So Many Emojis: God, are you trying to kill me? (Genesis 22)

So Many Emojis – 2 – Isaac – Gen 22 (notes)

So Many Emojis – 2 – Isaac – Gen 22 (curriculum)

So Many Emojis – 2 – Isaac – Genesis 22 (keynote)

We call this series “So Many Emojis: Riding the Relational Roller Coaster” because a relationship with God can be a crazy ride filled with many different emotions! Take Isaac’s life for instance when God called for his death by his own father. What are we even supposed to do with that? But God called for this sacrifice in order to bring a bigger blessing! Check out to see what all this means, how it applies to the Gospel, and what it means for our lives.

My 14 Fave Sermons on Love, Sex, and Relationships.

Sex Talk Title

February is definitely the month of LOVE. We’re getting tons of hits from people searching for youth sermons on love, relationships, dating, purity, gender roles, marriage, etc. So I thought I’d compile our top 14 all in one post. Here ya go!

Genesis 2 “Being Human Rules!” https://youthgrouptruth.com/2008/01/17/biblical-theology-02-genesis-1-2-being-human-rules/

Numbers 25 “Israelites Gone Wild: Sex, Cheaters, and The Purity of Christ” https://youthgrouptruth.com/2008/11/20/storyline-30-numbers-25-%e2%80%9cisraelites-gone-wild-sex-cheaters-and-the-purity-of-christ%e2%80%9d/

Ruth 1-2 “Love Connection: Don’t Play The Dating Game” https://youthgrouptruth.com/2009/05/15/storyline-44-ruth-1-2-dont-play-the-dating-game/

Continue reading

My 4 Favorite Sermons for the New Year

happy-new-year-by-azdude-on-02
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)
https://youthgrouptruth.com/2012/01/09/following-jesus-in-his-childhood/

Why Do We Do What We Do? (Acts 2:36-47)
https://youthgrouptruth.com/2011/01/06/cbsm-service-cbsm-in-2011-acts-236-47/

Your Best Year Yet (Nehemiah 1-2)
https://youthgrouptruth.com/2010/01/07/storyline-69-nehemiah-1-2-“the-city-life-cbsm-in-2010/

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/

Dealing with Teenage Drama Gospel-Centeredly


Three things are inevitable for every youth pastor: paying taxes, dying, and dealing with teenage drama. I’ve definitely been through my fair share of the drama. I’ve seen teenagers quit youth ministries, asked to leave youth ministries, small groups implode, friendships shattered, families severed, and teenagers quit church altogether…over drama.

We just finished an overview of the book of 1 Corinthians where Paul walked the church of Corinth through the right way of repenting of their sin, overcoming their struggles, and settling their drama through the gospel. Its an incredible book of how to handle all areas of life by applying the gospel! So, this morning in our 1 Corinthians wrap-up before small groups, I walked our teens how to apply the gospel to…teenage drama! Here’s what we looked at:

1. Be like Jesus! Our natural, sinful tendency is to be like the world…the culture surrounding us. When drama strikes, the world flares up, bows up, and speaks up. They attack, defend, and fight dirty. But we aren’t called to be like the culture, we are called to be like Jesus. “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27). When we are called to the gospel, we are called to become like Jesus and live all of life for Him. So these next few points are how to apply the gospel to teenage drama by living like and for Jesus.

2. Don’t defend yourself. That’s right…don’t feel like you always have to defend yourself. Here’s part of the beauty of the gospel that we rarely talk about. Jesus perfectly and flawlessly obeyed all of God’s commands while living on earth. Therefore, His Father was fully pleased with Him. When we are saved, we are united into Jesus. Therefore, through Jesus, God is fully pleased and satisfied with us. He fully accepts us based on Jesus’ performance. Our personal identity is now in Jesus alone. So…we don’t have to care what others think about us because we know who we truly are in Jesus! Most of the time in teenage drama situations, trying to defend, prove, or justify yourself just makes things worse. I’m not saying that its always wrong to defend yourself, I’m just saying…don’t always feel like you have to because ultimately your identity and acceptance is found in Jesus and not yourself! “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22-23). Be like Jesus! Continue reading

CBSM Sermon Video “CBSM on Cutting: When Pain Feels Good”


Since we hit the tragedy of suicide hard last week, God directed us to take one more week in the hard issues of teenage life…and talk about cutting, self-injury, self-abuse, and self-harm. God surfaced so many struggles in the lives of the students through this sermon. I literally stayed for an hour after the service just counseling teens who were hurting and admitting struggles. I was up past midnight responding to all kinds of texts and emails over the topic. I believe many times, youth ministries aren’t coming close to scratching the surface of the real issues in students lives. And at other times, the student ministries who do focus on all the immediate issues…aren’t pointing them to Jesus thru the gospel. There has to be a real balance here of being proactive and reactive. Proactively letting the Holy Spirit deal with issues from the Word, and reactively preaching the issues that we’re aware of when they become urgent. Feel free to check out and use all of our media on cutting and self-abuse for your own life and ministry.

