So What Is a Baptist Church Anyway?

This past Sunday we spent some time talking about who we are as a church. What does it mean that we are a Baptist church? What is it that sets Baptist churches apart from others? Keep reading to find out.

So What Is a Baptist Church Anyway?

Have you ever stood in line for something without really knowing what the line was for?  You just saw a bunch of people standing in line and figured it was the right place to be?  Maybe you were at a theme park somewhere and thought the line was for a particular ride, but you weren’t totally sure.  Did you ever get to the front of the line only to discover that you really meant to be somewhere else?  One time Lisa and I went to a concert and did this.  We arrived, saw a line, and promptly jumped in it.  As it turned out it was the will call line and we already had our tickets.  Fortunately, a nice staff member came out and sent everybody over to the correct line before we had waited very long. 

Read the rest…

Connecting Like Jesus

This week we kicked off a brand new series taking a fresh look at who God has designed us to be as a church. The message is focused on our church, but the ideas apply to every church and every follower of Jesus. Who did God make you to be and how can you become more that person? It starts with connecting with people. Jesus was a master at that. Learn more here about how He did it and how we can join Him in it.

Connecting like Jesus – John 4:1-26

Our culture is a maze of contradictions.  Think about it: We have never been more connected in terms of technology and social media than we are right now and the webs are getting tighter and tighter all the time.  Movies like Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman that envisioned a slightly futuristic reality in which the government can track every single movement we make is now not only completely true in terms of what they can do, it’s actually even more true now than it was then.  Social media and other tech giants are working on algorithms that not only know where you’ve been, but attempt to predict where you’ll go next in order to allow advertisers to even more closely and personally target their efforts. 

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to an auto parts store makes you a mechanic.”  Ever heard something along those lines?  “I can worship just fine when I’m on my own, so I don’t need to be in church all the time.”  How about that one?  Or maybe this: “I connect with God better out in the woods than I do in a roomful of people.”  Or perhaps this: “The church is full of hypocrites; it’s better for my faith to not be around all those people very often.”  You know what?  There’s at least a little bit of truth to every one of these. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Revelation 7:9-10

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is really an incredible picture, and a challenging one for the modern church.  John hears the sound of the famed 144,000, but when he turns he sees a great multitude of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language gathered before the throne of God and giving Him praise.  What John sees here is a picture of the church universal gathered for worship. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 29:13-14

“And the Lord said: ‘Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again to wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Throughout the book of Isaiah (and really throughout all the prophets), there are three sins that are consistently held up as triggers for the judgment from the Lord the people were facing.  The first is injustice.  God is just.  Justice and righteousness are fundamental parts of His character.  He is passionately concerned about what is right.  When we violate that by doing what’s wrong (taking advantage of the poor and weak, for example), judgment will ensue. Read the rest…