Basic Topics to Train New Shepherds

To Use in Languages that Lack Paul-Timothy, Train & Multiply®,
Shepherd’s Storybook, or similar materials in your language.

 

How to Use this List of Topics

Mentors first meet with novice shepherds who report progress and problems of their flocks.

Mentoring takes place at all levels of leadership. Mentors may be Regional Coordinators, trainers, church planters, shepherds, or new leaders who coach novice shepherds.

Mentors and novice shepherds together choose from the study topics listed below, ones that fit current needs of each shepherd’s flock. Shepherds then prepare and teach the studies to their flocks:

·         Read, tell or dramatize Bible stories. If a story is too long, then only present parts of it.

·         Let children help.

Example of dramatization: A Narrator says, “Hear what God told the first man in Genesis 3.” Others speak in their own words the parts of Voice of God, Adam, Eve and Serpent. A Narrator briefly summarizes the parts of the story that are not spoken.

·         A shepherd asks the listed questions and lets anyone answer.

·         A shepherd helps believers plan to carry out the listed tasks.

·         Each shepherd helps his flock to start new flocks. He uses these studies to train their new leaders.

1.    Jesus’ birth.
Read or tell the stories from:
Matthew  1:18-25; 2:1-23; Luke 2:10-14
.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What miracles did God do to make the birth of Jesus happen?

·         What miracles made Jesus’ miraculous birth known?

·         What did the angels’ Good News tell about?

·         For whom was the Good News, besides the shepherds? (Luke 2:10-11)

·         What else did Jesus do years later that is also part of the Good News? (Luke 24:46-48)

·         What was Jesus doing before he was born on earth? (John 1:1-4 & 14)

Task: Take time during worship to pray by name for people who need to hear the Good News, and plan together to visit them and tell them the Good News.

Memorize Gal. 4:4-6.

2.    Jesus’ baptism and command to be baptized.
Read or tell the stories from: Matthew  3:13-17;  Acts 8:26-39.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         In what way did each Person of the Holy Trinity act in Jesus’ baptism? [Trinity = God the Father X God the Son X God the Holy Spirit, united in one God (1 X 1 X 1 = 1)]

·         What things did Jesus command his disciples to do, according to Matthew 28:18-20?

·         How soon did the apostles baptize newly-repentant folk? (Acts 2:37-41)

·         What is the purpose of baptism? (Rom. 6:3-14)

Task: Baptize without delay new, repentant believers.

Memorize Acts 2:38.

3.    Jesus’ temptation and victory over Satan.
Read or tell the stories from:
Matthew  4:1-11; 26:36-46.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What three things did the devil tempt Jesus to do?

·         In what way did Jesus use Scripture to resist Satan?

·         How did Jesus triumph over Satan three years later?

·         What does God promise to do for us, if we endure suffering? (Rom. 8:15-18; James 1:2-4)

Task: Let believers silently think about their own bad habits and then pray silently for victory over those habits.

Memorize James 4:7.

4.    Jesus’ miracles and the need for faith.
Read or tell the stories from:
Matthew  8:28-34; John 6:1-15; 9.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         Why did religious leaders expel a healed blind man from their meeting place?

·         How did Jesus use a boy’s offering to help many people?

·         Why did people beg Jesus to leave after he cast demons out of a man?

Task: Visit the sick. Pray to Jesus to heal them.

Memorize James 5:14-15.

5.    Jesus’ command to give generously.
Read or tell the stories from:
Matthew  25:31-46; Luke 21:1-4;  Acts 18:1-4.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What had the ‘goats’ failed to do, and Jesus condemned them?

·         What had the ‘sheep’ done, and Jesus rewarded them?

·         How does God measure the importance of what we give? (By what is left over.)

·         How should believers calculate how much to give? (See 2 Cor. 9:6-7)

·         What did Paul do, as an example for others?
(One form of giving is to lead others without pay.)

·         Why did Paul prefer to support himself? (See 2 Thess 3:6-15)

Task: Give money, goods or labour for God’s work and the needy.

Memorize Luke 6:38.

6.      Jesus’ sacrificial suffering.
Read or tell the stories from:
Mark 14:43-72 & chapter 15.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What cruelties did Jesus suffer besides the cross? (Mark 14:65; 15:15; John 19:2-3)

·         What did Jesus say that infuriated the High Priest? (Mark 14:60-64)

·         What is the value of Jesus’ shed blood for believers? (Hebrews 5:9; 9:23-28)

Task: Tell friends how and why Jesus died.

