(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 →
If you’re one of our students, you’ve asked for it, so you’re going to get it! For the rest of you who have no clue what I’m talking about…a couple of Wednesdays ago I gave our students an option of what I would teach them on this Wednesday.
Option 1: Do a Q and A for them on eternity, the New Earth, the Heavens, and whatever else they’re wondering about.
Option 2: Walk them through how we order our sermon/lesson/messages every Wednesday night.
I really would have thought they would choose option 1. An overwhelming majority voted for option 2. I love it! How many student ministries actually WANT to hear how to formulate a sermon, point it to Christ, and then apply it to their lives. I couldn’t be more impressed with our student ministry! It has been a huge success to teach our KTL ministry how to structure a sermon from text to Christ to life. Those guys say that they get far more out of the sermons knowing the why we do what we do. I’ve had some trusted pastors in the past tell me that they’d rather their sermons be the Space Mountain ride (don’t know what’s coming next) at Disney World rather than the Jungle Cruise (on your left is an elephant, on your right is a crocodile). Well, I guess I’m going a little more Jungle Cruise this Wednesday. My prayer is that our students get more insight into the way we do our sermons, that they learn how they can teach the Bible to others, and how they can get even more out of their devotions through this.
Remember that old song by Boys II Men…”It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday?” What a great song that pat was back in the 90’s…and a great album from what I can remember. I can remember trying to dance to that in my room as a young, awkward, white adolescent. Anyways, that’s how I feel on every Thursday morning. No, not awkwardly trying to dance, but that its so hard to say goodbye to last night…because all of our Wednesday nights are awesome! Speaking of Boys II Men…isn’t that the goal of student ministry anyways? We are in the ministry of transforming good boys to Christlike men and good girls to Christlike women. We’re going after spiritual maturity! By the way you order your student worship service, is the natural fruit spiritual maturity…or just pumping up the numbers and excitement? Continue reading →
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 →
You probably will think I’m crazy, but the greatest preaching and teaching I’ve ever heard… I’m talking about the most passionate, most engaging, most clear and understandable, most personal, most theological, most applicable, and even most humorous… I didn’t hear these greatest sermons and lessons at the coolest, hippest conference around, nor did I hear them from the new, innovative church. However, the best preaching and teaching I’ve ever heard in my life were from the 4 years that I spend in seminary. See, I told you that you’d think I’m crazy!
Seminary was amazing. Honestly, I miss it like crazy. Being around a bunch of people who desired to go as deep as you do, soaking in the biblical knowledge from professors who were also pastors over the weekend, getting to study the best of books, being forced to study all of the notes, and constantly being pointed to Christ… Agh, I miss those grueling days. But to be even more honest, I would never trade it for the church. There is nothing more rewarding than using what I’ve learned in seminary here in the church. I’m so thankful for my seminary because my professors weren’t weird, crusty, old, decrepid, boring, antiseptic, snoozers. Rather, they were pretty cool guys who could put the deepest of theology in the clearest and understandable way. Continue reading →
I’ve heard some teenagers say, “I hate going to church because I never can remember everything.” Those students feel like every message is different with a different moral, a different truth, a different discipline, or a different skill to adopt to their life. On the other hand I’ve heard teenagers say, “I hate going to church because the preacher says the same thing every Sunday.” Honestly, I think they are both right…and both wrong. When we preach/teach to teens, we need to communicate the vastly different stories while always coming back to the same point…the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue reading →
I can remember looking out of the car window very intently while riding through Alberta, Alabama as a young little dude. Trying to see all the way across the street and into the Krispy Kreme restaurant, I usually could catch a glimpse of my Uncle Paul there in the evenings. From what I remember, he would love to meet his friends there pretty regularly to have a cup of coffee and a doughnut with them. I always used to wonder what they would talk about so often for so long. Now, without even ever getting to be a part of those conversations, I’m convinced I know. How do I know? I’ve been around people for 30 years now. Old, middle-aged, married, single, college students, teenagers, and children…we all love to sit and talk about life in stories. Continue reading →
I remember being in Uganda, Africa a few summers ago. While I was there, a group of high school sophomores from Ireland came through. They were of the “conservative-Christian” political class in Ireland. After asking them questions, I quickly found out that “conservative-Christian” has a much different meaning there than here. Not one of the teenagers believed or even knew the gospel, only a couple of them said that the Bible may be true in some parts, and many of them doubted God’s existence. Believe it or not, Bono’s(from the band U2) daughter was there. I preached in the church service at the local orphanage on a Sunday morning with the teenagers also present. I preached on the gospel of Christ through the lens of being adopted into God’s family as a son through Jesus. But I didn’t just give the facts, rather I preached the gospel of Jesus emotionally, passionately, and compellingly. At the end of the service, the Irish students came up and said that if a preacher preached like that in their country…in such a way that it was obvious he believed what he preached…his church would be packed out.
Youth pastors, when we are preaching and teaching our teenagers, we must preach in a way that is passionate and compelling. Continue reading →
Believe me, I know I don’t have it all together when it comes to student ministry…or anything else. But I do like to talk to other youth pastors a lot and ask them not only WHAT they are teaching their students, but I’m also wanting to hear HOW they are teaching their students. Content is not the only key when it comes to preaching and teaching, but delivery is very important as well.
I had a very close friend of mine contact me the other day who is a new youth pastor at his church. He emailed me the lesson that he was preparing for his teenagers, and he warned me that it wouldn’t be as deep as what we do in our student ministry because his students weren’t yet ready for the depth. After reading over what he had prepared for his students, I could tell that his preparation time took hours of study, hours of planning, and it would have taken me hours to teach everything he had down on his sermon notes! Continue reading →