Youth Ministry Media

Here are some of the images and videos we used this week during our programming.

Memes (for pre-service loops)

10653491_10152407417063716_7821389951036860376_n 49aa89b1-77e7-4d43-aa0a-9313bb62effd Photo Dec 02, 7 57 34 PM cocacolanativity

Videos (start- 0:33; end- 1:03)


Videos for Student Ministry

Here are the videos we showed at COLLISION last night:




Youth Pastor Tips: New Memes to Loop

Every time our youth group gathers, we use ProPresenter to loop several slides in the pre- and post-service.  Each week, we include funny internet memes (on a 10 second “Go To Next” timer).

If you want to grab these and use in your own service, go for it!

These are the 4 we used on Sunday:



Photo Apr 08, 8 57 01 PM

Photo Apr 29, 9 11 54 PM

What Does The Fox Say?


I saw a post on one of the youth ministry resource sites that I follow that made me say “ugh, why?”  It has to do with the painfully obvious mashup of Ylvis’ viral video and youth ministry talksheets.  One youth pastor made an entire message around the video “What Does The Fox Say.”  Props for creativity, for real.  It was clever.  But, at least for me, it’s another example of how we’re doing it wrong. (You can see the message notes at the very end of this entry because the link to the actual file had the youth pastor’s name on it).

When we preach the Bible to teenagers, youth pastors are notorious for using the Scriptures to illustrate their main point rather than making Scripture their main point.  I’m guilty of it.  I did a message based on clips from the TV show “Wipeout” because the clips were funny.  I tagged a few verses about how “sin makes us wipeout” and went with it.  I used Scripture to illustrate my point rather than making Scripture my point.  This What Does The Fox Say message is a classic example.

When we speak to teenagers we need to give them the solid truth of Scripture, using the text to preach.  Now I’m not against making it fun, or even funny, or illustrating the heck out of passages so it becomes easier to understand.  I’m not against using culture to inform how we present things.  I’m not against media or pop-culture at all!  But what I am against is when one youth pastor somewhere in the country comes up with a clever but weak idea and it gets picked up and implemented all across the nation.  It’s like a majority of guys in my position unanimously go, “Sweet!  This is funny!  Now I don’t have to prepare anything this week!”  And instead of reading the Scriptures and praying for what God wants to do in our ministries, we settle for a download and some down time.  Not everything has to be a Greek word study, but when you preach, it at least needs to be in context with what the text is saying instead of what the culture is saying.

Youth pastors: study the Scriptures.  Don’t troll the internet looking for someone else’s talksheets.  9 times out of 10 it won’t work for your group.  You are creative.  Use it.

What Does The Fox Say is a funny and dumb and addictive video and it’s awesome.  But it’s already tired.  And it will be replaced in a matter of weeks.  How about when we preach we stick with the one thing that is still relevant?




The message notes:


You have seen the viral sweeping video with already 55,000,000 million views in
just a few short weeks.
Itʼs funny, creative, and really dumb. So, we naturally love it!
What does the fox say? “Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!”
TRANSITION: The Bible actually talks a lot about foxes and we are going to ask
the Bible “What does the fox say?” tonight. We will cover 3 main things a fox
says and does…
Back in the day… way before Jesus the Fox really annoyed people.
They would destroy the vineyards.
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin our vineyards, our
vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Songs 2:15
In the Bible the fox was sometimes used to illustrate the destructive
characteristics of Satan and what he desire to do with our spiritual growth (the
You have something really beautiful and nice and the fox comes to destroy it.
Our life is beautiful and we naturally fall prey to sin.
“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is
full-grown, gives birth to death.” – James 1:15
Vineyards make fruit…
Luke 6:43 puts it this way,
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good
When you chase after Jesus and live out his commands you produce spiritual
growth and fruit. Take a look into your life and think about the kinds of things that
people see in you and the things that you do that are spiritual. Spiritual fruit in
your life may look like the way you treat others, friends, family, your decisions,
and your goals.
The enemy wants to take that evidence away so that the people we care about
and those weʼve never even met, never experience the love of Christ.
When this happens it puts new meaning to the phrase we often hear about “You
just got out foxed!”
Satan wants and knows how to spoil the spiritual fruit in our life.
Luke 32:31-33 puts it this way,
“At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want
to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!”
Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and
healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my
Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it
wouldnʼt do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!”
Even Jesus was being persecuted for spreading Godʼs kingdom. Satan himself
attempted to diminish the effect of Godʼs presence in the world.
Herod was like a fox (sly and crafty, skulking and cowardly) trying to find ways to
remove Jesus from becoming the “King”. At one point, Herod tried to manipulate
the wise men into giving up where the Christ child was born. Herod even
attempted to kill Jesus by issuing a decree that all children born during the time
of Jesusʼs birth be killed.
Nothing could stop Christ from coming to the world to show us how to live and
most importantly give his life for us on the cross to redeem our sin.
Keep on serving Jesus. When you serve Jesus you will come into persecution.
Youʼll experience times where it seems hard and times when it makes you
– Donʼt give up or stop serving God due to persecution.
You WILL be persecuted as a disciple – Donʼt fall away and stand your ground.
LUKE 32:57-62 puts it this way,
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you
wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man
has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and
proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say
goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, ʻNo one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for
service in the kingdom of God.ʼ”
You want to follow Jesus? What will it cost you?
Sometimes we get scared to take the next step. There were those, who when
Jesus said, “follow me,” struggled through the commitment because they knew
that it would change a lot of things about their life. Look at some of the things
they said.
“He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and
proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Jesus wasnʼt being cold or insensitive he simply got to the point. Sometimes we
worry about our past or we thing about things we canʼt fix or explain away. When
we think about those kinds of things they can keep us from moving forward
toward Jesus. Some of you may say in your heart, “If I live for Christ in every part
of my life the friends who have seen me fail will hold me back.”
Sometimes our friends donʼt. We live in a time where people who believe in
something and live their beliefs are secretly respected. Think about people you
know who live out their values. There are a lot of people who look up to them.
Even if your friends donʼt value your decision you have to understand that if you
made what Jesus did on the cross count for you, itʼs really not worth the pain of
being trapped by our past. If you want to move forward, move.
The Bible puts it this way,
“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the
kingdom of God.”
– You canʼt live in your past and let your old habits control your ability to say
yes to Jesus everyday in your decisions, words, and intentions.
Illustration: Driving a car.
What Jesus is saying to us in this verse is that if we want to move forward, we
canʼt look back. You would never sit and watch the rear view mirror while you are
trying to drive forward. You look ahead!
Foxes destroy
Foxes persecute
Foxes have homes
Just so you know, the fox barks and growls like a high pitched dog in real life.
Google it. Theyʼre kind of cute. God used foxes in the Bible to teach us a lot
about life and how we live it. Foxes in real life are just trying to catch their next
meal. Foxes in the spiritual world are trying to slow down your walk with Christ.
All that matters…
1. What does God say? Are we following Godʼs will for our life? Do we know what
the Bible says? Are we living it out?
2. What do you say? Do our friends at school know we are Christian by the way
we talk, act, and live our life? What you say can be a GREAT way to lead others
to Christ. What are you saying?
Close in prayer.

