Monthly Archives: August 2012

Matt Chandler on Christian Hip-Hop/Rap (Video)

I absolutely love what Jesus is doing through His churches to spread the Gospel/Word via the medium of rap and how He is cultivating diversity among His people (we are not all there yet, but we have come a long way).

Matt Chandler, the Lead Pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, TX and one of the speakers at this year’s E.K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference, is featured in this Rapzilla video giving his thoughts on Christian Rap, Diversity, and the Village Church’s and Acts 29 Network’s commitment to training and funding young, black pastors to plant churches in an urban context.

Have a great, safe Labor Day Weekend!

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HALFTIME Men’s Conference ’12 (The Antioch Church in Dallas, TX)

We are just a little over a week before our HALFTIME Men’s Conference ’12 (Saturday, September 8th). We are praying for all those who will be attending and participating, and expecting God to do something awesome in, through, and among us as men. If you and the men of your church have yet to register, I hope that seeing our lineup of breakout session classes and speakers will encourage you to do so (Coach Carter will be our main closing session speaker this year). Our focus for this year is Humility. As you peruse the descriptions, you will see this thematic thread woven throughout each class.

Fighting Pride (Presenter: Pastor Burley Hudson, Senior Pastor of Greater Emmanuel Baptist Church)

We are in a fight against pride, gentlemen. Many men have been knocked down and some even knocked out by this opponent. But we can come out on top. Learn the ways in which pride attacks and more importantly how we – in Jesus, through the Spirit and according to the Word – can daily defeat it in our lives.

The Husband Combine: Assessing (and Developing) Your Marriage Leadership Game (Presenter: Dr. Maurice Pugh, Senior Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church)

Combines are all about assessing a player’s skill set and how well he plays his position. What about when it comes to your position as the head of your wife? How well do you play your position? How do you stack up in the category of humility with your wife? This class will help you to assess and develop your humility rating as a husband, so that you can live with and lead your wife in a way that benefits her and glorifies God through Jesus.

Coaching Like a Jerk or Like Jesus? (Presenter: Pastor Craig White, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Christ)

If someone were asked to describe how you are as a coach, that is, as a leader, CEO, manager, Pastor, director, father, boss, etc., would they say you lead like a Jerk, a man full of sinful pride, or like Jesus, a man who exemplifies humility in leadership? This class will explore the two and will encourage you to lead in a way that reflects Jesus.

Obey the Refs (Presenter: Pastor Ed Johnson III, Assoc. Pastor of Christian Education, The Antioch Church)

Refs are on the field or court to protect the integrity of the game, but also for the benefit of the players. They do this by enforcing rules and penalties. But there are times in which players refuse to obey. They become prideful and decide to do their own thing. And it never turns out well. As it is in sports, so it is in life. This class will teach you as a man how God expects for you to relate to those who are in authority over you.

Most Valuable Player: Handling Success and Popularity with Humility (Presenter: Pastor Bryan Carter, Senior Pastor of Concord Church)

There is something about success and popularity that gives rise to the temptation to get the “big head.” This class will help you to not lose your mind while in the spotlight, to remember who is responsible for your success as well as why God allowed you to achieve it.

Respect the HEAD Coach (Presenter: Pastor Stephen Brown, Senior Pastor of Greater Bethlehem BC)

Who is the HEAD Coach of the Christian life? It is our great God and Savior! Do you know Him? Do you know what He is like, that is, His attributes? This class will teach you His perfect characteristics, which will leave you resolved to respect Him through grace-endowed obedience.

Sex Games?(Presenter: Dr. Charles Martin, Senior Pastor of Union Missionary BC)

Sexual sin is far from a game. It is nothing to play with! But men unfortunately continue to treat it as such. The Porn industry, teen pregnancy, rape, prostitution, sex trafficking, molestation, etc. are just some of the negative effects in our world today, much of which is due to men and their sexual sin. It’s time to quit playing and to get serious about this. This class will confront sexual sin head on and will point you to Jesus who is the only solution to man’s sexual defeat and defiance.

