Read Luke 7:8
Just mention the word “authority” and watch those around you dive for cover. Sadly, we live in a world where authority has been abused, confused, and misused. Students thumb their noses at teachers, throw rocks at police and laugh at God. Authority has been shipwrecked on the rocks of disrespect because of those in authority have failed to live up to the biblical standards of leadership. Thankfully, God has given us awesome examples of leadership both in his word and in his church. It is high time we reconsider what it means to respect authority.
Read Luke 7:1-10 aloud. Here, we find a man who understood what it meant to respect the authority of Jesus. Ask the children what it means to “respect” those who have authority over us. Respect means to pay attention to someone; respect means to obey. Help them to see what respect for authority involves “great faith” and is pleasing to Jesus! Ask the following questions:
- Why did this man respect Jesus?
- How did he show his respect for Jesus?
- Why was Jesus amazed at this man?
- Whom do we need to respect?
- How can we show respect for authority?
Ask the children to perform a play with one child taking the role of someone in authority, i.e. policeman, teacher, etc. (This can be done as a “finger” play for families with only one child or little children.) Have the other family members act out showing disrespect for authority and then talk about how we should discipline such disrespect. Next, act out how we show respect for authority, i.e. stopping for the policeman when he blows the whistle; sitting down when the teacher tells us, etc. Talk about why it is important to respect those who have authority. Share what authorities’ parents themselves must respect because God wants us to all show respect. Read Romans 13:17.
Have the parents and older children share about someone in the church they respect and why they respect them. Read Hebrews 13:7 and 17. Be sure to discuss how we respect those who are leaders in the church: our Bible Talk and House Church leaders; our Shepherds, evangelists and women’s ministry leaders. Share how we show respect for authority in the church, at work, and in the home. Take time to write “family” note of thanks to someone who we respect. Pray and thank God for the leaders of the church.