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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

FOR LEADERS ONLY GOD VIEW: the connection between HUMILITY and God's character, as shown through God's big story In the beginning, Jesus was part of creating the heavens and the earth. When God created man, he was in Jesus’ image. There is nothing in Heaven or on Earth that isn’t under Jesus’ command. Yet Jesus chose to be born as a baby and walk among us. He developed calloused hands as He worked in a carpenter’s shop. The dirt of the road caked His feet as He traveled to show love to others. Jesus willingly left the majesty and glory of Heaven to laugh, cry, and fully become a man. Jesus’ ultimate act of humility on Earth was His sacrificial death. He could have called down an angel army to protect Him, but instead, allowed Himself to be wrongly accused and arrested. He could have been worshipped with a gold crown and royal robes, but instead wore a crown of thorns. Jesus deserved praise and adoration, but sacrificed Himself for us. Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. Putting others first is not our natural inclination. We live in a world that’s all about putting ourselves first. Jesus lived in a world like that too. He could have looked out for Himself, but He didn’t. Out of His love for us, He chose to put us first. Putting others first will cost you something: your time or money. Maybe it will cost you some pride. But when we choose to follow Jesus with our lives, believing that His death and resurrection made it possible for us to be right with God, the least we can do is put others first even if it’s a bit uncomfortable and costs us something. This month, let’s think about how: (1) Humility is a response to Christ’s example towards us. (2) Humility is a way we can show others God’s love for us. (3) Humility can help others see they are important.

This week, we’re discovering: In this week’s Bible story, Jesus serves His disciples by washing their feet. (John 13:1-7) Usually a servant would wash travelers feet before they ate their meal. But Jesus surprised everyone by doing it Himself. He showed that even leaders should put others’ needs first. Our Bottom Line is: I can put others first by serving them. Serving others often means taking the dirty jobs that no one else wants to do. When we do things like scooping the litter box, taking out the trash, or cleaning the dirty dishes, we are serving our families. This shows that we know their needs are important. The monthly memory verse is: “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3, NIrV Our willingness to serve others should never be motivated by getting ahead. We should serve because Jesus set the example for thinking of others before ourselves.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

Feet First Bible Story: Feet First (Jesus washes the disciples’ feet) • John 13:1-17 Bottom Line: I can put others first by serving them. Memory Verse: “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3, NIrV Life App: Humility—putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. Basic Truth: I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

Plug In: Focus the Energy (Small Groups, 10-15 minutes) Before kids arrive, pray for each regular attendee by name. Pray for those who might visit your group for the first time. Pray that the kids will be open and receptive to learning about putting others ahead of themselves. Ask God to show them what they can do to serve the people around them. 1. Early Arriver Idea What You Need: An offering container What You Do: Encourage kids to put their offerings into the container as they arrive. Then instruct them to talk to each other about ways they can help their family members and friends. How can they help their mom and dad at home? How can they help their friends or teacher at school? How can they help others at church? Where else do they go where they can help? TO ADAPT FOR OLDER KIDS: Tear up some scraps of paper and give one to each child as they enter. Have them write down an example of a way they can help someone—a parent, sibling, teacher or coach. After they’ve written their answers, have them place their scraps of paper face down in the center of the Small Group area. Allow each child to draw a piece of paper and read it out loud to the group. Once you’ve read all their answers, categorize them into groups under the person you’re helping (e.g., a pile for parents, for siblings, etc.) 2. Foot Games What You Need: Paper, pencils, various classroom objects What You Do: Instruct kids to use their feet (instead of their hands) to do the following: • • • • •

Clap Write their name Move an object from one end of the room to the other “Shake” a friend’s foot (like shaking a hand) Take their socks off and put them back on

TO ADAPT FOR OLDER KIDS: Ask the kids to brainstorm other things to try doing with their feet. Make a list and then let them try to complete the task.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

What You Say: “It was hard to do some of those things with your feet, wasn’t it? But it was fun watching you try to do them! [Transition] Let’s hear some more about feet.”