Coaches’ Corner: Recruiting Men to Jesus and His Church (Senior Pastors OnlyPresenter: Dr. Karry D. Wesley, Senior Pastor of the Antioch Church)

It is true that there are many men who are playing for the Enemy’s team. But there are also plenty of men who are on Jesus’ team, but are sitting on the bench when it comes to being actively engaged in a growing relationship with Jesus, on mission, and in service to the church.  As Assistant Coaches to the HEAD Coach (Jesus), He has given us the task of coaching these men to get off the bench and on to the field. In this special session for Senior Pastors, Dr. Karry D. Wesley (Sr. Pastor of the Antioch Church) will share with you biblical principles and practical methodologies that God has graced Antioch to employ to fulfill that assignment.

The Injured Reserved List (Special Session for High School Students – Presenters: Coach Ken Carter and Pastor Robert Purvey, Assoc. Pastor of High School Students and Young Adults of the Antioch Church)

A lot of young men are finding themselves sidelined in the game of life due to one major self-inflicted injury: Pride. This injury has caused young guys to lose privileges, jobs, scholarships, relationships, friendships, opportunities and most importantly their connection with God. It is an age-old injury that has plagued humanity since the beginning. Coach Carter will spend time helping our young men to identify the ways pride shows up in their lives and most of all to help them follow the only one who remains undefeated against it; the epitome of humility – Jesus the Christ! Pastor Robert Purvey will host a talk back session afterwards.

To register, log on to http://www.afmbc.org. The cost of the conference is only $10…and that includes lunch (High School Students, 9th to 12th graders, get in FREE. Call 972-228-2420 to register them)! See you next week!

The Pulpit and Politics (Video from The Gospel Coalition)

I enjoyed and learned from the dialogue in this 14+ minute video between three seasoned pastors, Bill Kynes, Voddie Baucham, and Mark Dever, regarding the church and politics. With the presidential campaigns in full swing, this video is a timely reminder of what should be our posture as pastors/preachers in particular and as Christians in general towards politics.

I echo Pastor Mark Dever’s prayer at the end, “May God give us all wisdom.”

Sunday Reflections (Aug., 26, 2012): Service, Worship, and a Spoken Word

There is nothing like the church when the church is working right. I believe I heard Bill Hybels say something to that effect at one of Willow Creek’s Leadership Summits. And I have found that to be true at my church, The Antioch Church.

As I walked around Antioch today, it hit me afesh that we would not be where we are as a church if it hadn’t been for the grace of God in Christ working in the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit to give of their time and gifts in service to others. In short, we wouldn’t be where we are without believing members volunteering and leading.

Parents are able to drop their babies off in a safe nursery. Who cares for them while they are there? Mainly volunteers.

Our kids had fun and were taught about Jesus at our Foundation Team Children’s Retreat. Who headed that up? A volunteer.

People walked into our church building, were greeted with a smile, and ushered to an available seating section for worship service. Members were taught the Bible in our Church School. Conference registrations were taken and questions were answered. And a host of other things were done just on today, not to even speak of what happens throughout the week (and especially the love that is expressed and the discipling that takes place between believers on an informal yet personal level). By who? You guessed it. Volunteers.

We thank God for believers who are not just consumers, but understand that God has gifted them to be contributers.

Now about the sermon. Pastor Wesley preached on Psalm 18:1-6 and entitled the message, “The History Behind My Testimonies.” I am grateful to be under a Senior Pastor who labors to faithfully preach the Bible. THAT does NOT happen everywhere. And to top it off, he is a great storyteller. His closing illustration was awesome! You’ll have to get the DVD to see what I mean. 🙂 My preaching and teaching has been significantly strengthened since being under his ministry.

The state of preaching today, in many cases, is not good. You have men (and women) who are “speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30) and people who do not “endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

I could go on, but I’ll let spoken word poet, Jackie E Hill, do it for me in this piece she did at an event called Rhetoric 2012.

Fun Friday: Basketball from Baltimore

This video is for all my people who love the game of basketball. This 5’6 High School guard from Baltimore (Aquille Carr) will surely inspire you to strap on your basketball shoes and hit the court…or to at least think about it. 🙂 Simply amazing!

