One of my favorite trips I ever took with my family while growing up was a weekend to Six Flags and White Water in Atlanta, GA. One year, my parents let my sister and I both bring a friend on this annual weekend of adventure. I chose from my group of friends very wisely because I wanted to make sure to have the most fun possible. So, I picked my buddy, Brandon. But before my decision was final, I had one last interview question for him: “Can you swim?” I asked because I didn’t want Brandon slowing me down! I had big plans for White Water’s slides, diving pool, but especially the wave pool. Brandon’s answers was, “Like a fish.”
I will never forget jumping into the deep end of the wave pool as soon as we got to White Water. Brandon jumped in right after me. I watched him sink “like a rock” to the bottom…where he stayed. Life guards began blowing whistles, they shut the waves down, and a fleet jumped into save my fish-less friend.
“Like a wave pool, if you shove your students into the deep end too quickly, they will drown!”
I believe its not only important to preach/teach Biblically and Gospel-centeredly, but its also important to preach/teach strategically. For example, we just started releasing passages for daily devotions to our students. This sermon in our Genesis series not only teaches them Genesis 4-11, but it also strategically teaches students how to get the most out of their Old Testament devotions.
“Gospel-Centered” is one of our buzz words of today. When it comes to preaching, what does it mean to be gospel-centered? Does it mean every sermon simply presents the gospel for salvation? Does it mean using every sermon from every text to preach the gospel only? Could it include self-help and felt-need sermons that tact the gospel on at the end? Gospel-centered preaching ultimately is communicating the gospel as the core of every sermon for both the non-believer and believer. It sees the gospel itself as motivation for salvation, Christlike living, repentance of sin, faith, spiritual growth, and understanding of biblical truth. There has been much written on a proper understanding of gospel-centered preaching. Many have said that keeping every sermon centered on the gospel becomes to repetitive for people today. Here are five reasons why I preach the gospel every single week.
1. Preaching the gospel every week ensures you nailed the point of the passage.
Walking in stealth-mode with two of His disciples, Jesus makes a shocking statement. He told them that they were slow and foolish to not see His death and resurrection as the center of every Scripture written (Luke 24:24-27). From two thousand years ago, Jesus is calling-out every gospel-less self-help, felt-need, systematic theological, and expositional sermon and lesson for all time. He says that every single passage in the Old Testament is all about His person and His work. Its easy to see gospel centrality in the New Testament, but Jesus says the Old Testament is centered on Him even though it never specifically mentions His name! When we preach the gospel weekly, we are using Jesus’ own hermeneutic to get across the main point of every passage. This doesn’t mean preaching the gospel only every week, but it means centering, grounding, and connecting everything you teach with the gospel.
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
Our student ministry usually averages about 75 students on any given Sunday school or student worship service. Over our revival: HarvestFEST, we had over 225 students on the Tuesday night. Adding all nights together (Sunday – Wednesday), we had about 600 students in all. That was by far the most I’ve ever seen our students bring in. I’m so glad that God brought us an engaging and impacting speaker like Dr. Ronnie Hill to take care of them once they came!
I wanted to keep the ball rolling and the momentum moving forward, so I cancelled all regularly scheduled activities for Sunday school this morning (MACRO Theology), and I let the students hear from each other. Instead of the normal “come up to the mic and give your testimony” time, I put two chairs up front and did an interview type setting. The students didn’t know I was going to do it. I only took volunteers. I was amazed…they did an awesome job. Again, the purpose of these student interviews was to be an encouragement to our whole student ministry to keep on investing in the lives of other students, inviting them to our church, and all that so that God can make a huge impact in their lives. I wanted them to give our their own strategies, ideas, etc. Continue reading →