Use this object lesson on servanthood to teach kids why it is important to serve others.
Object Needed: Flip Flops
Big Idea: We need to serve others.
We've included the text for this object lesson below and we even recorded a video to help give you ideas for how to teach it. Enjoy watching!
Servanthood Object Lesson Script
How many of you have a pair of these at home? How many of you wear flip-flops every day you can when it gets to be spring and summer? It feels good to get those heavy shoes off after a long winter and go almost barefoot, doesn’t it? You can wear flip-flops and sandals just about anywhere, and it feels good to have them on.
There are lots of good things about flip-flops, but there are a few bad things. For example, how clean are your feet after a long day of being in flip-flops? Not very clean! There’s no shoe or sock to keep the dirt out, so by the time you get home, your feet are filthy and probably stinky.
In Jesus’ time, they didn’t have shoes and socks. Everyone who could afford shoes wore sandals. You can imagine what a stinky mess this would have made. In fact, it was such a mess that a tradition formed: If you were invited into someone’s house, one of the servants would wash your feet.
Do you think there were many servants volunteering for that job? Probably not! We’ve already established just how dirty these people’s feet could get. Who would want to wash the feet of 20, 50, or 100 people?
Do you think the principal of your school would do that for your class? Do you think the president of the United States would wash the feet of his dinner guests?
Washing feet was servant’s work, and only the lowliest of servants were made to do it. So when Jesus got on his knees and washed the feet of his disciples, it was a big deal. Jesus was their teacher, their master. They had left everything to follow him. He was more important than a principal or even a president would be to us. They truly believed he was the Son of God.
Seeing the man they believed was the Messiah wash their feet sent a powerful message to the disciples and sends a powerful message to us too. Jesus is the King of Kings, and if the King of Kings would wash the feet of his own students, how then should we treat our friends, our neighbors, and even our enemies?
Washing feet is a dirty job. It was one of the dirtiest jobs a servant could do. But it was not too dirty for Jesus. If Jesus was willing to wash the feet of men who were his followers, we need to be willing to serve others in the same way.