my life as a student minister

Posts tagged ‘sermon’

Preaching with stories

I’m really excited for 2010’s preaching schedule! We spent the most part of October/November thinking through how we would approach this year in student ministry. (In case you didn’t know, I preach almost every week.) This year we really wanted to focus on teaching our students how to tell their stories by giving them insight into biblical characters. It goes like this…

Instead of us preaching by book, chapter, verse, or even topic, we’re taking a different approach. We’re focusing on PEOPLE in the Bible. We’re specifically looking at how their testimony would look if we were to ask them today. What would Adam’s testimony be? Eve? Noah?

For example, tomorrow I’m preaching on Eve. Typically we only associate her with the fall and how that basically screwed everything up. BUT, if she were to tell it, I don’t think that would be the defining part of her testimony. I think, like many of us, it would be something in the past. A point in time where we sinned and realized we are apart from God. Granted, Eve’s was the first, but I don’t think that changes anything. Eve lived for a really long time. I’m sure she experienced God in other ways.

So, as you sit and plan out your messages, I encourage you to look at the individual you’re preaching on. Ask yourself what their story is and how they would tell it. I promise it’ll open up your eyes to new biblical truths about God!

Not to leave you hanging… I think Eve’s testimony went like this:

“I thought I was making a good choice, but I really wasn’t. Man, I really wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I could have remained innocent and been totally satisfied with God. Even though I reached up and grabbed that apple, looking back now, that wasn’t the turning point in my life. Sure, I walked with God, and I would give anything to have that back. However, in the process of making a stupid decision I saw a different side of God. I no longer took him for granted. Even though our actions set into effect a chain reaction of the need for restoration, God never left me. Sure my actions changed our relationship, but He proved faithful and never left my side. I remember the first murder. At that moment, I understood how God’s heart must have felt when we stepped away from Him. My heart hurt so bad for Abel. I asked myself why Cain felt he needed to kill his brother. Such horrible things happened and knowing it was all my fault (I did bring sin into the world) was more than I could bare. Yet, God was still with me. He was still faithful. He even let me know that though I messed things up, He would restore the world through my womb. I’m not for sure exactly what that meant, but I do know the serpent who lied to me with be destroyed. I know now, I don’t need to know everything. That’s the beauty of God. He’s waiting for us to trust him and let him lead. His love never fails. “


Rite of Passage

This past weekend we ended a series on purity with two retreats. We planned our series to discuss some major issues so that we the retreat started we weren’t at square one. I decided early on that I wanted to end this series with two retreats–one for the guys and one for the girls. From the beginning, I felt pretty strong that these retreats should look a lot different. I didn’t want to force our guys to attend a “typical” purity retreat filled with workshops and class time. Heck, I didn’t even want to attend something like that and I’m one of the ministers. So, Neil (the other student minister) and I set out to plan something totally different. We set our hearts on a “rite of passage” retreat. The number one thing we wanted to communicate was that they have what it takes to be a Godly man in a ungodly world. Our goal was to provide adventure, set up challenges, and engage them on a man to man level. Now that the retreats over, I can reflect a bit about what took place. Here are some major things that we set up for these guys.


1. We rented a cabin on a lake.
(We actually rented a cabin at the local Christian service camp which sits on a lake)

2. We took off our shirts and “came clean.”
Each person gave their testimony without a shirt on to symbolize transparency. We then gave them a shirt to write their struggles on. Everyone wore that shirt the whole weekend until we burned them.

3. We decided that we wanted to have a “renaming” ceremony at a campfire.
We spent a lot of time choosing a specific Hebrew name for each of our guys. Even our sponsors got the name treatment. Our first night at the campfire, we lined them up from oldest to youngest and had them stand in silence while we gave each person their new name. To make it cool, we wrote their new name on their face with paint. It rocked!

4. We recreated the walk of Jesus to the cross.
We woke the guys up at 4:30 AM to walk the walk. Neil and I found on the internet that they estimated that Jesus carried 120 pounds 670 yards. We bought tube bags of sand had each guy carry 60lbs for a mile on their shoulders.  Before we left we had a devotion that talked about being a team and how Christ makes us strong. During the walk we encouraged the guys to recite Scripture to encourage those struggling. Everyone completed the walk. It was amazing! After the walk we came back and burned our “struggle shirts” on the fire.
5. We had a wicked airsoft fight!
This is a given for our guys…I lost my temper and unloaded a magazine on Neil. One made his face ooze. He’s a good sport!

