AGE APPROPRIATE: ELEMENTARY (7-11yr olds)
BIG IDEA: SERVING OTHERS
AIM: The ‘Ruth to the Rescue’ Sunday school lesson (Ruth 2) aims to teach children the importance of serving others and how they can serve others at home or in their community.
1. ‘Help Me Be’ by Doug Horley
2. ‘Gonna Serve’ by Yancy
3. ‘All of Me’ by Yancy
1. Waiter Waiter. Players get into teams. They get given a tray with paper plates and cups on it. Each member must go through an obstacle course with their tray and plates/cups in place. The first team to have everyone on their team complete the obstacle course is the winning team.
2. Cups and Plate Game. Have players take turns to stack cups and plates on top of one another – one cup – one plate – one cup – one plate – until the music stops or the time is up. If it falls beforehand they must start all over again. The team/player with the biggest tower is the winner.
3. Memory Tray. Put items on a tray and have children memorize what is on the tray. Then hide the tray under a sheet and take an item away. Unveil the tray and ask children to work out what is missing from the tray.
1) Napkin crafts: candy bowls (for older children and better for small groups).
2) Napkin Rings: using felt, beads and string or colored card to create your napkin rings.
BIG VERSE: Serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
SET the Scene:
Read through Ruth 2 with your group. Act it out if you have the time.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) OBJECT LESSON: THE “SERVE ME” ATTITUDE
You will need a napkin for this object lesson.
Ruth went straight to work when she got to Bethlehem. She wasn’t paid to work. Instead there was a law that said that poor people could take some of the grain that was left on the floor from the fields – if the land owner said it was okay. Ruth didn’t wait for Naomi to tell her to go out into the fields. She wanted to help Naomi by gathering food that they could eat or sell. Ruth worked hard because she loved Naomi and wanted to serve her. There are two ways we can treat others and God. The first is like this (put the napkin under your chin and act obnoxiously). “Give me a cheeseburger!” “I’ll have that coke you’re drinking” “oh and get me the fries.” “Where’s my bill?” This attitude is the “SERVE ME” attitude. We can be like this with God too – “God I want a new phone”, “why is the music so boring in church – it needs to be more fun,” “Nobody is a good friend to me in church.”
Lots of us have this attitude because today we often expect everything to be done for us. We watch commercials on TV that make us think about what we would like and what we should have, we go to shops that are all about what we want to buy and eat at restaurants that seek to give us all we want and more. However, this is not the attitude God wants us to have. He doesn’t want us to be thinking about ourselves all the time, about what would make us happy… He wants us to think of others – and what would make other people happy… but most of all, He wants us to think about Him and what would make HIM happy!
2) OBJECT LESSON: THE “I’LL SERVE” ATTITUDE
You will need the napkin from the previous object lesson.
God wants us to have an attitude like Ruth’s. She had this kind of attitude [put the napkin over your forearm and walk around serving others]. This attitude is the “I’LL SERVE” attitude. “What can I do for you?” “Would you like me to help you in any way?” We can be like that with others and with God too… we can say to God “God, what do you want me to do?” “What do you care about that you want me to care about?” “I know you love everyone so how can I help others?”
Just like Ruth served Naomi, or a waitress serves us in a restaurant, we can serve others by doing practical things for them. What are some of the things that we can do for others to serve them? [get feedback and give ideas]. What are some of the things we can do for God? [get feedback and give ideas]
SEARCH the Scriptures:
You will need a tray and the Serving Verses.
Cut the following verses into their separate strips. Fold them up and put them on a tray. Like a waiter, take your tray around the children and ask them to choose their verse reference. Then have them find their verse in the Bible. Then have children read the verses aloud to one another and discuss the questions.
Serving Bible Verses:
John 12:26. “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
Romans 12:11. “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Matthew 23:11. “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
1 Peter 4:10. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
Deuteronomy 13:4. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Galatians 5:13. You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Joshua 22:5. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
Malachi 3:18. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Luke 22:26-27. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Discuss why it is good to serve. What do we get out of it?
Why does God love it when we serve?
SENSE How You Feel:
You will need playdoh.
How do you feel when you serve others?
Get children to mould in playdoh how they feel when they serve. They can mould it any way they want that expresses their feelings.
You could ask them to think about different scenarios and mould in the playdoh each time. Get feedback on how they felt.
a) Your parent/guardian asks you to tidy your room in the middle of them playing on a games console or watching TV
b) Your teacher asks you to help hand out work books while everyone else goes out to play
c) You offer to do the washing up after dinner. You are taken up on your offer and it takes longer than you thought.
Discuss how Ruth had a good attitude while she served Naomi.
Why do you think she had a good attitude?
You will need a bucket or bowl with mud and a bucket or bowl of soapy water plus some dry towels.
Say: Sometimes serving others means getting our hands dirty. It means we have to take out smelly trash or throw away our smelly socks when tidying our room. It might mean helping someone up when they have fallen down and cleaning their messy knees up. If you want to get your hands dirty for God by serving God and others then you can come and place your hands in the mud as you pray and then wash them in the bucket.