Lamentations: How to Grieve

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My latest resource just went live on the Download Youth Ministry website! It’s a three week teaching series on the book of Lamentations. I really enjoyed creating this one and taking my group through it; Lamentations is a powerful book with a lot to learn from. You can find the resource on the Download Youth Ministry website here. Here’s the official description:

Lamentations is a collection of five ancient poems that the Israelites would recite together as part of their grieving process. Students will learn some great principles for handling their grief today and ways to process it in a healthy, God-honoring way. Through the themes of God’s judgement, compassion, and sovereignty. students will find hope in their deepest suffering.

This is a complete three-week teaching resource that would work great as a sermon series for students, college-age students or even the church at large.

This Resource Includes:

  • Complete message manuscripts (Word files)
  • PowerPoint presentation file for each message
  • Student handouts – blank and filled-in (Word files)
  • Series graphics (jpeg files)
  • Resources and sources document (Word file)

Obadiah: Where Do You Find Your Joy?

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My latest youth ministry resource is available on the Download Youth Ministry website (you can see what else is on the way here)! This is a one-shot lesson on the book of Obadiah. I had a lot of fun making this one; Obadiah is such a fascinating part of the Old Testament. You can purchase the resource here. Here’s the description:

Obadiah: Where Do You Find Your Joy?

This one-off message on Obadiah explores the history and relationship between the Israelites and the Edomites, challenging students to ask the question, “do I find my joy in my enemies’ suffering, or in their salvation?” Do we have the heart of God for the world around us, or would we prefer to see only those we like to know God?

This Resource Includes:

• Complete message manuscript (Word file)
• PowerPoint presentation file
• Student handout (Word file)
• Message graphics (jpeg files)

Song of Songs series available now!

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Over the last year or so I’ve been creating youth ministry resources for the Download Youth Ministry website; they’re starting to trickle out (you can see what else is on the way here)! The first one to be published is a three week teaching series on the Song of Songs! I had a lot of fun working on this one; hopefully it can be a strong resource for other youth ministries. You can purchase the resource here. Here’s the description:

Song of Songs is a three-week series taking a close look at the Bible’s most explicit book. It’s not just erotic poetry, though; it communicates powerful messages about God’s view of love, sex, and wisdom. Over the centuries, Song of Songs has been a controversial yet important book with important lessons for young people.

Week 1 – “Solomon”
Series kickoff on the Song of Songs with a closer look at the life of Solomon and how God uses Song of Songs to powerfully communicate what God intends love and sexuality to be; a beautiful thing that couples enjoy, builds marriages, and builds families.

Week 2 – “Love”
The series continues with a closer look at chapter 1 and exploring the use of the word “love” throughout the book, emphasizing the three Hebrew words that are translated as “love” and what that tells us about God’s heart for the marriage relationship.

Week 3 – “Wisdom”
The series concludes with a look at a reoccurring phrase throughout the book of Song of Songs; a challenge to “not awaken love until the time is right.” Through a closer look at chapter 2, as well as passages from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, students will be challenged to have wisdom when it comes to love, friendship, and sex in a culture that points them in a different direction.

While the series includes comments based on current scholarly research portraying Song of Songs as a collection of poetry collected by Solomon (some written by him, others collected by him), for teachers who hold to a traditional view that Song of Songs is one poem written entirely by Solomon, it is possible to teach the series from that perspective without changing the lessons or main teaching points.

This Resource Includes:
• 3 message manuscripts
• 3 PowerPoint presentations
• 3 fill-in-the-blank handouts
• Title and Blank graphics (jpg)

Porn Before Puberty (video)

A shocking piece done by ABC (I think in part to promote the new documentary, Sexy Baby) on young kids learning about sex primarily through internet porn. It definitely raises a lot of issues …

  • If you’re a parent of a teen/preteen, how aware are you of your child’s online activity?
  • Are your kids learning about sex from you? Is it an ongoing conversation? They will get information from somewhere, are you part of that learning?
  • I wonder what the impact will be on sexuality, marriage, families and culture in general a decade or two from now as this generation of young people who have grown up with limitless high speed online access and incredibly complex pocket size devices begin marrying, starting families, and dealing with the repercussions of their adolescent and pre-adolescent activity.
  • Churches are largely quiet on the topic of pornography. Should we have more of a voice? What should that look like?
  • The average age for first exposure to internet porn is around 10-11 years old. With my oldest of four boys turning 11 later this week in a house saturated with online connectivity, it’s probably time for me to get my own head out of the sand.

We’re currently doing a two week series on pornography with our high school group, inspired by Download Youth Ministry’s XXX lesson/series (only $6!), so this is on my mind a lot at the moment. I have a lot of opinions, but I’m curious what others are thinking/doing about it as well.