Formation

For years, one of the central activities of the early church was the sharing of the common meal. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,  to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”  (Acts 2:42) In the early decades of the first century, as the church was still budding to full bloom, Imperial persecution often forced members of “The Way” to gather away from public assemblies, in secret house meetings. In addition to teachings, readings, songs and prayers, these clandestine moments of worship would often culminate in one of the members presenting a hidden serving of bread and wine for all to...

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...

For those of you who are unaware, our youth group recently returned from Faith in 3D, one of the most exciting retreats of the year, in Orlando Florida. Faith in 3D is a multidenominational conference that happens every three to five years at Walt Disney World. The weekend is designed to immerse youth from different Christian backgrounds in a united backdrop of worship, as they explore their common faith in Jesus Christ. This weekend challenged our students to contemplate God’s dream for their life through worship, education, and community building. To top it all off, we were at the one...

JCBC joined the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s, Together for Hope’s missional outreach initiative, to the poorest twenty counties in the country, almost ten years ago. We were asked to visit Presidio, Texas, which by our standards, might as well be on Mars. Most of us had never heard of it and we quickly figured out why. It was very difficult to get to, as it’s close to a million miles from here, but we went. We developed relationships and began sports camps through the Presidio Independent School Board, and the rest, as they say, “is history.” Visit Presidio today, population 4,426, and...

Everything belongs. In his groundbreaking book by the same name, Richard Rohr calls us to consider how intricately intertwined our lives really are. Every part of your life is in its place. It may be an uncomfortable place; an undesired place; an imperfect place. But every molecule of our being, and every movement and moment is in place. In place for what? In place to teach us something about the mystery of our existence in God. I once heard it described this way: “It takes a whole ocean to create a wave.” Reflect upon that for just a moment. It takes a whole ocean to create a wave. Each wave,...

When my 15 year old clicked his seatbelt, and then told me to “buckle up,” I knew something had changed. Because he said it from the driver’s seat. So, yeah. My oldest son turned 15 recently. After acing his permit exam we went to Waffle House to celebrate. Cause that’s what you do. Then it was his first (official) drive to school. He did great. Me? I’m working on it. Thing is, he’s a terrific driver. Intuitive. Cautious. A ready learner. My trouble is that every time I see him buckle in, the snap of the seatbelt triggers some strange lapse in the time-space continuum, and I am (once again) in...

Tonight is a special night at JCBC. Tonight, during Midstream, we kick off a new 3 part Guest Lecture Series entitled, “I Believe: A Study on Theological Worlds.” Our guest will be Dr. Graham Walker, professor of theology at Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. Dr. Walker will lead us in an exploration of the beliefs that give rise to our various theological worlds. This series will be held Wednesday, April 13th, 20th, and 27th beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room. April 13th: “I Believe!” April 20th: “I Believe in God!” April 27th: “I Believe In Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Our Lord!” In addition to...

JCBC will host respected theologian, Dr. Graham Walker, Jr. for a new Wednesday night Midstream Series entitled “I Believe.” For three weeks, Dr. Walker will lead us in an exploration of the beliefs that give rise to our various theological worlds. This series will be held Wednesday, April 13th, 20th, and 27th beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room. April 13th: “I Believe!” April 20th: “I Believe in God!” April 27th: “I Believe In Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Our Lord!” Graham B. Walker, Jr. is Associate Dean for the Doctor of Ministry Degree Program and John and Judy Zellars Professor of Theology at...

I love unbelievers. Don’t get me wrong. Believers OK too, I suppose. But I love unbelievers. Especially those who are candid enough to say it. There is something of an endearing openness; a charming innocence about someone who (for any number of reasons) seems to think they are miles away from belief. When maybe they’re not. On Easter Sunday, I had one of the most life-giving conversations with an unbeliever brave enough to tell this Baptist pastor the truth. Every Sunday morning, there is a group of men who gathers at Starbucks. They are friends who simply meet early for coffee and conversation. When I breeze through, the routine...