Jesus Trained Leaders by Humbly Serving Them


Prayer. “Dear Lord, please help the children to serve others humbly, like Jesus did when He washed His disciples’ feet as an example to them.”

Choose any of these activities that fit the children’s ages and needs.

Let an older child or teacher read, or tell by memory, from John 13:1-17, the story of how Jesus trained His disciples to serve others humbly.

Explain these facts:

·         Jesus trained his disciples by his example.

·         Jesus served them as a humble servant, to show them how to serve others.

Ask these questions. [An answer follows each question]:

·         For how long did Jesus love his disciples? [See John 13:1]

·         How did Jesus serve his disciples? [Verse 5]

·         Did Jesus know that Judas would soon betray him? [Verse 11]

·         In what way did Jesus train leaders to serve one another with humility? [Verse 15]

·         What will God do for those who serve others with humility? [Verse 17]


Dramatize the story of Jesus washing others’ feet (John 13:1-17). Arrange with the worship leader for the children to present this drama. Use your teaching time with the children to prepare the drama. You do not have to use all the parts. Let the older children help the younger ones to prepare.



·         Let older children or adults play the parts of Jesus, Peter and Narrator. Jesus holds a towel and bowl.

·         Let younger children play the parts of Peter, Judas and Disciples.

Narrator: Tell the 1st part of the story of Jesus washing others’ feet, from John 13:1-7.

Then say, “Hear what Jesus says.”

Jesus: Stand and wrap the towel around your waist. Then kneel in front of Peter and pretend to wash his feet. Say, “I have loved you all very much. Soon I will leave this world and go back to my Father in heaven.”

Disciples: Shout things like, “No!” “You cannot leave us!” “Do not go away!”

Jesus:  “I have something to teach you.”

Disciples: Say things like: “Why does Jesus wash our feet like a slave?” “He is our master!” “He is not our servant!” “He should not do this!”

Narrator: “Hear what Peter says.”

Peter: “Jesus, stop! Why are you washing my feet? You are my master!”

Jesus: “I always serve those that I love. You need me to clean you.”

Narrator: Tell the 2nd part of the story from, John 13:8-17. Then say, “Hear what Peter says.”

Peter: “Then wash my hands and my head, too!”

Jesus: “No, I have done all that you need. However, not all of you are clean. One of you has a heart that is not clean.”

Disciples: Say things like, “Who does He mean?” “Who has an unclean heart?”

Narrator: “Hear what Judas is thinking in his heart.”

Judas: Walk toward the listeners and say to them, “Jesus is not freeing us from Roman political control like I expected. I will sell Him to His enemies.” (Leave.)

Jesus: “I am your teacher and Lord, yet I have washed your feet like a servant. You must do the same for one another. You must serve one another humbly. Then, I will bless you.”

Peter: “You teach so well by your good example, that we will never forget.”

Narrator: Thank everyone who helped with the drama.

Questions. If the children dramatize this story for the adults, let them also ask the adults the questions listed above.

Memorize 1 Peter 5:5: “Young men, obey your elders; and clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Ask: In what ways can we serve people with humility? (Let the children give examples.)

Explain: Jesus let a sinful woman wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. A religious man, in whose house this occurred, rebuked Jesus for letting her do it. Jesus answered that those who have been forgiven much love much, and He forgave her all her sins (Luke 7:37-48).


Draw a picture of feet. Have the children copy it. Let the children show their pictures to the adults during worship and explain that this illustrates how we serve one another with humility. Just as Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, so he wants to cleans us, too.



Recite. Let five children each recite a verse from Philippians 2:3-8.

Prayer: “Jesus, you are our Lord and Teacher. We praise you because you served others humbly. Help us to follow your example. Help us also to serve others in the same way.