Posts Tagged ‘Church’

Why Do I Need the Church?

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


  • 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. (more…)

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Why is Church Often Messy and Awkward?


  • 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.


What Makes a Good Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
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What Makes a Good Church?


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

Attention Funnel: What makes a ________ good?


  • 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.


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


  • 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


Why Should I Care About the Church?

Posted: December 11, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Church Matters
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Why Should I Care About the Church?

 Attention Funnel: Church Hunters


  • 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.


Church in the Wild

Posted: February 28, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Ecclesiastes Lessons
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Attention Funnel: The Five Dangerous Places to Travel in the World

  • Death Valley, California – You can only survive 14 Hours here without water!
  • Mount Washington, New Hampshire – Although the mountain is only 6,288 ft high – massive winds (up to 230 mph), freezing temperatures, and fickle weather make this the most dangerous mountain in the U.S. – Over 100 people have died on Mount Washington
  • Lake Natron, Tanzania – The akali salt crust on the lake will kill any living creature that comes into contact with it.
  • Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands – This beautiful Island was home to nuclear testing during WWII, and still today there remains high levels of radiation that keep inhabitants away.
  • lha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil – This 110 acre island is home to up to 4,000 of the most poisonous snakes in the world – The Golden Lancehead. It’s estimated that there may be one snake every 6 yards. No wonder travel to this Island has been banned!


  • Solomon tells us the world is a wild place
  • In this wild place, there are lots of things that compete for our attention. Lots of things that hold out the promise to say, “I’m what life is all about. Chase after me and you will find satisfaction and meaning.” But these things end up being empty, hollow, and destructive.
  • Also in this broken place, there is lots of evil that happens. Bad things often happen to wise and good people. Injustice can seem overwhelming at times. Suffering and death eventually come for everyone.
  • Solomon tells us this world is a wild place. And in a wild place, we need somewhere we can run to.
    • Show Lizard Video

Big Idea: We need a place we can run to for healing and hope.

Passage: Ecclesiastes 4:7-12; 5:1-7

Main Points:

  • We need a place where people have our back.
  • We need a place that reorients us around God.
  • We need a place where we don’t have to pretend.


Finished Work in Progress

Opening Question: Have you ever gotten really excited about doing something and before you even tried to do it you gave up?

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Explain that Christians are “a finished work in progress.” We are brought from death to life by God leading us to place our faith in Christ. We live everyday confident that we are accepted and loved by God through faith in Christ. But we all live with the knowledge that in our current state we are far from perfect. God calls us to progressively become more like Christ. We do not become more like Christ by simply setting up a to-do list and a to-don’t list. We live in a growing knowledge that as people who have been raised with Christ, we have a new nature and a new citizenship.

Sometimes I’m afraid we fail in changing before we even start, because we have the wrong ideas about what change looks like.

  • We sometimes think its nearly impossible for us to change so why even try… or
  • We sometimes think all we have to do is stop certain behaviors, but we fail to see where the desires behind those behaviors pop up in other areas… or
  • We think we’re simply called to say no – to put to death all that is bad in us… or
  • We think we are all alone in are pursuit of change

Purpose: The change God calls us too is a not a burden, but rather is a joyful pursuit. As we look to Christ and who we are in Christ we progressively become more like him.

Main Point: God has given us a new nature in Christ, and we have a part in taking hold of that nature here and now.