In your workplace, or other settings, who is the greatest leader you’ve ever encountered? What was it about them that made people want to follow? 



This text shows James and John (and the other disciples) as ordinary men, with limited understanding, following Jesus. James and John were a part of Jesus’ “inner circle”. They may have come from a family with some means (their father was able to employ hired servants (Mark 1:20)). Could they feel “privileged”? Couldn’t they expect to be seated next to Jesus? In spite of all their time with Jesus at this point, they failed to understand Jesus’ message. Yet, they still believed. Their faith matured to the point that James died a martyr’s death (Acts 12:2) and John lived to an old age suffering much for Christ. Here we see them as arrogant, but they grew to be examples of faith and service.


God’s Story

Read Mark 10: 35-45. Have one group member be Jesus, one or two others be James and John and the rest throw out “who do they think they are” comments.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

1. Where do you see yourself in this story?

    • Like Jesus, I’m serving.
    • James and John – I expect to be upgraded to first class.
    • One of the ten – sick and tired of others getting what I deserve.
    • An outsider – seeing those church people arguing again.
    • Other __________. 

2. Honestly, if you were to start your prayer today like James and John, “I want you to do for me whatever I ask,” what would it be?

    • Give me the love I deserve.
    • Give me the recognition I deserve.
    • Give me the money I earn.
    • Give me the position I deserve.
    • Other __________. 

3. What do you think Jesus meant by “drinking his cup” and being “baptized with his baptism”?


4. How do you feel about“drinking the cup” and being “baptized with the baptism” that Jesus was baptized with?

    • Yikes! What am I getting into?
    • I’m excited – lead me Jesus.
    • I have some doubts, let me check this out…
    • What will this cost me?
    • Other __________.

5. How is Jesus’ teaching about leadership here similar to, or counter to, others you have heard or read?


6. How do you feel about following the servant’s path to greatness?

    • It’s a rocky road, buy I’m willing.
    • Some days more willing than others.
    • I can serve most anyone except _________.
    • I thought I was the one who needs to be served.
    • Other ______________.


Our Story

7. What would it mean for you to follow Jesus’ example this week?

    • Listening to __________.
    • Taking care of __________.
    • Doing something I have thought was “beneath me” like __________.
    • Spend some time with __________.
    • Other __________.

8. After reflecting on this teaching, what next step might Jesus be asking you to take? How will you do it this week?


9. How can this group help you take that next step this week?