Graduate Sunday

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Graduate Sunday

This Sunday, we congratulate the high school class of 2014 and their families. They graduate from five schools over the next two weeks and will attend eight different colleges this fall. What they have received from their church family is a degree that will last an eternity. First Baptist unites people across our community through […]

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God’s SAF(E) Plan for Community

How do we develop a resurrection community where we live, work, and learn? Confronted with their own mortality, and threatened with their lives, the disciples traveled from the place of worship (temple) to the place of work, family, and school (house) in Jerusalem. They didn’t become defensive or anxious. They didn’t develop strategy. They just […]

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Home

Where do you feel at home? From college to marriage, I lived in about 10 different places. I’ll never forget my one-bedroom efficiency apartment my junior summer of college. It was noisy, convenient, and flexible. It was the only place in Birmingham that would agree to a 3-month lease. When Kelly and I were married, […]

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Welcome to a Different Kind of Family

In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders convinced most people that God was a jealous warrior, an angry disciplinarian, or a distant presence inside a temple. This message created a community of zealot-like warriors, pious Pharisees, duty-bound Sadducees, or guilt-ridden every day people. Community was a tight-knit group of people limited to those who ate the […]

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Impressions

“You never get a second chance to make a _________.” If you said “first impression,” you’d be partially right. Long before new families try to find a parking place downtown, they have an impression of our church. They’ve met one of our members in the neighborhood, heard about us through word of mouth, or visited […]

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Two-Step Challenge

Our ministry in 2014 is off to a fast start. We’re just four months into the year, and we’ve celebrated Connections Weekend, Dessert Theatre, Disciple Now, a mission trip to Boston, and a Women’s Conference together. My home has been filled with laughter, study, and renewal. Think back with me about the impact of one […]

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Taking STEPs on the Common Way

Taking STEPs on the Common Way

Do you love to attend potluck dinners? They’re the original comfort food. You never know what you will get, but each offering is a small picture of the chef’s life. Believers shared a common life together in Acts. It looked like an outward-focused potluck. They invited anyone to come, and the movement multiplied. In Acts […]

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Gemeinschaft

The German word for fellowship is “gemeinschaft.” It’s more than an adjective on the “Fellowship Hall,” or an event that you have after a service. This is not “having a fellowship.” This is a way of doing life together, from eating to hospitality, study, and community. Even the free churches in Germany call themselves a […]

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Charter for the Common Way

Charter for the Common Way

This Sunday I begin a new sermon and worship series: “Charter for the Common Way.” I’ll be preaching through Acts 1-12 and highlighting the characteristics of Christian community in the book. In order to follow Christ’s command to share the gospel from “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8), he […]

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In Common

The early churches first heard the scriptures read together. For instance, Paul writes 1 Thessalonians and asks for the letter to be read “in all the churches.” But what is it that brought them together to be the church? We know that the churches served their cities, were located in houses, moved out to the […]

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