This lesson is part of a 13-part student leadership teaching series. Each lesson is broken down into seven parts:
- 1) TALK (An interactive question)
- 2) ACTIVITY TIME (A thought-provoking activity)
- 3) THE HEART OF THE MATTER (This is the value-based portion of the lesson)
- 4) TAKING IT FURTHER (The optional faith-based portion of the lesson)
- 5) DISCUSSION (Interactive questions to conclude the lesson)
- 6) TAKE ACTION (An action step to challenge participants)
- 7) OVERTIME (Extra activities to use at the teachers discretion)
This curriculum can be used with students in Small Groups, Sunday School, School Clubs or any other student setting.
The price of greatness is responsibility. Winston Churchill
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF LEADERSHIP? (Go around the room and have everyone answer)
Below are some actual responses from middle and high school leadership students:
- Responsibility means that you do or need to do, an excellent job, and sometimes even do extra
- Remember your homework
- Responsibility means to take action for your decisions, and do what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Being responsible is someone who takes care of herself and their belongings and sometimes others.
- Responsibility means you take ownership for your actions and do what you are supposed to do just because you’re supposed to.
- Responsibility is to be non-foolish and smart and mature — not childish
- Responsibility is when someone takes ownership for his or her own actions
- Taking care of what you’re supposed to even when you’re not told.
- Responsibility means to take actions for yourself and/or others
- Responsibility means to be on-task and get everything done!
- Responsibility – to do what is told
RESPONSIBILITY (Dependability, reliability, perseverance, being organized, being punctual, honoring commitments, planning)
ACTIVITY TIME: THE DOMINO CHALLENGE
Create groups of five members (As the leader, you can adjust numbers as needed). Give each group two boxes of dominos. They will have ten minutes to set up a domino community. Groups will be competing against each other. Groups will be judged by:
- Level of Creativity
- Level of Difficulty
- Level of Completion (In the domino effect, all dominos should fall down.
PURPOSE: Show students that they are responsible for themselves and those around them. Their actions create a chain reaction. This reaction can be either positive or negative.
QUESTIONS: Ask each group:
- What went well with your domino creation?
- What could you have done differently?
- What are some chain reactions that can happen due to our actions?
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today — Abraham Lincoln
THE HEART OF THE MATTER:
The core foundational value of leadership for any student is responsibility. If you are going to lead others you must be responsible. If you play for a sports team you must show up on time, practice hard and do your part. If you hold a job you must arrange your sporting, academic and social schedule so that you will never miss a day. Responsibility is a peek into your character. As students, we are bound by several layers of responsibility. We have legal responsibilities. If you want to drive then you have to complete the required reading, road tests and eventually get your drivers license. We never escape family responsibility no matter our stage of life. We all have household chores and expectations. Everyone has a moral compass that guides their actions. Some have a very loose compass and other have a very straight navigation on how to live their life. Either way, we must live by moral responsibility. Finally, we must live by personal responsibility. We must take care of our jobs, pets, friends, social engagements, etc.
(Go around the room and have everyone answer)
- Of the layers of responsibility— Legal Responsibility, Family Responsibility, Moral Responsibility, and Personal Responsibility—which one is the HARDEST for you to follow through on?
- Which layer of responsibility is the EASIEST for you to follow through on?
TAKING IT FURTHER: USE IT OR LOSE IT
There is an interesting parable that Jesus uses to talk about responsibility. However, unlike the topics of responsibility that we discussed earlier, Jesus adds a layer—kingdom responsibility. Jesus, the greatest storyteller to ever live, tells the story in Matthew 25:14-30 of a leader who is leaving for a long journey. So he gathers his three most trusted workers and gives each of them a portion of his possessions to be responsible for. The leader gives the first worker 5 talents, the second worker he entrusts 3 talents and finally he gives the third worker 1 talent.
Over time the leader returns and with anticipation meets with his workers to see what they have accomplished while he was gone. Remarkably, the first two leaders DOUBLED their talents- the items they were responsible for. Jesus tells us the leader said, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:23).”
However, the third worker did nothing! He took his talent and hid it. The leader was furious. He took the talent from the one who hid his talent and gave it to the worker who had five talents and turned his talents into ten. The same is true for each of us. God has given each of us special talents. Some are gifted in athletics, academics, or music. Others are artistic, writers or social butterflies. No matter what creative or leadership talents you have been given, you are responsible to use and practice these talents. Just like the parable that Jesus gave, if we are not responsible and don’t use our talents, we can lose our talents.
What is the main “talent” you have been blessed with?
What is ONE WAY this week you can be responsible with your God-given talent?
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.