Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Youth Sunday preachifying

So last Sunday was Youth Sunday and I got both services, which is pretty frigintastic. I am not a glory hog so I totally opened the evening service up for one of my Youth. She has spoken before but I was not able to be there because of a funeral in another state but I heard good things. Let me say she rocked the house and has some great stuff you need to hear.

Now about the morning sermon. I drank Monster instead of water. I was told that I was quite a bit more hyper but I really don't believe it. I'm pretty energetic normally so I didn't notice much difference between this sermon and others that I have preached. Sure I did some voices but they were actually calm. Yes I did speak quickly but we had done a bunch of fun stuff and I needed to cover a lot so I had to speak quickly. I'll let you be the judge. Listen to this and another sermon I preached then say if I seemed more up than last time.

The sermon itself is about the problem with speaking death and how Christ called us to something more.

Speak Life

Now the other sermon is from a 14 year old girl. She is pretty on top of things and I tried very hard not to tell her what to say. She has had no formal training and is a little rough for it but I have to say that this is some great stuff that everyone needs to hear. Seriously this is why I work with teens. I wrap it up and put a bow on it because she didn't quite get how the make the call to action, but other than that she really rocked it fan-frigintastic.

The world and religion from the mouth of a teen

Don't forget to tell me what you think. For more details on the services check Canon Run and Battle of the Generations: AKA Youth Rule.


  1. Good stuff! Speak life to the dry bones. He can accomplish the impossible. Our responsibility and privilege is to speak blessings and life!

  2. Well, since you asked for comments...

    What I mostly got out of your sermon was 1) the church needs to reach out, 2) don't judge people, and 3) ask God for opportunities to reach out.

    One question: Where was the gospel? I heard you speak a lot of what the church needs to do, but where was the simple message that sinners need the forgiveness of Christ?

    As a Christian Day School teacher and principal for the past eight years, there is nothing more important for me to get across to my students than the gospel and also what Christians do because of the gospel.

    Gimmicks and games cannot create excitement for the church in youth or anyone else for that matter. These people come to you for the ONE thing needful which can never be stale and dry.

    Nothing more than the simple Gospel is needed to excite the Christian, and nothing is more needed for a young Christian than to have someone like you explain the gospel to them, and dig into the depths of how to apply it to their lives.

    Consider also the words you use to encourage people to reach out. I heard you use words like "what the church NEEDS to do" and "we HAVE to reach out." When speaking to Christians is it correct to use words like NEEDS and HAVE?

    Paul tells us that through our baptism our Old Adam (our sinful flesh) died and was buried with Christ. But the New Man has arisen with Christ and now we are a new creature that lives to serve God perfectly. This New Man is in us and loves to do what God requires.

    Following the 10 commandments (God's Law) are things we NEED and HAVE to do. But God's Law has nothing to do and can never motivate the New Man who only lives to serve God. Instead, I would encourage you to use words like, "Because you are redeemed by the blood of Christ, you WILL take opportunities to reach out."

    Now this WILL isn't the imperative use of the word like, "Soldier, you WILL drop down and give me 20." No, this WILL is what the New Man automatically does. Because we are branches that have been grafted to the vine of Christ, we AUTOMATICALLY produce fruits of faith. No one goes out to the garden and tells the plants, "Now you guys GROW!", it's just what plants automatically do. Similarly, it's very easy for me to tell my students, "Now be nice!", "You shouldn't to this, you shouldn't do that." It's so easy to fall into that trap because the law is easy, yet non-effective when encouraging the New Man. Instead, in morning devotions I explain to them what the New Man really means and how Christians automatically behave.

    I really appreciated your point about asking God for opportunities. Something for all Christians to pray for and probably don't take all the opportunities that God has already given.

    You are a wonderful storyteller (although you can get a little carried away with embellishments to parables) and I could hear your enthusiasm for your calling and your message. Study the way the apostles encouraged Christians and see how often when it looks like they're giving commands, they're actually surrounding those phrases with the Gospel.

    I encourage you to dig into the gospel, preach the gospel, and apply the gospel. You'll find that there's no subject deeper or wider than the most important thing of all: Christ's forgiveness and what we do because of it.

  3. Jason, Thanks.


    I appreciate what you are saying. I tend to agree with much of what you say here but this message was full of the gospel. The parable I "embellished" was the story of the prodigal son, which is the good news in brief.

    Each message should be from God, but it should also consider the audience. This audience was people that are already "saved" and need motivation to get out of the church to be involved with the work of the church. If you listen you will hear when I speak about good works, for example, I quote Paul who said "you were saved in order that you might do good works."

    I believe that the gospel is wonderful and needs to be preached and so I do preach it. Last night in youth it was the theme of the message. 80% or better need the life of the gospel and the rest need encouragement in spreading the life of the gospel so I pulled from the Great Commission and pointed out what Jesus said there. Go preach the gospel, baptize, then teach. We, as the Church, get it backwards most of the time. We teach how to behave adding on rules and condemnation that we are free from then when a person is ready they can be baptized and get saved into a gospel of rules. Not very good news if you ask me. I talked about what the good news is and how it sets us free form the burden of sin but also the burden of the laws we heap on ourselves because we build a relationship with life.

    Different audience different purpose. One message was the a group that is recently saved or not even saved while the other is to a group that have been saved for quite a long time and is now sleeping. They need to wake up because Christ is coming. BTW that is also part of the good news.

    We are the bride of Christ not just a servant in the house but a member of the house.

    I hope you can listen to this again and hear that what I preached was rooted in the purpose of the Gospel and full of the Gospel but form a different vantage point much like the writings of Paul to the Galatians or Ephesians who were more rooted and so needed different kinds of encouragement.

  4. Nick,

    Thanks for responding, and for your further explanation. Upon listening to it again (okay, portions of it, I don't have time to listen to a 51 minute sermon whenever I want), I did hear how more of what you said was rooted in the gospel. But I've never hesitated to remind the audience about the whole train of thought from our sin, our deserved condemnation, Christ's work on the cross and resurrection, and now we live to serve a living God.

    I appreciate your point of view on how different audiences needing different messages. Paul certainly gave some churches encouragement and at other times was more stern.

    Try to avoid the "should" and "must". Because of our freedom from the law, reaching out is something we "will" do.

    Thanks for the intelligent discourse! I'll listen to more when I get a chance.


  5. James,

    I see what you are saying. I do agree that freedom is a powerful thing. I wish I had Wednesdays sermon to upload but we don't have recording in Youth. Although I probably could record to the computer which I might start doing. Those sermons are more like 15 minutes tops.

    The two sermons are surprisingly similar but focus more on our freedom and how we can change the church into what Christ called us to be by doing the work of Christ.