News


17
Aug 2022
Can Faith Return Us to Civility & Decency?

Could Christians teach our culture how to be civil again? Could we demonstrate what it looks like to listen intently to one another? Before his death in the fall of 2020, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks expressed his deep concern about the death of civility in western culture. Not only has this become a secular problem in politics and the public square, but also a big problem among believers of the same faith tradition. “Civility is more than good manners. It is a recognition that violent speech leads to violent deeds; that listening respectfully......

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11
Aug 2022
Church is Built on Relationships

Relationships matter in life. The quality of your relationships will always determine the quality of your life. It’s a simple and timeless truth. The pandemic was so difficult because relationships were cut off. We were told to stay apart. Christianity is based on the opposite of “social distancing.” Jesus had issues with many aspects of organized religion, but he was a master of cultivating relationships. My friend Rubel Shelly, who has taught and preached at Woodmont, wrote a great book years ago titled I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Christian…and I......

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29
Jul 2022
Would Jesus Recognize Some of Today’s Christians?

Christians come in many different forms. You can find conservative Christians, fundamentalist Christians, liberal Christians, cultural Christians and multiple other variations of the faith. Many would argue that Jesus did not come to start a new religion but to offer a better way of living within the context of Judaism grounded in love, forgiveness, compassion, and healing. This is the essence of the kingdom of God that was the heart of his message. If that is the case, then why are some of today’s Christians the angriest, most judgmental, most fearful, and......

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18
Jul 2022
Strengthening Our Community

As we begin a new church year this month, I invite you to pray for the new leaders who have accepted new roles. Leadership in the church is very important. Also, I want to make you aware of some staffing updates and changes that are going into effect this month. Rev. Jay Hutchens will serve as our Executive Minister of Small Groups & Discipleship. He is helping me with some strategic initiatives from our spring visioning process as well as some staff supervision and administration. Jay brings many years of ministry experience......

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27
Jun 2022
Ego Aside, Words We Should Say More Often

C. S. Lewis once defined humility as, “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” What does humility look like in action? How can we heed the words of the Micah and “walk humbly with God?” How can we keep from maintaining an overly exalted opinion of ourselves in an age of competition, egos, rugged individualism, social media, and self-righteousness? There are three simple phrases that I think we should all learn to use more and more. First of all, we should not be afraid to say, “I WAS WRONG.”......

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20
Jun 2022
Summer Reading List

Clay Stauffer • From Strength to Strength – Arthur Brooks • What We Wish Were True – Tallu Quinn • The Life We Are Looking For – Andy Crouch • When Jesus Came to Harvard – Harvey Cox • The Story of You – Ian Cron • How to Reach the West Again – Tim Keller   Roy Stauffer • The Stranger in the Lifeboat – Mitch Albom • Never – Ken Follet • Duty and Destiny, the Life and Faith of Churchill – Gary Smith • Aging, Growing Old in Church......

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13
Jun 2022
Jesus Unites… Politics Divides

Twelve years ago, I made the decision to focus my doctoral research on the subject of faith, politics, and polarization? Why? Because I have been concerned for many years that political polarization is a threat to any church trying to bring people together. When you talk to many in the younger generations, gens Y and Z, one of the primary grievances that they have with today’s Christianity is that it has become far too politicized, allowing the polarization of our culture to bleed into the life of the church. Atlanta pastor Andy......

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27
May 2022
Reflections on this Week

Woodmont Family, Once again this week our nation has been rocked by another mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, TX, killing 19 innocent children and two teachers. Some of us gathered on Wednesday night in the sanctuary for a time of prayer, reflection, and tears. It doesn’t seem like enough. I was a freshman in college when the Columbine massacre occurred in 1999. I remember watching the news coverage in my dorm room, completely dismayed that somebody would do such an evil thing in a school. I was fresh out of seminary when the......

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24
May 2022
Leaders Must Have Character, Courage, & Humility

One of the priorities that has come out of our recent visioning process is an ongoing desire for Woodmont to keep training leaders for the church and the world. Leadership matters in life. Dr. Porter Meadors, one of our elders, recently said that “humanity is beaten up, perhaps more beaten up than ever before.” At this particular point in history, we can all name the many reasons why this is true. M. Scott Peck begins his famous book The Road Less Travelled with the following words: “Life is difficult. This is a......

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20
May 2022
Vision Matters

I want to thank our youth for leading worship this past Sunday. It was a joy to sit in the congregation and participate in this great tradition. We are very proud of all the graduating seniors and wish them well in college and the next chapter of life. This past Monday night, many of us gathered in Carpenter Chapel to hear the initial reports of our twelve vision task forces (Worship, Small Groups, Leadership, Mission & Outreach, Reaching 35 & Under, Healing, Children & Families, Youth, the Bridge, Congregational Care, Technology &......

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