About This Lesson Plan on Service
This Feed My Sheep lesson plan on service will help youth understand that we are all called to care for each other. Christian service involves sacrifice, but Jesus is there to strengthen us.
Opening Game for Feed My Sheep
Start this lesson plan on service by playing Jelly Donut Feeding (see the complete instructions).
Follow up with a couple of questions:
- Was it difficult to work together on this challenge?
- Who was the messiest?
- Was it easier if you didn’t care about getting a little messy?
We all need to feed and be fed. Although not necessarily like that! Today, Jesus gives Peter a commission to care for his people.
Scripture Reading for Lesson Plan on Service
At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “”I am going fishing.””
They said to him, “”We also will come with you.”” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “”Children, have you caught anything to eat?””
They answered him, “”No.””
So he said to them, “”Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “”It is the Lord.”” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “”Bring some of the fish you just caught.”” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “”Come, have breakfast.””
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “”Who are you?”” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.
[When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “”Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?””
Simon Peter answered him, “”Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.””
Jesus said to him, “”Feed my lambs.””
He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “”Simon, son of John, do you love me?””
Simon Peter answered him, “”Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.””
Jesus said to him, “”Tend my sheep.””
Jesus said to him the third time, “”Simon, son of John, do you love me?””
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “”Do you love me?”” and he said to him, “”Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.””
Jesus said to him, “”Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “”Follow me.”” ]John 21:1-19 or John 21:1-14
Discussion for the Feed My Sheep Lesson Plan
Let’s set the scene here. Jesus had been denied by Peter before his crucifixion. As Peter sat near a fire, he denied that he knew our Lord three times. Now Peter once again sits at a fire, but this time he affirms his love for Jesus.
Jesus replies to each of these affirmations:
“Feed my lambs.”
“Tend my sheep.”
“Feed my sheep.”
So yes, Jesus is giving Peter a second chance here. Peter affirms his faith and is clearly forgiven. But there is more going on. Jesus is telling Peter that this is more than a superficial love. He is calling Peter to action, to tend and to feed.
For Jesus is the Good Shepherd and he cares about all of his sheep. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. Notice that this scene begins with Jesus being the one who serves. He cooks and serves breakfast for these disciples. Jesus always leads by example. Then he invites us to do what he has shown us.
Jesus is telling Peter that he must also be a shepherd. Peter will be our first pope. But he must do more than just say or think about his love. He must let that love drive him to action. So he is told to tend and feed. And he does that faithfully.
But Peter is not the only one who must tend and feed. As Christians, we are also called to tend and feed. And the way we tend and feed is through acts of service.
One way we can do this is by serving at a soup kitchen. We can collect coats for the homeless or go to a pro-life event. We can speak up for those at our school who seem to be on the outside. Perhaps there is someone sitting alone at lunchtime who needs to be invited to join our group.
There is also spiritual tending and feeding. We can participate more at Mass and invite our friends to join us. We can invite someone to youth group. We can take a more active role by volunteering to be a lector or greeter. These are also acts of service.
We should also not forget the end of this gospel. Jesus foretells Peter’s death. Jesus has shown us that love involves sacrifice and Peter will also be asked to demonstrate that. This is a message for us also. In order to do some of that feeding and tending, we are going to have to give some things up.
We will almost certainly have to give up some time. That could be time we want to spend doing something else. But there are other sacrifices also. We might need to give up our need to stay in our comfort zone. Jesus said Peter would have to “go where you do not want to go.” Service will take us to uncomfortable places also.
Jesus ends this scene with the simple command “Follow me.” That was his command to Peter and that is his command to us also. This is the call to discipleship.
Reflection Questions for the Service Lesson Plan
- How are you feeding and tending others right now?
- What sacrifices have you made to serve others?
- Is there an area of service you feel called to get more involved in? What is holding you back?
Challenge for the Feed My Sheep Lesson Plan
This week, be aware of opportunities, big or small, to serve others. If you have the ability to serve but are hesitating because it is uncomfortable, sit with Jesus in prayer. Hear him saying “Feed my sheep” and talk to him about what is bothering you. Then let him tell you how to proceed.
Prayer for the Lesson Plan on Service
Conclude by praying the The Prayer for Generosity.
This prayer is often attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, but it was probably not actually written by him. It does however reflect the attitude of St. Ignatius, that all we have is given to us to serve God.
This song goes well with this Feed My Sheep lesson, especially the end, when Jesus says “Follow me.”
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