THE LOST SHEEP
Are you looking for a great game to play with your youth group? Something that will get their attention and have an impact on them as well? A great game to play is called "Finding the One" In this game your whole class is involved in putting a puzzle together when they find that there is one piece of the puzzle missing. After your class has realized that a piece is their new objective is to find the piece that is missing before any other team finds their piece. The team to find their piece first is the winning team.
Assign your youth group a memory verse the week before you start. The memory verse to assign them will be Matthew 6:24-25. You will use this verse later to reference back to while you are giving your teaching.
Instructions on "The Lost Sheep"
1. Find out how many teenagers you have in your class and separate them into groups of about 3 to 5 depending on how big your group is. Then if you have 5 groups you buy 5 puzzles and so on.... 10 groups would be 10 puzzles. (Get the idea?) You will have to buy a hundred piece puzzle for each group.
2.Show up extra early this week to your church and take out one piece of puzzle from each puzzle you have. Now take that one piece and hide it in a good spot and continue in different areas of the building until you have hidden all of the pieces of puzzle.
3.When you start your youth group divide them into groups and have them start working on the puzzles and when they are almost done they will realize that they are missing a piece of puzzle. Announce to the class that each puzzle is missing one piece and they have to look for it in the building or your classroom.
4.Make it a competition to see who can get done the fastest so that it will not take a long time. Also offer a prize to the winning team. We offered a $5.00 gift certificate to Carls Jr or McDonalds.
5.When everyone is finished read them the scripture from Matthew 18:12-14 It talks about the Lost Sheep and how the shepherd left the 99 to go and look for the 1 and how happy he was to find the one!!
First you must provide a foundation on what you are going to talk ab out. To do this reference the scriptures below.
We are his sheep! Psalm 79:13 - Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation. Psalm 95:7 - for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today! Psalm 100:3 - Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Ezekiel 34:31 - You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!"
The Bible clearly states that we are his sheep, When Jesus is speaking about parables and refers to sheep he is talking about people.
Read Matthew 18:12 Ask your class "How many of you were disappointed when you realized you lost or didn’t have all 100 pieces of your puzzle?" Ask "Now how many of you were happy when you found the one that was lost?" State: When you were searching for it did you think that maybe you wouldn’t find it? Ask "Were you guys excited for the 99 that you already had or were you excited for the one that you found?" Everyones answers should be for the one that they found.
How much more do you think our heavenly father will rejoice when one of his lost sheep comes back to him?
(Luke 15:3-7) 3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
The reason why Jesus told this parable was because the Pharisees didn’t like that he was teaching to the lost so he had to explain to them in a way that they could understand. He told them another parable about a lady losing her coins and then he told them the parable of the Lost Son.
(Luke 15:31-32) 31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
Ask: How many of you rejoiced when you found your lost puzzle piece? It was lost but now it was found! What was your Memory Verse this week? Matt:6:24-25 What did it just say in Luke 15:31? Jesus is talking about reaching the lost and at the same time he is telling you that he will take care of you and everything he has is yours!! You don’t have to worry about everyday life!
So how do you reach the lost, what can you do to reach the ones that are not found? Ask have any of you been an irresponsible shepherd?
Proceed to the book of Ezekiel
(Ezekiel 34:1-6) 1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? 3 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 4 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. 5 So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. 6 They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.
How many times as Christians have we judged others? In verse 3 it says you let your flocks starve. How many times have we not feed the homeless? How many times do we disrespect others because they are not believers? OR how many times have we seen other Christians ridicule others because they believe in a religion?
Explain that as Christians we need to show love to the lost and show the Jesus in us so that we can bring them back to the Lord. Just as it says in the scriptures they have been scattered and without a shepherd and they are easy prey for any wild animal. We have to reach them as quickly as we can!
What is a wild animal? A wild animal can be anything that is not of God, the sheep are out there wandering, looking for something that can’t fill the desire that they want. As it says in the scripture they have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills and yet we haven’t gone to look for them. All the wild animals of the world are capturing them because we are not looking for them. People are getting caught up in drugs, alcohol, lust, perversion, music and anything else that they can find that they think is going to give them peace.
Explain that as Christians you have to introduce them to Jesus. Are you searching for the lost just as you searched for that one piece of puzzle?
Go deeper into the scriptures:
(Ezekiel 34:7-10) 7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. 9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.
Everybody is going to be held accountable! How many people have had an opportunity to introduce someone to the Lord and we don’t do it? Do you want to be the Lords enemy? Ezekiel is condemning the shepherds in this passage for not taking care of the flock.
(Ezekiel 34:11-16)11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!
When you read this scripture its easy to see that Jesus could compare the Pharisees to the shepherds that Ezekiel was talking about. The Pharisees were only concerned about themselves and getting rich and feeding themselves but they were not concerned about the lost or the ones that needed to be healed.
When you are done you can call a great taco catering company to feed your youth! They deserve a great meal as a treat!
Scotttroupe (author) from Hemet, CA on April 11, 2012:
Yes, please do and let me know how it goes! My youth had a lot of fun with it, it was funny to watch them find a piece of someone else's puzzle and then hide it again!