Author: Shaun King

For the longest time, we’ve had a saying among the pastoral staff. “August is the new January.” Why? Simple. It used to be that we thought of January as an opportunity for fresh starts. The turn of the calendar year on New Year’s Day has always provoked the prospect of renewal--complete with resolutions of what that renewed life will look like from day-to-day. On New Year’s Day, we are motivated by the possibility of a clean slate, and we resolve to do new things, like eat healthy, exercise more, spend more time in prayer and Bible study, etc. etc. (Of course, whether we keep...

Last week, Laura and I attended the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Dallas, Texas. While there were several highlights to this year’s annual gathering, there was one moment I find myself continuing to replay within. During worship on Friday night, Jamison McGregor (Worship & Arts Pastor at University Baptist Church in Waco) sang a powerful cover of “Anthem,” by Leonard Cohen. Take five minutes to listen. As we worshipped in the midst of a week filled with more distressing news nationally, I found myself compelled deeply by the provocative imagery of the chorus: So ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect...

As you read this blog, preparations are underway for the final night of Vacation Bible School. Pastor Annie Sutton and her army of volunteers have done an amazing job leading children in exploring the love of God and the mysteries of faith. Tonight, an exciting week of worship, Bible study, recreation, crafts and snacks will culminate in a thrilling closing celebration. Of all the good God has been “up to” this week, I wanted to share one moment worth mention. One of our volunteers, JCBC member Linda Shipp, shared a conversation she had with the father of one of our international campers. The daughter...

Earlier this month, we hosted another JCBC Night of Worship in our Family Life Center. It was a powerful night, focused on prayer and communion. Check out this video recap of that special night. In reflecting on the power of prayer, I offered this definition: Simply put, prayer is becoming more fully present with the One who IS fully present with us. That’s it. Really. I mean don’t get me wrong, there have been countless ways to practice prayer throughout the ages. Indeed, one of my favorite writers and spiritual guides, Richard Foster, has written about many pathways to prayer in his book simply entitled, Prayer....

Memorial Day Weekend is coming, marking the beginning of Summer, and a number of wonderful opportunities to engage the full life of our congregation. In addition to Vacation Bible School, Seersucker Sunday (Father’s Day), Children and Youth Camps, Celebrate America, and more, there are two specific ways I am calling on you and your family to consistently demonstrate your love for JCBC throughout the summer. I’m calling you to: [BE] here. [BE] for. [BE] here. There is no gift greater than the gift of personal presence. When you show up for someone, you are making a statement about their value in your eyes. This is true...

I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation. I was in the locker-room, post-workout, and the dialogue between a young father and his four-year-old son had a familiar ring to it. Eerily so. “Okay, buddy. Let’s move it along. Remember, the longer you take, the less likely we are to get pizza when we leave.” Turns out, the son had become fascinated by the numbered locker keys that only come out when you put your member card in the slot. They just dangle there, baiting and waiting on some four-year-old to walk by and marvel. Dad: “Seriously big guy. Shake a leg. We gotta scoot!” Son: “But...

In 1775 the Continental Congress allocated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. Over the years, there have been numerous national calls to pray. Indeed, throughout our history, there have been over 140 calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting, and thanksgiving by Presidents of the United Sates. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. Amended, by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the National Day of Prayer was set to occur each year on the first Thursday of May. The National Day of Prayer is for...

Thursday, May 3rd is the National Day of Prayer. For that reason, our second JCBC Night of Worship, which is scheduled for that evening at 7:00 p.m., will feature the theme of prayer and communion. Adam Courtney and the JCBC Worship Band will lead worshippers in powerful, soul-stirring music, as we cry out to God with the melody of our adoration and praise. In addition to lifting our voice in song, we will experience poignant times of guided prayer. Worshippers will have the opportunity to pray individually and corporately as a body of believers devoted to the love of Jesus Christ and the...

For more than 430 years the descendants of Jacob resided in Egypt. They had come there under the leadership of Jacob’s most beloved son, Joseph, who had been sold into slavery there and yet (by God’s providence) ascended to a position of prominence and power, second only to Pharaoh himself. It was by his invitation that his brothers and their families (seventy persons in total) settled in the land of Egypt. Now, faithful to the creational commission to “be fruitful and multiply,” and in keeping with the promise made to the Patriarch Abraham, they were becoming “more numerous than the stars.” In the...

There is no marketing strategy more effective than word-of-mouth. Some of today’s most successful companies grew their consumer base primarily on word-of-mouth strategies. According to one HuffingtonPost.com article, Nielsen “found a whopping 92 percent of consumers value referrals from friends or family members more than any other type of marketing.” The same reality applies to first time guests in church. Take a minute to watch this video we shared in worship last Sunday. What if we have made it more complicated than necessary? What if there is someone in your life who is willing to attend, but who has never been asked? What if that person...