Easter Not Enough? 6 Top Resources on Resurrection


Did you feel like Easter wasn’t enough? I don’t mean that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection wasn’t enough. I mean, do you feel like your students need to really understand Jesus’ RESURRECTION even more? Here are my 6 favorite resources on RESURRECTION:

“The Jesus Series: Jesus’ Resurrection” https://youthgrouptruth.com/2014/10/22/the-jesus-series-jesus-resurrection/

“Following Jesus: Into His Resurrection” https://youthgrouptruth.com/2012/05/31/following-jesus-into-his-resurrection-luke-24/  Continue reading

What Holds Every Youth Pastor Back


Everybody has blindspots. I remember renting a Dodge Challenger. I loved driving that car around town while my Charger was getting worked on. The problem is the Challenger has terrible blindspots.

As leaders, we have to admit that we have some pretty bad blindspots. Even though people clearly see them, we cannot because we’re blind to them.

Blindspots in your leadership are what hold back your ministry.

Every leader has blindspots. Think about the greatest leaders in the world; they are no different than us. They have blindspots, we have blind spots, every leader has blindspots.

Moses, 0ne of the greatest leaders God has ever used, had obvious blindspots. Fortunately, God put a mentor in Moses’ life to expose his blindspots in leadership and ministry.

Every leader needs someone older and more spiritually mature to be lead by.

Here are 5 Leadership Lessons I see from Exodus 18.  Continue reading

Sermon Writing Template


Every Youth Pastor,

I wanted to pass along to my weekly sermon writing template that I personally created. This helps me not to start from a blank slate, but to think creatively within categories that will ultimately develop a Gospel-centered sermon for my students from God’s Word. I pray this is as helpful for you as it has been for me.


Feel free to download it, change it up, and make it your own.

CENTRIC Sermon Preaching Template (pdf)

(You will see some names that I’ve listened to for years. I’ve listened to some for theology and some for communication. If they are in my template, I do not necessarily endorse their theology or ministry.)

Simple Gospel: The PWR of Jesus

In today’s complicated culture, we appreciate simple things. We love websites like Google, books like Simple Church, and menus like the one at Chick-Fil-A.

It’s easy for us to make simple concepts difficult, complex, and wordy. Do your people understand the gospel in its simplest form? Can they boil it down to its essential elements? Challenge them to complete a simple exercise: In your small groups, at the beginning of a sermon, or even through email, ask them to write down their simplest definition of “the gospel.” Then, by whatever method you choose, simply teach them the gospel’s essential elements. Lastly, have them write down their newly learned understanding of the gospel in their own words.

Chances are, what your people thought the gospel included or excluded will shock you. They will marvel at the differences between their learned definitions of the gospel and its simplicity. In fact, I challenge you right now to the same exercise. After you finish this article, see if your simple explanation of the gospel has changed. You may surprise yourself!

The power of Jesus
You can remember the simple form of the gospel as the “Power of Jesus” (Rom 1:1-4). God’s sovereign work saves us, sanctifies us, and glorifies us through Christ’s power (Rom 8:29-30). Highlight the P, W, and R from “power”, and we have the gospel in its simplest form: The Person of Jesus, the Work of Jesus, and man’s Response to Jesus. Since stumbling onto this easy memory tool, I have used it sharing, teaching, and deepening my own understanding of the gospel.

The person of Jesus Continue reading

How To Figure Out What You Believe

Sometimes its just plain difficult to figure out what you believe. As I’ve been taking my teenagers through the book of Revelation the past couple of months, I feel like my own views of the end times are changing in some ways. But I have to keep myself honest. Just because certain view points are logical, attractive, new, or different doesn’t make them right. This happens with so many different issues and viewpoints in life. Where do you stand when it comes to the gay marriage debate, abortion, war, justice on terrorism, etc. How do you figure out what you believe?

How do you figure out what you believe is really the wrong question. Its way too you-centered. People these days believe what they want to be true, not necessarily what they are convicted to be true. We may need less views and more convictions. Convictions tend to hold people more honest to their beliefs rather than just wishy-washy views. The right question is: How do you figure out what is true? Truth has been under attack for several years. Not just truths, but also the concept of the existence of absolutely truth has been attacked by the post-modernists. As gospel-centered Christians, we must believe that absolute truth exists because a true God exists who has revealed all truth. Absolute truth is ultimately found and fixed in Jesus Himself.

