Spiritual Growth Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Getting and Giving Respect

Main Point: Respect is something we should give…and get.

Discussion Starter: Respect by Aretha Franklin
Have one of your leaders (student or adult, or a combination) bust out a wild and hilarious rendition of R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin. The more over-the-top it is, the better. Envision one lead singer out in front of a chorus of back-up singers. Make sure to include lots of prancing around, “talk to the hand” gestures, and overall pomp. Make sure to have your performers encourage the crowd to sing along.

Transition Statement:
It’s obvious when people show others respect…and it’s obvious when they don’t. No one likes to be disrespected because it’s hurtful, plain and simple. Since 1967, that song has been sung as a cry for respect from millions of people. But, long before Aretha Franklin belted out RESPECT, the Bible had a lot to say about respect. Let’s take a look at what it has to say so we can give respect and get respect.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite song to sing at karaoke contests.

  2. ASK A FEW: Can somebody define “respect” for us?

  3. ASK A FEW: What are some ways we show respect for others?

  4. ASK A FEW: Can somebody define “disrespect” for us?

  5. ASK A FEW: What are some ways we show disrespect to others?

  6. ASK A FEW: Are you better at giving or getting respect?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Leviticus 19:3, NIV
      Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.

  8. ASK SOMEONE: In this passage, who does the Bible say we are to respect?

  9. ASK A FEW: Do you think it’s easier or harder to respect parents today than it was in biblical times? Why?

  10. Read the following passage:

      Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.
      (Leviticus 19:32, NIV)

  11. ASK SOMEONE: In this passage, who does the Bible say we should respect?

  12. ASK A FEW: What are some of the benefits of showing respect to the elderly amongst us?

  13. Read the following passage:

      Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
      (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, NIV)

  14. ASK SOMEONE: Who does this passage say we should respect?

  15. Read the following passage:

      Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
      (1 Peter 2:17, NIV)

  16. ASK SOMEONE: And who does this passage say we should respect?

  17. ASK A FEW: It sounds like the Bible has a lot to say about respect. Who do you have the most trouble respecting?

  18. ASK A FEW: There’s an old saying that claims, “Respect has to be earned.” Do you agree or disagree and why?

  19. ASK A FEW: Do you think it’s OK for us as Christ’s followers to be disrespected? (Leaders – The students may point out that some Christians are persecuted for their faith, and it’s true. But that doesn’t make it right. Likewise, disrespecting a Christ-follower is not right.)

  20. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some things you need to change immediately to ensure people give you more respect?

Wrap Up:
Respect! Aretha wants it. God wants it. You and I want it. Unfortunately, wanting respect is a lot easier than showing respect. But both are important.

We just took a look at Bible passages that say a lot about respect. Did you know the Bible had so much to say about such a simple topic as respect? The ancient Bible writers knew that giving respect was crucial. We concluded our small group time by talking about what has to change in our lives so we can earn people’s respect?

I want to ask you just a few more simple questions that you can ponder in your heart.

  • The person(s) I know I need to show more respect for is…
  • I need to work on the respect I show in my words by…
  • The way I could boost my self-respect is…
  • It would please God and make me closer to Him if I showed respect for Him in the area of…

These weren’t necessarily easy questions. If you’d like to talk with one of our adult leaders after we’re done, please hang around and grab us. We’d love to chat with you about respecting yourself and others.

Close in Prayer

By Danette Matty


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Jessica
    July 9, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I really love the agendas you have. We just started out youth ministry and most of the kids just come because of their friends. I really want them to get involved with God and themselves. I look forward to coming back here for help.

  2. Karen
    December 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I like this sight for when I'm looking for a particular lesson

  3. John
    May 30, 2019 at 5:37 am

    Very helpful…Thanks for the work.God bless

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