Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

Will You Like Me?

Posted: November 17, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Digital Detox Lessons
Tags: , , , ,

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 1.16.20 PM 

Attention Funnel:

  • Instagram vs. Real Life


  • I had a skinny jeans phase once… and I don’t mean like slim fit jeans… I mean like jeans that were tighter then leggings. Like jeans that you had to jump up and down to actually get on.
  • It started as all bad fashion phases do… in YWAM.
  • My skinny jean phase ultimately met its worst enemy the end of my first year in college, BRI.
  • From the point I met Bri, the skinny jeans started to slowly disappear from my wardrobe.
  • See if there is one thing Bri doesn’t like, it’s skinny jeans…
  • And whereas I started wearing skinny jeans… at least in part because it was approved and accepted by the people I was around in YWAM, it turns out that skinny jeans didn’t get me any approval points with Bri (My rock-solid abs were all that mattered to her).
  • And because I was more concerned about her approval and what she thought of me then some people I’m never going to see again … I began to change.
  • We all in some sense live for approval. We want to know that we are valued and loved.
  • Some of us perhaps spend all of our lives chasing approval… the approval of parents, of friends, of the opposite sex, of a boss, of our children, of others.
  • But ultimately the approval of other people is often shallow, hallow, and can never fully satisfy us.

Big Idea: We were designed to find our approval in God.

Main Points:

  • Social Media can expose our desire for approval.
  • We perform in order to gain the approval of other people.
  • God’s approval is not based on our approval.
  • We must choose… who’s approval matters more?
  • We will live for whoever’s approval we value most.


Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 4.18.32 PM

 Attention Funnel: J.P. Sears Video

 Series Introduction:

  • Why do a series on where we explore other religions (Hinduism, Islam, Atheism)?
    • Sidenote: I include Atheism as a “religion” despite the fact that many atheists would not like being called religious.
  • I want you to be knowledgeable about what other religions believe.
    • I don’t want you to believe the lie that says, “All religions really believe the same things.”
    • But I also don’t want you to make blanket statements about other religions that may actually be false and harmful.
  • Ultimately, I want you to be humble and bold as you engage with those of different faiths.
  • I want you to be humble in respecting and understanding other people’s beliefs, but I also want you to be bold in sharing the gospel and knowing how to go about that with someone who believes something different then you.

Lesson Introduction:

  • It’s actually quite hard to explain or understand Hinduism… so I’m going to explain it in the next 30-35 minutes and you all are going to be experts at the end of that timeJ
  • Honestly, this is a lesson that will probably leave you with more questions than answers.
    • But that’s a good thing, because the best way to better understand Hinduism would be to befriend a Hindu and ask questions.
  • Why is Hinduism hard to explain and understand?
    • Because it is so diverse!
    • There is no specific founder… no Buddha, no Jesus, No Mohammed, No Joseph Smith.
    • There is not a single holy book, rather there are multitudes of scriptures, some of which are 4 times the size of the Bible (The Bhagavad Gita is the most influential Hindu Scripture today which is a little over 200 pages long, but is just one part of a much longer Hindu Holy Book).
    • There is one God and yet millions of gods.
    • There are thousands of creation stories… and none of them contradict one another.
    • There are different paths to salvation, but one may combine and mix these paths, or use different paths at different times in their life.
    • What “salvation” means may be different form one person to another.
  • You feel overwhelmed yet?
    • If you meet someone who is a Hindu, they may be deeply religious or they may be an atheist who simply identifies culturally and socially with the customs of Hinduism.
    • Perhaps the only guarantee there is, is that each Hind you may meet will tell you their way is the right way, but all other ways are not wrong.

 Big Idea: Hinduism is a diverse religion that claims there are many ways to God.

 Main Points

  • There are 3 questions that I want to ask and answer tonight to help us both better understand Hinduism and make some comparisons to Christianity. The answers that Hinduism gives to these three questions will be our 3 main points.
  • The 3 questions are, Who is God? What is salvation? And How do you achieve salvation?
  • We’ll close with some advice for how to engage with Hindus.


Where is God?

Posted: November 15, 2016 by keystoneyouth in Esther Lessons
Tags: , , , , , ,


Attention Funnel: Where’s Waldo?

Series Introduction: Esther: When God is Silent

  • What do you know about the story of Esther?
    • God is never mentioned.
    • It takes place in Persia during the reign of Xerxes
    • There are 4 main Characters (King Xerxes(Ahasuerus), Esther, Mordecai, and Haman)
    • It’s a bit like Where’s Waldo? God seems to be absent, and yet God is hidden in the story and once we see him we can’t believe that we missed him all along.
    • The author uses things like coincidences, sudden reversals, and irony to help us see how God’s hand is at work even as his name is not mentioned.

Big Idea: God NEVER abandons His people.

Passage: Esther 1 and 3

Main Points:

  • God often seems distant or absent.
  • Your life will not go as planned and expected.
  • God is in control of every circumstance.
  • The cross is God’s exclamation point of faithfulness!