So finally, how do you figure out what is actually true? Out of all the options, viewpoints, debate arguments, and alternatives…is there any way to claim we have the truth in our corner? Here are five simple statements I take myself through and encourage our teens to do the same while they are searching for God’s absolute truth on the matter in whatever viewpoint or issue they are researching:

1. Base it on the Bible. Everyone bases their truth on something whether its history, science, the status quo, their personal logic, the Bible, etc. Every single one of those proves to be faulty in some way except for the Word of God. The Bible gives direct or indirect wisdom to all of “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3-4). The Bible will speak to your question and give you direction on the viewpoint you are struggling through.

2. Ground it in the gospel. Everyone has a major theme in life that everyone comes back to. If its love, justice, law and order, the good of humanity, or reaching utopia, everyone is filtering their viewpoints through their major life theme. The Bible says our major life theme is the gospel and glory of Jesus. So make sure your theme is supported by the gospel of Jesus. How does His person, character, obedient life, sacrificial death, powerful resurrection, ruling Lordship, or triumphant return to speak to it?

3. Preview whole passages. There will be heavy chunks of Scripture that address your confusion more than others. Find that section of Scripture, read the context before, after, and surrounding it. Follow the author’s flow of thought. God will bring His truth to light.

4. View other verses. Everyone can easily make a new doctrine or truth from any verse ripped out of context. You must make sure your viewpoint from Scripture is supported by other verses in the Bible as well. Let Scripture interpret Scripture.

5. Questions smarter Christians. Lastly, go to those other Christians who are smarter, more mature, seasoned, trustworthy, and who obviously love Jesus and His Word. Sit them down, buy them a a coffee, and let them hear you out. Your questions, your thoughts, and your struggles in the matter. Then hear them out, and have a real conversation as you discuss the issue exhaustively. The more important the issue, the longer and deeper the conversation. Pray through it together.

The way to be a Christian of conviction and not with shallow views, think it all through fully and biblically. Learn how to love God with your mind.

FYPO: Why I Preach The Gospel Weekly

Why I Preach The Gospel Weekly

“Gospel-Centered” is one of our buzz words of today. When it comes to preaching, what does it mean to be gospel-centered? Does it mean every sermon simply presents the gospel for salvation? Does it mean using every sermon from every text to preach the gospel only? Could it include self-help and felt-need sermons that tact the gospel on at the end? Gospel-centered preaching ultimately is communicating the gospel as the core of every sermon for both the non-believer and believer. It sees the gospel itself as motivation for salvation, Christlike living, repentance of sin, faith, spiritual growth, and understanding of biblical truth. There has been much written on a proper understanding of gospel-centered preaching. Many have said that keeping every sermon centered on the gospel becomes to repetitive for people today. Here are five reasons why I preach the gospel every single week.

1. Preaching the gospel every week ensures you nailed the point of the passage.
Walking in stealth-mode with two of His disciples, Jesus makes a shocking statement. He told them that they were slow and foolish to not see His death and resurrection as the center of every Scripture written (Luke 24:24-27). From two thousand years ago, Jesus is calling-out every gospel-less self-help, felt-need, systematic theological, and expositional sermon and lesson for all time. He says that every single passage in the Old Testament is all about His person and His work. Its easy to see gospel centrality in the New Testament, but Jesus says the Old Testament is centered on Him even though it never specifically mentions His name! When we preach the gospel weekly, we are using Jesus’ own hermeneutic to get across the main point of every passage. This doesn’t mean preaching the gospel only every week, but it means centering, grounding, and connecting everything you teach with the gospel.

