You'll love this Source, "Awkward Worship"! In this message I'm taking a run with my gang to up the ante on worship and remove some of the misconceptions of what worship is and is not.
We all know that worship can be awkward at times, especially if you're not used to it. So this message is a simple reminder that WORSHIP is just LOVE EXPRESSED. Like every person who has ever loved someone else knows: If you really love someone, you will somehow show it. With a simple, thought provoking drama and some key Scriptures, this Source will help turn "Awkward Worship" into a passionate lifestyle that glorifies God.
As an "added bonus," I've included the outlines for the other three messages we did in a 4-part series we called AWKWARD: "Awkward Silence," "Awkward Question," and "Awkward Book."
- Sermon Notes
- Creative Elements
- Token Ideas
- Discussion Outline
- Bonus Messages
- Leadership Notes
Why is the TV series Heroes such a smash hit? Everyone wants to be one...a hero that is. Don't you? In this Source, we speak to that desire. Through skits, stories and the Bible, we laugh, cry and reveal what it takes to be God's kind of hero, not a seasonal hit but an eternal one.
The public and private life of Esther gives us great insight on both the responsibility and risk that come with being God's kind of hero. As you know, while we all want to be a hero in front of the lights, flash and camera, most true heroic moments come when few, if any, are present. Esther was no exception. Her struggles and ultimate victory gives us hope that we too can come out on top.
Just in case no one has shown up in your life to express appreciation lately, allow me to thank you for paying all the costly prices to be a hero in the lives of our students. May you continue to have the vision, endurance and desire to love our kids authentically and run the race well.
Enjoying the journey with you,
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Even though statistics show that depression is a huge issue in today's youth culture, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone talk about it in the church world. Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide in our country and the third leading cause of death among teenagers. In fact, 20% of our kids will experience some level of serious depression before they reach adulthood. Those statistics are alarming to say the least...too alarming not to address the topic in our youth services.
This message, "The Dungeon of Depression," is part of our "Dirty Little Secrets Series" covering topics the church world often find difficult to address. It's jam packed with statistics, solutions, stories and skits that will help illustrate the message for your students in a very real way. So, lean in and listen deeply as I touch on a subject that hits closer to home for more of the teenagers and young adults in your youth ministry than you probably realize.
In the trenches with you,
For the majority of us, we find our families, as well as our closest friends, to be the toughest mission field. We know all too well, when we share Christ with those we love most, the risk of rejection is high for a number of reasons. However, the reward of spending eternity with them in heaven can't be touched. We know this...our students know this...yet sometimes we both need reminded of it.
In this Source, we give students some tangible ideas on how to intentionally love their family and friends in ways that will enable them to both hear and see Jesus through their actions, attitudes, words, and deeds. My prayer for this resource is that our students will be able to cut through all the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, and stand in the gap for those closest to them.
Fighting for the Family,
Can you believe that "American Idol" is still a season hit to this day? But, as you know, "idols" were around long before the T.V. show made the word famous. In Ezekiel, the Bible tells us the Lord is still trying to capture our hearts. Yet all too often, like in Moses' day, we get off course and allow other things and people to take center stage in our lives.
In this Source, we take some time to honestly consider who or what we are placing at our heart's center. My prayer is that these continual heart exams would keep each of us from undoing in careless moments of disobedience the work that God's grace has taken much time to build. For remember, the Enemy always reserves the right to cash in on our moments of disobedience at the very instant it will do him the most good. Let's choose not to give him that foothold for our own sake and for the sake of those following in our footsteps.
So, grab your cup of coffee and let's dive in.
How sharp do you feel spiritually right now? Have your edges become a little dull? Great questions aren't they? They're ones we need to continually ask ourselves whether we're 14 or 40, or any age for that matter. And, if we're honest, I think even the best of us struggle on occasion with our quiet times with Jesus for one reason or another. Revelation reminds us to return to Him, our first love, and choose to do the things we know to do.
In this Source, we'll look to Elisha in 2 Kings 6:1-7 for thoughts on recovering our spiritual cutting edge when times get a little too quiet. We'll come face-to-face with the causes and challenge each other to sharpen ourselves once again. Jesus, our audience of One, deserves our very best.
