“Servant of All” – A Youth Group Lesson in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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*Feel free to use any or all of this lesson for youth group, confirmation, Sunday School, or any other group.

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OPENING DISCUSSION:

ASK IN LARGE GROUP:

– What messages do we get in today’s society, at school, on tv, in magazines, etc. about who is the greatest in society? (Examples: most powerful, wealthy, good job, people who look a certain way, people who drive a certain type of car or live in a certain type of home, highly educated or best education, etc.)

*Have one youth write down what other youth say in first column on a white board.

– Are these similar messages we get in church or from our Bible about who is greatest?  What messages do we get in church, in our Bible, and from God about who is the greatest?

*Have someone write down what other youth say in second column on a white board.

EXPLORING SCRIPTURE:

BREAK INTO SMALL GROUPS:

Read: Mark 9:33-37

Discuss:

– Who is the greatest in this passage?  How does this passage differ from our societal messages? (Talk about how children were some of the last and least in society and were expected to be quiet. In understanding this first century context, what message is Jesus trying to convey in verses 36-37?)

– What does it mean to be a “last of all and servant of all” in verse 35?

– Look up the following passages and come up with a list or description of what being a servant or “servant of all” means in Scripture and what this means for us today.

Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:1-8; Isaiah 42:1, 4; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:34-40

SHARE IN LARGE GROUP:

Share in large group what each group discussed: what do these Scripture texts say about being a servant or a “servant of all?” (Have someone write these out on the white board.)

APPLYING OUR CONTEXT TODAY:

DISCUSS IN LARGE GROUP:

– Does anyone know what holiday we celebrate(d) on Monday? (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

– Can anyone tell me why we celebrate MLK day?  Who was he and what did he do?

– Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a famous speech.  What was it called?  (I Have A Dream.)  We are going to watch a video that includes an excerpt from his “I Have A Dream” speech.

SHOW VIDEO:

Discuss Video:

– What does MLK say about being a servant or a “servant of all?”  (Who can be a servant?)

– How was Martin Luther King, Jr. following his call to service?

– As we see in the Scripture passages we read and in the video, we are all called and commanded to be servants.  So what does this mean for us today?

RESPONDING: 

DISCUSS IN LARGE GROUP:

– MLK had a dream that one day all people in the United States would be treated equally.  He helped move this nation forward in making his dream come true.  However, are racism and inequality completely gone today?  How so?  (What are examples in your schools, our city, our country, or in the world where racism still occurs or where people are not being treated equally?)

– Let’s take this time to write out our own dreams: both for world and for our own lives.  (Provide a large piece of butcher paper and markers.  On the top of the butcher paper, write: MY DREAM FOR THE WORLD, and in the middle of the butcher paper, write: MY DREAM FOR MY LIFE.  Give youth 3-5 minutes to write their responses under each of the statements.

REFLECTING: 

EXPLAIN: We are going to watch another video based on the popular song called “Whatcha Say.”  The lyrics were rewritten  by a group of youth as they reflected on Martin Luther King, Jr.  As we watch the video, look over the lyrics sheet I will hand out.  Highlight any of the phrases that stick out to you as we continue to think about being a “servant of all.”

*Hand out lyrics sheet and markers.

“MLK WHATCHA SAY” LYRICS SHEET:

WHATCHA SAY MLK?

This Dr. King, we have come so far

We have worked so hard

But we still hold the scars

We are living out his dream in this once racist world

Well we couldn’t walk the streets

Without the stones being hurled

But we can’t stand and talk

Being judged by how we look

But you never know the story by the cover of this book

Dr. King gave us the rubric

Now we need to write the sequel

That the story never stops

Until we are all created equal

CHORUS

In this world we keep on livin’

And the people keep on givin’

But I didn’t know what to do

So get up and take a stand, now come on and take my hand

Because this change begins with you

Tell me now: Whatcha say?

That you only meant well?

Well of course you did

Whatcha say?
That is all for the best

Let’s flip the coin

A new perspective

Different angle, fade to white

Martin Luther King has spoken to me

Even though my skin is light

Brotherhood is not a term

That should separate and divide us

So lets all huddle up

Cause it’s meant to join, unite us

The strive for our equality

Has trials and tribulations

But the cause is worth the fight

It’s for one united nation

Under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice

Come join our peaceful army,

It’ll work, I hope you trust us

CHORUS

Tell me, tell me whatcha say?

You look but you don’t see me; Can’t see what’s underneath me

Tell me, tell me whatcha say?

You are more than just a phase; Now stand up, it’s time for a change

Can’t we keep the love we’re creating; Stop discriminating

Tell me, tell me whatcha say?

When love is in our life; We can make things alright

CHORUS

SHOW VIDEO:

 

Discuss Video:

– What are some phrases from the song that stuck out to you?  Why?

Respond to Video:

– (Hand out pieces of paper to the youth that state: WHATCHA SAY? in large, bold letters at the top of the page as seen in the video.  Give youth a few minutes to write their “dream” or specific ways they can “stand up” like MLK and help make this a better world.  Examples: “hug someone who needs a hug,” “volunteer at a food pantry,” “stand up for someone who is being bullied,” “meet someone new,” “stop saying things that are racist, sexist, agist,” etc.  Tell the kids to tape them up throughout the church and/or at home.)

CLOSING PRAYER:

(Print out the following prayer on little strips of paper and have everyone pray this prayer together.)

Good and caring God, you give us all that we have. Spirit of Compassion, help us to share what we have with those who are less fortunate. Help us also to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others who have gone before us to work to end poverty and to promote justice in our world by speaking up for those in need in our community, our nation, and our world. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

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