So how do you pick the title for a youth group sermon series? Great question! And while I suppose there are lots of ways to go about it – and I hope some others chime in on the comments with a few other suggestions – I thought I would walk you through some of the ways I go about picking the title for a youth group series:

Brainstorm with studentsA great way to pick a title is to gather up a few students or volunteers and walk them through the topic and come up with a list of potential titles. Make sure no one is “married” to their ideas, then land on one later that week. It gives students some buy into the process and also helps you brand it well.

Find inspiration in culture
One of my favorite examples of this was during the Women’s World Cup a couple years ago – I loved the subtitle they used “11 vs the World” and immediately planned a sermon series on the disciples around that idea. The series 11 vs the World in our youth group was a really fun one that was named really well, too (sorry Judas and even more apologies to Mathias the replacement disciple as well).

yhst-95977426524948_2239_10950023Tie it into the teaching
So sometimes the title starts the development process of the series – other times I wait and see where I want to take students and find the title as I prep the messages. I did a series a couple years ago about stewardship and the environment we ended up calling Save the Planet and let the teaching help us land on the right title.

Steal the title … or buy the resource and teach someone else’s series
If you see a great resource out there, borrow the title and adapt it yourself! You could also just buy the resource and use the ready-made graphics and outlines as well. Here’s 25 ideas to get you started, and 31 more when you’re through those!

How do you find the perfect series title!

JG

InstaLife Series Arc

Josh Griffin —  December 6, 2012 — Leave a comment

Excited to start a new series in HSM next weekend called InstaLife – it will use Instagram as a backdrop to teach biblical truths. Pretty excited about the series! I like it when we create an “arc” or journey we are hoping to take students through both in each message and the series. Here’s an overview of the next two weeks:

InstaLife: Jealousy – Wanting Someone Else’s Username
Being jealous shows that we are not satisfied with what God has given us, that what we have is not enough. The Bible tells us that we need to be content with what we have because God would never forsake us and leave us with nothing. In order to go head to head with jealousy we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. We need to stop wanting and ogling what everyone else posts through Instagram.

InstaLife: Being Fake – Look Behind the Filter
We post pictures online for everyone to see. We will post pictures on this app to allow other people to get a little glimpse into our lives. Many post pictures of the life they wish they had or pictures from only the good parts, giving the false perception to everyone who sees it thinking that you are just fine and dandy when in reality you are truly hurting. It is time to stop pretending that everything is okay and come to Jesus get out from behind the filter.

JG



Here’s the arc for our series in HSM this month. Pretty excited about this series – we always try to hit on some felt-needs or hot topics

SEPTEMBER 15/16 | I AM… A GOSSIP (week 1)
James 3:1-12; Ephesians 4:29
GOSSIP. Everyone has said something about someone or something that they know they should not have. We’ve all felt the sting of being talked about behind our backs. It is taking a look how we talk to and about each other and how powerful what we say actually is. Looking at how we can turn gossip into encouragement and slander into praise.

SEPTEMBER 22/23 | I AM… A HYPOCRITE (week 2)
Matthew 23
Hypocrites. The dictionary definition of a hypocrite is “a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.” We will be looking at what this looks like in our own lives and what that means according to the teachings of Jesus.

SEPTEMBER 29/30 | I AM… A BULLY (week 3)
Bullying has no place in the life of a follower of Christ. We need to stand up for the forgotten and abused. The series will all be pulled together with a reveal that Jesus is the great I Am.

JG

Do Something Series Arc

Josh Griffin —  November 17, 2011 — 4 Comments

This past weekend we started a series called Do Something – we did something similar a couple of years ago with great success and thought it was time to bring it back again. Here’s the 2-week series arc where we’re hoping to take students:

WEEK 1: Christmas Shoe Boxes
This weekend we teach about the needs right here in Orange County. Santa Ana is one of the poorest cities in America, and they are our neighbor. We’ll pack shoe boxes for our Food Bank to give away during the holidays as people come in to get free groceries. At the end of each service we planned to take a group photo that would end up on Facebook and get tagged by everyone as well.

WEEK 2: Fallen Soldiers, Persecuted Church, HIV/AIDS
The second week of the series the plan is to have students write letters to the children of soldiers who have been killed in the war. We are bringing in a chaplain to speak to the students as well. After that we’ll highlight the persecuted church and have a guest speaker share about HIV/AIDS and what students can do to help in our community.

JG



Kurt just posted the 3-week series arc for their series about sex in our Wildside (junior high) ministry the past month. Worth checking out for inspiration for your own series, and be sure to head over there to check out some other insights about teaching about sex/relationships to junior highers, too.

Week 1: Developing Healthy Friendships With Each Other. We simply took a look at some of the differences between guys and girls, and how an understanding of some of these differences can help us be better friends with each other.

Week 2: Dating: We took a look at what begins to happen when a friendship becomes more than just a friendship. We addressed such questions as: When is it okay to start dating? Who should I date? How should I date? What role do should my parents play in all of this?

Week 3: Sex This weekend, we will wrap the series up by talking about sex. I feel a little overwhelmed because ONE lesson on sex isn’t enough. I am afraid I will try to cram too much into the lesson, thus making it too complex, and more confusing than helpful.

JG

Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:

JG



This weekend we’re kicking off a brand new series in our high school ministry called Facebook Official. It is a 5-week series on friendships, relationships, love and sex. Here’s the series arc for the next month in HSM:

Week 1: You Have a Friend Request [me]
I’m kicking off the series talking about friendships and how the depth of Christian community and faith changes how we interact with our friends and neighbors and affects who we friend and those relationships. This weekend will include a strong Gospel presentation and the ultimate friend, Jesus.

Week 2: They Kind of Guy I Want My Daughter to Marry/The Kind of Girl I Want My Son to Marry [Doug Fields]
Doug Fields is on for week 2 to share about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. He’ll go over character qualities that he looks for in the kind of person he wants and prays his kids will marry.

Week 3: How to Live Happily Ever After [me]
I’m jumping in for week 3 to talk through true love and how to have a love that will go the distance. How do you know if you’re in love? How will I know if she’s the one? Is there more than one “Mr. Right” for me? Love and marriage is hard work, and this week we’ll look at what it takes to make love last.

Week 4: The Sex Talk [Doug Fields]
Purity, lust, and sex. It will be promoted heavily and be one of the biggest weekends of the year. SO excited!

Week 5: Pulling it All Together [me]
Pull all of these messages together in one final challenge and call to action for students to live a life in close relationship with Jesus that will change their relationships with everyone else. A close relationship with Jesus changes our friendships, changes our dating life, changes our marriage and changes our sexual desires. The message will probably include some sort of takeaway that pulls all of these messages into something memorable to remind students of their commitment.

JG

Launch Series Arc

Josh Griffin —  August 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

This weekend we’re kicking off our annual LAUNCH series getting students ready to go back to school. If you would like to read a couple “week in reviews” from services last year click here and here, and below is the series arc for this year’s take on the topic:

Week 1: Advice from 3 students who have been there
This weekend our summer interns are wrapping up their 3-month stay on staff. I’ve given them this weekend to talk about their high school experiences and share learnings that will help students launch the school year right.

Week 2: The importance of small groups
Next weekend Jessica Torres (our Life Groups coordinator) will be teaching on the importance of community and encouraging students to grow spiritually in a group this year.

Week 3: Starting each day off with God
The last weekend before school starts here in California (Labor Day weekend) will be taught by a couple of amazing student leaders and I. We’re going to talk about routines, devotions and prayer in the context of walking with God each day.

JG