If It’s Not In The Notes, Don’t Say It

photo (1)

Early in ministry I liked to pride myself on how I could go “off script” in my teaching.  It was a welcome challenge to take live questions or to not put much content in my notes; to just let the Spirit move me.  Sometimes it culminated in flashes of brilliance, but most of the time the flash I thought I was having was just the detonation of a bomb.

I know some guys who are really good at speaking off the cuff and can just look at a few outline points and know exactly where they want to go.  I can’t (anymore).  So my rule isn’t about the formatting of my notes, but the content.  If it’s not in the notes, I shouldn’t say it.

The most recent example of this was I simply typed “unmet unrealistic expectations” as my illustration to a point.  I didn’t write down what I wanted to say, so I didn’t prepare for this part, so when I was live on stage I started venting in a way that didn’t really even connect with my audience.

But it’s not just that.  I have a… unique… sense of humor, and laughter only encourages me to pursue the joke to infinity and beyond.  If I say something not in my notes that gets a few giggles, we’re all doomed.  I’ve even had students at school lunches ask me if I was a stand-up comedian (confession: always wanted to be one) and I had to say, “No, just a youth pastor.”  So in one moment I could be quoting Scripture and in the next quoting lines from Community.  It just gets weird.

I am my own worst distraction.

That’s why if it’s not in the notes, I try not to say it.  The allure is there because I want those flashes of brilliance to make me look awesome.  But more often than not, I regret it.  So after so many years of ministry, I’m fine with letting the Holy Spirit inspire me on Monday-Saturday as I read, research, write, plan, prep, and refine my notes.  Then He can more easily fill me on Sunday because I’m not so full of myself.

I Believe In The Influence of Teenagers

I’ve driven by Broken Arrow High School several times today going back and forth around town and all day long there were teenagers at the corner promoting their “More For Moore” drive.  They’re collecting food, clothes, and supplies that Moore, OK needs.  And as I drove by this last time I locked eyes with one of them and just kind of gave them a salutatory fist pump because I believe in the influence of teenagers.

I believe in the power they have and the influence that they have and, guided in the right direction, I believe they can be an unstoppable force.  Because you see the thing about teenagers is when they get focused two things happen:

1) their passion becomes contagious.  Their passion becomes contagious with other teenagers.  It also becomes contagious with the people around that are watching, because,

2) it’ll make you up your game.  You cannot be apathetic and work with teenagers.  They will call you out on it, and even the seemingly apathetic ones will push against it.

I believe in the influence of teenagers because I’ve seen what it looks like from the inside, when, sparked by a common passion, they are more than willing to drown their stereotype and boldly bid us follow! in their wake.

Message Notes From One I Never Gave


I had a message planned for Sunday, but I blew out my back and was unable to deliver it.  Still, I feel like the preparation and the content were Holy Spirit driven, so I want to share my notes with you anyways.  Here are the notes for “LIFE HAS A PURPOSE – Grow In Faith.”



