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.)

KTL 2013: Training Teens to Preach & Teach

ministry teams - ktl
KTL is CBSM’s ministry that trains teens to teach and preach God’s Word in a Christ-centered, gospel-grounded, biblically-based, and life-changing kind of way. This year, it is just for our male high school students who feel called to full-time ministry, sense God possibly beginning to call them to full-time ministry, or have a desire to be teaching God’s Word in His church throughout their lives. This will be about a 3 month training ministry, and every student interested must fill out an application and be accepted. Here is the application and schedule for the next 3 months (below):
KTL SPRING 2013 App and Schedule.doc

FTL: CBSM Leadership Training for Teens

FTL simply stands for Follow The Leader. In CBSM, we believe that leadership is “following Jesus and bringing others with you.” On top of biblical & theological training on weekly worship nights, life-applicational discussions in small groups, and spiritual gift training in our Student Ministry Teams…we also offer specific “Leadership Training” for the teens who want to go farther in following Jesus and bringing others with them. The teens who want this semester-long training must be saved, baptized, already faithfully attending everything at CBSM, and fill-out this FTL application. This semester, we will be studying “Gospel in Life” by Timothy Keller. This is both a DVD and Workbook study on how to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in the eight major arenas of daily life. It will be powerful, life-changing, and excellent training on how to be a follower of Jesus and leader of others to Him!
FTL FALL 2011 App.doc

CBSM Middle School Girls ALL-NIGHTER: Amazing Grace

Attention 6th, 7th, 8th grade girls!! Come join the KTL girls THIS Friday, August 12th at 7pm, in the FLC for our first ever Girls All Nighter! We have an action packed night planned just for you! Awesome games, mega relays, scavenger hunt, Movie (Soul Surfer), the cutest t-shirt ever, worship, and amazing Bible study from the book of Ruth! Continue reading

IGNATIUS: The Ultimate Youth Pastor (CBSM Edition)

We at CBSM L.O.V.E. to show this video at least once a year. We especially love to show it when we’re in our “student preaching month” to remind everyone why we train students for ministry, preaching, and teaching. We do that so that none of our students turn-out to be like Ignatius. God forbid! We took out a couple of parts from the video including Ignatius’ sex talk with the students. We made it a little more safe to show at your youth ministry. I hope this is a blessing to you. (If you’re the maker or owner of this video, and we’re either not supposed to have it up on our blog or have the parts cut out of it, just email me on it.)

Student Leadership Training at CBSM

I had a past professor/friend who asked me what we did to train leaders within our student ministry.  I thought I’d share with you my most honest answer:

“First of all, we define leadership here at CBSM as: following Christ and bringing others along with you. So, our first focus is to center all of students onto Christ, and then we offer leadership training for those who want to both follow Christ and lead others toward Him. We do this in several different ways of course. First, we do this through preaching. I am convinced that I am called to primarily preach to my 12 grade guys even though there are students present in the room all the way down to 7th grade. I’ve learned that if I focus on my 12th grade guys, then I will reach them and all other students under them. But if I focus on younger students, I will get the younger students back…but I won’t get any of the older students for the most part. So training for leadership first starts through our preaching because preaching is what cultivates a heart for Christ most. We have a very specific system of preaching at CBSM… In 6 years (from 7th – 12th grade) we are preaching through the entire Bible (in order from Genesis – Revelation) and also through all 13 major Christian doctrines (from Doctrine of Christ – Doctrine of End Times). Our preaching is usually 45 minutes long, always Christ-centered, always expository, always grounded in the gospel, and always in your face challenging. That is what we’ve found produces and identifies leaders best.   Continue reading

KTL Spring 2010: Training Teens to Teach the Word

Free resource for youth pastors:

KTL SPRING 2010 App and Schedule (doc)

Our KTL Ministry continues to be a huge hit at CBSM.  KTL simply stands for kayruxon ton logon…which is Greek for “preach the Word.”  That’s exactly what Paul kept repeating to Timothy over and over again.  For whatever gracious reason, God continually is blessing us with many students who are called into the ministry.  We want to be faithful to prepare these students not only for college, but also for immediate ministry opportunities that may come their way.  We’ll have around 15-20 guys in our KTL ministry this spring, and possibly around 10 girls.  The train the guys to teach and preach the Word, and we train the girls to teach the Word to other females and kiddies.  So I just wanted to post for you our KTL Spring 2010 ministry application, expectations, and schedule.  I pray this helps your mininstry somehow and in some way.

CBSM 6 Year Preaching Plan

Free resource for youth pastors:

CBSM 6 Year Preaching Plan (doc)

I’m considering the possibility of changing up the preaching schedule here at CBSM.  And some people say Baptists never change!  When I came here 2 years ago, I started preaching biblical theology (through the whole Bible) on Wednesday nights and systematic theology (through all Bible doctrine) on Sunday mornings.  Since then, we have stopped teaching systematic theology on Sunday mornings to put more emphasis on discussion, fellowship, and life-application by having our small groups on Sunday morning center around conversations on Wednesday night’s message.  So, for the last year I have been just preaching through biblical theology (the storyline of Scripture). 

I’ve definitely been noticing our lack of systematic theology and doctrine lately.  I do believe that biblical theology is most important as we must understand the unfolding storyline of the work of God, the gospel in all things, and the person and work of Christ as the focus on the Father.  But systematic theology is important to because an understanding of doctrinal truths helps teens interpret the storyline correctly as to how it points us to Christ and applies to our lives.  So as we’re nailing the storyline, I want us to be thinking through systematic theology as well.  Continue reading

Christocentrism: Jesus Christ is the Center of the Pentateuch (and why we do what we do every Wednesday)


Free files for youth pastors:

John 5 – Jesus is Center of the Pentateuch (mp3)

John 5 – Jesus is the Center of the Pentateuch (fillout sheet)

John 5 – Jesus is the Center of the Penteteuch (order of service)

John 5 – Jesus is the Center of the Pentateuch (pulpit notes)

John 5 – Jesus is the Center of the Penteteuch (sermon notes)

John 5 – Jesus is the Center of the Pentateuch (ppt)

(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? Continue reading

Part 6: How to Preach/Teach to Teenagers

Scriptures on Christ-Centeredness in All Things and Preaching (doc)

I remember being at a weekend conference for student ministries and hearing the dynamic speakers chosen to preach.  I was amazed that both speakers preached two different sermons, but their sermons were both so much alike.  They both introduced their sermon with the topic they thought the text hit on.  One preached on frustration and the other on gratitude.  The way they introduced their sermon was by going into a comedy monologue by telling a life story that had to do with their topic.  Then they talked about the importance and life impact of their topic.  Then they went to a passage of Scripture that addressed the biblical issues that go along with that topic.  Then they closed their sermon with a challenge on how to live that topic for Christ. 

To be honest with you, I think they both were good sermons.  I think they both honored God and the Word of God very well.  But I came home with many questions and even some confusion.  Is this how God intends His Word to be preached?  Is the Bible merely a spiritual self-help book that is written in the form of addressing many different topics and issues of our day?  Is it just a book on morality?  Do our sermons and lessons to students need to be heavy on application to their lives?

Personally, I think the primary thought we should have when preparing to preach/teach to teenagers is…JESUS CHRIST! Continue reading