All posts tagged: evangelism

Are You Tailoring the Message of Jesus to the World?

To the angel of the church of Southern Hills write…. What would Jesus’ next words be to us as a church? I have been challenged by this thought in recent months after reading the book of Revelation. For a book so often thought of for its complexity and shrouded prophecy, I believe we Christ followers may fail to realize the blunt clarity of the first three chapters. We seem to read through them, looking forward to the drama of the later chapters and do not pause to truly consider these chapters which contain the personal letters sent, from Jesus Himself, to seven different churches. What would Jesus write to us specifically at Southern Hills (or fill in any church name)?   In these letters we call the Book of Revelation, Jesus describes Himself differently at each letter’s beginning and the reaction He intends to invoke from each church.  Read for yourself and observe the uniqueness of each letter, but in each one, His intent is crystal clear: the message matters to Christ, and we are …

Are You Moved to Action and Love?

When we think about our church, different pictures probably come to mind. Maybe the time you got baptized in front of our family comes to mind. Maybe you think about Andrew Hicks standing on his toes as he strums his guitar. Maybe you see the faces of those in your small group. Maybe your nose curls a little as you think of the smell of Wunder Way sneaking into the lobby. I hope when you think of the church, you also think of passion, compassion, love, and unity. The Greek word for passion means suffering, an undergoing, an enduring. In light of this definition, think how that impacts the picture of “The Passion of Christ.” It’s odd to think of the church in this way: suffering, enduring pain. You might not be struggling or in pain, but your brother or sister next to you most likely is. Compassion in the Greek means to be moved, to meet. As a church, we are called to love our neighbor, meeting and loving them where they are. Is …

Are You Prepared to Take Immediate Action?

Paul finishes his second letter to Timothy with one last challenge: I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. – 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Be prepared! Recently, I have been spending time at the police station with Carrollton’s finest. A common phrase I hear come over their radio is, “Stand by.” In a …

Working Hard for The Sake of the Gospel

What comes to your mind when you think about working hard? My mind tends to drift to some of my family members. I specifically think about my grandfathers, who both set an incredible example for me in this respect. I think about men and women in the Bible who worked hard; the Apostle Paul always comes to my mind. He endured all kinds of suffering because of his ministry, and yet he persevered to the end. In light of Paul’s suffering, how did he continue to work hard? How did he encourage those under his influence to persevere? We get a good glimpse of Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” Paul goes on instructing Timothy to teach other men, share in the sufferings of Christ, and to work hard in his ministry. I want to encourage you the same way Paul encourages Timothy (and us) to work hard for the advance of the gospel. But first, a …

How Do I Go And Make Disciples?

As a church, Southern Hills wants to be identified mainly by fulfilling the Great Commission. The Great Commission comes from Matthew 28:18-20, and we have made this our mission as a church—making disciples who make disciples. I’ve spoken to many people who have some fears when it comes to actually taking part in our mission; fears of not knowing where to start, or even what to say. One way to fulfill our mission is by inviting a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker to church. While a good start, I want like to encourage you to do even more. The Scriptures give lots of description of what happens when someone becomes a Christian. I have taken much comfort from these passages and I would like to share a few with you, in hopes that the Word would embolden you. Here are a few realities of what God is up to when we share the gospel with people (and reminders of what He did for us): opening blind eyes and shining light (see 2 Corinthians 4:1-6) …

Acting as the Church God Had In Mind

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. – Acts 2:1-6 This text in Acts was the very beginning of something supernatural; God’s design for the church took on its fullness that day in Jerusalem. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter and the others preached the gospel in the native languages of everyone present. It happened on the steps of the temple, then moved throughout all of Israel, Judea, and to the ends of …

The Darkness Can Never Extinguish The Light

So let’s talk about the eclipse for a second… I’m not sure what I expected to happen here in Carrollton, GA at 2:35 PM on August 21, but I know what actually happened wasn’t it. Most of our SoHills staff had been hanging out in the parking lot, watching the moon slowly move across the face of the sun, while sporting our trendy solar eclipse shades (thanks to Pack #2819). The sky was progressively getting darker and darker.  The temperature was dropping. The “eclipse music” was playing (thanks to Andrew Hicks). Right before it was time, we all ran to the other side of the building to get a better view of the sky line. And then… it happened! 95% of the sun was blocked by the moon! It was neat to watch the moon move across the sun. The glasses were definitely styling! The temperature drop was crazy. But the climax… the big moment for those of us not in the “path of totality” was, at least for me, disappointing. But in those moments …

3 Ways to be Intentional on Monday

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. – 1 John 3:18 A few months ago we did a series called “I love Mondays.”  Let’s be honest… loving Mondays isn’t easy.  In fact, it almost seems human nature to despise Mondays. The weekend is over and it’s “back to the grind.”  We drag ourselves out of bed after hitting snooze far too many times.  We roll in right at 9:00 AM to an overwhelming list of things to do, a messy desk, a disgruntled boss, and the same mundane routine. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2 Let’s intentionally do on Mondays. First and foremost, intentionally be positive on Mondays!  When we think about Mondays as I described above, no wonder we hate them! Philippians 2:14-15 says, …

The Kind of Love That Shows Up

When asked to elevate one law of the Old Testament above all others, Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38). Jesus had a way of taking things a step further and added, “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:39-40). But He didn’t stop there either.  On the night of Passover while in the Upper Room with the twelve disciples, Jesus said: Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going.  So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – John 35:33-35 A new command. …

What Does Your Faith Mean to You?

This past weekend I went to play golf with a friend of mine. It was an incredible day to be outside, mid 60’s, slight breeze out of the west, not a cloud in the sky, picture perfect. It was less about playing golf, and more about spending time with my friend. Our conversation went to everything from hunting this fall to tinnitus in my ears (he is a doctor and I am a hypochondriac). He is from the west coast and moved a couple of years ago to take on a new position here locally. It has been an awesome move for him and his family. Through our time together, I wondered how different it was for him now, being here on the east coast. I wanted to know what it meant to a Christian there as opposed to here, and his answer left me thinking. My friend said, “To follow Christ on the West Coast, it meant something. You didn’t just tell people that you were a Christian and that you went to church. You …