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For questions or comments regarding this study please contact Terry Evans at terryevans@upi.org

“The professional sports culture can often be a hostile environment, but as followers of Christ within the game, we need God’s instruction that can prepare and empower us to overcome the temptations and trials that all professional athletes are sure to face.”
— Terry Evans

Study 1: the need for a shepherd


  • Question #1: Who or what are some of the 'Wolves' in our life and the culture around us? What are some of the things being said or taught in our culture that are contrary to the truth of the gospel?


  • Question #2: In what ways do sheep benefit from having a shepherd? In your own words, what might be the value of having a gospel-centered mentor and becoming a mentor to others? If you don’t have one, try and identify as best as you can what is preventing you from having a gospel-centered mentor in your life?


  • Question #3: According to Paul’s own description of himself in v. 1, what are two identifying marks to look for in a good spiritual shepherd? What does it mean to be a servant of God? What's an apostle?


  • Question #4: What does Scripture mean by declaring Christ as ‘The Word’? In what ways is Christ the Ultimate Good Shepherd?

Study 2: Appointing overseers


  • Question #1: Who are some of the overseers that we have appointed or that have been appointed for us in our own lives? Give an example of someone that oversees an aspect of your life? How much would you say they influence certain decisions that you make in life? Name some of those decisions?


  • Question #2: What stands out to you in this list and why do you feel that it’s important to avoid or look for this in someone you may look to for advice?


  • Question #3: Why should we be cautious in getting advice and counsel from someone who claims to believe in God but doesn’t necessarily live like it? How do we go about deciding who’s worthy of our trust and who has proven themselves worth listening to?

Study 3: Our Mission


  • Question #1: What does Paul mean by ‘sound doctrine’? What are ways we can know for sure whether or not we’re being taught sound doctrine by those who teach us? Why is there such an emphasis on sound doctrine in this letter rather than simply encouraging belief in Christ?


  • Question #2: What are various ways Christians expose the name of God to ridicule and insult when they don’t practice what we preach? What are some practical ways we can be models of good works and men of integrity as it pertains to our faith in Christ?


  • Question #3: In what ways does the gospel (the message about who Christ is and what He has done) motivate you to live differently and to share what you know about God with others? If grace doesn’t amaze us and motivate us to share it with others do you think it’s possible that we may need a better understanding of the gospel?

Study 4: A Powerful Presence


  • Question #1: Think of someone that you have played with (if anybody) that just seemed to make the atmosphere in the clubhouse more pleasant and uplifting? Describe some of the characteristics you see in them and how they compare to this list from Paul?


  • Question #2: For many of us it just seems easier to worry about myself, handle my own business and if people don’t like me then that’s their problem. Why should we go through all the trouble of being gracious to everyone around me when many them don’t seem to deserve it in the first place?


  • Question #3: How would you describe to someone else what you mean when you proclaim that “God saved me.”? In what ways does the gospel motivate Christian behavior? Does Christian behavior earn a new status and new nature or does Christian behavior prove your new status and new nature? Why might that be important to understand?