Scripture: Titus 2:7
Props: Preacher’s stole and Teacher’s grade book or other symbols[Hold up stole] Who can tell me what this is? How many preachers do we have in our group today? None? Who would use this [pointer, other prop]? Hint ‑ It’s someone school kids see every day. Is anybody here a schoolteacher? No teachers either? Now what are we going to do? We have been talking about doing what Jesus did and He did a lot of preaching and teaching. If none of us are preachers or teachers, then how are we going to copy Jesus? [Pause, you may get a spontaneous response here. If not, try to encourage one. Refine the answers you get to point out different types of “ministry”.]
Let’s talk about how we learn things. How do babies learn to walk? Did they read a book that told them how? Did their parents sit them down in a chair and tell them to first put one foot in front of the other? You probably learned to walk by watching other people and then by trying to copy them. When you started going too fast and fell down, you learned to slow down. When you first tried to go down stairs without holding on, your parents probably stopped you and told you about hanging on to the railing until you got bigger. So we learn in many different ways, but the way we learn best is by watching others. Jesus taught his disciples the same way. He showed them how they should live by setting a good example: loving all other people and helping them whenever He could. Our scripture says “In everything, set them an example by doing what is good.” So we can all be teachers like Jesus was by doing good to others and setting a good example for people around us.
Now, about this preaching business. Did Jesus have a big glass and brick building where He preached long sermons every Sunday morning? He preached by the lake, in a boat, out in the fields ‑ anyplace where there were people who wanted to listen to Him, didn’t He? And the best-known sermon the Bible tells about is one called the Sermon on the Mount. A mount is like a big hill. Most of what Jesus gave in the way of instruction was by answering questions and by telling short stories we call parables. And what He asked for His disciples to do was simply to go tell other people about God’s love. Our other Bible verse says “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” There’s a saying that goes “Actions speak louder than words.” That means that we can tell someone how they should act, but if we don’t act that way ourselves, then they won’t pay much attention.
So here we are right back at setting a good example, aren’t we? Teaching and preaching are a lot alike aren’t they? And in both cases, people learn from us by watching how we act. So if we want to teach others about Jesus and tell them about His love, the best way we can do that is by doing nice things for people around us. And then we will all be teachers and preachers.
Prayer: Great Teacher, thank you for sending your son Jesus to set an example for us to follow so we can learn how to love others. Give us the strength to do what is right even when it is easier to do something else. Forgive us when we fail and don’t do what we know you would want. Thank you for all the other people in our families and in our church who have set good examples for us to follow. Amen.