NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, Sun., Apr. 15. This guide will enable your follow-up of the first sermon in a series of sermons on some of what it means to be a sheep in God’s flock (Not a Flake; Part of the Flock). The primary text for tomorrow morning’s sermon, and this discussion, is Ezekiel 34. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”
To lay down a basic understanding of the life and role of a person who is one of God’s sheep.
I myself will feed my flock and make them lie down. This is what the Lord God says. I will seek out the lost, bring back the strays, bind up the wounded, and strengthen the weak. But the fat and the strong I will destroy, because I will tend my sheep with justice.
As for you, my flock … I will judge between the rams and the bucks among the sheep and the goats. Is feeding in good pasture or drinking clear water such a trivial thing that you should trample and muddy what is left with your feet? But now my flock must feed on what your feet have trampled and drink water that your feet have muddied.
… I will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. You shove with shoulder and flank, and with your horns you ram all the weak sheep until you’ve scattered them outside. But I will rescue my flock so that they will never again be prey. I will even judge between the sheep! …
The nations will no longer prey on them, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, with no one to trouble them. …
They will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are my people. … You are my flock, the flock of my pasture. You are human, and I am your God. This is what the Lord God says. (Ezekiel 34.15-22,28,30-31 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. If you chose an animal to depict or represent the people of God, what would it be? Why?
2. Life in the church for me has been like dealing with a _____. [name an animal]
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. What positive benefits of sheep do you see stated or implied in Ezk. 34?
2. What negative traits or actions of sheep do you notice, implicit or explicit, in Ezk. 34?
3. How do sheep relate to each other in Ezk. 34? What human behavior is God pointing out?
4. What does God promise to do with his sheep in Ezk. 34?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. Why do you think God emphasized this metaphor of his people as being like sheep?
2. What characteristics of sheep do you readily perceive in Christ’s church?
3. What animal would you say the world tends to view Christ’s church as being like? Why?
4. What traits of sheep do you most easily recognize in yourself?
5. What qualities of sheep do you think others see in you?
6. For the sake of the other sheep in the flock, I resolve to be a better sheep of God by ______.