“occupation” Session 8: Redefining Greatness

Read pages 273-288 of Garden City before beginning this lesson.

Who is the Hero?

We are all born with an innate desire to be great—to do something of significance that somehow leaves the world a better place. In America, we are born into wealth and privilege. This gives us the freedom to dream of the life that we want to live. This is an incredible blessing from God. Unfortunately, so many of us dream of a life where we are the hero. We often forget that we were never meant to be the protagonist of our own life story. Our lives are a part of something much bigger.

1. Think about your own childhood. If someone asked you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What would you have said?

2. Share your childhood dreams with your small group. Are these dreams different now?

3. How has God interrupted your dreams to bring you into the dreams that He has for your life?


the greatness of a servant

In Matthew 18, we witness a conversation between Jesus and His disciples regarding “who will be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” In this story, Jesus doesn’t chastise his followers for their desire to be great—He redefines greatness. According to Jesus, the one who wants to be great must be the “servant of all.” Remember that servants exist to make other’s lives better. In other words, they live for the flourishing of those they serve.

1. How does this alter the way that you look at greatness?

2. Are you willing to serve others through your occupation? How can you do this practically? Discuss this will your small group.


A BackDoor to Joy

Have you ever noticed how people who are living only for themselves are often the most unhappy people? This flies in the face of what Western, individualist culture is all about. Have you also noticed that the people who are the most outward focused are also the most joyful? Serving others is, what John Mark Comer called the “backdoor to joy.”

We live in an “Instagram world” where success is measured by a totally unrealistic, curated highlight reel of our lives. No wonder we feel so envious and miserable whenever we look at other people’s lives! We aren’t seeing the whole, big picture. Joy comes when we let go of this envy and learn to live the lives of service to others that God has called us to.

1. So, what are your dreams? If you could do anything…

Just remember one thing: if the dreams for your life are all about you, then you are dreaming too small. Dream bigger! Dream the dreams that God has for you. Ask Him what these dreams are and chase after them with reckless abandon. God’s got your back. So, go for it! Do whatever it takes to live the life He has for you. It’s gonna be good!