Do you have a spot in your house (like a door frame) where your parents measure how tall you are? 

When I hit a growth spurt as a kid, I’d want to measure my height almost every day.  Growth is exciting.

When I was a kid I would only eat chicken nuggets.  On our last cruise I tried everything on every menu.  Growth is exciting.

There have been moments in my life when I’d literally *gasp* while reading my Bible.  Growth is exciting.

In KirkYouth, we want you to grow in your faith because it is an exciting journey.  A lot of you have told me how much you like Mid-High because we don’t treat you like little kids – we don’t teach you like little kids.  That’s because as you grow, your faith should grow.

So today, I’m going to unpack our last purpose: GROW IN FAITH


Acts 17:24-28 (NIV; page 772) 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’


Talk Notes

Description:Doesn’t Live In Temples Built By Human Hands” 

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.

If you want to grow in faith, you can’t box God in or block Him out. 

Illustration:  Not confined to a church building or a church meeting

  • JV AWANA – I was a memorizing machine
  • School basketball – I was a mouth with legs
  • Growth means you understand that Jesus is with you everywhere you go.  (Not just @ Night of Impact, but on the bus back from Night of Impact

Application:  Growth becomes a rhythm.  Daily life


Description:Gives Life And Breath And Everything Else” 

25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

If you want to grow in faith, recognize that you can’t do it on your own.

Illustration:  Adam didn’t create the Garden, God gave that to him.

But Adam was given the responsibility to make it grow

Gardening – prep the soil, water, fertilize, prevent pests– and I can do ALL of that and still get no growth.  God is the one that causes all things to grow.

Application:  Faith itself is a gift from God.  When I put seeds in my garden bed, I expect them to grow and produce fruit.  God is the same way.  When he gives you the gift of faith in Him, he wants to see it grow.


Description:Appointed Times in History” 

26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  

If you want to grow in faith, understand God’s plan for you. 

Illustration:  God knows where you are and what you’re facing

BUSY – “I don’t have time to read my Bible” – finals – state – family vacation (My excuses – tv shows)

DISTRACTED – Or you say “I don’t know how.”  Maybe you don’t know how because you’re distracted while I’m trying to tell you how.  You don’t need a new high score right at this moment.  Some of you need to put your phones away and use an actual paper bible.

HURT – “You don’t know what’s happening at home.”  Your parents might be getting a divorce – you know a friend that’s being abused – you have a friend who’s moving – it all sucks, and it’s all distracting.

Application:  Growth happens in the struggle.  God put you at this time in history on purpose.  The easy thing is to stay bored, give in to laziness, or let the hurt that we feel consume us.  But we sing all the time about how God lays brokenness aside and makes it beautiful.  Do you really believe that?


Description:In Him We Live, And Move, And Have Our Being” 

28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

If you want to grow in faith, make Jesus your one and only source of life. 

Illustration:  The opposite is we die, and stagnate, and have no purpose.

Drinking Rio Grande rain puddles – dead water – took our lives in our hands that day

Application:  Is Jesus one of many things you pursue?  Or is Jesus the one and only thing you pursue?  All of life comes down to our connection to the True Vine.


Description:Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing” 

John 15:5 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 

If you want to grow in faith, stay connected to Jesus. 

Illustration:  abide/remain – stay connected to grow

Apart –

  • Nothing of eternal purpose “Our greatest fear in life should not be of failure but of succeeding at something that doesn’t matter.” – Francis Chan
    • Brock to Pearse after winning a tourney (well…this will be in my attic in a few years)
    • Nothing to save yourself “While we still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6 “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
    • Nothing to experience the fullness of joy: just look at Apple’s production rate:
      • iPhone:
        • Jun ‘07
          • 16GB Feb ’08 (we need a bigger one!)
          • 3G Jul ‘08
          • 3GS Jun ‘09 (16 & 32GB)
            • released an 8GB in Jun ’10 (nope, we need a smaller one!)
          • 4 Jun ‘10
            • and a white one in April ‘11
            • and an 8GB in Oct ‘11
          • 4S 10 days later
          • 5 Sep ‘12
          • then overlay all of that with the iPads…

Application:  If you want to grow in faith, stay connected to Jesus.  Our trinkets won’t matter much when we see Him face to face.


 [ title slide ] How Do We Respond To This?

Life has a purpose.  And that purpose is to grow in faith.

And if you want to grow in faith, it all comes down to Jesus.  What do you think about Jesus?  How are you spending time with Jesus?  Are you trying to act like Jesus?  Are you around other people who love Jesus?  Are you making disciples who also love Jesus?

Or are you bored?  Or too busy?  Or too content?

Life has a purpose.  And we grow in faith when we honor God in all that we do.

We grow in faith when we make significant connections.

We grow in faith when we reach out to our friends.

Because when we do these things, this puts what you learn in here into practice out there.  It’s the proof.

Wouldn’t it be great to know your life has purpose?  Then let Christ work in your hearts so these things become a rhythm of your life.

Aren’t your curious to know what a life lived on purpose feels like?