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An Heroic Ministry
Verse of the day
YWI - working with...
YWI is pleased to work in association with
Fuller Youth Institute, US
Sophia Network, UK
Before You Start:
Meeting Aim: To understand more about the humble nature of Jesus and how we too should strive for humility in our everyday lives.
Background Information: Find some quotes and have a song(s) on humility ready – see suggestions in relevant sections. Find the ‘Rag Man’ story by Walter Wangerin in, ‘Ragman – Reissue and Other Cries of Faith’ (available from Amazon.com or the short story is on various Internet sites). Get some simple jigsaws (1 per person) and the Disney film Cars. An optional extra is, Bedazzled (the version with Liz Hurley in) Twentieth Century Fox; 2000.
Reflecting on Humility (10 mins)
Display various quotes around the room (written or printed onto paper) about humility. These can be famous quotes (see: www.brainyquote.com and type in the search field: humility) or sections of songs. In the background play a song such as: ‘Humble King’ by Brenton Brown on the Vineyard album: Hungry. As the young people enter the room encourage them to spend some time reflecting on the quotes. You may also like to display some images / artwork that pick up on this theme (use an image Internet search engine).
Focusing on the humble nature of Jesus (15 mins)
Continue the reflective atmosphere by reading out the ‘The Rag Man’.
Provide the group with craft materials and spend some time in response to the issues raised making an individual or group collage about the humility of Jesus and the humility He requires from us.
Jigsaw pride? (10 mins)
Give every young person a jigsaw (simple ones – no more than 20 pieces); tell them to complete their jigsaw. The rules are: they cannot speak or communicate in any way and mustn't touch others’ jigsaws! The catch is that you have previously placed a few pieces from everyone's jigsaws into other jigsaws. As they cannot speak or touch they cannot ask or take their pieces. The only way to complete their jigsaw is if others give pieces to them. See how long it takes people to realise that by giving the pieces in their jigsaw away they have more chance of theirs being completed!
KEY POINT: In the same way, by putting others first we become more complete as humans and Christians.
Humble cars! (20 mins)
Play the final race from Cars. Towards the end of the race we see Lightening McQueen forfeit his chance to win in order to help a team mate who gets knocked off the track. The scene begins 1:32:25 into the film and finishes 1:46:15 (you can play a shortened version of just the part described).
Use this clip to discuss the following:
§ What lessons do you think McQueen learnt?
§ The Dinoco sponsor says: ‘There's a lot more to racing than winning.’ When applied to the Christian faith what do you think this means?
§ Share examples of when you have put others first. How did you feel?
§ Share examples of when you have let pride get the better of you. How did this feel?
§ The victorious car got little applause for winning - why was this? Do you know proud, self-centred people? Do you admire them?
§ Who do you admire and why?
§ What would you like to be admired for? Do you think people admire you for this? What can you do to put others first?
§ What things as a group can we do to put others first?
§ Spend some time making a plan of action on how corporately and individually we can be like McQueen. Pray about these ideas and commit to making them happen!
Bible study (10-15 mins)
Read Philippians 2:1-11 (consider also reading out the version from Eugene Peterson's The Message). Get the young people into small groups to look up all, or some, of the following verses: Proverbs 3:34, 11:2, 15:33, 18:12, 22:4, James 4:10, Psalm 18:27, 25:9, 149:4, Ephesians 4:2.
Encourage them to discuss the themes and lessons that can be learnt about humility. They may like to brainstorm their ideas or put the themes into words through a poem or song and then share these with the other groups.
KEY POINT: Jesus sees what is done in secret, that is the only recognition we need – it is Him we serve.
Discussion (20 mins)
Pick up on the ‘Rag Man’ story:
§ How did it make you feel?
§ How does it link in with today's Bible passage?
§ Do you think the Rag Man did these things in front of an audience? Do you think he wanted recognition? What do you think he got out of doing these things?
§ What can we gain from putting others first?
§ What might putting others first in your school and family look like?
§ How do you think people would react? Today's society mostly considers putting ‘me’ as ‘number 1’: selflessness is not admired. How might our self-centred and selfish world be challenged?
§ What might putting others first in church look like?
§ Who does things for you selflessly without recognition? Consider acknowledging these things and people.
KEY POINT: If we put others first to get recognition then this isn't true humility. Recognition isn't a bad thing but shouldn't be our motive. Our motive should be our love for God and obedience to his commands (Matthew 22: 37-40).
Response (10 mins)
Each decide to do something for someone in secret that will require humility and write this down on a piece of paper – put them into individual envelopes and write names on the front. Ask for God's help with these things. (Hand them back in two weeks time – remember they are between God and each person, so the contents should not be discussed. However, people might like to share how it felt to put others first and what they learnt from it).
Play a song about Jesus' servant nature such as: ‘Servant King’ (Graham Kendrick, 1983) to close.
Notes for adapting:
For younger groups: Hand out ‘tuck’ to everyone and personally pay for the items. Relate this to John 13 where Jesus washes his disciples feet.
For older groups: If you feel your group are too old for Cars, play a short clip from Bedazzled: starting 1:13:35 and ending 1:22:15 (chapters 19-21) – here we see Elliott faced with the choice of making his 7th and final wish in exchange for his soul (which he has sold to the devil). Elliott has so far wished for various things (good looks, wealth, status etc.) but has been unhappier with these things than without. He does not want to use his last wish but is faced with the clause in his contract that states he must use all 7 wishes! He wishes for happiness for the girl he loves and to his delight this “selfless act” makes his contract with the devil void. He realises that true happiness comes not from what we have, but who we have-doing things to make them happy makes us happy.
For unchurched young people: Look at times in scripture where Jesus acts humbly (e.g. John 13).
For churched young people: Get them to do something to serve the church (e.g. hoover or serve teas/coffees).
Suzi Stock is a JNC qualified youth worker, a freelance writer, tutor to trainee youth workers and a registered Childminder.