Weekend Teaching Series: 2020: The Future is Now (series finale, week 6 of 6)
Sermon in a Sentence: Each decision has a domino effect on your future. Obey God’s instructions and remember what He has done in the past to move toward success in your future.
Service Length: 74 minutes

Understandable Message: This week I focused on a selection of verses from Deuteronomy 6 – Moses challenging the people of Israel before they entered the Promised Land. I wanted students to realize that their future depends on the decisions to obey God’s laws today – that each decision is a chance to move toward true success or away from it. I took some time to review the 5 weeks of the series, and did my best to bring it all together for the series finale.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we had great music and a fun opening game with the new Microsoft Kinect and Dance Central. Most students hadn’t seen it before, so it was comical and funny watching people try to dance. It was brilliant! We also played all of the individual mosaic photos during the Switchfoot song which made for a great moment, too.

Music Playlist: Solution, This is Your Life [Switchfoot cover], Our God is Love, With Everything

Favorite Moment: This was SUCH a fun weekend – the team did a great job pulling off some really creative moments in the service and it really felt like the culmination of the campaign. The best moment had to be the Domino Effect video at the end of the message. So awesome! I’ll get it posted soon for you to enjoy, too.

Up Next: Thanksgiving/Family 1-off

Ohhh … big giveaway this week!

Digital Stache has hooked me up with 2 copies of Spin That Wheel. If you were at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference last year, we used a version of this game for the general sessions. It was a huge hit – I’m pumped that you can get it as a resource now – be sure to check it out and at least grab the demo and check it out. Brilliant!

To enter the drawing for 1 of the 2 free copies, just leave your name and the name of your student ministry – completely objective and random. The other will be given away to the best comment of the bunch – completely subjective – my choice. Go!


If you’ve followed the blog the last month during our 2020: The Future is Now series, you may remember that HSM was doing a photo mosaic as a takeaway for the series. We took pictures of our students for a couple of weeks and we got the print pieces back this week for students to take home as a reminder of the decisions they made. We used each picture of the students several times in the mosaic – students had a fun time finding themselves in the collage. If you were interested in the technical stuff behind the scenes we made the mosaic using this program click here, I think it turned out great!


I’m not sure I will ever be able to describe this feeling…

Francis Chan has been something of a distant mentor to me ever since reading Crazy Love for the first time nearly 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve followed his travels, listened to podcasts, and watched interviews all in the effort of trying to understand Jesus a little better as Francis portrays Him. I was at Passion 2010 when, during a breakout session, Francis detailed out the feelings, emotions and thoughts that went through his head and heart when he finally pleaded with his brother to begin to explore a relationship with Christ. He took us down the road the Paul went down as He, literally, bled for the Church that he had so passionately and fervently devoted his life to beginning and nurturing as the Holy Spirit led him.

Recently, I was sitting in my office after a Wednesday Night and could not help but know, very well, the heaviness that I felt in my heart. It was something that I could not describe with words, I would never be able to completely understand, and continued to be inexplicable for the duration of the week. The best I could come up with is the term that Francis used this past January, Holy Anguish.

My heart bleeds for the Church. Now, more than ever. I have always had a distinct desire to see change in the church, both older generations and the new, but it has been a very clear angst that has developed in my soul over the past year or so. Where I constantly see my heart leading me is toward the next generation. It’s not that I don’t think that the current generations in the church are unreachable or that they are not worthy of attention from the almighty Geoff Cocanower. But, God has placed inside of me a very obvious and distinct desire to see the next generation reach their potential, together, for the cause of Christ.

The point of this post is probably more for personal reflection than anything else. Which means it probably should have made it onto the pages of my moleskine instead of the pixels of my screen. However, I think that there is something inside each and every one of us that we cannot fully explain. Desires and passions to see a difference in something that we cannot completely comprehend and at times, when we truly allow it to take over, we are unable to avoid its pull on our heart and mind. We cannot begin to explain it or even come close to having people understand us for it. But we are incessantly consumed by it. It is the Holy Anguish that we feel for a certain group of people or a place or a longing that we feel but words can never do it justice, songs cannot describe it and, in the end, we are the only one that can truly understand the passion that we feel for it.

Bring this back to practicality. At some point, our lives must come to be shaped by this longing and this indescribable desire. Clearly, we are at our best when we are controlled and moved by the Spirit of God and we cannot truly be maneuvered by Him when we are pursuing the things that we want by avoiding the things that we desire. So the question becomes rather simple. What are you doing, right now, that is simply driven by the desire that is inside of you that forces you to lose sleep? And, What is it going to take for you to finally recognize that those things, the things that cause temporary insomnia, unintentional daydreaming, and immeasurable euphoria in your heart to take over your life and determine how you are go about your days and nights?