Memorize Lev. 17:11 and John 1:29.

7.    Jesus’ life-giving resurrection.
Read or tell the stories from:
Luke 24; John 20:24-29.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What did Thomas say and do, when he saw Christ risen from death?

·         Why did two disciples’ hearts burn within them? (See Luke 24:13-35)

·         Why is Christ, after rising from death, called the ‘final Adam’? (1 Cor. 15:20-26, 45)

Task: Tell friends about Jesus’ life-giving resurrection and his promise to raise from death those who trust him.

Memorize Ephesians 2:4-6.

8.      Jesus’ command to break bread, remembering his death.
Read or tell the stories from:
Ex. 12:1-14 & 29-38; 1 Kings 18; Matthew  26:17-28.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What did the Israelites do with lamb’s blood to save their firstborn from the death angel?

·         What did Jesus tell his followers to do to remember his death?

·         What did the believers of the first church do when they met to worship? (See Acts 2:42)

·         What did God do to idol worshippers, in the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel ?

Task: Observe Communion often, remembering Jesus’ death for your sins.

Memorize John 6:51.

9.    Jesus’ ascension and final orders to spread the Good News.
Read or tell the stories from:
Acts 1:1-11; chapters 13 & 14.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         Jesus told his followers to be witnesses in what four places? (Acts 1:8)

·         What did the Antioch church do to start new churches? (Acts 13:1-3; compare Luke 10:1-20)
Read how Paul and Barnabas planted many churches. Story, Acts.
Read how Paul helped Timothy and others to train new shepherds, 2 Timothy 2:2.

·         What did two angels tell the disciples after Jesus had ascended to heaven? (Acts 1:11)

·         What is every believer’s source of power to tell others about Jesus? (Acts 1:8)

·         Where is Jesus now? What is he doing for us? (Rom. 8:33-39)

Task: Visit people who do not yet know Jesus. Tell what Jesus did to save them, and how he has changed your life.

Memorize Luke 24:46-48.

10.    Jesus’ promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to live in us.
Read or tell the story from:
Acts 2.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What things did Jesus say that the Holy Spirit would do for us? (John 14:15-18; 16:7-11)

·         For what purpose does the Holy Spirit seal us? (Eph. 1:13-14)

·         For what purpose does the Holy Spirit fill us? (Acts 1:8)

·         For what purpose does the Holy Spirit give us spiritual gifts? (1 Cor. 12:4-25)

·         How often does the Holy Spirit renew those who let him do so? (2 Cor. 4:16)

Task: Pray privately and as a group for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Do so to be assured of your eternal inheritance, to witness for Jesus, to serve one another with our spiritual gifts and to be renewed daily. Do not seek the Holy Spirit simply to feel an emotion.

Memorize 2 Corinthians 3:17.

11.    Jesus’ command for everyone to repent.
Read or tell the story from:
Luke 15:11-32.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         What did the younger son do that showed true repentance?

·         Why did the older son become angry?

·         What did the father do that illustrates God’s boundless grace toward sinners?

·         What will happen to people who never repent? (Luke 13:5)

·         In what way does the Holy Spirit keep transforming us? (Gal. 5:16-25)

·         Are good works the cause of our salvation or the result of our salvation? (Eph. 2:8-10)

Task: Confess your sins to God and turn from them.

Memorize 1 John 1:8-10)

12.    Jesus’ command to love one another.
Read or tell the stories from:
Luke 10:25-37; Luke 16:14-31.

Ask the following questions. Let the others answer and discuss them:

·         How are we to love our neighbour?

·         What did the first church in Jerusalem do to show practical love for the needy? (Acts 6:1-7)

·         How much should we love God? (Matt. 22:35-40)

·         What are some things that love does and that it does not do? (1 Cor. 13 and Gal. 6:10)

·         How much should a man love his wife? (Eph. 5:25-33)

·         How should children show love for their parents and parents for the children? (Eph. 6:1-4)

·         How can congregations lovingly serve each other? (Example: 1 Cor. 16:1-4 & 2 Cor. 8:1-4)

·         What steps should believers take to restore an erring brother?
(Matt. 18:15-17 and Gal. 6:1)

Tasks:

·         Take food or other needed things to needy people of the community.

·         Name Spirit-filled deacons and deaconesses to oversee the congregation’s mercy ministry.

·         Privately instruct families with problems, helping husbands give wise care to their wife and children.

Memorize Mark 12:28-31.

 

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