free resources for youth pastors:
KTL 02 – Why Jesus is the Center (mp3)
When it comes to teaching teens how to preach and teach the Word, they have to first understand the whole goal of the Word. So many people feel like they can’t possibly remember every sermon they hear from week to week at church. Others think that sermons are just different topics of self-help every week from their pastor as a counselor. So, we must first of all focus students onto the focus of the Word: the glory of Christ.
Before we get into all that, it is helpful to walk students through the many different purposes of preaching that exist today. You’ll be surprised to go through these: Best Life: live your life for God and He will make your life better, healthier, wealthier. Morality: the Bible is written to give us tips and outlines for how to live as better people. Fire and Brimstone: many preachers preach the fear of hell, Satan, and sin every Sunday. Fame: popularity and money drive many to preach merely in a way others love to hear. Liberals: the Bible isn’t fully true, but it is just a book of literature to teach us about faith. Educator: focusing on the lexical definition of every Word from the original language. Watered down: everything just comes down to God’s love for all humanity. False Gospel: The Bible isn’t ultimately about Jesus Christ, but its about anything else.
There you go. Those are just some of the many different goals of preaching from preachers today. If we set our sites on the right goal, then we’ll be sure to please God, change lives, and be faithful to the Scriptures each week. Here’s a simple flow chart to explain: the goal of preaching is à the glory of God which comes from à the glory of Christ which comes from à the gospel of Christ which is à the person and work of Christ which results in à faith and repentance by man which results in à true life change. So the goal of preaching is true life change which comes from repentance and faith through the gospel of Christ who brings glory to His Father.
We call all of this a “Christocentric Hermeneutic.” Christocentric simply means “Christ-centered.” A person’s hermeneutic is their view of Scripture, their way of interpreting all Scripture, or what they see as their key to deciphering the meaning of Scripture. I believe it is crystal clear that all of Scripture is pointing us to the person and work of Christ since it is the gospel and truly transforms lives. Here are some proofs: Luke 24:27, 44 – Jesus said that the central theme of all the Old Testament is Himself. John 5:46-47 – Jesus said Moses’ writings are all about Him (Genesis – Deuteronomy). Acts – The sermons of the apostles are constantly focused on Jesus and His Gospel. Romans 8:29 – God’s predestined plan is that all believers would be conformed to Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:1-4 – Paul says that the central theme of preaching is Jesus and His death. 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 – Satan’s goal is that unbelievers would not see Jesus or the gospel. Ephesians 1:7-11 – God’s overarching will is for all things to be united in His Son, Jesus. Philippians 2:9-11 – God’s ultimate glory is when we confess and bow to Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 4:10-11 – Again here we see that Jesus is the way that we bring glory to God. Jude – This whole book sees Jesus as the Lord of the OT, our salvation, etc.
I love teaching teenagers how to teach and preach the Scriptures. But if they don’t get this, I won’t even allow them to. They must see that God’s desire to change live is specifically in, for, and through His Son, Jesus Christ. If we don’t get the focus, the goal, the aim, and the purpose of preaching correct…then the rest of the message won’t matter. There is hardly anything that excites me more than to hear teenagers preach and teach the Word of God faithfully to the passage, applicably to their hearers, clearly for understanding, in a convicting way of sin, but most of all…in a Christ-centered way that points people to Him, changes lives, and brings glory to God.
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