Geoff Cocanower is the senior high director of at Nappanee Missionary Church and blogs at

There are plenty of websites that promise to help you do one thing or another in your ministry. Below are seven categories of resources that I hope you will find helpful:

Curriculum Resources

  1. Walkthru.org — Bible studies ranging for those for individuals to church-wide studies
  2. SimplyYouthMinistry.com — Doug Fields site full of Bible studies, videos and small group resources.
  3. Youthministry.com — A website dedicated to youth ministry. Full of free resources and articles that tackle the hard topics.
  4. Symlive.com — Simply Youth Ministry small group curriculum. I personally use this.
  5. Open.Lifechurch.tv — A website full of free resources. I’ve spent a few hours looking around the site and don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface.
  6. StuffICanUse — Another website that is full of free resources.
  7. XP3 — A subscription based website that allows you to download messages.
  8. MyGrapple — An online community that allows students to go online to complete challenges to complete the lesson from Sunday School.
  9. EyeOnYouth — CE National’s own Biblical-based studies

Printing Media

  1. NextDayFlyers — Cheap printing. Get your orders in early and save even more!
  2. LogoDogz — Custom embroidery, screen printing and promotional products
  3. Powerpoint Sermons — Subscription packages of jpeg stills and motion backgrounds
  4. GetPaint - Free Photoshop style program for download
  5. sxc.hu — Free photo exchange
  6. Shutterstock — Subscription based photo downloads


  1. Wing Clips — Inspirational Movie clips
  2. Worshiphouse Media — site full of mini-videos, videos, stills and software
  3. SermonSpice — Website full of videos and countdowns to use before you start teaching
  4. BlueFishTV — Full of full-length videos, clips and stills to use throughout your services
  5. Deidox — Testimonial videos featuring real people
  6. I am Second — Professional athletes, celebrities and others share the importance of Jesus in their lives
  7. Animoto — Turn videos and pictures into amazing slideshows


  1. Planning Center — Get your service organized using this great website. I personally use this as well!
  2. Here to Lead — The official blog of Michael Lukaszewski
  3. Dial 2 Do — Create reminders for yourself for free. Other features do cost $3.99/month or $39.99/year.

Purchasing Resources

  1. Dealnews — Find the best deal on pretty much anything
  2. Musicians Friend — Great deals on musical instruments and audio equipment.

Parent Resources

  1. Plugged In Online — Want to know what the new pop album says? What the new hit movie is about? Check out Plugged In for an honest review.
  2. The Center for Parent Youth Understanding — Understand today’s culture and how to impact it

Other Resources

  1. Monergism — Great articles from many of the fathers of our faith
  2. CARM — Apologetics
  3. x3 Watch — Free Accountability Software
  4. Safe Eyes — Internet filtering software
  5. SimplyTxt — Text all of your youth group kids at once using this awesome program
  6. Poll Everywhere — Text message polling software. Free for the first 30 users, price increases from there
  7. Covenant Eyes — Another great accountability and filtering software
  8. Grooveshark — Great music streaming service
  9. Big Huge Labs — Do funny things with your photos
  10. Open Resources — More free church media
  11. YouVersion — Interactive Bible
  12. TokBox — Free video chatting
  13. SurveyMonkey — Create free surveys
  14. Zamzar — Convert files online for free

Did I miss any services that you use? If so, let me know in the comments.

Zach Younkin helps out wherever needed in the Delaware Grace Brethren Youth Ministry. You can follow him on Twitter at @zachyounkin and check him out on his blog.

WorshipHouse Media


Interesting article on body- bullying- check it out and take the quiz at the end.

Facebook Banned

 —  November 19, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just read an article in the Los Angeles Times about a pastor who is banning his leadership from using Facebook. If they aren’t willing to delete it they will be forced to step down from their leadership role. Apparently he has had a number of couples over the last year and a half face marital issues because of people from the past popping finding them through their account. This has led to physical meet-ups and adulterous situations. At the end of the article it’s clear that this pastor is not banning this from the whole congregation, but he is going to advise them to forgo their accounts. In the past he has recommended for spouses to make sure they shared all their login information with one another, but apparently there is still ongoing issues with people in his church.

Facebook obviously has many pro’s to it, but have you found the people in your ministry falling into issues by their use of it?

On Vacation, but…

 —  November 18, 2010 — Leave a comment

Posted By Kurt Johnston

I am on vacation….visiting NYC and DC with the family and won’t be posting anything of substance (which implies I usually do) for the next week or so. But as I was sitting in a Manhattan Starbucks this morning waiting for my family to wake up (I am the only morning person in our crew) and reading the Huffington Post (don’t judge me), I stumbled upon a little article entitled “7 sites you should be wasting time on right now”. I went to the list, and found this blog called, “middle school proverbs” written by a middle school English teacher who records the funny stuff he hears his students say. I don’t think it is worthy of “7 sites you should be wasting time on right now” status, but it is pretty entertaining.