Into the Lesson
As students arrive give each a piece of blank paper (or have students turn to “What Do You Think?” in the student books if you’re using those). Write the following open-ended statements on the board:
To be a good shepherd, a person must . . .Jesus was the good shepherd because . . .
Ask your students to write down as many responses to each statement as they can generate in a minute or two. Then call on volunteers to share their answers with the class.
After discussion say, “Today’s lesson will stress Jesus’ role as the good shepherd. We will also learn something about our responsibility to shepherd members of our congregation.”
Into the Word
This Yes or No exercise will help students note contrasts among the shepherd, the thief, and the hireling. Hand out copies of this exercise (or direct students to their student books, where this exercise is also found). Each student should study John 10:1-18 and then answer yes or no to each question. Correct answers are in parentheses; do not hand the answers out.
1. Does he access the sheep by the door? Shepherd (Y); Thief (N); Hireling (Y). 2. Do the sheep recognize his voice? Shepherd (Y); Thief (N);Hireling (Y). 3. Do the sheep follow him? Shepherd (Y); Thief (N); Hireling (19. 4. Does he take care of the sheep? Shepherd (Y); Thief (N); Hire-ling (Y, to a degree). 5. Does he care about other sheep besides those in his immediate fold? Shepherd (Y) Thief (N); Hireling (N). 6. Will he give his life for the sheep? Shepherd (Y); Thief (N);Hireling (N).
Review the correct answers, and then say, “Jesus made it clear that this figure of speech was about Him. What do we know about Jesus,
from this text and from other passages of Scripture, that proves Hint to be the good shepherd?”Discuss any passages the students mention. Then discuss the following questions:
1.How does Jesus “enter by the door”? (See John 9:35-41.)
2.How do the sheep recognize His voice? (Seamark 1:21-27.)
3.In what way is Jesus the “door” of the sheep? (See Acts 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:8-13.)
4.Who were the thieves and robbers?
5.Who were the hirelings?
6.Who were the “other sheep”?
7. How did Jesus have the power to lay His life down for the sheep? (See Matthew 26:53, 54; He-brews 5:7-9.)
You can follow up on each question by asking, “Why is this important to know?” The above could be a small-group activity.
Students will be completing two exercises. Both parts are found in the student book.
Exercise A: What Do Shepherds Do? Ask students to consider what is involved in shepherding a church today. Each student should list as many essential functions as he or she can think of. For example, they might list teaching, counseling, and praying for the sick. Direct students to Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 5:17; James 5:14;and 1 Peter 5:1-3 for more ideas.
When your students are finished, have them share their answers. Write their ideas on the board. Then ask your students to complete the next exercise.
Exercise B: How Can We Shepherd Our Flock? For each of the shepherding functions listed in Exercise A, instruct each student to jot down at least one possible ministry that your congregation can do to fulfill it. For example, a hospital calling program would carry out the function of praying for the sick.
When your students are finished, list their answers as you did before. Ask students which pro-grams your congregation currently performs. Brainstorm ways to begin new ministries that are not currently part of your church’s program. Challenge your students to participate actively in at least one such ministry.
Into the Lesson