Worship - Sanctuary Power Up: Engage the Heart (Large Group, 20-25 minutes) Engage children’s hearts in a Large Group setting through interactive worship, prayer, and an innovative telling of today’s Bible story. Assistant enters dressed as a waiter. Drape a cloth napkin over your arm and carry a notepad and pen, ready to take orders. Opener ASSISTANT: (In an overdone Italian accent. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect; just have fun with it!) “Welcome to Church Ristorante. I am your waiter, [your name], actually your (singing) SINGING waiter, and I will be happy to serve you today. (Speaking again.) Here at Church Ristorante, humility is our middle name. That means we put YOU first. (Overly dramatic and singing. Continue overdone Italian accent.) “We invite you to be … our … guest! (Dropping the accent.) “Okay, don’t worry. I’m not going to sing that song. But I am going to sing a song about (singing operatically) huuuuummmiiilllliittttyyyyyy! (Speaking again.) “Okay, don’t worry. I’m not going to sing that either. And actually, you know, I’m not a real waiter. But I thought it would be fun to go all out this month because we’re talking about something that waiters know a LOT about: putting others first. You see, when you’re a waiter, you have to serve people. And serving people is one way of putting them first. That’s what humility is all about. CG: Humility Slide “Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve. Leader enters quietly behind the Assistant. Start spreading out the towels on the ground and placing the buckets on top of them. Place the water bucket and towel on the bistro table. ASSISTANT: “The good news for me is that I’ve got this one in the bag. I mean, I LOVE putting others first. That’s what I do every week when I come spend time with you guys, after all. I could be doing a million other things, but I choose to be here with you because, well, I’m just humble like that.” LEADER: “Hey, [Assistant’s name], I’m so glad to hear you say that you love putting others first, because I actually need your help today with the Bible story!”

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

Assistant turns and sees all the buckets. ASSISTANT: (Caught-in-the-act reaction.) “Me? You need my help? Dude, I already did my part in getting here early and setting up (Italian accent again) Church Ristorante. My job is done. It’s time for YOU to be humble now.” Assistant quickly exits. LEADER: (Nervously clearing throat to acknowledge the tension.) “Well, that was, um, awkward. Oh well, no big deal. (Cheerfully.) I’m sure I can get someone else to help me. It’s actually perfect that we’re in a restaurant of sorts, because the Bible story that I have to share with you today takes place around a very important meal. SETTING UP THE STORY LEADER: “Jesus and His followers, the disciples, had gathered for that special meal. It was the Passover—the feast to celebrate how God had saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. “God was about to save His people again—this time, for good—through Jesus, the PROMISED ONE. “Jesus’ disciples were likely expecting this—after all, they believed Jesus was the Son of God. And they had seen the crowds in Jerusalem, just days earlier, as they lined up along the street, waving branches ripped from nearby trees and tossing coats onto the dusty road to pave the way. Everyone had cried out, ‘Hosanna! … Blessed is the King of Israel!’ (John 12:13, NIrV) “The KING! Of course, the time MUST be drawing near for Jesus to make Himself a real king. WASHING THE FEET LEADER: “But becoming king was the last thing on Jesus’ mind as He watched His twelve closest friends begin eating the Passover meal. He knew it would soon be time for Him to go and be with His Father, God. But first, He wanted to show His friends just how much He loved them. “So Jesus got up from the table and removed His outer robe. And grabbing a towel and a bowl of water (hold up the two items), Jesus wrapped the towel around His waist, knelt down, and began to wash His disciples’ feet! Put the water bucket and a clean towel down on the ground near the other buckets. “Now, you may think that sounds a little strange—and it was. But not for the reason you may be thinking. Foot washing was common during the time Jesus lived on earth. But what WASN’T common was for a king, the very Son of God, to wash the feet of those who followed Him. “After all, the disciples’ feet would have been, well, pretty gross. Back then, men wore sandals, and the roads weren’t paved. So, you can imagine all the things they would have stepped in on their way to the Passover meal. The dust from the dirt roads would have been bad enough, but there were animals everywhere too, and well, you know what that means for the road. Yeah, really, REALLY gross. You can imagine how dirty and smelly their feet would have been!

