The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. MATTHEW 23:11-12
Supplies: You’ll need a Bible, index cards, and pencils.
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Give each child index cards and a pencil. Say: Today we’re going to talk about what makes a person popular or important. Think about the important and popular kids at your school. Then write down ten characteristics that make people important or popular at school. Write one characteristic on each card. After you’ve written your characteristics, put the cards in order from most important to least important.
Give the children a few minutes to write and prioritize the cards. Then have the children get with a partner and compare their lists. After a few minutes, ask:
ˆ In what ways were your lists similar? Different?
ˆ In general, how would you describe a popular or important person in your school?
Say: Let’s read what the Bible has to say about being important. Read Matthew 23:11-12. Then have the children slowly recite it with you. Pause after each sentence or phrase, and emphasize the words greatest, exalts, humbled, humbles, and exalted. Ask:
ˆ What do you think this verse means?
ˆ How would you define the word exalt?
Say: Let’s make new lists. Think about what would make a person important and popular with God. Turn your cards over, and write down ten characteristics and then put them in order from most important to least important.
Distribute more index cards and give the children a few minutes to write down characteristics on the cards and prioritize them. Get their attention several times during the activity, and have the entire group recite the verse. After the children have worked for a few minutes, have them get with the same partner as before and compare their lists. After a few minutes, ask:
ˆ How would you describe a person who’s important in God’s eyes?
ˆ How is this person similar to or different from the person who’s important at school?
ˆ Why do you think God’s idea of an important person is so different from the world’s idea of an important person?
ˆ What can you do to be the kind of person God is pleased with?
End this activity by saying the verse together one more time. Then pray and ask God to help you be the kind of people who please God.