Free files for youth pastors:
(This was a special Wednesday night we set aside, we gave our students options, and they chose to hear about how we go about setting up all of our sermons and why we do what we do every Wednesday night. I get very detailed in the mp3, and I think it would serve as the best example of what we do and why we do it every Wednesday night for our Storyline student worship service.)
We recently finished studying the Pentateuch in our student ministry. Those first five books of the Bible were written by one author, Moses, who covered over 2,500 years of Biblical history. In John 5, Jesus told a group of Jews that it was obvious that they didn’t believe in God the Father or the Scriptures because they didn’t believe in Him (5:37-44). But then Jesus seemed to take it a step deeper by telling them that they don’t even believe in Moses whom their hope is set on because they don’t believe that Moses wrote about Him (5:45-47). Hold the phone. Moses never mentioned the name of Jesus in his writings. Where and how can we find Jesus Christ in the Penteteuch?
The Bible teaches what is called a “Christocentric Hermeneutic.” Christocentric means centered around Christ. Hermeneutic means “a view of Scripture.” So the Christocentric Hermeneutic is a view of the Bible that is always centered around Jesus Christ. God is constantly teaching and telling us to do this in and with His Word. The Bible isn’t about a bunch of topics to help you have a better life now. The Bible is all about Jesus and how to live our lives totally for Him. Jesus first…us last.
This is what we do every single Wednesday night. We start out with an introduction story that is more about life, but it creatively connects us into the passage we’re looking at. From there, we move on to the story of the passage. Telling the story of the passage is crucial because it helps you experience the Word, see how it connects to the overarching story of Christ, and carve it in your own life story. We then boil it all down to a truth of the story so that we’re connecting to God’s timeless truths that are just as true now as they were then. After understanding the story and the truth of the passage, we point it to Christ – His person and work. We must know who He is and understand what He has done and is doing in order to experience a real relationship with Him. Again, all of the Scriptures find their cohesion and their focus in Jesus. Then I usually tell an illustration-story that connects the passage, story, truth, and Christ with the personal life application. I want the personal application to be an opportunity for our students to peer deeply into their lives, retrace their steps, rehash their conversations, and rethink all their motives. I want them to leave every Wednesday night with a new challenge to live for Christ in ways they’ve never thought before, in ways they’ve never thought they needed to before, or in ways they’ve never dared! We then move to a time to immediately apply the word by praying in confession of sin and asking for strength. Then the last thing we do is close with worship songs as a way to respond to God in praise, worship, and honor because of what we have heard about His Word and His Son.
So keep Jesus at the center of your church, worship, spiritual growth, devotions, prayer, advice, counseling, relationships, and everything else! Understanding the Christocentric Hermeneutic will help you to keep Jesus Christ as the center of the Scriptures and then the center of your life. But it has to be Jesus first…and us last! So now you know why and how we prepare and organize every lesson on Wednesdays.