The Determination to Serve (A Bible Study Outline)

This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!

Bible Study Outline: The Determination to Serve

Have you ever been asked last minute to lead a Bible study or small group?

Do you have the type of personality that no matter how educated you might be in a certain area, you still need to have some prep time?

Ding ding on both counts for me!

A free Bible study usable for most any group!

Years ago, I started putting together simple Bible study outlines and saving them in Evernote. I add to this collection on occasion and recently realized this would be a great thing to share with you all! Doing this sort of activity helped me feel better prepared for those last minute requests to lead a group and I could always access it from my phone.

They’re very simple and basically have a few Bible passages, some notes on them, perhaps a few relevant quotes from wise Christians and then some questions to either ask all in a bundle or interspersed throughout your group time – take the content and organize how best works for you.

Without further ado, here is one of my oldest but favorites. As you can see, I call it “Determination to Serve.”

Matthew 20:28 says:

…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…

Luke 22:27 says:

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.

Bible Footnote*:

The world’s system of leadership is very different from leadership in God’s kingdom. Worldly leaders are often selfish and arrogant as they claw their way to the top… But among Christians, the leader is to be the one who serves best. There are different styles of leadership — some lead through public speaking, some through administering, some through relationships — but every Christian leader needs a servant’s heart. Ask the people you lead how you can serve them better.

2 Corinthians 4:5 says:

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Bible Footnote:

Paul willingly served the Corinthian church even though they must have deeply disappointed him. Serving people requires a sacrifice of time and personal desires. Being Christ’s follower means serving others, even when they do not measure up to our expectations.”

Oswald Chambers has said a few noteworthy things as well:

…whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him.

But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted… But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.

Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake.”

Questions to Ask & Discuss:

  • What are actual steps we can take to make sure we are serving others for the right reasons?
  • What are the right reasons?
  • How can we regularly check ourselves to make sure our motivation hasn’t shifted?
  • Do we usually want people to know nice things we’ve done?
  • Have you ever been able to put that aside? How?
  • What are ways we can remind ourselves to keep our focus in check?
  • Do you feel this debt to others like Paul did?
  • Why is it so hard to humble ourselves?
  • What are specific reasons/actions besides ingratitude that block our willingness to serve?
  • How can we get past them?

I’m sure there is a plethora of good references, commentaries and quotes out there on serving and how Jesus exemplified it, so certainly feel free to add to this. It’s just a simple outline that hopefully ends up being a good tool for you!

Click here for a printable PDF version of the above outline.

*NIV Life Application Study Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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