Author: Shaun King

Our mortal existence has limits. When we are born, the clock starts. Life [BE]gins. Regardless of what we do to speed up or slow down the clock, one fact is indisputable. One day, the clock will stop. The sand will run out of our glass. It's not something to fear Nothing to protest. It just is. But here is the great mystery. The incarnation demonstrates that THIS mortal life, this limited, fragile, time-sensitive life is worth the journey. It is so worth the journey, that God stepped into the human experience to live, breathe, grow, eat, drink, sleep, live, laugh, love, dance, cry, pray, and play. God came to [BE]! It was to...

One of the growing concerns I have as a pastor, attempting to lead and love in this current era, is what seems to be a nation’s fading capacity to be shocked. Events and realities that would have left us aghast even one generation ago have tragically become normalized as a part of the daily news cycle. We have come to expect the drama, the vitriol, the violence, until gradually, gone unchecked, unexamined, unchallenged, the soul is numbed, desensitized to how far away from center we have slipped. Then, occasionally, something happens to stretch the bandwidth of our tolerance. Vegas. From 32 floors up, a sea of 22,000...

It was the Greek philosopher Socrates who said, “To be is to do.” It was his student Plato who said, “To do is to be.” But it was the blue-eyed crooner Sinatra who said, “Do-be-do-be-do.” Bad “dad-joke” aside, there may be some wisdom there. Isn’t that the rhythm and the way of the Christ-life? It is BOTH, a call to do and to be. Rightly understood, however, everything we will ever do for Christ, emerges from who we are in Him. All of our works of service, compassion, mercy and love are motivated by and arise out of our growing understanding of our identity in Christ. Our doing is born...

This past Sunday, we began a new sermon series entitled, “Love My Neighbor.” We immersed ourselves deeply into a study of our Lord’s two-fold command: “…love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, and mind…and…love our neighbor as yourself,”~Matthew 22:37-39 We recognized that while these are two distinct commandments, one is actually an extension of the other: To love God…IS to love our neighbor. Why? Because we love God by loving who God loves. Period. If you missed the message Sunday, I encourage you to watch it sometime this week. It builds a foundation for the rest of the series, and helps frame the...

How well do you know your neighbor? Yes, you know what they drive, where their kids go to school, and how long they leave their unread county paper in the driveway. But do you really know them? When asked what the greatest commandment of all was, Jesus responded with the “right answer.”   He quotes from the Shema: “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” But then, a surprise. An unexpected turn. A curveball. “And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In the mind of Jesus, you cannot love God without...

When you know your “why” anything is possible. When you know your why, then your who, what, when, where, and how become simply a matter of consistent effort and energy over time. When our church voted to expand our worship options for the sake of reaching those who otherwise may not encounter the JCBC experience, we claimed our “why”. We knew (through two years of deliberate dialogue and discernment) that there was (and is) something remarkably unique about who we are as a congregation. We knew that our way of doing community is uncommonly strong among churches. We knew that our theologically progressive message is...

My heart is still overflowing with joy as I think about worship this past weekend. As one unified body, we gathered to marvel at God’s grace, and consecrated our Family Life Center once more as a sacred space devoted to worship. There were countless moments on that special day this pastor will treasure always. Watching the reaction of our people at the beauty of our renovated spaces. The momentum of the worshipful procession of an entire Body, determined. The raw power of voices lifted in song. Beginning with Amazing Grace. “…when we’ve been there 10,000 years…” Ending with 10,000 Reasons. “…10,000 years...

There is something distinct about the JCBC experience. You know it and I know it. But it is high time for us to become deliberate about letting our community know it! As you may already know, a small task force of JCBC members and staff has been working for some time now, with an independent marketing firm out of Nashville to guide us in the development of a short-term and long-term marketing strategy for our church. While you will hear far more in the coming weeks about our long-term strategy, one of our immediate (and most important) goals is to equip every member with...

At our Pastoral Staff Retreat back in January, something significant dawned on us. In preparation for our multi-venue worship expansion, we reflected upon how the space for the contemporary worship venue is the same space where JCBC worshipped for a number of years prior to the construction of the sanctuary. During that phase in our congregational life, there was no question that it was holy and sacred ground, because of what transpired in that room from week to week. Since the construction of the sanctuary, however, that space has primarily been known as “the gym.” Not untrue. It certainly has (and will continue...