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

“Here’s where I could use some help. Can I have three of you volunteer to come up here and get your feet dirty? (Pointing to the bins.) Don’t worry; no animals were involved in this process! If you have two older boys who are daring, go for it. If not, have Leaders come up to help. Have them take off their shoes, roll up their pants, etc. “Can you guys please walk through these bins? Try to get your feet as dirty as possible! Have them step in the pudding first, then the Oreos. Guide them to stand on the towels after they’ve walked through the bins. “Wow. That’s pretty disgusting. Although, I gotta say, it smells pretty good. Mmmm, chocolate. But back when the Bible was written, that would not have been chocolate! Pause for reaction if necessary. “I’m sure you guys are ready to get those feet cleaned off, huh? Tell you what, step over here in this bucket and I’ll get you cleaned up. Have the volunteers step into the bucket of water one by one, and quickly use a towel to wash their feet off and dry them. Move fast—don’t attempt for a “moment” but keep things light and quick. Think NASCAR-style pit stop. PETER’S PROTEST Assistant runs in, yelling and waving arms frantically. ASSISTANT: “Stop! Everyone, stop! LEADER: (Looking up, confused.) “What’s wrong, [Assistant’s name]? ASSISTANT: “Dude! You shouldn’t be doing this! You’re the Leader. You run the show. You’re in charge. You have no business washing THEIR feet. If anything, they should wash YOUR feet!” LEADER: “I think I see what’s going on here. Tell ya what, Peter, I mean [Assistant’s name], have a seat over there and just let me finish up. I can explain and I think you’ll understand why it was important for me to do this.” ASSISTANT: “I don’t know. I would never let you wash MY feet. It’s not your job.” Assistant begrudgingly walks over and sits down somewhere on the stage but out of the way. Leader quickly finishes washing and drying the volunteers’

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

feet. Dismiss the volunteers back to their seats. LEADER: “Yep, the disciples’ feet were probably pretty gross. But here’s the really, really cool thing, you guys. Jesus wasn’t put off by their dirty, smelly feet. He loved His friends so much that He wanted to serve them. People wanted to make Jesus KING. Yet here He was, doing the work of a lowly servant. “And while Jesus was washing their feet, He came to Peter. Peter asked Jesus if He planned on washing his feet. Jesus told him that even though Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was doing, later he would get it. But that wasn’t a good enough answer for Peter, and he refused to let Jesus wash his feet! In fact, Peter went so far as to say, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ (John 13:8, NIrV) “But Jesus told Peter that unless He washed his feet, Peter couldn’t share life with Jesus. Well, that changed Peter’s tune! He certainly didn’t want to be left out. So, Peter said, ‘In that case, Jesus, don’t just wash my feet! Wash my hands and my head too!’ (John 13:9, NIrV) “But Jesus told Peter that He only needed to wash his feet since the rest of him was clean. JESUS’ CHALLENGE LEADER: “When Jesus was finished washing the disciples’ feet, He returned to His place at the table. And here’s what He said: (Open the Bible and read John 13:12b-15 directly.) ‘“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you.”’ (NIrV) “Wow. I think Jesus meant more than just splashing water on each other’s feet. He went on. (Read John 13:16-17 directly from the Bible.) “What I’m about to tell you is true. A servant is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIrV) WRAPPING UP THE STORY LEADER: “Jesus set a pretty incredible example for us. All those people were praising Him, wanting to make Him king … and He just wanted to serve them. “Jesus made it clear. The most important, noble thing any of the disciples could do wasn’t to stand in front of a crowd and receive praise and applause. Their most important job was to quietly put the wants and needs of others ahead of their own. CG: Bottom Line Slide “And that’s our most important job too. I know that [Impress] I can put others first by serving them. “Jesus’ entire life was about putting our needs ahead of His own. So to be like Jesus, we serve others by putting their needs ahead of our own. In other words, [Recycle] I should treat others the way I want to be treated. But that’s not often easy, is it? Let’s ask God for help putting others first by serving them.”

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

Pray LEADER: “Dear God, thank You for putting our needs first and sending Jesus to be our Savior. And thank You for the example He showed us with His entire life, of how to put others first by serving them. We want to be like Jesus, and so we want to serve others. But that’s not usually all that easy for us. So please change our hearts, God, and make us more like Jesus. Make us love each other the way that Jesus loved us, and show us how we can put each other first daily by serving each other. In Jesus’ name, we ask these things. Amen.” Leader begins to clean up the mess. ASSISTANT: (Jumping up quietly; clearly humbled.) “Hey, [Leader’s name], let me help you with that.” Assistant quickly gathers up the foot washing supplies. Closer ASSISTANT: “It wasn’t Jesus’ job to have to wash His disciples’ dirty and smelly feet. But He served them anyway, because He wanted us to see how important putting others first was to Him. “I’ve learned a lot about humility today from Jesus’ example. I didn’t think it was my job to help [Leader’s name], and I didn’t think it was [Leader’s name]’s job to wash those kids’ [or Small Group Leaders’] feet. But my attitude was the opposite of humility—it was prideful. The Bible definitely has something to say about pride. CG: Memory Verse Slide “‘Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves,’ Philippians 2:3. (NIrV) “Thinking of others as better than yourselves is exactly what humility is. It’s not putting others first just when it’s convenient for you. Or just when it’s an easy job. Sometimes humility means putting others first even when it’s hard or when you think your job is done. “Sometimes it’s cleaning up the dinner table even though it’s your big sister’s turn. Sometimes it’s helping your friend next door with yard work, even though he never helps you. It’s cleaning up a mess you didn’t make. It’s scooping out the litter box so no one else has to. It’s not about what is or isn’t fair. “Jesus set the perfect example for us. He spent His life putting others first by serving them. We can, too. That’s the one thing to remember today. CG: Bottom Line Slide [Impress] “I can put others first by serving them.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

Catch On: Make the Connection (Small Groups, 25-30 minutes) * 1. First is Last and Last is First (review the Bible story / great for active learners / application activity) What You Need: “First is Last Review Questions” (Activity Page), three small prizes What You Do: Line up your group shoulder-to-shoulder on a “start line.” Point out a “finish line” about 15 feet away. Explain that the person who crosses the finish line first or is closest to the finish line when all the questions have been answered gets to pick TWO prizes. And the person furthest from the finish line gets to pick one prize. Taking turns, ask each kid a question from the review sheet. If he or she answers correctly, he or she gets to pick another kid to take a GIANT step forward. If the question is answered incorrectly, everyone stays put. What You Say: “Letting someone else go first doesn’t come naturally. And putting someone first by serving them the way Jesus served His disciples is really hard. Even though Jesus deserved to have His own feet washed, He humbled Himself by doing something really nice for His friends instead. [Apply] So, next time you think you deserve to go first or be served by someone, think of this true story from the Bible and remind yourself, [Impress] I can put others first by serving them.” 2. To Serve or Not to Serve? (great for active learners / application activity) What You Need: “To Serve or Not to Serve? Scenarios” (Activity Page), 3 sheets of differently colored paper What You Do: Place the three sheets of colored paper in separate corners or areas of the room. Have kids stand in a group. Read a scenario. Then read the multiple answers beneath each scenario. Kids will run to the color that corresponds with the answer that best exemplifies humility and serving others. If the whole group is correct, congratulate them on their ability to show humility. If some answer incorrectly, discuss the different answers and why one shows humility more than another. For added difficulty, whisper either “player” or “trickster” in each kid’s ear without the others hearing. The “players” will run to the correct color. The “tricksters” will try to trick others by running to the incorrect color. This way, each kid will be encouraged to think for him or herself instead of following the crowd. What You Say: [Apply] “Seeing others’ needs and being the one to serve them is a great way to put others first. And that is what humility is all about! You all seem to really know what it means to serve. So it should be easy to figure out the humble thing to do. And when you start to feel like you want to put yourself first instead, remember, [Impress] you can put others first by serving them.” Optional 5th Grade Discussion Questions If you lead fifth graders, consider asking these discussion questions: • When is it especially hard for you to serve others? Why? • Who are some people who are great examples of serving others the way Jesus did? What kinds of things do they do?

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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252 Groups

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April 2014, Week 1 Compact K-5

If Jesus was here today walking around our church, what do you think you’d see Him doing? Finish this sentence, “I feel most humble when __________.”

Pray and Dismiss What You Need: No supplies needed What You Do: Sit in a circle and ask each kid to say the name of one person who serves them and how that person serves them. It could be a parent, friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, even whoever helped them get ready for church today! [Personalize] Begin by telling kids who serves you and what they do for you. TO ADAPT FOR YOUNGER KIDS: Select a category (like your parents, a friend etc.) for them first and then ask them to give examples. After everyone in the group shares, change to a different category if time allows. What You Say: [Apply] “We are all so lucky to have people who put us first, who help us and serve us instead of doing something just for themselves. Let’s take a minute to thank God for those people in our lives and ask Him to help us learn how to serve others in the same way. “Dear God, thank You so much for all the amazing, humble people You have put in our lives who love us and show us what it means to put others first. Thank You most of all for Your Son, Jesus, who put us all first by rising from the dead so that we can be closer to You forever. Help us to understand what it means to serve others and love others more than ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.” Give each child a GodTime card. Pass out Parent CUE cards as adults arrive for pick-up.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com Adapted by KD/WaldheimUMC/Mar2014.

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Elem week 1 lesson