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Session 24

To care for the group, go after the one

Read: Ezekiel 34

When speaking of Israel’s leaders in Ezekiel 34, God didn’t call them to be kings or dignitaries. He called them shepherds. 

To fulfill their responsibilities, shepherds commit themselves to caring for others, precisely what God asks of anyone leading His people. We see this in the rhetorical question at the end of Ezekiel 34:2, “Should not shepherds take care of the flock?” 

A shepherd focused on his own needs will quickly lose sight of the flock and his calling. While the flock may temporarily stick together without a vigilant shepherd, they will eventually scatter — exposing themselves to danger. God has designed each of us with a powerful need for others, and the enemy understands that if he can isolate us, it’s much easier to keep us from experiencing the abundant life Jesus promises. A shepherd’s role is to encourage community and prevent isolation.

Effective group leaders understand that even with great leadership and close-knit relationships, some people may wander away from the group. It can be tempting to play the percentages and focus solely on those who remain. But God tells us to go after “the one.” 

Ezekiel 34:10 says God holds shepherds accountable, and a shepherd unwilling to care for the individual will soon find himself or herself without a flock. God cares for his children too much to leave them without a loving leader.

God’s heart is for rescue and redemption, and He gives us the chance to join Him in that work. Caring for the people in our groups is an ongoing opportunity to see God’s faithfulness. Pursuing someone who walks away from the group can be demanding and difficult, but giving ourselves for the sake of others helps us see them as God sees them. Our love for our groups will be shown in our willingness to pursue, help, and care for each person in the group.

Reflect: 

  • Are you leading a group for the prestige of that comes with the position or the opportunity to serve others?
  • Do you know the individual needs of those in your group? If not, now is a great time to ask each of them about any pressing needs, struggles, or challenges.
  • Has God placed a particular group member on your heart? Why not ask God to give you an opportunity to talk with that person this week?

1

Who does God say you are?

Who does God say you are?

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2

Worry less about being able and focus more on being available

Worry less about being able and focus more on being available

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3

What to do when everyone has an opinion about group

What to do when everyone has an opinion about group

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4

You can be patient, even when you don’t feel like it

You can be patient, even when you don’t feel like it

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5

Stop trying to do it all

Stop trying to do it all

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6

Why it’s important that you wrestle down your past

Why it’s important that you wrestle down your past

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7

What happens when we stop fighting back

What happens when we stop fighting back

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8

Annoyed? The solution starts with you

Annoyed? The solution starts with you

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9

Do we really need to worry about confession?

Do we really need to worry about confession?

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10

How to experience the freedom you long for

How to experience the freedom you long for

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11

God wants to speak to you and through you

God wants to speak to you and through you

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12

The best way to fight worthless talk

The best way to fight worthless talk

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13

Are you hearing from God? (And how to know if it’s God)

Are you hearing from God? (And how to know if it’s God)

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14

Who are you leading people to?

Who are you leading people to?

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15

Are you ready to protect your people?

Are you ready to protect your people?

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16

Everyone’s eyes are on you

Everyone’s eyes are on you

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17

The best way to lead others is to serve others

The best way to lead others is to serve others

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18

“Can I?” isn’t the best question

“Can I?” isn’t the best question

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19

You have the power to love people wall

You have the power to love people wall

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20

How to sacrifice like Jesus does

How to sacrifice like Jesus does

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21

Where to find rest for a weary soul

Where to find rest for a weary soul

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22

When you feel like you just can’t go any further

When you feel like you just can’t go any further

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23

What does a good shepherd do?

What does a good shepherd do?

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24

To care for the group, go after the one

To care for the group, go after the one

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25

Do you have what it takes?

Do you have what it takes?

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26

Why leaders are called to be shepherds

Why leaders are called to be shepherds

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27

How to know you’re a leader

How to know you’re a leader

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28

What does a thriving community look like?

What does a thriving community look like?

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