Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


This weekend we finish our dating/sexuality series entitled “Hooking up” in Encounter. Instead of take the time that I’ve been taking each week to review our series up to this point, I decided to write a one page overview of the topics and themes we covered and put it in the high school program this weekend.

I always love what God does in this series and I love the challenge of trying to think and re-think of new ways to deal with a topic I’ve now given something like 50 different messages on over the years. It’s interesting to review them and see how even my own theological perspectives have changed over the years too. For what it’s worth, here’s the summary of what we talked about this year:

For those of you who have been in this series the past 5 weeks, then you know that we have been talking about how knowing “what to do” and knowing “why we behave as we do” are two very different things. When it comes to dating and sexuality, most people want to know the answer to the what type questions: “What can I do? How far can I go? Who can I date? What is God’s plan for my dating life? What is sexually moral behavior?”,etc. All of these are common questions. However we believe, especially in regards to this issue, it is rather childish to merely do what we are told without knowing why. Having a list of taboo sex acts or dating principles in your back pocket or a promise ring around your finger representing a purity pledge you gave in youth group one Sunday will NOT be what it takes to live a God-honoring dating life when the real temptations come. Those things only have value when you know, own, and understand clearly why those decisions are valuable and wise in the first place. The more we own the why’s of a Godly theology, the more the “what to do and not to do” makes sense. Therefore this series has not focused on the what of dating, sexuality, and gender differences. Instead it has focused on the why’s of the faith. Why did God create us different? Why should we get married or stay single? Why should we make the choices we make with our body? Now we pray that these things we understand and truly own on a deep conviction level will therefore lead to a more powerful, more theological, and more intentional “what” in our behavior.

Here’s the PDF you can download if you want to see the breakdown week by week and the main Bible Texts we used.

Another thing we did this year too was add an ability for students to “text in questions” using their cell phone at various points in my messages or during the service. It’s something we stole as an idea from our main service. They call it a “chat room”. We stole texting shorthand and called it “IDK” (or I Don’t Know for you non-texting types) This year, we got some great questions and this weekend we will tackle on big question that came up on the issue of homosexuality. I’m team teaching with a guy on our staff who has a god-honoring perspective on this subject but would still describe himself as a “homosexual man” by way of desire or temptation. Should be an awesome weekend. I can’t wait to watch God work in students lives, several of which I know feel this same struggle themselves.

Oh, and for the first time, I used the woman at the well as a teaching text on this subject. It was amazing and I had never looked at that text through those eyes before. But this girl’s video is off the hook. I wish I had found it before I taught. So worth using.

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