Seating Assignments | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2019

Seating Assignments

By Dave Magee

Status is a tricky thing to understand, and the message of Jesus in Luke 14 pushes back on all of our assumptions about how we should think about status in our culture. This activity will help students process the values in their own life and engage with the scripture on their level.

Before the activity create a notecard (or sheet of paper) for each student. On that notecard ahead of time write down an assigned title in large print such as “Mayor, CEO of a company, Homeless person, Construction worker, Pastor, Librarian, etc.” so each person in your group has a card.

Tell all the students they have been invited to fancy banquet like in Luke 14, but now it is time to figure out who should sit where. Give each of the students one of the cards you made before hand with titles.

Show students the designated table or circle of chairs for the feast, making sure there are enough chairs for everyone. Explain where the head of the table is which will be served first at the banquet. Tell the students they all need to hold their title up in front of them, and collectively work as a group to decide who gets to sit where.

Allow the students to spend 5-10 minutes to decide who should sit where – try to not intervene too much in their discussion.

Once the students have decided who should sit where and everyone is seated, ask them as a group to explain how they chose who should be seated where.

  • Ask if everyone is satisfied where they are seated, or if anyone disagrees?
  • Ask if there is anywhere in their lives or their schools where they feel like there is a hierarchy?
  • Ask if they feel God loves all people, all of his creation equally?
  • Ask if there are places where the students can do a better job of putting others first this week?


You will also need a large table/group of tables, or capacity to put all chairs in the room in a circle. You’ll also need to designate a “head” of the table/circle which will be served first at the meal. If your group is very large you can split the group into two and do this exercise at the same time with each group.

Dave MaGee has served in youth ministry for two decades since graduating from Duke University Divinity School in 1999. He served as a youth minister in several churches in Texas and most recently served as the Director of Student Ministries at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.