Why Do I Need the Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
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Attention Funnel: Church Signs

 Introduction:

  • There are things people tell me I need, that I don’t really think I need.
    • People tell me I need to get the Flu shot. But I hate needles and my Immune System is an absolute monster.
    • People tell me I need to try essential oils. But I don’t see the point.
    • Dentists tell me I need to floss more, but who really has time for that?
  • There are lots of things people might say that we need, that we don’t really need.
  • Isn’t church just another one of those things that some people say I need… but in reality, I don’t need it?
    • Why can’t church just be optional?
    • Like why can’t I just read my Bible, pray each night before bed, listen to Hillsong every morning, occasionally throw on a Steven Furtick Sermon, and get on with my life?
    • Wouldn’t it have been a better use of your time to stay home this morning or tonight and listen to a Matt Chandler or John Piper sermon?
  • Obviously, you know what my answer is going to be to these questions. But I want to make the case from the Bible tonight of why you need a local church and why it shouldn’t be viewed as an optional add-on to your Christianity.

 Big Idea: You can’t have Jesus without the church. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is Church Often Messy and Awkward?

Refresh:

  • Why should we care about the church?
  • What’s the point of church?
  • What makes a good church?
    • Did you find out why you go to the church you currently go too?

 Attention Funnel: Kid’s Making Messes

  • Church can be a little bit like those videos.
  • It can be messy.
  • And what I mean by that is it can be awkward, uncomfortable, difficult, and sometimes make us want to run for the doors.
  • My goal tonight is see how Ephesians explains why church is messy, and what God is doing in the midst of the mess.

Big Idea: God is at work in the mess.

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What Makes a Good Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
Tags: , , , , , ,

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What Makes a Good Church?

 Refresh:

  • Why should I care about the church?
  • What’s the point of church?

Attention Funnel: What makes a ________ good?

 Introduction:

  • Tonight’s lesson is going to be a little bit different… because I’m actually just going to give you questions you should ask tonight.
  • And tonight’s lesson is going to seem a little odd… because it’s kind of geared towards knowing how to choose a church.
    • And that may seem odd to you because you probably didn’t choose the church you are at right now, and you probably don’t have the option to choose a different church.
  • But I want to ask this question… what makes a good church for several reasons…
    • 1) I want you to find out why you are at Keystone or some other church. (Your assignment is to ask your parents why they chose and have stayed at the church they are at).
    • 2) I want you to evaluate your church… I want you to think, where does my church do well and where could my church improve.
    • 3) One day, you will have the option to choose… you will first have the option to choose, “Will I go to church or not?” and second, “What church should I go to?” And I want to help equip you for that day.

Big Idea: There’s not one perfect church for you, but there are good and bad churches.

  • Like Marriage…
  • There is nowhere in the Bible that gives us a specific checklist for what we should be looking for in a local church… and there’s probably not a perfect list.
  • But I came up with 5 questions to help you think through what makes a good church.
  • These questions are all based out of 1 Timothy. I told you at the start of this series that we are mainly going to be in Ephesians because Ephesians is the book where Paul talks a lot about the church.
    • This is the one exception. But interesting enough, 1 Timothy is a book written to Timothy, a pastor Paul has trained and then sent to Ephesus. He sent him there because the church in Ephesus was in some trouble. There were some leaders there teaching and preaching false things, and advocating for ungodly ways of living. And so Paul sent Timothy to clear up the mess and help Ephesus become a good church again.
  • And so, I think it’s fitting to look to this book to get our 5 questions for evaluating the church.

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What’s the Point of Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
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What’s the Point of Church?

Attention Funnel: Where’s The Wonder? (Natural Wonders)

  • Victoria Falls – Zambia and Zimbabwe; Northern Lights – Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia; Paricutin Volcano – Mexico; Grand Canyon – Arizona; Harbour – Brazil; Mount Everest – Nepal; Great Barrier Reef – Australia

 Introduction:

  • Refresh from last week – Why should I care about the church?
  • This week – What’s the point of Church?
  • I want to make the argument tonight, that just as those natural wonders, and all of creation exists to make us see how great God is… so also does the church.
  • In other words, just as the natural wonders should make us step back and say “WOW,” so should the church.
  • So to answer the question… What is the point of the church? I would say, “The Church exists to make God look great.”

 Big Idea: The church exists to make God look great.

 Passage: Ephesians 3:7-11

  Read the rest of this entry »

Why Should I Care About the Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
Tags: , , , ,

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Why Should I Care About the Church?

