"Becoming a Shepherd" by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon Discussion Helps

After listening to "Becoming a Shepherd" by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, I totally wish I would have thought of an introduction selfie text to our ministering people too! Such a great idea. What are some things you learned about ministering from Sister Cordon and the examples she shared?


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following when teaching from this talk:

“To help members consider ways they might improve in their ministering efforts, you could divide them into three groups and ask each group to read one of the three titled sections of Sister Cordon’s message. Invite them to share the principles of ministering that they learned. How can striving to follow these principles help us ‘become the shepherds the Lord needs us to become’? Invite members to share experiences when another person’s ministering helped them feel known and loved by the Savior.”

Questions to Ponder

  • What is something you try to do so that those you come in contact with feel important, loved, and remembered?

  • How have you come to know that the Savior knows and loves you? How can you share this knowledge with others including your ministering families?

  • “How can we best show our love for [our Savior]?”

  • How can we more fully minister to those in need? What helps you be more observant of others?

  • Can anyone share an experience when the Lord has helped you know the needs of those you minister to? What did you do to prepare for that inspiration? What help or obstacles did you have along the way?

  • “Do our sheep know we are watching over them with love and we will take action to help?” What have you done when you knew a need but didn’t know how to help?

  • What does it mean to walk into a “moment with honesty and love”? What does the look or sound like?

  • How we can more fully develop a “shepherd’s heart”? What does it mean to you to have a shepherd’s heart? How do we become what the Lord needs us to be? What do you do when you know you are falling short?

  • How do you minister to those you are assigned so they know they’re loved by you and by God? Do you know how those you minister to most feel most loved?

  • Do you have an experience of someone ministering to you that helped you feel the love of Christ? What makes you feel loved?

  • Do you have an experience of someone ministering to you that was an answer to your prayers?

  • What experiences have you had in ministering to missing members? What challenges have you had?

  • What experiences have you had in making friendships with those that you minister to? What tips do you have to share? How do you cross the barrier between acquaintances and real friends?

  • How has the new adjustment of ministering since April 2018 blessed your life? How has it helped you be more effective in ministering?

  • What challenges have you faced with the new assignment to minister to not only those you are assigned but everyone?

  • What do you have in common with your ministering families? How did you find out? How have you used it to grow together and come closer to the Savior?

  • If you don’t feel like you are friends with your ministering brother or sister, what can you do to change that?

  • What can you do to build trust with those you minister to so they can feel comfortable sharing their struggles and asking for help? What can you do as the one being minister to?

  • How does the Lord know you love Him?

Discussion Ideas

These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.

  • Come up with three different ways we can minister and have some class members act them out. Discuss some fears we might have when it comes to ministering as well as what to do when someone is well-intention but not ministering in a way that you do not enjoy. How can you both work together?

  • Play the clip of Sister Bonnie H Cordon’s talk where she talks about her experience with her companion. (Starts at 4:20 and ends at 5:32) Discuss responsibilities we can give to our youth companions in our ministering assignments. Discuss how the involvement of our youth can bless our lives and the lives of those we minister to as well as help the youth. What can we all learn and gain from one another.

  • At the beginning of the week, email the class members and challenge them to minister to those they are assigned in a new way they haven’t done before. Give a few suggestions like, texting, dropping by to say hello or to go for a walk, asking for Heavenly Father’s guidance and following through, writing a letter, etc. Ask them to share their experiences in class.

  • Ask your class get into partners with someone they don’t know very well. Really encourage them to reach out to someone new. Use my Get to Know You Question Strips to help them learn new things about each other. Now that you have that information, what will you do next? Do you have some ideas of how you could minister to that person now?

  • Get several gospel art pictures from the library or LDS.org of Christ’s ministering to others. Hang the pictures on the board and ask your class to come up and look at them. If one in particular strikes them, ask them to write down underneath that picture what make it special to them. What is they are learning from Christ’s life that we can emulate? What examples of Christ’s ministry can we implement into our lives?

  • Point out the story of the man who realized that no one had reached out to the husband of a wife that attempted suicide. How can we avoid forgetting about these important moments? Discuss the danger of assuming someone else has it covered and the importance of listening and acting on first promptings not waiting another week. How can we be more observant and act on it?

  • Discuss ways we can walk on the covenant path with those we minister to. Discuss where different people might be on that path and how we can help no matter where we are on the path. How can we offer support and encouragement for the next step forward? What might the next step be? You may want to draw how we typically think of a path. There is a beginning, middle, and end. But the covenant path allows all of us to walk together no matter where we are on the path if we are willing. No one has to walk alone.

  • Use the shepherd analogy. What must a shepherd know before taking care of a flock of sheep? What tools might he need to do his job well? How does that compare to our ministering efforts? You can even bring in props and dress someone up as you talk about their roles and responsibilities.