re-invent: A Conference on Youth and Family Ministry

This is the conference that I would recommend to any youth pastor I know. It is hosted by a top-notch seminary, with unbelievably biblical professors, who have the best Christ-centered approach to youth/family ministry that I’ve ever heard of. It is affordable, it is practical, and it is a must-attend. Youth pastors, if you get to attend and youth ministry conference this year, let me twist your arm and urge you to make it up to Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY for “re-invent.” You can find more info for registration, costs, lodging, etc. @

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 7): the issue of speaking in TONGUES

speaking-in-tonguesFree file for youth pastors:

Paper: “To Speak or Not to Speak: The Issue of Tongues Today”

Teenagers are always asking me what I think about the issue of “speaking in tongues.”  I really think that they are fascinated with the whole concept.  What if the Spirit really does take control of our mouthes and help us to speak only His words.  Of course they are fascinated.  I am fascinated with the concept!  Getting to speak another language without even knowing it.  Getting to speak “babble” as worship to God with words that aren’t understood.  Getting to share the gospel with someone of another culture and they hear it in their own language.  Having someome stand up in church, speak in tongues, and then someone else interpretting it as direct words from God.  THAT IS FASCINATING!  But is it true?  Is that what God through the Holy Spirit still does.  Continue reading

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 6): the importance of teaching on the SPIRIT

holy-spiritFree file for youth pastors:

Paper: How does Acts teach about the Holy Spirit?

When we talk about the Holy Ghost, we scare little children.  When we talk about the Holy Spirit, we excite teenagers.  So many people look at the Holy Spirit as either a spiritual energy drink Who’s going to make them feel the energy of Jesus, or more like a spiritual shot Who’s going to make them lose all control.  Have you ever thought any of these questions to yourself: Continue reading

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 5): the importance of teaching on ALIENS

aliens-blog1Free file for youth pastors:

Paper: Biblical Ethics and Outer Space

Should we be exploring outter space?  Should we be endeavoring to live on the moon?  And should we believe in aliens?  This is a paper that I wrote in my seminary ethics class (I don’t really preach on aliens all the time).  Around that time, some facts and figures had come to me concerning the amount of money that NASA was spending on space exploration and all their endeavors.  And at the same time I began to think about the money the world needed to feed all of the hungry, starving, and dying.  So all this just came together.  In this paper, I sought to biblically and ethically answer the three questions at the top of this article.  It is actually way more biblical and Christ-centered than you might initially imagine.  I hope you enjoy!

Paper: Biblical Ethics and Outer Space

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 4): The importance of preaching SALVATION in student ministry

salvationFree file for youth pastors:

Paper: “A Biblically Sufficient Doctrine of Conversion: What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

I heard it again last night.  One of the most popular youth speakers in America asked everyone to bow their heads, close their eyes, and repeat after him.  Then his prayer went a little something like this: “Dear Jesus.  I believe in you.  Please forgive me.  Please come into my life.  Please save me.  Please fill me. I love you.  Thank you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”  So what do you think?  Is that an sufficient prayer for salvation?  What elements of the gospel do you believe are non-negotiable for salvation?  What do you say to lead a teen to Christ?  Well, wouldn’t ya know?  I wrote a paper about it in seminary.  I really hope this is helpful to your ministry, and that God blesses your ministry with tons of genuine conversions to Christ!

Paper: “A Biblically Sufficient Doctrine of Conversion: What Must I Do To Be Saved?” Continue reading

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 3): The importance of teaching on GENDER in student ministry

genderFree file for youth pastors:


Homosexuality, feminism, and men who want to just sit on the couch and eat potato chips when they get home from work – these are all signs of one of Satan’s strongest attacks against Christ. We are seeing this in student ministry more and more.  Students who are struggling with homosexuality or are tolerant to friends who are, students who are in relationships and the female is the leader, and Christian schools who allows the girls to be class presidents are just a few examples of how we are retreating the truth from Satan’s attack. Continue reading

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 2): The importance of teaching on CHRIST in student ministry

1-luke-24-christocentrismFree file for youth pastors:

“The Integrative Motif of all of Scripture: What is the first and final thought of God?”

The absolute most important truth I learned in seminary was the integrative motif to all systematic theology.  “What the heck is that, and what in the world would it have to do with student ministry?”  I’m glad you asked!  Our integrative motif is that central theme that we constantly teach, we constantly come back to, and we try to hammer into the teens heads every time we stand up to speak. Here are a couple things about an integrative motif: Continue reading

Seminary and Student Ministry (part 1): The importance of teaching on ETERNITY in student ministry


Free file for youth pastors:


There are 4 themes that I constantly come back to when teaching teenagers.  1. The glory of Christ.  2. The gospel of Christ.  3. The church of Christ.  and 4. The eternal kingdom of Christ.  This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about communicating the eternal ceoncept and importance of eternity to teens.  Since I’ve driven home to Florida (where my family lives) for Thanksgiving, I’m able to listen to about 10 hours of eschatology (doctrine of the end times) from different speakers, preachings, theologians, and teachers on my iPod.  Some of my favorites are Dr. Russell D. Moore of Southern Seminary, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and others.

Here are the 3 top reasons why I think teaching on the eternal kingdom of Christ to teens is important: Continue reading