 Attention Funnel: Church Hunters

 Introduction:

  • Why a series on the church?
    • 1) Because church is often misunderstood… we either think church is optional… i.e. I love Jesus, but I don’t like the church… or we think of church in me-centered ways. What does this church have to offer me? How does it meet my needs? How does it match up with my preferences?
    • 2) Because church is often maligned… whether it is seen as hindering progress, judgmental, full of hypocrites, or a place where people have everything together and just plaster fake smiles on, church is often maligned.
      • Now, don’t get me wrong… the church has been guilty of doing some awful things… like the crusades, more recent abuse scandals, or committing acts of hate in Jesus’ name. And we need to be honest about these things and not paper over them… we’ll talk more about this in an upcoming lesson. But I also put it out there as small group question tonight.
    • 3) Because I want to see teenagers who understand what the church is and love the church.
  • I wonder how many of you have stopped to ask, “Why do I come to church?” Or to put it a different way, I wonder how you would respond if tomorrow your parents told you, you don’t have to go to church anymore and we’re not going to go anymore either.
    • I know how I would have responded to both of those questions in High school:
      • 1) I went to church because I have to. It’s just part of our Sunday routine… we go to church, watch football, and make soft pretzels… church is the just awkward, boring part we have to get out of the way so we can’t to the good stuff.
      • 2) If my parents told me I didn’t have to go to church anymore, I would’ve said, “Jackpot! I can sleep in Sunday mornings!”
      • I really didn’t understand the importance of church or what it was all about, and if I’m honest, I didn’t really care to.
      • If you are in those shoes, let me say just one thing up front… as I look back, I’m incredibly thankful that my parents forced me to go to church even when I didn’t want to. Because it was far better for me to do something I didn’t want to and be exposed to Christians of all ages, singing, and the bible being preached even as I didn’t pay attention, then it would have been for me to get my own way and do what I wanted on Sunday Mornings.
    • This series is meant to help you see the importance, purpose, and beauty of the church.
    • Now, before we go any further, I need to clarify what I mean by church.
      • The word church in the bible refers to the people of God. And so in one sense we can say the church is the people of God at all places in all times (in other words, everyone who has repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus).
      • But the word church also refers to a specific gathering of God’s people… I.E. the local church.
      • So when Paul writes to Corinthians he refers to a specific gathering of Christians as the church.
      • This is mainly how I will use this word during this series… to refer to the local church, a specific group of God’s people.
    • Over the next 6 weeks we will ask 6 questions about the church. And we will mainly be answering these questions from Ephesians, because that’s a book where Paul has a lot to say about the church.
    • Tonight, we start with: Why Should I Care About the Church?

Passages: Ephesians 2:19; 5:22-30

 Big Idea: If we love Jesus, we should love the Church.

  • My goal in this lesson is to give you two reasons why we should care about the church and then give you a challenge of what that should mean for us.

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The Self-Esteem Gospel

Posted: October 30, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Knock-Offs Lessons
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Knock-Offs

 Attention Funnel: What’s More Valuable

 Introduction:

  • We have been looking at different knock-offs of the gospel over the past 5 weeks. They are messages we consciously or unconsciously believe that shape how we live.And we’ve been trying to show how the true gospel is both different and better.
  • Tonight we finish up this series with the Self-Esteem Gospel.
  • Now, to make sure we are all on the same page, what do we mean by self-esteem?
  • Self-esteem is confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It’s feeling good about yourself and not easily having that feeling taken from you.
    • “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”
      – Robert Morley
  • The self esteem gospel sounds good on the surface because it focuses on getting us to feel better about ourselves… but it misses some really important things about the gospel.

Big Idea: The gospel forces us to get our eyes off ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Knock-Offs

 Attention Funnel:Can You Spot the Knock-Off?

Introduction:

  • If I told you, you I knew about a club that could join, a club that if you joined it would mean your future would be great, your life would be easier, and overall most of your dreams would come true… all you have to do is say the club pledge and show up to club meetings once every week… how many of you would take me up on that offer?)
  • Sometimes I’m afraid that we view Christianity a bit like this. That instead of Christianity being a call to come and die and give our lives to following Christ, we hear it as a call to come believe in Jesus so that your life will be easier.
  • And this idea is ultimately rooted in the knock-off we are going to talk about tonight… the prosperity gospel.
  • Now, I want to stop there and ask… what do you know about the prosperity gospel?
  • Even calling this the prosperity gospel is a bit dangerous… in the sense that we only immediately think of Joel Osteen, or people who think God is going to give them a Ferrari and a Husband straight off the Bachelor.
    • If that’s all we think about as the prosperity gospel… then many of us can just cast it off immediately and think, “I don’t struggle with believing that.”
  • But I hope you’ll be willing to ask yourself tonight, “Where am I still prone to believe this knock-off?”

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