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

My 4 Favorite Sermons for the New Year

Looking for challenging messages for teens around New Years that are Christ-centered, gospel-grounded, biblically-based, and life-changing? Look no further! Here’s our top 3:

How To Be a Teenager Like Jesus This Year (Luke 2)

Why Do We Do What We Do? (Acts 2:36-47)

Your Best Year Yet (Nehemiah 1-2)

What Will This Year Be Known For? (1 Timothy) https://youthgrouptruth.com/2013/01/03/i-love-my-church-because-i-love-jesus-1-timothy/

Serious Student Ministry (by Brad Cooper: NewSpring Church Student Pastor)

I want to be SERIOUS.

Hey this might not make me a popular student ministry guy, but im sick of silly. Sometimes i think that the goal of many youth ministries is to be funny or entertaining or silly.

First, let me say this: essentially there is nothing wrong with having fun. The reality that student ministry can and should be fun is not lost on me. The issue that i really want to speak to are those ministries or ministers that sacrifice serious thoughtfulness on the altar of silly student ministry.

I believe there is a better way!

Here’s a great JC Ryle quote that has gotten my soul in the proper posture:

“There was a great statesman in Queen Elizabeth’s time, who retired from public life in his latter days, and gave himself up to serious thought. His former merry companions came to visit him, and told him that he was becoming somber. “No,” he replied, “I am serious; for everyone around me is serious. God is serious in observing us — Christ is serious in interceding for us — The Spirit is serious in striving with us — the truths of God are serious — our spiritual enemies are serious in their endeavors to ruin us — poor lost sinners are serious in hell — and why then should you and i not be serious too?”

You and i have permission to be fiercely serious. In fact i would go as far as to say that the Bible demands an authentic seriousness from everyone who is reborn, especially from the shepherds of God’s people.

Father, make us serious like you are serious, Amen.

Brad Cooper
Twitter: @BCooP

SO WHAT If Jesus Was Born? (Part 2)

“SO WHAT if Jesus was Born?” (Part 1): https://youthgrouptruth.com/2012/11/15/so-what-if-jesus-was-born/

Its so easy to think, “Jesus was born. I believe that.” as a Christian, but not know what to do with it. Christmas is not only a great time of celebration for Christians, but also for the whole world. It seems like the entire world is buying and swapping presents while pretty much ignorant of the real reason as to why we observe the unique holiday. We can be very quick to point our fingers at the world and blame them for their ignorance, but I believe that we Christians are more guilty. While we may not be ignorant of the reason, we are ignorant of the application of Christmas. Celebrating Christmas can bring glory to Jesus (and there are ways that take glory from Jesus), but there are some solid ways spelled out in Scripture about how Christmas should change our lives, worship, and gospel obedience.

Let’s look at the Wise Men. Read Matthew 2:1-2, “1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

Now listen, this blog article is not to wow you with the history of these magi. Instead, it’s meant to challenge all of us (including myself) on how to respond to the birth of Jesus like the magi. For those of you like myself, I need a good reminder on how to apply, respond, and worship during the Christmas holiday. My Savior stepped out of heaven and became a human for me! So, I want to respond in worship to Him. So how do we? Watch what the Wise Men do! Because Jesus was born, they didn’t have a “So what” attitude, but they…PURSUED Him! In fact, they went to great lengths to do so. They left their comfortable lives, they went to where He was, they asked other people about Him, and they went to worship Him. Then they allowed God’s creation to point them to Him, they rejoiced with exciting joy, they experienced Him personally for themselves, they reverently worshiped Him, and they gave Him expensive gifts.

So what are some ways we can apply, respond, worship, and experience real-life change for Jesus this Christmas?
1. Leave your comforts. Leaving your own personal comfort may mean leaving your office, recliner, couch, kitchen, bed, home, or even country. The point is, leave your comforts to worship Jesus by serving others, fellowshiping with others, or telling others about Him. Continue reading

Newtown, CT: How did our God allow this to happen?

newtown ctThe breaking news from Newtown, CT is heartbreaking to say the least. I literally cannot even imagine what the families, that town, the authorities, and the churches are going through. A while back we had a single-person school shooting in our city, and it was devastating to say the least. I cannot imagine being involved in such a tragedy on this level. My prayers go out to all of those involved.

How do we respond when people ask “How did our God allow this to happen?” What are some of the best Scriptures to refer them to? Can God really be both all-powerful and all-loving in such tragedies? Does this bother God when there are tragedies happening all around the world?

When answering questions like these in tough times, we must keep in mind both emotion and truth. We cannot forget what people are feeling and the answers they are wanting to hear. So how do we respond? How do we defend our great God? Not to diminish or minimize this horrific event at all, but there have been countless terrible and tragic events throughout history that have left people wondering these same types of questions. Honestly, God does not need our defending. He is Creator, and we are all His creation. But God has given us wisdom to make sense of these type situations in accordance with the truth of His Word.

We know that horrific tragedies like these involving sin and death always break the heart of God (Genesis 6:6, John 11:35, Ephesians 4:30). Then if God hates sin and is powerful enough to stop it, why doesn’t He? That is a very difficult question to answer. We see throughout Scripture that there are many sins, tragedies, and deaths that God did not stop. Yet He ended up using them and turning them somehow for the ultimate good of His will (Genesis 50:20). Does that mean that God planned this to happen in any way? of course not! God’s Word is very clear that He never even tempts anyone with sin (James 1:13). The point is, God is so holy and removed from sin that He would never tempt with sin much less cause sin to happen. But out of His grace, God can use the sin, tragedy, and death to bring about His glory and some kind of good on the earth in the overall bigger picture and scheme of things. I can’t explain that, and I don’t even pretend to understand how good might come out of this. But that is how powerful, wise, and victorious our God is!

