|Bible Lesson:||Sheep Security: Jesus is the good shepherd and always looks after his sheep. (The Good Shepherd)|
|Memory Verse:||John 10:28|
|Missions Concepts:||Missionaries train local pastors.|
|Bible Passages:||2nd Timothy 2:2|
We've been talking this week about sheep and shepherds. The shepherd is the person who takes care of the sheep, leads them to good grass and to water, protects them from wild animals and other dangers, and so on.
What would happen to a group of sheep if they didn't have a shepherd? They might get hungry. They might get lost. Some of the sheep might be hurt, or even killed. A wolf or a lion might eat some of the poor sheep.
Main Point: The Need for Pastors
It's bad for a church not to have any pastor to look out for them. How can the people learn the Bible if nobody teaches it to them? They can try to study on their own, but there are all kinds of things that can go wrong. Without a pastor, there's nobody to make sure the people are getting good teaching, nobody to protect them from false teachers who would tell them wrong things about God, nobody to bring them back into the fold if they wander off.
Every flock of sheep needs a shepherd, and every church needs a pastor.
In India, there are Christian believers with no local pastor in their town. Missionaries from other cities came and told them a little about Jesus, and then the people who they told went to their friends and neighbors and told more people, so now there's a group of believers, but they need a pastor. The missionaries can't stay in all the different towns, because there aren't enough of the missionaries to go around. They need more shepherds.
Some of the new Christians in India want to be pastors, but they don't know how. They need to know more of the Bible. They need to know how to study the Bible. They need to know how to lead and protect a church.
So now the missionaries are teaching men how to be pastors. They teach them how to study the Bible, how to teach it, and how to look out for a church – all the things a pastor needs to do.
When missionaries first go to an area, like Craig and Sara Noyes are planning to do, they have to be the shepherd themselves – they have to teach the people, and lead people to Christ, and start churches.
But the job isn't done as soon as they have sheep. The sheep need shepherds. A missionary's job isn't finished until there are local pastors who can lead the new churches. Part of missionaries' job is to train these local pastors, so they can shepherd the new flock. Only then do the missionaries move on to another place.
Invite any children who are interested in doing missions work someday to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.