|Friday:||Feed My Sheep|
|Story Passage:||John 21|
|Other Passages:||Psalm 23, Matthew 7:15-23, Acts 20:28-30|
|Objective:||Teens should learn that they must follow Jesus|
|Memory Verse:||Ephesians 2:10, |
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Introduction: Caring for Sheep
What kinds of things does a shepherd have to do to take care of his sheep? [Accept some answers.] He has to make sure that the sheep have food and water. He has to keep the thieves away, and protect the sheep from wild animals. This is why we sometimes call our pastors shepherds, because they are watching out for God's sheep - the church.
Story: Feed My Sheep
Peter was one of Jesus disciples, but after Jesus went back to heaven, Peter became a pastor of the church in Jerusalem. Jesus knew Peter was going to have to lead the church, so before he left, he talked to Peter about it. Jesus and his disciples had been sitting near the Sea of Galilee eating fish for breakfast. [Read John 21:15-18, stopping after Jesus says "Feed my sheep" the last time.] Jesus wasn't talking about a flock of actual bleating sheep, that he wanted Peter to feed. He was talking about people - the people who love Jesus and follow him. Jesus was telling Peter to lead the church.
Point: Leading God's Sheep
Why do you suppose Jesus told him three times? Do you suppose he wanted Peter to remember to do this? It was important. Feed my sheep. What should he be feeding them? Was he supposed to order a pizza, maybe whip up some burgers and fries? (No.) He was supposed to feed them by teaching them God's word, so that they would grow in Jesus. Peter also had to protect the church from wild animals. Wolves and lions? The Bible calls false teachers wolves, because they come into the church looking just like the rest of us, pretending to be followers of God, like wolves pretending to be sheep - but then they try to steal people away from God. They teach things that aren't from the Bible, things that aren't true. And the Bible calls Satan a roaring lion, looking to see who he can devour. He wants to take away God's sheep too. So a pastor, as a shepherd of God's sheep, has to protect us from those things, by teaching us the Bible so that we won't go astray.
Why do you think a pastor has to teach us things? So that we can just sit there and not pay attention? (No.) Is it so that we can fill our heads with knowledge and never use it? (No.) What are we we supposed to do? We have to follow God's teaching. Ephesians 2:10 is our memory verse for today: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God didn't prepare these good works for us ahead of time so that we could avoid doing them. Following God isn't just about going to church once a week. It's about doing. It's about how we live our life every day, doing the things God teaches us in the Bible.
Could you think of some other things God wants us to do, besides just going to church? [Accept some answers. Possibilities: praying, studying the Bible, giving money, telling other people about Jesus, taking care of our parents when they're old, ...]
Hopefully today you've learned or been reminded what it means to follow the good shepherd. We don't want to leave everything up to the Pastor to just do it all - all of us should be doing God's work, in the church, and when we live our lives. So, help your Pastor out this week.
[Remind your teens that you are available to talk to if they have anything they need to discuss before they leave tonight.]
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.