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New Church at the Movies

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

This Sunday, at New Church, we’re kicking off our latest teaching series called New Church at the Movies.  We’re going to spend the next 4 Sundays searching for the truth in some of Holywood’s biggest movies.  We’ll take a look at their story lines and see what the Bible has to say about these specific topics.

If you’re in the Winston-Salem area, we would be honored if you would join us for our worship experience.  We meet at the Robinhood Road Family YMCA, 3474 Robinhood Rd. at 10:00 AM.  We hope to see you at the movies!

T. J.

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Categories: Church, Culture, Growth, Videos

If You Really Knew Me (the event)

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week I spent a couple of days at Eagle’s View Academy in Jacksonville, FL.  Eagle’s View is a Christian school that admits both Christian and non-Christian students.  It is very much an outreach to families who are unchurched and unsaved as close to 60% of its student population falls into one of those two categories, if not both.

I had the privilege of speaking at what they refer to as spiritual emphasis week, which is basically 3 days of chapel services for middle and high school students with a live band and a series of activities and messages centered around a particular theme.

The theme for the event was based on MTV’s reality show, If You Really Knew Me.

I was highly impressed with the creative elements that were used in every part of the programming.  They even spent time making a 10 minute feature film called, “If The Halls Had Eyes” to coincide with Halloween.  The students were dialed into every aspect of the entire experience, and they were kind enough to help me film a short commercial for New Church, which we will be adding to our website in the near future.

Reunion did an amazing job leading worship, and it was so encouraging to hear and see so many students lifting their voices and their hands to God in worship!  As a result of God’s Word being spoken, and the Holy Spirit moving, several students gave their lives to Christ, and many more came forward to have the faculty and staff of the school pray over them.

It was truly an amazing experience, and I was honored to be there to witness it.

If you are involved in a Christian school, I strongly encourage you to contact the people at Eagle’s View and let them share with you how they plan and produce events like this.

T. J.

Categories: Culture, Growth

Fame Us?

June 21, 2010 Leave a comment

In 1 Kings 10, Scripture tells us the Queen of Sheba was so impressed by King Solomon’s fame that she made a special trip to see him, in order to experience his extreme wisdom and wealth first hand.

If you read too quickly though, you might skip over a phrase found in the middle of verse one that clues us in to the purpose behind Solomon’s fame.  What God did through Solomon had nothing to do with making Solomon famous and had everything to do with making God famous.

The Queen of Sheba confirmed this later in verse nine when she said, “Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel…” Even this outsider understood the reason for Solomon’s fame—to bring praise to God.

You see, it’s not about us.  It never has been.  Any amount of recognition we receive for our talents and abilities was intended to bring glory to our Creator.

T. J.

Categories: Culture, Growth

The Person People Pity

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was a kid growing up in the 80’s, one of my favorite tv shows was The A-Team.  My favorite character on the A-Team was BA Baracus, a role played by Mr. T.

“I pity the fool…” is something he said often, and whenever he used this phrase, it wasn’t meant as a compliment.  It was always directed toward someone who was a complete idiot.

Proverbs 26:11 gives a pretty descriptive word picture of what a fool looks like.  It says, “As a dog returns to it’s vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”

We all make errors in judgment, but fools continually repeat the same negative behavior patterns over and over again.

They refuse to learn from their mistakes, and so the Bible compares their actions to a dog that throws up and then later returns to eat what it has thrown up.  Don’t be that person other people pity because of the poor choices they continually make.  Learn from your errors in judgment, and refuse to repeat your foolishness.

T. J.

Categories: Culture, Growth

Get Your Swagger Back by Being Proactive

June 2, 2010 1 comment

Chances are good that you’re one of the almost 3 million people who have viewed the video below, since it hit YouTube one month ago.  The thing I appreciate about the Swagger Wagon campaign is that Toyota didn’t wait for someone to give them a BRAKE from all of the negative publicity they were receiving.

Instead, they decided to take a proactive approach toward repairing their name by providing us with a different perspective of what it looks like to own a mini-van.  Apparently, you no longer have to cash in your cool card, if and only if, you own a Swagger Wagon like the Sienna Family.

Check it:

T. J.

Categories: Culture, Videos

Should We Use Popular Culture to Communicate the Truth of God’s Word?

This is a question that is heavily debated, and even openly discussed, from church platforms such as this one.  In order to answer the question, it’s important to see how Scripture approaches issues like this.

In Acts 17, Paul presents his case for Christ in front of the Areopagus, the high council of Athens, which contained the most intellectual minds of that time.

During his speech to them, he referred to their love for religion, even though it was false religion, and made a point to mention that he looked carefully at their objects of worship, specifically an altar with the inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.  He even quoted some of their poets.

But why would Paul mention false gods and use Athenian poetry as a part of his explanation of who Jesus was and what he had done?  Because he was leveraging the popular culture and philosophies of that time to gain the attention of his listeners, so that he could share with them the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  The result?  People believed and became followers of Christ.

Sometimes, in order to reach people with the gospel, we have to take Paul’s approach.  We have to be relevant in our methodology without being relative in our theology.  The message shouldn’t change, but the way we present the message must be innovative.

Using popular culture responsibly to communicate truth from Scripture can be one of the most effective ways to “…help people far from God experience new life in Jesus Christ!”

T. J.

Categories: Church, Culture