Have a great weekend!

Christian Rap and the Church, pt. 2 (Video)

The Rebuild Initiative continues the discussion of Christian Hip Hop and the Church. This video delves into the trajectory of Christian rap and some biblically informed insights and corrections that are needed for this movement.

Here is part two of “The Blessedness of [Christian] Hip Hop:

“Chasing After You” (Music Video feat., Da TRUTH, The Ambassador, Jessica Reedy, etc.)

This is the first single from the MOVE compilation album, which will be released on August 28th.

Calvin Miller Quote

 

Our problem is this: we usually discover him within some denominational or Christian ghetto. We meet him in a province and, having caught some little view, we paint him in smaller strokes. The Lion of Judah is reduced to something kittenish because our understanding cannot, at first, write larger definitions.

RIP – Calvin Miller

Sunday Reflection (Aug., 19, 2012): God’s Glory in Service and in Sickness

 

We had a glorious time in worship today! Our praise team led us in worship. God was glorified! All the songs leading up to the preaching were God-centered. The song right before the sermon was so on point. It was entitled, “Holy is the Lord” by Rev. Bruce Parham. We sensed the presence of our God as we lifted up His holy name in heartfelt singing. Have you ever had one of those moments in corporate worship when you didn’t want it to end, when you just wanted to bask in the presence of God? Yep, it was one of those types of corporate worship services.

Our Senior Pastor, Dr. Karry D. Wesley, was back in the pulpit today. He preached about “The Real Midnight Miracle” from Acts 16:23-26.

We also baptized, I believe, five or six individuals today.

Yesterday, I took the opportunity to visit one of our family members who is suffering from cancer. As I sat near the foot of the bed and talked with her, my heart was both burdened and joyful. I was burdened because of what the cancer (and the many rounds of chemotheraphy) has done to her body. She is no longer able to walk and is therefore confined for the most part to her bed. She is not able to see out of one eye. Her muscles are atrophying. And yet my heart was joyful because as we conversed, her smile and joy remained. And most importantly her faith in God was steady. It, quite honestly, was a sight to behold. She was giving glory to God even in her sickness! God’s sufficient and sustaining grace and calming peace and comfort were radiating through her words and smile.

As I left the house, I couldn’t help but to think of my father who passed in 2009 from cancer. I prayed and believed that God would heal him, but also knew, at that time, that God could very well call him home (which He did). As it was with him, so it is with her.

As Pastor Charles Jenkins says in his song Awesome, “My God is awesome. He can move mountains. Keep me in the valley. Hide me from the rain.” I pray that God will move this mountain of sickness and continue to keep my relative as she goes through this valley. But if He doesn’t move the mountain and if He doesn’t bring her out of this valley in this life, God’s Word through the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1 comforts us and helps us not to lose heart during times like these,

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Something For the Teenagers, Women, and Men of Your Church

Our (Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church – Dallas, TX) conference season is nearly upon us with a little over two weeks to go.

First up is our Youth Conference for Jr. High and High School Students. Registration is FREE. For more information, please contact Pastor Robert Purvey at rpurvey@afmbc.org.

Next up is our Halftime Men’s Conference. Our focus this year is on Humility. Our main speaker will be Coach Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson played him in the movie “Coach Carter.”). Registration is only $10 and includes lunch.

And finally, we have our Sisters Summit ’12 for the women. As you can see, the theme is Armed and Dangerous. Our main speaker will be our own Sister Cheryl Wesley (our Senior Pastor’s wife). Registration is also $10 and includes lunch.

If you are in the DFW metroplex and even from out-of-town, we would love to have you at one of our conferences. For breakout class titles and descriptions for our Halftime Men’s conference or Sisters Summit, please contact myself, Pastor Ed Johnson III, at ejohnson@afmbc.org.

To register for any of the three conferences, log on to www.afmbc.org and click on the appropriate conference picture, which will take you to the conference registration page.

See you in September!

 

 

 

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