2. Preaching the gospel every week sanctifies your people. Continue reading

Prayer: The Struggle Is Real

I read an incredibly real and honest blog from one of our college students on his spiritual struggle to pray. I promise you, this read is worth your time. You will relate, be encouraged, and be challenged. This is taken from James Robertson’s blog at http://jamesurobertson.blogspot.com

jamesrobertson“A Call to Prayer
I haven’t posted in a long time. Lately, I’ve been facing a lot of spiritual attacks from the enemy and lately, honestly, he has been winning. I have not been standing firm in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and it has been hard to even spend 5 minutes in prayer. I’ve lacked joy in the Lord and in my life and I’ve retreated to a life of complacency. I’ve stopped memorizing scripture, reading my Bible, and spending adequate time in prayer. Not because I don’t desire to know God and be found in him, but because I’ve stopped trusting in His promises and I’ve decided that I can do life on my own. My hearts desire has and always will be to Glorify the Lord in all that I do, but lately I haven’t been able to bring myself to that. I’ve faced attacks of doubt on all levels, and it has been hard. It’s hard not being able to pray. It’s hard to have to ask God to be able to spend 5 minutes in prayer. It’s hard walking through campus, wanting to have joy in the Lord, but failing on all levels. And what’s worse, is that I was so prideful and ashamed of myself, I didn’t tell anyone. Continue reading

CBSM Stuff on Sex

Sex Talk Title

Here is some CBSM stuff on sex for youth pastors, small group leaders, parents, and teens for Valentines Day or the month of February.

Numbers 25 “Israelites Gone Wild: Sex, Cheaters, and The Purity of Christ” http://wp.me/peHJa-fw

10 Steps for Students from Godly Attraction, to a Godly Relationship, to a Godly Marriage http://wp.me/peHJa-TV

Song of Solomon “Sex Talk: What Ever Teenager Wants To Hear” http://wp.me/peHJa-1ko

Real Talk on Sexual Purity: From a CBSM Teen’s Video Blog http://wp.me/peHJa-1V4

CBSM Q&A Clip: Is Homosexuality Really Wrong? http://wp.me/peHJa-1h9

Bringing THE CHURCH Back 2 Life: The Church at Corinth http://wp.me/peHJa-1N9

One Hit Wonders: What Is Love? (Book of Hosea) http://wp.me/peHJa-1sF

Storyline #60: 1 Kings 17-22 “gods vs. God: time to put up or shut up” http://wp.me/peHJa-FB

Does God have one soulmate picked out just for you?

One of the big questions that came up this last Sunday morning during a junior-senior girls small group discussion that I was a part of was…”Does God have one specific person picked out for you to marry, or should we just be focused on the type of person that God wants us to marry?”  What a provacative question for teeangers to already be thinking about and discussing.  I was so proud of the way my girls handled and answered the question…and how the adult leaders listened and offered biblical counsel to the girls.  Here’s my two cents on the question…

So does God have a specific person picked out who we’re supposed to find and marry, or does He want us to marry a specific type of person spelled out in Scripture?  In other words…am I looking for my soulmate or are there many who will fit into our marriage requirements? Continue reading

10 Steps for Students from Godly Attraction, to a Godly Relationship, to a Godly Marriage

1. Attraction: Be attracted to godly opposite sex only. The best way to be more attracted to a godly person of the opposite sex is to love Jesus more. The more you grow in your love for Christ, the more you will want to worship, serve, and obey Him. The more you want to worship, serve, and obey Christ…the more you will want to be with someone who shares your love for Him. Don’t waste your time with those who don’t love Christ, who don’t love the church, and who don’t love His Word.

2. Ask Out: Guys, ask the girl out. Ladies, don’t be the one who asks the guys out. You can make yourself available to him by simply saying, “If you asked me out, I’d say YES!” If the guy you like doesn’t ask you out, then he either doesn’t like you enough to ask you out, or he isn’t man enough to have you. Guys, ask the girls out from the beginning to establish your spiritual leadership from the get go.

3. Move Slow: It is straight up scary to watch how fast teenagers today get into exclusive relationships. It can be as easy as…I like you. I like you too. Want to be my girlfriend? Sure, thought you’d never ask! Yeah, that’s totally ridiculous. Relationships aren’t about dating, but relationships are about marriage. Start thinking through if you really want to be with this person. Pray through it a lot. Ask God what He wants you to do. Trust Him that He’ll work it out in His time. Get into relationships slowly, prayerfully, and thoughtfully!   Continue reading