SHEEP and the SHEPHERD
SHEEP and the SHEPHERD
YOUTH DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What does "the Lord is my Shepherd mean to you? How does using the words "manager" or "owner" in the place of "shepherd" change the way you approach, feel about, or respond to that statement?
2. Why do you think there's a difference in how we view "shepherd" vs. "owner/manager"?
3. Why does the Lord have the right to ownership of your life? Have you given it? What are the areas where you still command charge?
1. What does "Ishall not want" mean to you?
2. What would it look like for you to be "utterly satisfied" with your owner? Does it require material possessions? Or a specific situation or circumstance?
3. What's the difference between being content with what you have vs. who you have?
4. The author talks about a troublesome, "fence-crawling" sheep. Do you ever find yourself following a sheep that's looking for loopholes? Are you the sheep that is leading others astray?
1. What does it mean to "lie down in green pastures"?
2. What is necessary for you to rest??
3. The author explains that sheep need to be free from fear, tension, aggravation and hunger in order to lie down and rest- what does that look like for humans? Christians? You personally? What is the antidote for these things?
4. How willing are you to allow God to "tend your field" and be the kind of Shepherd that makes you lie down in green pastures?
1. What does "He leads me beside still waters" mean?"?
2. Where do you quench your thirst?
3. The author talks about dirty puddles that bring contaminants and pests- can these ever satisfy the sheep? Similarly, can contaminated sources ever satisfy the human soul?
4. We need the Holy Spirit to lead us to water, how are you at following and trusting his leading?
1. What do you think of when you hear, "he restores my soul"?
2. What does the process of restoration look like? Is it always pleasant?
3. In what ways/areas do you think the Good Shepherd is currently restoring you?
4. How do you respond to the statement "God knows what He is doing with me!"?
1.1. What does "he leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake" mean to you?
2. How does this compare with Isaiah 53:6, "all we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way."?
3. Reflect on "paths of righteousness" and "your own way." Where can you imagine each leading?
4. What does taking a step towards paths of righteousness look like for you today?
1. What does "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" mean to you?
2. Why does the Shepherd take the sheep through the valley despite the risks that are involved? What are the risks? What are the benefits?
3. How does this relate to Christian life? What are the benefits for us?
4. How does/should the presence of the Shepherd change the way we view and approach valleys?
1. What does "thy rod and staff comfort me" mean to you?
2. What is the role of the "rod" (Scripture) have in your life? How does it show authority? Is it the authority to you?
3. The "staff" (Holy Spirit) is our comforter, how do you respond to that comfort? Do you allow the Spirit to comfort you and direct you?
4. Is it hard for you to accept help from God when you get yourself "stuck in the thorns"? Why? What can you gather about his character that he is willing to help us get out, and prevent us from making the same mistake later?
1. What does “he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies” mean?
2. How has Christ prepared the table lands before us?
3. What does this tell us about his character and love for us as the Shepherd despite potential wrong-going?
4. How do you respond to that love?
1. What does "he anoints my head with oil" mean to you?
2. Do you find yourself asking for the "oil" (Spirit) to cover your thought life and protect you against pestering, petty thoughts or conflicts? Or, like the flies, do you allow them to lay eggs and infect your mind?
3. Do you exhibit the fruits of the Spirit when dealing with other christians? What about non-believers? Are you the battering ram trying to assert yourself and be "right"? Or are you the battered ram, bruised and confused by the actions of others?
4. Why is the Shepherd's presence in the storm so important to the sheep? What does it mean for your cup to overflow? How does this impact the way you view your storms, and the Good Shepherd's presence in them?
1. What does "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life" mean to you?
2. Looking back on your life, can you identify times, even hard ones, in which Christ's goodness and mercy followed you? Could you make such a bold statement for the future of your life even though it's unknown?
3. What do you want your legacy to look like when you are gone? What are you doing now to contribute to that? What should you be doing to contribute to that?
4. How do you respond to the following quote from the book? "the only real, practical measure of my appreciation for the goodness and mercy of God to me is the extent to which I am, in turn, prepared to show goodness and mercy to others."How willing are you to show goodness and mercy?
1. What does "I will dwell in the house of the Lord" mean to you?
2. How does the shepherd's presence change everything for the sheep? How does the Good Shepherd's presence change everything for the Christian? For you?
3. How can you live "ever aware of God's presence?"
4. Can sheep (people) on "the other side of the fence" tell who you belong to and the good care that he takes of you? Do you make it something they'd want to be part of?