NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, Sun., Apr. 22. This guide will enable your follow-up of the second 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 John 10. 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.
[Jesus said:] “The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice.” Those who heard Jesus use this analogy didn’t understand what he was saying.
So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
… “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd. ” (John 10.2-10,14-16 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. Tell us of a time you were able to pick out a loved one’s voice in a noisy place or crowd.
2. Complete this sentence: “I feel a bit sheepish (shy, timid, self-conscious) about _______.”
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. How do sheep learn the voice of their shepherd?
2. Working from this text, what is a sheep’s best defense against “thieves” and “outlaws?”
3. According to this passage, what is the shepherd’s ultimate goal for the sheep?
4. In context, who are Jesus’ own sheep (vs. 14) and who are his “other sheep” (vs. 16)?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. What do sheep who know the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus, do? What do they not do?
2. How can we, as God’s sheep, learn to discern the voice of Jesus?
3. If we listen to Jesus, we will welcome the “other sheep” Jesus brings into the flock. What might this look like, and how might it even challenge or change, the ways we “do church?”
4. How would you rate or score the way you know and listen to Jesus? Why?
5. If you began to more deeply learn and listen to Jesus, how would your ways change?