Fear Fight

Posted: October 6, 2016 by keystoneyouth in Peace In The Storm Lessons
Tags: , , , ,


Attention Funnel: Name that Fear


  • One of my favorite stories of Jesus’ miracles is his calming of the storm.
  • Let’s read it and then I’ll tell you why it’s one of favorites.
  • Read Mark: 4:35-41
  • This story shows the disciples being afraid for their lives. Jesus is asleep in the boat and seems to care less about what is going on.
  • Isn’t this a good picture of how we feel sometimes in life…
    • “Jesus, I’m facing _____________ and you seem to not care at all. You seem to be asleep in the boat.”
  • The disciples desperately wake Jesus up and inform them that they are about to die. They are terrified, in over their heads, about to drink a stomach fool of the Sea of Galilee.
  • And Jesus stands up and speaks to the storm.
  • And then something wild happens… THE STORM LISTENS TO HIM!
  • Like a little child who has just been rebuked by his Dad for being out of control, the storm slumps in stillness as it obeys the Creator.
  • And then something interesting happens with the disciples. They don’t wipe their brows in relief. They don’t high five and fist pound each other in celebration.
  • No longer afraid of the storm… they are now fearful of the one who stands before them: the one who commands the wind, rain, and sea as if it were his servant.
  • In this story we see the disciples start with one fear and end with another. They no longer fear the wind, waves, and sea because they fear the one who has power over them.
  • Tonight I want to talk a little bit about fear… specifically the fear of other people (fear of man, people-pleasing, peer pressure, etc).
  • And I want us to walk away with this big idea:

 Big Idea: We fight fear with fear.

Main Points:

  • Everybody fears somebody.
  • The fear of man is a trap.
  • The more we fear God… the less we will fear people.
  • The bigger the fear, the better the gospel.



Attention Funnel: My Most Anxious Moment Over the Summer

Big Idea: Trusting in God dismantles anxiety in our lives.

Main Points:

1.Anxiety changes nothing.

2.Trust in God’s provision and promises.

3.Our anxiety can reveal what we trust and value.

4.Reorient your priorities to God and His kingdom.

5.HOPE: Jesus took away our greatest reason to be anxious.

Read Matthew 6:25-34



Posted: September 22, 2016 by keystoneyouth in This Changes Everything
Tags: , , ,



Why do we have youth Group?

  • It’s a little bit odd you know… the whole youth group thing.
  • We don’t think it’s odd because we are used too it… but imagine trying to explain that to someone who had no exposure to youth group.
    • It’s a group of people – some of them are teenagers and some of them are older – their called leaders or youth workers.
    • We get together every Sunday night… there’s pizza, soda, and candy. Although…. I secretly think the Youth Pastor is overcharging us on this so that he can go out to eat each week.
    • We play this game called 9-square.
    • Then we play a big group game called Death Darts
    • And then we have a lesson from this old book called the Bible.
    • Yeah, It’s called youth group – It’s awesome you should come.
  • Like, why would your youth leaders give up a night of their busy weeks to come hang out with teenagers??
  • Or, why would you up a night of you busy week to come here?
  • I want to tell you tonight why we have a youth ministry here at Keystone – why we get together on Sunday nights.

 Big Idea: We have youth group because we believe the gospel changes everything.

 Romans 1:16-17


Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 3.34.52 PM

Attention Funnel: Social Media Anxiety/ Anxious Cat Memes 


  • All of us experience anxiety in this life.
  • Perhaps it is overthinking something we said.
  • Perhaps it is being afraid of being left out or made fun of.
  • Perhaps it is a worry about the future… either tomorrow or 5 years from now.
  • Anxiety can come and go… or it can stay.
  • Anxiety can be a mild disturbance, or it can be a debilitating pain.
  • I have experienced anxiety in being unable to fall asleep at night because my mind is so consumed by the future.
  • I have experienced anxiety in putting together a lesson and wondering whether it will completely miss the mark.
  • In wondering whether a mild pain in my lower body is the beginning of a kidney stone (MY WORST FEAR apart from snakesJ)
  • I have experienced anxiety for very dumb reasons and for more serious reasons.
  • As has everyone else in this room I’m sure.
  • I want to look at some things that Paul has to say about anxiety and how to combat it as a Christian.
  • But before we do I also simply want to recognize that sometimes anxiety is a much deeper issue. It may be caused by chemicals in our body that we don’t understand. It may be caused by past experiences that have scarred us and return again and again to haunt us.
  • I want to say two things to you if you find yourself in that type of anxiety now or in the future…
    • First of all, it’s okay. Don’t feel like you are damaged goods. Don’t feel like you have to hide and act as if everything is fine on the outside. It is okay to go through deep anxiety and or depression. We see some of the greatest characters in the Bible go through deep anxiety and depression – Elijah, David, and even Jesus himself as he prepared to take on the cross and God’s anger in our place.
    • Second of all, I want to encourage you to open up and look for help. No one is going to help you if they don’t know that anything is wrong. And there is nothing wrong or shameful about struggling with anxiety or pursuing counseling in this area. Your first and perhaps greatest step in battling against these things is to share what’s going on and begin to seek help.
  • Tonight, I want to look at some of the things that Paul has to say about anxiety and worry… and about it’s opposite contentment and joy… as we cover the final chapter in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Setting the Stage:

  • Let’s remember the circumstances that Paul and the Philippians are in.
  • Paul is not all inclusive beach resort with free drinks and food at the snap of his fingers, reading the newest bestseller, while the sun darkens his six-pack of abs.
    • Paul is in prison, awaiting the trial that will determine whether he lives or dies.
  • The Philippians are not a church sitting alongside the ocean where everyone has beautiful beach house and six-figure salary jobs.
    • They are starting to be harassed and persecuted for their faith… and the future doesn’t look much better. Things are only getting worse for Christians in the Roman Empire
    • They are also not very well off. We read in 2 Corinthians that many of the churches in Macedonia (of which the Philippians belonged too) were in extreme poverty and yet remained generous.
  • Paul and the Philippians are not in anyone’s ideal circumstances… and yet this is where we find Paul’s words originated and directed too as he writes on anxiety and contentment.

Big Idea: We do battle against anxiety by looking to a loving God who is in control.

Main Points:

  • Fight anxiety with joy.
  • Fight anxiety with prayer.
  • Learn to be content in any and every circumstance.