Youth Sermon Ideas: Preaching for the Next Generation article aims to provide churches, pastors, ministers, and ordinary believers some ideas on what to preach for the youth and the next generation. Don’t worry because all the content of this article will only be based on the Bible and nothing else.
Nowadays, preaching for youth and other young generations can be challenging for church leaders and youth pastors. Because according to a recent study, millennials and Gen-Z are politically-minded and politically active. And sometimes, they bring that kind of political mindset to Christianity.
This means that most millennials and gen-z aren’t afraid to question preachers, church leaders, youth pastors, etc., whenever they disagree with what these leaders are preaching or in what the bible is saying. They tend to question things that aren’t clarified well enough or things that are not okay with them.
Millennials and Gen-Z’s reaction towards any idea being presented to them, whether it is a sermon or general knowledge, are also being caused by their level of education. Because according to a different study, on average, millennials and Gen-Z are better educated than the generations that preceded.
But whether they are better educated or political-minded, having the proper understanding of how to approach these generations will make your preaching or sermons more effective. But that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise God’s Word to get their approval. It simply means that we need to be strategic in preaching God’s Word to penetrate the hearts of the younger generations.
What Does the Bible Say About the Youth?
Jeremiah 1:4-8 says “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” God made it clear that He can also use the younger generation to do His will and that He will be with them as they obey God.
Aside from this, 1 Timothy 4:12 says that “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”. This means that the youth should not let anyone despise them for being young as they serve God. Instead, the younger generations should set an example to all followers of Christ in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Youth Sermon Ideas: Awesome Bible Characters in Their Youth
Throughout the Bible, we can find a lot of Bible characters that we can use as our examples in preaching for the youth. Most, if not all, knew God since they were young and remained in Him no matter what circumstances they face. These great Bible characters did not hesitate to choose God over anything else. With this, let us look at some of the most prominent Bible characters in their youth.
David, the youngest of eight sons, was a worshipper and a brave young shepherd. He loves to worship God with his harp while tending his father’s flock. And if any lion or bear tries to attack any of his father’s sheep, David will not hesitate to defend and save them from these predators.
In his teenage years, David was chosen by prophet Samuel to be a king in 1 Samuel 16:12-13 “12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy with beautiful eyes and a good appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord came on David from that day forward. So, Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”
At first, the prophet Samuel thought that God chose David’s older brother; for he was well-built and a bit taller than David. But God told Samuel that it was David who will be king for God only looks at the heart and not on the outward appearance just like what 1 Samuel 16:7 says “7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
- Joseph the Dreamer
Joseph is one of the bible characters who had a very rough childhood. When he was about 17, his older brothers tried to kill him and throw his body in a well. But with the intervention of one of his brothers, Reuben, Joseph was kept alive but still thrown in the well. After this, his brothers decided to sell him to traders as a slave in Egypt.
18 Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. Before he reached them, they made a plan to kill him. 19 They said to each other, “Here comes that dreamer. 20 Let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the wells. We can tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what will become of his dreams.”
21 But Reuben heard their plan and saved Joseph, saying, “Let’s not kill him. 22 Don’t spill any blood. Throw him into this well here in the desert, but don’t hurt him!” Reuben planned to save Joseph later and send him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe with long sleeves 24 and threw him into the well. It was empty, and there was no water in it.
25 While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. When they looked up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh.
26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his death? 27 Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” And the other brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well and sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
After this, Joseph worked for a man named Potiphar and did everything excellently. And when Potiphar saw Joseph’s excellence in everything, Joseph became his attendant –– in charge of his household and everything he owned. Genesis 39:3-4 “3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.”
But even with such excellence, Joseph experienced a lot of false accusations and charges that eventually brought him to jail. But despite all of these mistreatments, he remained righteous and held on to God’s promises to him. Eventually, Joseph rose to become a leader in Egypt –– second only to the Pharaoh. This success put him in a position to help his entire family during the great famine.
- Daniel and his friends
Another beloved story in the Bible is in the book of Daniel. Many people would know the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were put in the fiery furnace. Even more, would remember the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.
But when they were younger, they were offered food and drink that were against their traditional Jewish beliefs. With this, they stood for what they believe is right and requested that their diet be changed to something more familiar to them –– one that would keep them from breaking God’s commandments.
Because of the decision to honor God with their eating habits, God favored and blessed them. He gave them knowledge, wisdom, and skill in learning. Daniel 1:17 “17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”
With this, the king found these four young men to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. Daniel 1:20 “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
- Samuel the Prophet
Samuel was born as a gift from the Lord to his mother, Hannah. She promised to give him to the Lord to be raised by the priest Eli. Samuel grew and served, and when he was about 12 years old, he was awakened by the voice of the Lord calling to him in the night. Even as a boy, Samuel learned to listen to the voice of the Lord. This began his preparation to become a prophet.
“4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So, he went and lay down. 6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So, Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
With all of these, we can see that the great Bible characters prepared for their lifetime service to the Lord when they were young. When you are in your teens, you are old enough to learn about the Lord and do His will. Instead of waiting until you’re an adult, right now is the perfect time to start living a righteous life.
Other Bible Passages for Youth Sermons
- 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
- Ecclesiastes 11:9 ESV
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
- Jeremiah 1:4-8 ESV
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
- Ecclesiastes 12:1 ESV
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;
- Psalm 119:9 ESV
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
- 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
- Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- Proverbs 23:26 ESV
My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.
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