Saturday, March 10, 2012

John 10: 1-3 The Good Shepherd

Help Me - I Can't See: Blindfolded - Oh, that Explains It.
John 10: 1-3 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Opening Teaching Drill: Blindfolded Follower

Material Need: 

1) At least 3 students - a Follower, a "Good" leader and a "Bad" leader.

2) A Blindfold

3) A Target to lead the follower to - suggestions, a hula hoop, a piece of paper, a square taped on the ground - someplace that is easy to set up AFTER the student is blind folded.

How to Play the Game:  Tell the "Follower" that he is going to be led to the target (whatever it is going to be - see 3 above), and that if he gets there is 1 min (or 3 or 5 or whatever time you think will be good for your players) he wins.  Tell him also that one of the leaders is a "Good" leader and one is a "Bad" leader, and it is up to him to decide which one to follow.

Blindfold the follower, place the target, and say go.

See what happens.  You might see/hear the follower ask questions to determine who to follow, you might hear leaders yelling instructions at the follower.  You will probably hear one trying to lead, and the other trying to obstruct - but you never know.

Play as many times as you have time for with different players.

When you have finished, ask them questions like:
a) How do you know who to follow in the game?
b) What happens if you follow the wrong person?
c) Can you change from the Good leader to the Bad, or from the Bad to the Good?
d) What does it feel like to be blind?
e) Once you have selected who to follow, even if it was the wrong choice, how did it feel?
f) If you picked the "Bad" leader, how did it end?

Tell them that God, specifically Jesus, is just like the game.  We are Blind to much of the spiritual world, the things that God has in store for us.  Yet, God has sent us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to give us both ears and eyes to see Jesus with, to hear his voice, so we can follow him. 

Read the VERSE.  Tell them that if they can not hear the Voice of Jesus, do not know his voice, that they can. Tell them to ask one of the Adult or Teen leaders Today ---  This would be an opportunity to bring them the Good News.

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This is the part of the Children's Service where we sing praise and worship songs and take a collection, though this is not necessary ...  

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John 10: 1-21 - the Rest of the Story: 

The Goal of the Second Part of the Lesson is to deepen their understanding of "The Good Shepard."

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
The Bigger Teaching Drill: Blindfolded Follower Too

Same game, but this time the Good Leader and the Bad Leader both have goals, both appear the same, and you don't let the other students know who the Good Leader or Bad Leader is - just play the game, and keep score as to how many each leader wins ... the only players you change are the Bindfolded followers.

Start them blindfolded, and if you want to have some more challenge, have them spin 10 or 20 times around counting out loud with the other students, until you say go.

Play the game until the get to one goal or the other.

How to explain the Game:  Ask all the students who they think the Good and Bad leader was, and let them explain why - draw the discussion out as long as you can.  It can go many different ways, but I would expect it to go either to it was hard to tell the difference between good and bad to Bad was most fighting, and Good was mostly encouraging, depending on who you picked to play good and bad.

When they are done explaining to you who was who, tell them who was who.

Then tell them that with God there is a way to know who the good leader is.  We already know his name.  Read the rest of the verses to them.

Explain and discuss as much as you can as you read it, paying particular attention to the sacrifice Jesus made for them - that the nature of the Good Leader is sacrifice and love -- lead them to lead a life of sacrifice and love.

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