#2 Shepherd

The picture of a shepherd and sheep is used throughout the Bible. Not only is it an image of a caring group leader, but it is also the image that God uses to relate to his people.

Psalm 23 says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14, ESV).

Later on, Jesus would go to his disciple Peter and ask him to feed and care for His sheep. “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” (1 Peter 5:2-3)

The Head, Heart and Hands of a Shepherd

Leading a group is more than a 2 hour a week Bible study.

Shepherding happens before and after your regular meeting and often takes place outside of the group. Sundays are a great time to search for new people or people who haven’t connected yet. Walk slowly through the crowd; take 3 minutes to talk only to new people (don’t just talk with your friends); pray with people at the altar and follow up with them that week.

The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-4)

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16)

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

1. PROGRESS: A shepherd leads people to their next step. (v2, 3)

2. PRESENCE: A shepherd walks with people through tough and trying times. (v4)

3. PROVIDE: A shepherd gives up their life (time, talents, treasures) for others. (v11)

4. PROTECT: A shepherd watches out for others and protects people from danger. (v12-13)

5. PROMOTE: A shepherd reaches out to others and invites them into the group. (v16)

Practice - How are you working your list?

  • Make a list of names of everyone in your group and people you are thinking about inviting to join the group.
  • Pray over the list every day and for each person by name.
  • Contact the list every week via email, text, phone, social media, etc. Plan to visit or meet with each person in your group at least once during the semester
  • Tip: Communicate with people the way they want to be communicated with.