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Four risks of making your sermon too practical

[This post is part of the series on preaching for youth.] we’ve all heard it at some point: teens don’t have the abilities yet to deal with abstract concepts (or more accurately: some do and some don’t and even the ones who can, aren’t able to ‘go abstract’ all the time). That means our messages for teens need to be concrete, practical.

However, there are several risks involved in making your message too practical. Yes, there is such a thing as too concrete and too practical… Continue reading Four risks of making your sermon too practical

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Preaching for youth: What’s your key message?

This is part of the series on preaching for youth, be sure to check out the rest of the series! There are myriad ways to write a sermon. Some people prefer to write it out word for word. Others only write down keywords. There are people who are a big fan of using mind maps in one or more phases of their sermon preparation. All in all, it doesn’t really matter, you just have to find a style that suits you.

One thing is essential though, regardless of your method, and that is your key message. Every sermon has to have one, and it’s no different when your audience consists of teens or students. In each sermon, you should only discuss one key message, one central idea. Continue reading Preaching for youth: What’s your key message?

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Preaching for youth: what to preach about

An important topic to consider when preaching for youth is what to preach about. As always, there are different ways of approaching the choice of a text (and yes, I’m assuming you will use the Bible when you teach!). Some people pick a verse or more to preach on, and then study it to derive its message. Others prefer to come up with a theme or topic first, and then study the Bible to find appropriate verses. I’m not denouncing either method, they both have their distinct advantages and possible down-effects.

What is important to keep in mind when choosing your subject and your verses is this: the younger your audience is, the more trouble they will have with abstract thinking. Teens are simply not capable of much abstract reasoning, so you’ll have to keep your message concrete. That also impacts the verses you want to talk about. Continue reading Preaching for youth: what to preach about