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Good Shepherd, The


God is often pictured as a shepherd in Scripture. Here are some worship resources which explore that image.


Psalm 23
Isaiah 40:11
Jeremiah 31:10-12
Ezekiel 34:1-24
Matthew 18:12-14
Luke 15:1-7
John 10:1-18
Hebrews 13:20-21
1 John 3:16-24
1 Peter 2:25


Prayer of Commitment: Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you:
to care for all that are close to us,
to protect those who are threatened,
to welcome those who are rejected,
to forgive those who are burdened by guilt,
to heal those who are broken and sick,
to share with those who have little or nothing,
to take the time to really know one another
and love as you have loved us.

Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you:
to spread compassion to those who are far away,
to speak for those who are voiceless,
to defend those who are oppressed and abused,
to work for justice for those who are exploited,
to make peace for those who suffer violence,
to take the time to recognise our connectedness,
and to love as you have loved us.

Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you
and to be faithful to calling you gave us
to be shepherds in your name.


~ John van de Laar. © 2009 Sacredise on the Sacredise website.

Prayer for Others

Lord, we ask for the courage of the Good Shepherd,
who lays down his life for his sheep.

We pray for those prepared to suffer
and even to die for what they believe in.

We pray for those whose lives and rights are sacrificed
in the name of power and greed.

We pray for those who risk themselves
by accompanying others along paths of deep suffering,
through valleys of fear and despair.

Lord we ask for the compassion of the good shepherd
who leads his sheep to safe pasture.

We pray for those who work to feed and shelter and educate
the poor peoples of our world.

We pray for those skilled at nursing and healing
those who are suffering or ill In body, mind or spirit.

We pray for those who care, for the victims of our society,
those unable to cope with life, the neglected, the abused.

Lord, we ask for the love of the Good Shepherd
who knows his sheep by name.

We pray for our church, for minister and office bearers,
for its preachers and teachers and all engaged in pastoral care.

We pray for those we know,
relatives or friends who are facing difficult times.


We pray for ourselves
that we might hear the call from our Good Shepherd
and follow his way of love.

We make all our prayers in Christ’s name.


~ from Companion to the Lectionary, Volume 4, by Christine Odell.
Posted on the http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/ website.

Offering Prayer

Thank you, Lord,
for making us yours and caring for us
as a good shepherd cares for the sheep.
Help us to recognize Jesus
in those who are poor and needy,
and serve him humbly with what you have given us
by serving them.


~ from Sunday by Sunday on the Lutheran Church of Australia website.

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship

We gather together in the presence of our Shepherd God,
who calls us each by name,
who restores our souls,
who leads us in the way of righteousness,
and whose goodness and love never stops pursuing us.
This is the God we have come to worship!

Benediction: Hebrews 13:20-21

May the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

Affirmation: This I Believe

I believe I need a shepherd.
Because I am sometimes timid and other times overconfident,
because I often don't know the best path yet pretend I do,
because I rush into dead ends or lead others into hazardous places,
because my brightest ideas are seamed with darkness,
because the things I crave may not be what is good for me,
I need a shepherd.

I believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd;
his wisdom leads me to the best opportunities,
his word comforts me when I'm anxious or afraid,
his arm steadies me when I feel weary and heavy-laden,
his wounded body displays the cost of my rescue,.
I believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd.
I believe that I do not find him but he finds me,
that I under his care by virtue of sheer grace,
the love he gives me is to be shared with others,
that he treasures my name and prepares a place for me,
that his fold transfixes earth and heaven.
I trust Jesus, the good shepherd. Amen.

~ Copyright © 2002 Bruce D. Prewer. Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.


Traditional Hymn: Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Worship Together #148

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Your tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Your folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
You have bought us, Yours we are;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
You have bought us, Yours we are.

We are Yours, in love befriend us,
Be the guardian of our way;
Keep Your flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Hear Your children when we pray;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Hear Your children when we pray.

You have promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful though we be;
You have mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse, and pow'r to free:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Let us early turn to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Let us early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Your favor,
Early let us do Your will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Your love our spirits fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
You have loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
You have loved us, love us still.

~ Dorothy A. Thrupp, 1836

Contemporary Hymn: Good Shepherd, You Know Us

Good Shepherd, you know us, you call us by name,
you lead us; we gladly acknowledge your claim.
Your voice has compelled us; we come at your call,
and none you have chosen will finally fall.

Good Shepherd, you warn us of robbers and thieves;
the hireling, the wolf, who destroys and deceives;
all praise for your promise on which we can stand,
that no-one can snatch us from out of your hand.

Good Shepherd, you lay down your life for the sheep;
your love is not fickle, your gift is not cheap.
You spend your life freely, you take it again;
you died, so we live - we are healed by your pain.

At one with the Father, you made yourself known:
"I am the Good Shepherd," at one with your own.
You loved us before we had heeded or heard;
by grace we respond to your life-giving word.

~ Christopher Idle. Words copyright © Jubilate Hymns (administered by Hope Publishing in North America). If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestions:
ST. DENIO (“Immortal, Invisible God only wise”)
FOUNDATION (“How firm a foundation”)
GORDON (“My Jesus, I love Thee”)

Contemporary Hymn: He Will Feed His Flock

He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
he will feed his flock like a shepherd,
he will feed his flock like a shepherd,
and carry them in his arms.

By his rod and staff he will lead them…
and they will not go astray.

They will lie in peace in green pastures…
and he will keep watch nearby.

When they hear his voice, they will follow…
he calls each one by name.

~ Mary Kay Beall. Words copyright © 1998 Hope Publishing Company. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

See music on Hope Publishing Company, Online Hymnody website.

Contemporary Song: The Deep of Your Grace

In the deep of Your grace
All my sins are washed away
Here I know the power of forgiveness
Here I know the power of Your blood

You are the Shepherd
Giving what I could not afford
Leaving the many
You sought to find me Lord

I will remember
You are the reason for my song
Blessed Redeemer
You love me as Your own

All I am
Will I lay down
All I have
Before Your cross Lord

~ Mia Fields. Copyright © 2006 Hillsong Music Publishing (admin by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song # 4795100. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdc1RPduWvk


g~ Image from the Catacomb of Priscilla, 3rd century


This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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