Lesson Overview: Laying your life down for others is a core value in Christianity. Jesus laid His life down for us, so in response, we lay our lives down in service to others. This Youth Group Lesson unpacks what it means to truly serve others in humility.

Bible: Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 25:31-45; Romans 12:11

Bottom Line: We serve God by serving others.

Capture: Grab their attention with an illustration.

  • Illustration/Story: Have you ever read the paraphrased version of a book? Maybe you had a test on a book at school and you forgot to read it, so the night before you read the cliff notes and hoped it would get you by.
  • Share a story about a time you crammed the cliff notes version of a book. How did that work out for you? Keep it lighthearted and fun!
  • Not always, but sometimes the cliff notes can you there. You may not walk away knowing every detail of the book, but you understand the main ideas.

Connect: Connect them to God’s word.

  • Tension Question: Did you know that there was a moment in Scripture where Jesus gave the cliff notes of the entire Old Testament? It’s true! Tonight, we’re going to look at what Jesus himself said the main ideas of the Scriptures are and how to apply them to our lives.
  • Scripture: Matthew 22:36-40 — Jesus tells everyone in this scripture that the two main ideas of the entire Old Testament were these: love God and love people. He wanted us to know that it really is that simple. The entire point of our lives is to do these two things!
  • Tonight we’re going to unpack what it really means to love others.

Consider: What does this mean for us today?

  • Scripture: Matthew 25:31-45 — Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here! But the main idea is this: how we treat the least of these is how we treat God! That means, God takes how we treat others very seriously.
  • As followers of Jesus, we are commanded to live a life in service to others. This may not sound fun, but let’s give a little bit of context.
  • Jesus was the Son of God who came to earth and in humility, took on humanity. He was God, and yet He served people. What King serves His subjects? Jesus did.
  • We serve others out of the awareness that God humbled Himself to serve us. 
  • When we serve others, they see God’s love in us. Not only that, but God says that how we treat others reveals the value we have for Him. 
  • Bottom Line: We serve God by serving others.

Collide: How do we apply this in our lives?

  • Scripture: Romans 12:11— We keep our passion levels high! God’s word tells us to never lack zeal in serving the Lord — that means we should never lack zeal in serving others as well!
  • God loves people! He is zealous and passionate about us! If God is zealous and passionate about us, and He was willing to serve us, then it’s up to us to keep our passion levels high in serving Him and those He loves.
  • Story: Share about the things that keep you fired up to keep serving God and others.
  • Application: Think of someone in your life that you can go out of your way to serve this week.

Call: How do we respond to the message?

  • Altar moment: Tonight, ask God to highlight someone in your life that you can go out of your way to serve. When you serve and love that person, you are serving and loving God. Ask Him to renew His passion for people in your heart and help you to see and love others the way He does.
  • Small Group Questions:
  1. Have you ever read the cliff notes version of a book and took a test? How did that go?
  2. What do you think it looks like to serve the people in your life?
  3. Why do you think God takes serving others so seriously?
  4. Who is someone that you can go out of your way to serve in your life this week?
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