What’s the Big Deal with John 3:16?

There are things our parents say so often we reaction-pic-eye-rolldon’t even hear it anymore. They might to totally right, and what they’re saying could be something worth listening to… but you’ve heard it so many times you’ve tuned it out.

What if your parent is saying it so often because they’ve learned it the hard way?

I think that’s what happens with John 3:16. Unfortunately, it’s so well known that many people miss out on the glorious truth it simply proclaims. It’s an incredible verse to summarize the gospel-message.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

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A Warning from Batman v Superman

This isn’t a movie review. If you want a movie review you can go somewhere else. That also means I won’t feature any spoilers…

Overall, the much-hated movie was actually decent. Not great. Not terrible. Just decent. There were moments with real potential (I agree with those who said the real winner of Batman v. Superman was Wonder Woman), as well at scenes that were just drawn out too long (building up the hatred between the title characters). But really, c’mon – it’s a movie about Batman and Superman getting into a huge fight. The movie delivers the fighting and action sequences you’d expect. The problem is we expected more…

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4 Ways to be Confident in the Resurrection

Celtic CrossEaster makes Good Friday good. Without the resurrection, that Friday would’ve been the most terrible Friday in human history. The only thing that could compete would be if Adam and Eve ate from the tree (Genesis 3) on a Friday – but that must’ve happened on a Monday, because what good ever happens on a Monday?!

What would happen to your faith if Jesus never rose from the dead?

Some people may be tempted to say, “Well, I’d still believe. Jesus’ teachings are still worth following, and he did die for our sins even if he didn’t rise from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul says this,

“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:16-17)

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The Role (and Danger) of Fun in Youth Ministry

In some youth ministry communities, fun and games is becoming a four-letter word: avoided, forbidden, wrong. As if fun is something that no serious youth worker would encourage.

Fun is not the enemy. I don’t know anyone who thinks it is. But I do know a lot of people who are suspicious of “too much fun.” I see this youth pastor often who is highly suspicious of ministries with “too much fun.” He makes some good points, but I often feel conflicted about whether or not I listen to him too much. There are other times when I think he’s sharing his concerns because I myself am guilty! Afterall, where exactly is that line between healthy-fun (which provides fertile ground for relationships and cultivating trust) and entertainment-driven ministry (where fun overshadows everything else you’re attempting to do). In the midst of my struggles with this youth pastor’s concerns about too much fun, I can’t just ignore him… because I see him every time I look in the mirror!

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How to be Good

This week at Youth Group we resumed our series, “Think About It: Christian Cliches… what’s this even mean?!”Other messages in the series include: “How to be a Strong Christian,” “What’s it Mean to Invite Jesus into Your Heart?,” “It’s Not My Gift,” and “Let Go, Let God.” 

If you were to measure the people on the scale below, where would you place them on a ‘goodness scale?’

Goodness Scale

Why would you put them there? What makes the Pope “better” than Bieber? How do you decide if Taylor Swift belongs? Really think about it… what does it mean to “be good.”
It all depends on how you’re measuring!

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Honoring God by Honoring Your Parents

The word “Honor” literally means “to make heavy.” When my kids are stressing me out and I drown my stress in ice cream, I somehow don’t think this is what the Bible had in mind by being honored by my kids. What does it mean to honor your parents? This post serves as a general summary of the fifth commandment.

Cardboard figures of the family on opened book

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What is an “Unreached People Group?”

At our teen guys’ Bible Study last night we were talking about evangelism, and about the importance of sharing the gospel with those who haven’t heard before. They were shocked to hear that almost half the population of the world has never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus. If we believe the gospel is necessary for salvation and eternal hope, this is utterly tragic! And this is why our church is so emphatic about the importance of global missions.

What is the Story of the Bible all about?
The Bible is the story of God’s work to rescue creation from the judgment she has fallen under because of sin. The Bible is not a “rule book” or “instruction manual,” but instead, it’s the story of Good News that we can live with eternal hope and security because of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ! This is the message of Christianity.

Check out this video, which gives an excellent summary of the whole Bible in only 6:30.

What is an Unreached People Group?
A People Group is a group of people with a distinct culture (think about all the tribes of Native Americans, who had their own customs, histories, and languages, even though the different tribes were all considered “Native Americans”). An Unreached People Group (UPG) is a group who has no access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If they heard you talk about Jesus, they’d respond with, “Who’s he? Does he live down the road? I’ve never heard of him.” The three-minute video below gives a compelling vision for why Christians need to care about UPG’s in our world.

More info about UPG’s

  • There are roughly 16,400 people groups in the world. 6,648 of them are considered UPG’s (according to The Joshua Project, a ministry devoted to promoting information about UPG’s). That’s roughly 40.5%.
  • The global population is estimated at 7.28 Billion people, with 42.2% of them being people who have no access to the gospel (3.07 Billion people).
  • Once a people group reaches 2% who are Christians, that people group is no longer considered “unreached.” Those 2% are then a viable Church who is further equipped take the gospel to their people.
  • 95% of these people live in the “10/40 Window” (10 & 40 degrees north of the equator). Less than 10% of missionaries are serving among these UPG’s in the 10/40 Window.
  • Finishing the Task estimates there are 506 people groups who have still never been engaged by anyone attempting to share the Good News of Jesus Christ

 

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