The TV show "Moment Of Truth" has created a buzz in the air. The game seems simple enough, just tell the truth! Often times, however, we don't want to hear the truth. Instead, we'd rather buy into the lies we keep trying to sell ourselves as the truth.
In this Source, using our own version of "Moment Of Truth," we challenge both Christians and non-Christians alike to come face to face with what they truly believe, not just with what they "say" they believe. While this outreach night was both fun and funny, we didn't shy away from the tough questions, like "Do you really care if your friends go to Hell?" "What's your motive for not sinning?" and "Do your really believe in God?" Through these "eternal" moment of truth questions, many students heard for their very first time that the Lord isn't so much interested in their perfection, as much as He's interested in their direction.
It was an amazing night that I'm excited to share with you. So with coffee in hand, listen in and try to visualize this illustrated message. By scripting everything for you, I think you'll find it a relatively easy outreach night to pull off. As with us, may it result in moments of truth that last for all eternity.
A staggering statistic tells us that 85% of the young people brought up in church will not attend regularly in their adulthood. If that's even remotely close to accurate, it takes my breath away and probably yours too.
As we discuss in this Source, "Which Chair Are You In?," there could be any number of reasons as to why the statistic is so alarming. Perhaps their personal experiences with Christ have been rare or non-existent. Maybe they are trying to live off of the borrowed faith of their parents and grandparents. It could be that they are treating God like a vacuum cleaner, someone only to be pulled out when there is a mess to clean up.
Regardless, we need to help students examine the source and take ownership of their faith. Like Abraham, they need to dig their own wells and build their own altars. Then, and only then, will they have what it takes to go the distance and run the race God's marked out for them. So that when it feels like no one else is reading their Bibles, they read their Bibles. When it seems like no one else is worshipping, they worship. When it appears no one else is praying, they can be found on their knees. Together, may we help awaken that kind of passion for the Cause, the Kingdom and the King.
Have you ever caught yourself asking, "Lord, why didn't you make me better at...?" or "Jesus, why didn't you make me more like...?" It seems like we forever want to be someone else and often sense that we just don't measure up. Trying to conquer our self-esteem issues is a constant battle not only in our own lives, but in the lives of our students as well. Given that the God of the universe holds us in such high esteem that He sent His Son to die for us, you wouldn't think the battle within would be so difficult and costly. But, we know that it is!
The value we place upon ourselves is, perhaps, the single most important or strategic factor in our whole future. Measuring our worth by our appearance, intellect or abilities can be devastating. So, in this Source, "Extreme Makeover: Inside Edition," we challenge students to realize that their external frame is not nearly as important as what lies within. The inside really is the big deal!
What a privilege we have to help an aching youth culture know that they matter and the best is yet to come!
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"These are they who have turned the world upside down!" Acts 17:6. The early Christians weren't always "NICE"...they were RIGHTEOUS! They weren't always POLITICALLY CORRECT...they were often RADICAL! God is still looking today for RADICAL, RIGHTEOUS REVOLUTIONARIES...to reach out to a generation of RADICAL, UNRIGHTEOUS REVOLUTIONARIES!
In this month's Source, "The Reckless Ones," I'm sharing from the book of Acts what it truly means to be God's kind of reckless. In this resource, I give four principles to become the kind of person who "turns the world upside down" in God's kind of way. It's a great topic to help your students go to the next level in their personal relationships and heart after God.
The Enemy would love for us to live our lives as if there were no "contender," as if neither he nor spiritual warfare existed. To live in that manner, however, would be foolish, especially given that two-thirds of Christ's ministry before the cross involved the devil or the demonic world. That, my friend, is a substantial percentage!
In this Source, "The Contender," we pull back the veil on spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy and examining our weapons of choice. Our goal is not to spook our students, but to convince them not to take this whole thing lightly. It really is a big deal in the eyes of Jesus. The people who make Hell laugh are those who act as if it is not.
Fortunately, while the battle is real, if we have Christ in our lives, the Bible makes it clear that we will be the ultimate victor. Despite that fact, the Enemy still wants to engage us in battle and derail our lives, even if only momentarily. We cannot allow that to happen! Learning how to put on our armor and draw our weapons will prevent it!
Fighting with you,