September 1–2 The Shepherd

Sept 1–2 The Shepherd

Welcome to the final week of our sermon series on Psalm called the Poetry of TrustThis week we will look at one of the most widely known Psalms. Through this conversation, we recognize four locations that help us see what a deeply satisfying and content life looks like and the tough decisions we have to make concerning them.


Building healthy and life-giving relationships.


What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.

Share Part of Your Story

What was the most relaxing thing you did this summer?


As you think about the routine of fall, what are some ways your group can be praying for each other?


Taking next steps toward Christ together.

Read Psalm 23.  What’s the tone of the passage? How does it make you feel?

The Pasture

How does David describe God in Psalm 23:1-3a? Why do you think David used shepherding imagery? If David lived today, what kind of imagery do you think he might use?

Do you think most people in our world experience the feeling David describes in these verses? Why or why not?

Getting to the pasture requires humility. We have to admit we can’t get there on our own. Why do you think it can be hard for people to admit they can’t find true satisfaction on their own?

What are some ways people try to find true satisfaction and contentment? How do those things compare to the satisfaction and contentment God offers?

The Path

To get to the pasture, the shepherd leads the sheep along the path. The people of David’s time would’ve understood the path to be God’s word. What are some of the things God’s word tells us we should do to live the satisfied and content life?

Do you think people believe obeying God leads to a satisfying and content life? Why or why not?

While doing our own thing can lead to short-term satisfaction, only God provides long-term contentment, security and restoration of our soul. Where are you most prone to wander from God’s path? What’s something you can do this week to get back on God’s path?

The Valley

How does David describe the valley? What does he say about being in the valley?

There is real danger in the valley. Our life isn’t always easy, and God never promises it will be. How does it make you feel to know there will be hard times in life?

There are times we end up in a difficult situation from a bad decision. During those times, we need to ask God to forgive us and help us. There are times we face something difficult because of the mistake of someone else. However, there are times when God leads us to and through something difficult because of what is on the other side. Why do you think God might do this? What are some ways God has used a difficult situation in your life?

God’s presence provides David with courage. How can it be helpful to refocus your attention from what you are going through to who is going through it with you? How can we trust God even “in the valley”?

The Home

David shifts away from shepherding to describe God’s extravagant generosity. What words does he use to describe it in Psalm 23:5–6? Why do you think David uses these images?

God invites us into his presence and offers his security, contentment and restoration. How have you felt God offer those things to you?

Often, instead of staying with God, we run off to do something else. What are some of the things in life, good or bad that can draw us away from God? Where do you sense it the most in your life?

God asks us to stay. What practices can we incorporate into our regular routines to enter into God’s presence and rest?

Even when we don’t stay, God’s goodness and love follows us. When we stop running, they are there to draw us back to him. How does knowing God’s goodness and love will follow us make you feel?

This week we talked about the deeply satisfying life that only God can offer. Which of these four locations do you want to take a next step in and what is one way you can grow in that area this week?


Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.

Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.

Group Growth

As we near the fall and the launch of our series A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus, is there someone who needs what your group has? Maybe a friend, co-worker or someone you volunteer with. Consider who you could invite to go through the fall series with your group.

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