I gave this sermon, along with my friend Rodney McIntosh, at the Highland Church a couple of weeks ago. (Highland peeps if you want to know about stuff like this you can connect with through what is being posted on Highland’s Facebook or Twitter pages.)
This is a sermon that I had dreamed about for a few months. It’s with my good friend Rodney. He’s one of the greatest leaders I know, and already a very gifted speaker. I’ve written about Rodney before on this blog…For the first half of his life, He was a leader of the Bloods in an area of Arlington Texas called Stop 6, and now with the rest of his life he is a preacher. For the past couple of years, Rodney has been traveling around to different churches preaching, and for a while, was going to speak at different Boys and Girl clubs about his story, and how the Gospel changed him. His dream is to plant a church, and that’s a dream that is well on it’s way.
If you are a preacher and would like Rodney to fill in for you, or you’d like to ask him to speak at one of your events…you can email Rodney at RodneywMcintosh39@gmail.com
If you live in Abilene, you should know that Rodney will be one of the speakers at the Stop the Violence event, in the Abilene Civic Center August 26-28 Continue reading My Friend Rodney
I love this video. This woman is at her college graduation, and although the moment is a happy one, there is something missing. Namely, her brother. He’s a Marine, and he was serving in Afghanistan, and because of that, he was unable to attend her graduation.
At least that’s what she thought.
But, unbeknownst to her, the brother is behind the stage just waiting for her name to be called. And at that special moment, he comes out and the rest is magic.
There is something profound about people coming home. Continue reading Coming Home
So this one’s for all the preachers out there.
For the longest time I gravitated toward a style of preaching that I liked more than another. I liked inductive, narrative style preaching (I still do). But the flip side of this preference is that I disdained most other ways of preaching. I’m not talking about just disliking other styles. I mean I really disdained preaching that wasn’t like mine. And what’s worse, I had theological reasoning for it. And the worst of all preaching (for me) was the practical/pragmatic kind. I didn’t like the kind of preaching (or preachers) that would put this grand story of God repairing the world on the bottom shelf. it seemed like they were dumbing it down, and that was not cool with me.
One of the things that I began to notice during my first few years of ministry, is how many converts I saw from Catholicism, or people coming from Presbyterian or Methodist, or other High churches. But, and here it what really started to confuse me at the time, I also saw a lot of the friends I went to Harding with, and who I had been going to church along side of move the other direction. People who had been raised up in Churches of Christ or Baptist or Pentecostal churches started finding a home in higher church traditions.
It seemed like both High church and Low church traditions had revolving doors on them.
And as I asked my incoming and outgoing friends why they were leaving or coming and they had an interesting response. For the people coming from higher church traditions, they loved the story aspect of the sermons, and how accessible they were. They had been participating in rituals for most of their lives, but had often failed to understand the significance behind them. For the people leaving these lower traditions, they were actually drawn to the ritual of it all. The stained glass, the pomp of a person moving through liturgy that had been going on for thousands of years. Continue reading The Wisdom of Preaching
I heard at a conference last year a few things about my generation that made me uneasy. They talked about how we were walking away from institutional churches at an unprecedented level, yet how we were more concerned with Justice than most generations before us. But the one that really got my attention was this:
When employers were asked to describe people my age (20-30) the most commonly used word started with an E. The people taking the survey told the younger employees this fact. That they were more often described with one word that started with “E” and asked what they thought it might be. They responded with words like “Enthusiastic” or “Energetic” but they were wrong.
The word was Entitled.
I guess we should have seen this coming. You grow up long enough hearing about your inalienable rights, or having a parent who allowed you to be the nucleus of the family and it starts to sink in. We have grown up experiencing the power that consumerism has to make the world revolve around us, and so I guess it’s natural that we might start to think that applied to the rest of life.
But it’s not a good way to live. Continue reading Going Second
About a year ago, I was back in Arkansas preaching at something. And on my way back to Fort Worth I stopped off at Bro. Foy Mitchell’s house. Foy was the Patriarch of that little 10 person church that I grew up in. He was one of the craziest people I have ever known, but he was crazy for Jesus.I was worred that Bro. Foy would get on to me for not working at a church that was just like the one he helped raise me in. I was working at Richland Hills, and I had heard through the grapevine that Foy now knew that RHCC had made some changes. Continue reading Turbulence
I’ve been asked a few times in my life why I care so much about preaching. After all, it’s just a person standing in front of someone saying words. Fundamentally, a preacher looks like an auctioneer or Bingo director. But in reality, I think it’s so much more.
Right now, I’m trying to dream up a way to re-present what preaching is to the college students I live around. I think that for so long preaching has gotten associated with protecting the status quo. To preach, has become synonymous with other forms of speeches. But this was never what it was intended to be. Continue reading Why I Preach
So last night I went, for the first time, to Grace Fellowship, a community ministry of the Highland Church. Grace is in a lower socio-economic area of town, and it’s primary goal is to take church to the people. One of my favorite aspects of Grace, is that across the street there is a community garden, where the neighbors can go plant, harvest and eat their own fruit and vegetables.
But that got me thinking. Continue reading It Happens
So yesterday was my first sermon to preach as the Highland Preaching minister. It was a day I’ll never forget as both exciting and terrifying,, On many levels, this was a moment that had been a long time in the making.
I remember growing up in my tiny church, Brother Foy used to take me to different churches that he was going to guest speak at. Then at the last moment, right after the last song before he got up, he’d stand up and announce to the congregation that he had brought someone else to speak that morning.
And that speaker was me. Continue reading You Are Not Alone
I once heard a scholar talk about the way Rabbi’s worked in the world of Jesus. It wasn’t just anyone who could become a Rabbi, you had to really know your stuff. You had to not only have huge chunks of the Hebrew Scriptures memorized, but also had to know how they related and interconnected to each other. But the Rabbi’s that people were really drawn to, were the ones with authority. Continue reading Ordination
Rick, I know that most of the times when someone writes a letter like this there’s a chance that it’s not a good one. Anybody who does something significant with their life is going to have their detractors, and you’ve got yours. But, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Continue reading An Open Letter to Rick Atchley