Moral Therapeutic Deism sermon

Last Sunday I got to preach in the main worship services, an opportunity that doesn’t come to often on a larger pastoral staff! I spoke on the topic of discipleship, why it’s important, and the critical importance of Christians of all ages pursing discipleship – especially as those who are younger tend to emulate the faith of the adults in their lives.

Tommy and Elizabeth, two of our students, introduced the topic for me with the above skit. Definitely a riot watching Tommy interact with unexpected targets – none of them knew what was coming. I knew it was working when the sound guys were still some of the loudest laughers in the room even the third time around!

Here are the notes I spoke from. They may or may not make sense, but they kept me mostly focused.

The meat of the message was discipleship. I referenced the research done by Christian Smith, as well as the text of ‘Almost Christian: What the faith of teenagers is telling the American church,’ by Kenda Creasy Dean throughout the sermon. I gave examples in our church for opportunities, like the Path, and a short checklist of what devoted young people have in common as a starting point for adults to be examples in:

  • Attends religious services weekly or more
  • Faith is very or extremely important in everyday life
  • Feels very or extremely close to God
  • Currently involved in a religious youth group
  • Prays a few times a week or more
  • Reads scripture once or twice a week or more

If you’re so inclined, click here to listen to or download the audio.

Another fantastic book based on similar research with a lot of GREAT practical advice to parents in passing on faith to the children is ‘Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids’ by Dr. Kara Powell and Chap Clark.

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