One of the things we need to teach our students, whether you are a student pastor, volunteer, or parent, is how to handle temptation in a Biblical way. The Bible has a lot to say about sin, temptation, and how believers should deal with it. During college I heard a pastor speak from Genesis 39:1-12 and he pointed out three things Joseph did when he was faced with sin. Those three things stuck with me for a long time so I decided to craft my own lesson around those three points found within the text.
I want to share that lesson with you as a freebie in hopes you can use it with your own students. I am sharing the teaching manuscript and PowerPoint presentation (and Keynote for Mac users) so you can download it and edit it to better fit your students. The lesson is called 3 Things To Do When Tempted. To summarize the lesson for you, Joseph did three things when he was faced with temptation: refuse, consider, and flee. These are three things our students can learn to do now as they face temptation. I believe these three simple, practical points will help students, and adults, handle temptation. Feel free to use this lesson any way that you see fit. I hope it helps you and your students better understand how to handle temptation.
This week I finished the book Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp. This book by far has been the most honest, practical, and Gospel-centered pastoral books I have ever read. It does what most pastoral books do not, it’s not a handbook of how to do pastoral ministry in the local church, but an honest look at the heart and man behind the ministry. In Tripp’s words, “This book is written to confront the issue of the often unhealthy shape of pastoral culture and to put on the table the temptations that are either unique to or intensified by pastoral ministry. This is a book of warning that calls you to humble self-reflection and change” (page 11-12).
Tripp breaks down the book into three parts. In part one he examines the pastoral cultural. I appreciate Tripp’s honesty and authenticity in this part of the book (even though he is very honest throughout the entire book). He shares much about his own struggle with personal sin while maintaining the public persona of a healthy pastor. In this section, Tripp exposes many of the struggles and temptations pastors will face. He doesn’t hold any punches, but goes straight to the heart and exposes the sins of pastoral ministry. In part two Tripp talks about the danger of loosing your awe, forgetting who God is. He shares about the danger of being comfortable, keeping secrets, and apathy. In part three he explains the danger of arrival, forgetting who God is. This is where Tripp exposes the danger and harm in thinking we have arrived or that the ministry is about us, not God.
I don’t want to share much more detail about the contents of this book because I want to encourage anyone in pastoral ministry to pick up a copy and read it for themselves. I have read many pastoral books through college and seminary, but none of them has been has beneficial and helpful as Dangerous Calling. Tripp knows that learning how to do ministry is not the first goal, the goal is to learn how to be the pastor God desires and created you to be. Once you figure that out ministry will happen.
If you read only one book this year pastor, make it this one! You will not regret it and it will change your heart as well as the ministry you oversee. Click here to view a short video of Tripp explaining more about this book.
Over a year ago I wrote about three truths found in Jeremiah 29 that I believe should encourage Christians when they face trials. A few months after I wrote that post I crafted it into a sermon. I ended up preaching that sermon a few times to various audiences and it always goes over well. I want to share this sermon with you as a freebie and encourage you to use it however you wish.
The main idea of the sermon is God is sovereign over everything, included that trials you face in this life. Their is a reason He sends each of us through certain trials and trusting Him with that changes the way we go through them. Below you will find a link to download the teaching manuscript, PowerPoint presentation, and for Mac users I included a Keynote presentation.
Feel free to download this freebie and use it however you wish. You can edit the material and make it your own. Let me know if you end up using this freebie!
One of the great joys of being a youth pastor is teaching the Bible. I think for most of us, it was the joy we get from teaching the Bible that brought to youth ministry in the first place. And, if we are honest with ourselves, every one of us thinks that we can improve on the way we communicate with our students. My “day job” is as a teacher, so I am communicating with people every day, all day. Here are a few of the tips I’ve learned over the past ten years as a communicator, both in a school and in a church.
If possible, use visuals in your talk. Students will remember what you are teaching on better if they have a visual picture to “hook” that lesson on. Your visuals don’t need to be huge or elaborate. They can be as simple as a PowerPoint presentation with the Scripture verses on it. In all likelihood, you have students who are visual learners and something other than you will grab and hold their interest.
Use humor, but only if it is real. Everyone loves a humorous communicator. That is why Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld are so popular and beloved (no matter how crass they may be at times). Humor breaks down walls and puts the listener at ease. However, you cannot force it. There is nothing worse than a person trying to be funny when he isn’t. You can’t force a joke. The best thing to do is practice your talk and make sure you are prepared. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to insert humor as appropriate.
Be true to who you are. One of the best, and most infuriating, things about students is their ability to smell a fake. If you stand up to teach or preach and you are insincere or try to be something you are not, they will know immediately. It would be like me trying to pull off wearing skinny jeans. You need to discover who you are as a communicator and stay true to that. There is a very humorous clip on YouTube of Matt Chandler impersonating Mark Driscoll and demonstrating what happens when someone else tries to be Mark Driscoll. It always goes wrong. Spend time praying and ask God to show you who you are as a teacher and communicator. Know who you are and stay true to that.
While there are many other things you can focus on as a communicator, these three are a good place to start. I realize only one of them is tangible, but becoming a good communicator is not an overnight activity. Trust the One who called you and you will do well as a teacher of the Word.
This guest post was written by Jonathan Pearson. Jonathan is a husband, father, and youth pastor. He is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College and Liberty University. Jonathan and his family live in Charles Town, WV. He is currently a third grade teacher while he searches for a new church in which to serve. Check his blog out and follow him on Twitter.
Last week we finished up a series in our high school ministry called Tangled: The Body of Christ-A Beautiful Mess. In this series we talked about what it means to be a community of believers. That we all have different gifts and abilities, but we make up one body. We also talked about how we become part of this community and that is through faith in Christ alone. To end of series last week we talked about communion. Not only that, but we actually took communion as a body of believers together after the message. I want to share the sermon with you as a freebie. I hope you can use it as a resource the next time you teach your students about communion.
Communion is something we do as believers to remember what Christ did for us on the cross. In this sermon, I answered three questions: what is communion?, why do we do communion?, and how do we take communion?
Below you will find a link to download this sermon for free. It’s in manuscript form and feel free to tweak it to make it more of your own. I have provided it as a Word document so you can edit it and use it how you wish. If you do use it, let me know how it goes!