Preparation: Get pictures of sheep-the ideas is that the flocks look the same and that often a ‘fold or flock’ of sheep will all look alike to one another, but you can show various flocks. Also there are photos of flocks where one sheep is not the same, you can use that as well (try this link) Also get pictures of various types of people. You can google these images or use children’s book Faith put out by the Global Fund for Children (Click here for amazon link)
For the worship station you will need a camera and photo printer that prints wirelessly or a Polaroid camera.
Gather the children to you. Show them the picture of the sheep. Ask them what they see and know about sheep (yes, that could get interesting!) Ask them to tell you what the word fold or flock means and help them define it as a group of sheep) Ask them to tell you what they notice about what the sheep look like. (they are all the same but not all the flocks are exactly the same) You can also show them a photo where one flock has a sheep that stands out.
Jesus tells us today that he is the good shepherd who will take care of the sheep. He also says that he must bring in other sheep, all sheep to the fold or flock. Jesus is not just talking about sheep, he is talking about people, about us. Show them the pictures of various kinds of people. Ask them what they notice about the people. “Yes, not all the people are the same are they? Now which people is Jesus saying belong as part of his flock? Yes, all the people do. This can be difficult for us, because sometimes we don’t want to include other people. So Jesus sets a high standard here of telling us that all belong and that we can love and serve even those that might not be like us or even those we don’t always know or understand. This is also really good news for us because we know that we are part of the flock but also because we know that even those who look different or live differently or pray differently are still a part of the flock, they are still loved and given promises by Jesus to be with God. ”
Have a poloroid camera or a phone camera that connects to a small photo printer. Invite people to take selfies and post them on a poster board. Write the words “All belong in the Flock” on the poster or cut it into the shape of a cross or heart. Or create a background of a pasture on the poster board so all the people are the sheep.