CBSM on Cutting: When Pain Feels Good


Free files for youth pastors and small group leaders:
Cutting (mp3).mp3
Cutting (handout).pdf
Cutting (ppt).ppt
Cutting (notes).doc
Cutting (small groups).doc
Cutting Teen Testimony.doc
Cutting (service).doc
We used a “Teenage Cutting Story” from youtube as our sermon intro video.
Since we hit the tragedy of suicide hard last week, God directed us to take one more week in the hard issues of teenage life…and talk about cutting, self-injury, self-abuse, and self-harm. God surfaced so many struggles in the lives of the students through this sermon. I literally stayed for an hour after the service just counseling teens who were hurting and admitting struggles. I was up past midnight responding to all kinds of texts and emails over the topic. I believe many times, youth ministries aren’t coming close to scratching the surface of the real issues in students lives. And at other times, the student ministries who do focus on all the immediate issues…aren’t pointing them to Jesus thru the gospel. There has to be a real balance here of being proactive and reactive. Proactively letting the Holy Spirit deal with issues from the Word, and reactively preaching the issues that we’re aware of when they become urgent. Feel free to check out and use all of our media on cutting and self-abuse for your own life and ministry.

CBSM Sermon Video “SEX TALK: What Every Teen Wants to Hear” (by Zach Terry)


Our book for the month of February “just happened” (in a Divinely sovereign way) to land on Song of Solomon. Bonus! I “just happened” (in a Divinely sovereign way) to be out of town for a conference on the night of this new series start, so our much wiser senior pastor came in to deliver the message “SEX TALK” to our students. He absolutely tore it up. The students loved it. They said, “It was AWESOME!” “It was HILARIOUS!” “It was AWKWARD!” I’m so thankful for a senior pastor who loves teenagers, and who is sincere enough to talk with them about anything. We went super straight-forward with this talk, because the teenagers need to hear it. So feel free to check out how he handled “SEX TALK” to a ton of teens.

CBSM Sermon Video: “CBSM on Suicide: The Let Hope Rise Movement”


We have had a devastating week with two teens in our area ending their own lives by suicide. There have been at least two other teen suicides in the past two months, and statistics tell us that there are another 100 attempts for ever suicidal success. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! So we’re going to do everything we can at CBSM to start a movement on spreading the hope of Jesus Christ. We did our best to hit the topic of suicide head-on last night and talked straight-up about why it happens, how to help, and where hope can be found. Feel free to check out and use all of our resources for your life and ministry dealing with suicide as well.

CBSM on Suicide: The “Let Hope Rise” Movement


Free downloads for youth pastors and small group leaders:
Suicide (mp3)
Suicide (handout).pdf
Suicide (ppt).ppt
Suicide (outline).doc
Suicide (small groups).doc
Suicide (service).doc
.
Service Intro Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7piEIaJvIo&playnext=1&list=PLC4151AC193407BC6
We have had a devastating week with two teens in our area ending their own lives by suicide. There have been at least two other teen suicides in the past two months, and statistics tell us that there are another 100 attempts for ever suicidal success. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! So we’re going to do everything we can at CBSM to start a movement on spreading the hope of Jesus Christ. We did our best to hit the topic of suicide head-on last night and talked straight-up about why it happens, how to help, and where hope can be found. Feel free to check out and use all of our resources for your life and ministry dealing with suicide as well.

SEX TALK: The Book of Song of Solomon

Free downloads for youth pastors and small group leaders:
1 – Sex Talk – SOS (mp3)
1 – Sex Talk – SOS (sermon notes)
1 – Sex Talk – SOS (service)
Sermon Intro Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpFGSOS3GIE
Our book for the month of February “just happened” (in a Divinely sovereign way) to land on Song of Solomon. Bonus! I “just happened” (in a Divinely sovereign way) to be out of town for a conference on the night of this new series start, so our much wiser senior pastor came in to deliver the message “SEX TALK” to our students. He absolutely tore it up. The students loved it. They said, “It was AWESOME!” “It was HILARIOUS!” “It was AWKWARD!” I’m so thankful for a senior pastor who loves teenagers, and who is sincere enough to talk with them about anything. We went super straight-forward with this talk, because the teenagers need to hear it. So feel free to check out how he handled “SEX TALK” to a ton of teens.