6. We answered THE question.
These guys have what it takes. It’s that simple. They have what it takes to be a man. A man that can put God at the center of their lives. A man that can take control of dating relationships and set boundaries and lead spiritually. A man that isn’t controlled by their flesh. A man empowered by the work of the cross. Every guy needs that question answered. We did our best to answer it.

We had loads of fun. I encourage you to consider doing something out of the ordinary for your guys.

Series Run down Volume 6

Date: February 22, 2009
Teaching Series: Xposed
Key Passages: 1 John 2:15-17, 2 Corinthians 4:18, Romans 12:2
Service Length: 60 minutes
Attendance: up 31% over the same time last year, up 7% over previous service

Worship Set: Undignified, Take, Take, Take it All, Mighty to Save, Revelation Song

Message Summary: This week we talked about everything XXX. We allowed God’s Word to speak into our lives in regards to pornography and sexting. As we read Scripture, we tried to put it into practice.

Student Involvement: Students made up the worship band, ran lights, sound, and media. Students also served at our guest check-in, and served all over the church.
Fun Stuff/Special Elements: We began our service by using an interactive “text-to-screen” application. We surveyed our students on 4 questions. 1. How many people have a facebook acccount (warm-up)? 2. How many people have looked at porn in the past week (separate guys/girls response)? 3. How many people have sent a sexually explicit text message? 4. How many people have taken a picture of themselves in a sexually explicit way? We didn’t expect some of the results. For example, about 30% of our girls had looked at pornography in the past week.

Just caught this…

I got this video from a fellow pastor’s blog that I read. It’s great and goes a long way to encouraging us to live as believers of Christ instead of believers in a religion. The man that communicated this love to Penn Jillette was transformed by his encounter with Jesus. Are we being transformed?

Service Run Down Volume 2

Date: January 11, 2009
Teaching Series: LIVE | SERVE | GROW
Key Passages: Acts 2:42-47 (specifically vs 44 & 45), Ephesians 2:8-10, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Corinthians 9:6
Service Length: 67 minutes
Attendance: up 25% over the same time last year, up 14% over previous service

Worship Set: Sing, Sing, Sing, We Shine, Heart of Worship, Enough
Communion Song: East to West
Offering Song: Point of Difference

Message Summary: The early church understood that transformation doesn’t just happen in the mind. Holy transformation in an entire body/life/soul experience. The church not only sold their possessions, but gave of their lives. It’s so easy to write a check and mark service off of your to do list. When we give of our lives, we not only serve others but experience transformation from the inside out.

Student Involvement: Students made up the band, ran audio, propresenter, guest check-in, and student check-in.
Fun Stuff/Special Elements: We began our message by utilizing our table groups to write thank you notes to their favorite teacher. The idea was to say thank you to someone already serving them. Those who read from their Bibles out loud received a free Babe Ruth candy bar. We also launched our “hour of service” sign-ups.

Apple’s Keynote Remote

picture-1I’m excited to try out Apple’s Keynote Remote tomorrow morning during our student worship services. Since starting our second hour, I’ve been looking for a way to relieve the pro presenter person so they can attend a small group. Hopefully this is the ticket! I’ll type up a review tomorrow for anyone interested. The trick will be if I can run my sermon from my iPhone without looking at it….

Service Run Down: Volume 1

Teaching Series: LIVE | SERVE | GROW
Key Passage: Luke 9:23, Acts 2:42-47 
Service Length: 61 minutes
Attendance: up 14% over the same time last year, up 30% over previous service

Worship Set: I am Free, We Shine, Heart of Worship, The Stand
Communion Song: Lead me to the Cross

Message Summary: Once we make a decision to follow Jesus, we need to learn how to work out our faith. Scripture tells us exactly how the early church celebrated Christ and lived their life. Acts 2:42-47 tells us that the church was filled with awe. Sometimes we lose that awe and we take advantage of opportunities to worship. We need to refocus on whom it is we’re worshipping and not on our environment. Our connection to God is supposed to be alive and dynamic. When we look back in January 2010, we want 2009 to have been a year of holy transformation in our lives and ministry. We want 2009 to be known as the year we were filled with awe and came alive in Christ. We ended by raising our hands to Christ and asked for forgiveness. Neil led us in the Heart of Worship again. 

Student Involvement: Students made up the band, ran audio, propresenter, guest check-in, and student check-in. 
Fun Stuff/Special Elements: Middle school hour-Threw candy at students and they raced to tell me their new year resolutions. High School hour- leveraged our table format for small group discussion on random resolutions/goals for 2009. Both services had a lot of excitement and our new table format seemed to work well. This week we had communion trays placed at each table and let each table serve each themselves. This our first week with the new format with separate middle school/high school worship hours.

%d bloggers like this: