Introduction: Does God call us to serve Him in all that we do? What
kind of attitude does God desire for us to have in our work? What is
it, specifically, that we are supposed to do? Does every church
member have some role in the church? Let’s explore what the Bible
teaches about service!

  1. The Blessing in Washing

    1. Read John 13:1-3. Tell me what Jesus knew at this time?

      1. If you knew that you had come from heaven and were
        returning to heaven, what kind of attitude would you

        1. What kind of attitude would you have towards
          humans? (I would know I was the ultimate
          royalty. I was visiting an inferior race
          (species?). It was time to rejoin celestial
          beings as their leader.)

    2. Read John 13:4-5. Verse 4 starts out with “so.” How can
      washing the feet of others (the lowest job) logically
      result from the conclusion that Jesus is the Great God of
      Heaven and He is returning home? (In our way of thinking,
      it makes no sense at all. There is no logical connection.)

    3. Read John 13:6-8. Was Peter right to protest? (Of course.
      From the point of view of the world, Jesus should not be
      washing Peter’s feet.)

    4. Read John 13:8-9. Why would Peter go from “no,” to wash
      all of me? (It suddenly dawned on Peter that this was not
      about cleaning his feet. It was about partnership with
      Jesus. In that case, Peter wanted to get as washed as
      possible. He wanted to be a full partner with Jesus.)

    5. Read John 13:12-15. What is the point of Jesus’ washing
      the disciples’ feet? Was it about washing feet? Was it
      about partnership?(Jesus affirms His status as Lord and
      Teacher, but He tells them He is setting an example of
      service for them.)

    6. Read John 13:16-17. What logical reason does Jesus give
      for Christians (and Christian leaders) having this type of
      attitude in service? (You may be a leader, you may be
      important, but you are no better than Jesus. Since He was
      willing to do this, we should be willing to do it. In
      addition, Jesus says that there is a blessing in
      performing acts of humility.)

  2. Leadership Service

    1. Read Mark 10:35-37. What was the attitude of James and
      John before Jesus washed their feet? (They wanted the
      highest positions.)

    1. Read Mark 10:41. What attitude did the rest of the
      disciples have before Jesus washed their feet? (They had
      the same attitude – they all wanted to be given the most
      important positions.)

    2. Read Mark 10:42-45. When Jesus explained His foot washing,
      He said “You are no better than I am, so you should be
      willing to do this too.” That is not much of a logical
      explanation of the reason for having this attitude. What
      logical explanation does Jesus give here? (It much the
      same as His prior explanation. Jesus says that He came
      here to serve. We should have that same attitude.
      However, Jesus makes very clear that the order of things
      in the “world” should not apply in the church.)

      1. What logic do you find in what Jesus commands about
        our attitude towards church leadership?

      2. If you see a leader who has an attitude of service,
        how does it affect you? (Many years ago, I was
        standing in the office bathroom with my boss. Some
        slob had left a paper towel on the floor. My attitude
        was that I would never throw a paper towel on the
        floor, but I would not be picking up after the slobs
        who did. Besides, we paid people to clean up the
        bathroom. My boss stooped down, picked up the paper,
        and put it in the trash can. His example so impressed
        me, that ever since I have done the same thing.)

    3. Read Mark 2:15-16. What answer would you give to the
      Pharisees, based on what we have been reading so far? (If
      we have a “superior” attitude when we are trying to reach
      others for Christ, we will have little success. I think
      this shows us the true logic behind Jesus “servant-leader”
      model. A superior, “I’m in charge” attitude, is not
      effective for leading others to the kingdom or for leading
      others to greater truth.)

    4. Read Mark 2:17. Were the Pharisees righteous? If not, why
      did Jesus say this? (Let’s read three texts. Romans 3:10,
      Romans 3:20 and Matthew 23:27-28. If you have the attitude
      that you are righteous, Jesus will not appeal to you. You
      have no need of Him. When Jesus said that He came to help
      the sick, I think He meant He came for those who feel
      their need of His salvation. The servant attitude, is not
      simply an attitude for leadership in the church, it is an
      attitude that all of us need for our own salvation.)

  1. Balance in Service

    1. Read Luke 10:38-40. Which of these two women best
      represent your approach to service?

      1. Was Martha right to complain? Isn’t it true that some
        leaders in the church are overworked, while other
        members are sitting around not doing their fair

    2. Read Luke 10:41-42. Why does Jesus let Mary sit around?
      (Jesus is telling us that “doing” in the church should not
      cause us to neglect our relationship with Jesus. The
      relationship is more important.)

  2. Methods of Service

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 12:27. How many members of the church
      have a part to play in the work? (“Each one” of us has a

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. How many of us can have gifts
      from the Holy Spirit to help us serve the church? (Again,
      “each one” is given a gift “for the common good.”)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. As you look over these gifts,
      do you find yours?

    4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:28. As you look over this list of
      jobs in the church, which one of these jobs is yours?

    5. Read 1 Corinthians 12:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:29-30. Why
      does Paul give this caution? (We are not to expect that we
      will have all of these gifts. We are not to be jealous if
      we lack a gift someone else has. Our goal is to discover
      the gifts God has given to us and put them to work.)

    6. Read 1 Corinthians 12:31. Is this a license to be jealous
      of the gifts of others?

      1. If not, what is Paul saying? Are the gifts fluid? Is
        it possible to be given new gifts with time? (It must
        be possible to have new gifts, or Paul would not have
        written this.)

    7. Friend, God has given you a gift and a role to play in the
      church. Are you using what has been given to you to serve
      others? Is your attitude about being a leader in the
      church right? Or, do you desire to be a leader just for
      your own glory? Will you determine today to use your gifts
      to serve others?

  3. Next week: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.