The JCBC Staff Blog

Every 500 years, the church throws a rummage sale. That’s how Episcopal Bishop Mark Dyer puts it. Since the birth of the church, there have been at least three significant turning points in which the church, faced with an identity crisis, made significant shifts in its way of existing in the world. These shifts resulted in deliberately relinquishing old and familiar ways of doing and being the church in order to engage the church’s mission in ever-changing contexts. Rummage sale. Brilliant. Out with the old. In with the new. The first of these rummage sales occurred around 500 A.D., as the church became the official religion of...

Sylvan Hills Baptist Church Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation Ph.D. 1984, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity 1978, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, B.S. 1974, University of Montevallo, Alabama Dr. Allen holds the Sylvan Hills Chair of Baptist Heritage and is Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation at McAfee. He received his B.S (1974) with a double-major in psychology and sociology from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. His training for Christian ministry took place at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, which awarded him the M.Div. (1978) and Ph.D. (1984) degrees. During his years as a...

Dear JCBC Member, What an amazing year it has been at JCBC. Earlier this year, our Faith2Next campaign was an extraordinary demonstration of our congregational courage, vision and generosity, as we pledged more than 111% of our goal of providing a multi-venue worship experience while accelerating the complete and final payoff of our remaining debt. We have said yes to a bold new way of doing and being the church for generations to come. That’s why the church has approved a courageous, faith-driven ministry budget for 2018. It’s a budget designed to fund the ministries that we know bring life and hope to our...

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...

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a new beginning. T.S. Eliot Over the twenty-three years serving this church, I’ve seen many staff ministers come and go. Each brought their own talents, gifts and mindsets to their respective ministry areas and each left us richer for their time with us. Each new minister arrives amidst feelings of renewal and promise for our future. So, this weekend we say farewell to a long interim and warmly welcome our new Children’s Pastor, Annie Sutton. Our new beginning...

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...

It’s just plain fun when the JCBC family gets together.  I love it when we intentionally slow the pace of our lives – just for a little while – and simply gather.  We celebrate, delight in and even re-kindle long treasured friendships, and often times, make some new friends in the process.  No time restraints.  No agenda.  Just the joy of each other. Let’s do it again on Sunday, October 1st. On that day, we will gather for [BE] Fed – the 2017 version of Food Truck Sunday.  Immediately after worship, make your way to the back parking lot – near the...

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...