Scheduling Community


At the end of our lives, community will matter most.  Community occurs instinctively through casual conversations, sharing meals or a drink, or participating together in a variety of social activities.  But, community is something we have to plan for also. We have to invest in community, even when its hard and inconvenient. At CIL, scheduled community comes in the form of 242 Groups, Men’s Bible Study and Ladies Bible Studies.

In the devotional Bread for the Journey, Henri Nouwn shares these thoughts on community on his January 23 writing:

. . . community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own (see Philippians 2:4). (p. 24).

2:42 Groups are this Sunday night (January 25) at 6:00 p.m.  Decide now to schedule in the value of  community.

MLK, the Church and the Civil Rights Movement

On MLK Day, the church should celebrate the American Civil Rights movement because it was birthed out of the church, and it exemplifies our core beliefs of peace and justice. While Dr. Martin Luther King had heroic qualities, his legacy is most powerful when one realizes that he personifies million of people in America who were part of a cultural change. A new generation decided that it was time to change, and the preaching of Dr. King and other pastors was a huge part of engineering that change. The Civil Rights movement was based off non-violent protest, and Scripture helped form this conviction. An example of this wide-spread participation was when 24 ministers in Montgomery, Alabama, were arrested in 1956 during a non-violent protest. What would pastors be willing to be arrested for today?

gty_1960_reverend_martin_luther_king_ss_thg_130114_sshMartin Luther King was groomed by his father to be this movement’s spokesman from an early age. He was well-prepared through mentoring and education. He graduated from Morehouse College (1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (Chester, Pennsylvania, 1951) and earned a Ph.D in Systematic Theology from Boston University (1955). Despite his formal education, nothing could prepare a man for the enormous pressure he was under from all segments of society, which included the scrutiny of those participating in the Civil Rights movement.

Do you realize King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) at age 25?  King was only age 34 when he delivered the I Have a Dream speech (1963) in Washington, DC.

There is no shortage of amazing quotes from MLK regarding humanity, but I have been impacted by a less spectacular quote that exposes King’s conclusion on the nature of sin. In relationship to his training in liberal theology, I find his statement on sin to be remarkably insightful:

It was mainly the liberal doctrine of man that I began to question. The more I observed the tragedies of history and man’s shameful inclination to choose the low road, the more I came to see the depths and strength of sin . . . The more I thought about human nature the more I saw how our tragic inclination for sin causes us to use our minds to rationalize our actions.

King realized that human beings need a savior, and only Jesus can save us from our sinfulness.


1 King, Martin Luther, and James Melvin Washington. I Have a Dream : Writings and Speeches That Changed the World. 1st ed. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992, 11 .

Tips for 2015

2015– Get an annual physical that includes blood work.
– Don’t text or post when you are angry.
– Hike Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville.
– Order the dip sampler as a meal at Sopapilla’s in Hendersonville.
– Do not de-friend anyone on Facebook.
– Walk more.
– Don’t allow a sports team you root for effect your emotions negatively for more than 60 seconds.
– Laugh more without becoming a cynic.
– Think about something inspirational or positive before you fall asleep.
– Do not try to read through the Bible in a year, but read the Bible through out the year.
– De-clutter.

Aaron’s Wednesday Class

grudem-podcastOn Wednesday night I restarted my Christian Growth class that runs concurrent with our Awana program. This class is for all the adults who are not involved in Awana, youth ministry, or dinner without their kids. This gathering is a discussion-oriented class over theological subjects. Most weeks, the class spends time in an outline from theologian Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology book. However, if a current event or unplanned subject pops up, the group uses Scripture, testimonies and stories to frame these issues in a Christian world-view.

The class begins at 6:30 p.m., so after you drop off your kids at Awana at 6 p.m., grab a coffee in the lobby, say hello to some folks, then join me in the Living Room to learn together. Give it a try – its a lot of fun!