God turned the greatest tragedy and injustice of all history to His greatest good to ever happen. Continue reading

Matt Townsend on “Youth Pastor to Church Planter”

I have had several of my youth pastor friends transition to church planting. I know of more who are very interested. Church planting is not only a huge move of the Holy Spirit today, it is also a huge fad in church culture. I asked my good friend, Matt Townsend to write briefly on how to think through the transition from youth ministry to church planting. Matt is a youth pastor gone church planter now in Philadelphia with a healthy, vibrant, and growing church plant. I respect Matt greatly as a pastor, and I’m always amazed to hear his wisdom as he thinks through tough issues. So here is what Matt has to say to youth pastors who are thinking about planting churches:

Church planting is the “extreme sports” of church life. It’s hard, really hard. Yet, so many people want to do it. So before you take the plunge, I want to talk to you about my experience and transition from youth ministry into church planting.

Jesus saved me at 15, called me into ministry at 16 and called me to plant churches when I was 20. What I didn’t know was the how or when of church planting. Do you just move into a neighborhood, start knocking on doors like a JW and say, “Hey, um, I starting a church in my basement, wanna come?” You’d probably end up doing prison ministry from the inside that way. So I waited.

I did youth ministry at First Baptist in Ohio for 5 years. During that time, God would remind me of His calling on my life. In 2007, I attended a Straight Up Ministry Conference at Harvest Bible Chapel. This is where I discovered the how. Continue reading

SO WHAT if Jesus was Born?

You can also check out CBSM’s Top 5 Christmas Sermons/Studies at https://youthgrouptruth.com/2012/11/17/cbsms-top-5-christmas-sermons-and-studies/

I think its so easy for Christians to think, “Jesus was born? I got that. Jesus as God became man. I accept that. Jesus was born of a virgin? Sure, no problem. Jesus took on humanity. I believe that, too!” So what?! What difference does it make? How can I live that out with my life? I want these next few blog posts to explore how 5 different biblical characters responded in their lives to Jesus being born.

Let’s first take a look at Joseph. Matthew 1:18-25, “18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Wouldn’t you love to know what Joseph was thinking? Remember, these teenagers (Joesph and Mary) didn’t have the Christmas story to read. It was all new for them. Here’s a little of how I like the think the conversation may have went. Mary: Joseph, we’re going to have a baby! Joseph: Who in the world is we?! We have never done anything close to conceive a baby! Mary, just be honest with me. What happened? Mary: Well, an angel visited me last night, and… Joseph: Wait! An angel? Just because you think he’s all “angelic” doesn’t make it okay! Mary: Joseph, God made me pregnant. Joesph: Mary, that’s just too far. You can’t just say “God made me do it.” Continue reading

Worship Diagnostic: Is Jesus The Foundation of Your Worship? (by Zach Norman)

Definitely take the opportunity to read this article by my buddy, Zach Norman. I met Zach when I preached a DNOW in Atlanta, and he was leading the worship. It became obvious to me that not only could the dude flat-out sing and his band freaking rock it out, but he also had a genuine heart for Jesus, the gospel, ministry, and teenagers. So youth pastors, look Zach and his band up if you need a solid, Jesus-loving, seriously talented, but genuine about ministry kind of band. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you book them and they lead the worship at your event! Listen to Zach’s heart and faith regarding real worship below. – Chip Dean

What exactly is worship? Is it defined by what we do? Is it singing songs, raising our hands, praying, evangelizing, or caring for the poor? It can be. But what exactly makes any of these things acts of worship? I can tell you. It’s the heart. It’s our motivation and intentions behind what we do. And in order for anything we do to be qualified as worship, our hearts must be set on Christ. In fact, what did Jesus say is the greatest commandment? He said the most important of all is to love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29-30). And by all Jesus meant all. As new covenant believers we claim Jesus to be our Lord, and so we must worship Jesus in this type of way. Why Jesus? Why not just God? In Luke 24:27 Jesus says that all of the scriptures point to him. So God’s way of pointing us to himself is by sending Jesus- he fulfilled all that the prophets and Moses spoke of. Continue reading

Youth Pastors Partnering with Parents in Teen Mentoring

By Aaron T. Colyer
Student Pastor @ MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church

The ability to echo the words of Paul saying ‘follow me as I follow Christ,’ and pour your life into a younger believer is one of the best joys a Christian can experience. I am grateful for my friend Chip and his recent blog “Gospel Centered Discipleship.” His focus on evaluating the conversations and questions we give to those whom we spiritually mentor through the grid of Jesus’ obedience, death, resurrection and Lordship is fantastic!

In my ten years of student ministry the LORD has taught me some things about mentoring as well. It’s been an adventure filled with: spiritual fruit and rebellion, victories and failures, celebrations and sorrow, laughter and tears. Much time has been spent in prayer, with open Bibles, doing evangelism, hanging out, memorizing Scripture, sharing family meals, talking relationships, confessing sin, attending events, and reading books in mentoring relationships with students. The one thing that has changed from when I began mentoring students is the emphasis I give to establishing relationships with the teenager’s parents. Continue reading