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Lesson: The Truth About Authority

1. To expose students to the Scriptural truth about authority
2. To help the students understand why authority should be respected
3. To give them practical insight into respecting authority

Scripture Memorization
Hebrews 13:17a

GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)


many of you like being told what to do or someone having authority over you?
is it that we dont like authority figures?
are some examples of authority figures with whom you have difficulty getting along?
are authority figures similar to our game of Who Is Leading Whom?

It can sometimes be hard to accept that someone has authority over you. Sometimes it feels like they are abusing
their authority, and it can be hard to take. But no one is exempt. Even the President of the United States answers
to Congress, the American people, and the Supreme Court. You have parents, teachers, coaches, and grown-ups at
church who have the authority over you.
God is the ultimate authority, and He has plenty to say about respecting authority.

DIGGING IN (25 minutes)

Discussion Questions:
1. Do you think people your age have a hard time respecting authority? Why/why not?
2. What does it take for you to respect authority?
Sometimes we demand respect from someone before well return that respect. While this is common and easy to
understand, its not necessarily right. You may have parents, teachers, or other authority figures who are not good
at their respective jobs (or at least you might feel that way) but the Bible says that we should still respect them.
Our government might not be Christian, but we should still respect the laws that dont cause us to deny Christ.
Respect isnt something you wait to give until someone proves themselves; its something youre commanded by
God to give certain people.
One of the things the Bible is clear about is respecting our government.
Read Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13
Discussion Questions:
1. Do you think people respect government very much?
2. Do you think part of respecting government is following its rules?
3. Should you only obey the laws you like or all of them if youre going to respect the law?
4. Do you have to agree with a government to respect it?
5. Where do these passages claim the governments authority originates?
6. What do you think respecting the government looks like for a teenager?
Thats right, were supposed to respect our parents.
Read Ephesians 6:1-2 and 2 Timothy 3:2

Discussion Questions:
1. What do these passages say about respecting/honoring your parents?
2. Why is hard sometimes to respect them?
3. Do you think you should respect your parents if they ask you to disobey God? Should you obey them?
We can joke around about the trials of a teenager, but for some of you, its no joke. Some of us here may have
abusive parents, or maybe our parents have abandoned us. For some of you, respect may be the most difficult
feeling you can produce when concerning your parents. But that doesnt exclude you. The command to respect
your parents remains.
Our church leaders have authority over us as well.
Read Hebrews 13:17
Discussion Questions:
1. What kind of leaders does this passage discuss?
2. Do you respect your church leaders?
3. Why do you think it would be important to respect these people?
4. How could not respecting them be a burden to them?
5. What would be the impact if you did not submit to them?
6. What does this look like practically? What does it mean to respect your youth minister, a volunteer, or other
leaders at your church?
Respect is a hard thing to come by. People have a hard time accepting the fact that people have authority over
them. But, as you can see, the Bible is clear that respecting authority is importantits demanded of us by God as
the right thing to do.

MAKING IT REAL (15 minutes)

Some of you are more disrespectful than others. But the challenge for all of us is the samewe need to respect
those who have authority over us. Some of you need to repent of your disrespectfulness first.
To complete this lesson, have the class quietly complete the following workbook activity.

Workbook Activity
How Much Respect?
Please answer the following questions according to where you are at right now.
How respectful do you think you are, on a scale from one to ten? (1 equals not at all respectful. 10
very respectful)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Which group is the most difficult for you to respect? Government Parents Church Leaders
Is there another authority who you should respect? Who? ________________________
What would you say and how would you act if you were a completely respectful person? What would you
do, etc.?
What do you need to do to be more respectful?

CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)

Let's get into smaller groups, and confess to one another our struggles regarding respect. Then, as a group, pray
that we can all be more respectful as God wants us to be.