this free lesson help students be humble like Jesus.
Youth Group Lesson on Humility
Bottom Line: As human beings it’s natural to focus on yourself – what you want and the problems you face. Jesus teaches us a different way to live. He teaches us to be humble, which means we focus on serving others rather than being consumed with ourselves.
Bible: “and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25 (NLT)
Space Requirements: Just enough room upfront for two teams of two.
How to Play Opening Game
This is a timed trivia game. You will need four volunteers that will become two teams of two. In each team, you will have the clue giver and the person who tries to answer.
The clue giver will be given a set of “phrases” that they must get their teammate to guess. They may not say any word in this phrase while giving the clues.
If they use a word in the phrase, that phrase must be skipped and may not be counted in their final total.
Each team will have 30 seconds to correctly guess as many of their phrases as they can.
Either person on the team may pass at any time, and if time allows at the end, they may come back to that question.
If both teams complete all of their phrases, the team to do it in the shortest amount of time, wins.
Phrases to use for Opening Game (feel free to add or create your own):
PHRASES USING THE WORD HUMBLE
In my humble opinion
HUMBLE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY
WORDS THAT RHYME WITH HUMBLE
PLACES TO VISIT IN HUMBLE, TEXAS
George W. Bush Airport
Botanical Gardens (can accept gardens)
RECENTLY VOTED MOST HUMBLE CELEBRITIES
Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)
MOVIE TITLES WITH HUMBLE (OR HUMILITY) IN IT
Humble the Poet
The Humble Bee
Though some of the categories were intentionally corny, maybe the others (especially the first two) had you examine how the word “humble” has been associated with popular phrases and famous people.
What does it mean to be served “humble” pie? What was it about Abraham Lincoln that gave him the reputation of a very humble man?
Remember some of the questions as we continue to dive into the topic of humility.
As a human being it’s natural to mostly think about the things you want and need. It’s easy to get consumed with the problems you face in life and the things you don’t like about life at the moment.
You need a new iPhone, you want to be the star player on the basketball team, you need to get an A in Math this year, you really don’t like your brother, your coach yells too much, the list goes on.
When you focus mostly on yourself – what you want/need, the problems you face – you become self-absorbed.
This doesn’t happen consciously, it’s simply a natural result of focusing on ourselves.
Jesus teaches us a different way to live.
He calls it humility.
The world around us has a much different perspective on this topic.
Professional athletes, actors, singers, and politicians thrive on big egos. We flaunt our status with tech devices and clothing. Heck, social media basically exists to show off to the world (controversial, maybe, but true).
Because of this, humility is often greatly misunderstood. At best, a humble person is seen as someone who is quiet, hiding in the background while avoiding attention.
At worst, humility can been seen as a weakness. Even one of my most trusted resources gets it wrong!
Humble: adjective… dictionary.com
- not proud or arrogant; modest:
So far, so good. Humility is the act of not acting proud or arrogant.
- having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.:
- low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly:
What the what?!
Do you see how the English language has warped the word “humble” to the point that it can be associated with inferiority or low status? Does this mean that humility is only for the weak? No!
- So, what is true humility, and is it really all that important?
The Humble Servant
Before coming to earth, Jesus resided in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
He was and always will be King over all of the universe.
He created everything. He is the most awesome (in the truest definition of the word) Ruler.
So, one would expect Him to come to earth and correct everything we did to mess things up by acting like the all-powerful King that He is right?
When Jesus came to earth, He chose to be born in a barn (or cave).
He was born the child of a simple family living in an oppressed country.
He was born a Jew, a lowly race of people living under the thumb of the mighty Roman Empire. He never became an earthly king.
In fact, He lived out His adult ministry as an iterate (i.e. homeless) preacher and teacher.
In short, He was humble in every sense of the word.
He didn’t stop there.
The moment that He started that would later be called Christianity was founded on this very principle.
Humility was at the very core of what it meant to be His follower back then, and it still is today.
Look at what He said to His followers about humility and “status”.
“and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25 (NLT)
Whoever wants to be first (the most important, the most popular, the greatest, etc.) must become a slave.
Is there any people group more lowly, more unimportant than slaves?
In our modern world, slavery is considered evil, but throughout the vast majority of human history it was a common practice.
Slaves were hardly viewed as human.
They were property, not unlike oxen or work horses.
What is Jesus saying?
Is He saying that humility requires this worthlessness of us? No.
To stop there would allow the message to get lost in translation.
Let’s look at the second half.
Even the Son of Man (Jesus) came to serve, not to be served.
Was Jesus worthless? Was He just a slave? No!
Jesus never stopped being the Ruler of all the universe. He never stopped being King.
So what is He saying? Jesus did not come to be treated like an idol, a revered hero that sits around letting people serve Him.
He came as a servant, Someone so humble that He put other people’s needs before His own.
He came to give His life so that others could live.
That is true humility. He knew that He was the King.
He knew that He was and is our Lord. Still, He came to serve.
Jesus is who we are supposed to emulate. After all, the word Christian means “Little Christ” or “Jesus wannabe”.
He washed His disciples’ feet. He gave up comfort for hardship so that we could have eternal life.
He tended to the needs of others long after He had reached the point of exhaustion. He was both King and Servant.
To be like Christ, we must do the same.
We will never be King, but we are God’s hands and feet on earth.
Humility is not thinking of yourself most of the time.
It means we think of what other people around us need and want.
The ultimate goal is to put other people’s needs and wants above our own, but that may seem like a big jump at the moment.
For now, stop wasting so much time and energy on what you want and need. Stop dwelling so much on the problems you face or what you don’t like about your life right now.
Open your eyes to those around you. Your parents, siblings, friends, and community.
What problems do they face?
What small or big things can you do to help them with their problems?
How can you serve them? What can you do to bring them a little happiness and joy today?
Jesus told us to wash each other’s feet just like He washed ours.
Jesus did it for us. Now, He asks us to pay it forward.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Before today’s message, what is the first thing that came to mind when you thought of the word humility?
Take a moment to think about a person in your life that strikes you as very humble. What makes them seem humble to you?
A common phrase in Jesus’ ministry was “the first will be last, and the last will be first.” What do you think He meant?
Who can you serve this week? What can you do to serve them?
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