News


31
Jan 2022
Notable Trends in Christianity for 2022

The length of the pandemic has been very hard on churches and faith communities. Some communities have been able to innovate through technology, adaptive leadership, and new approaches. Others have struggled in many ways. Sadly, many churches in America have been forced to close. Covid has certainly offered a reset opportunity for all congregations and church leaders. Here are some key church trends to watch in 2022. 1. Churches that maintain a focus on Jesus Christ will continue to change lives, offer hope, and provide healing. When churches move away from Jesus,......

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24
Jan 2022
Leading in a World Controlled by Fear

We are accepting leadership nominations at Woodmont for two more weeks. Here is the link to nominate. Woodmont has a great history of strong leadership, and we are grateful for that. I recently recommended a book titled “Tempered Resilience” by Tod Bolsinger to our leaders which talks about how leaders are shaped and formed during challenging times. We have certainly been living in challenging times. Leading any organization in normal times is never easy. Leaders are criticized, second-guessed, doubted, projected upon, blamed, ridiculed, and much more. Leading over the past two years......

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10
Jan 2022
Woodmont in 2022

Welcome to 2022! We all hope it’s going to be better than the last two. We have started a new sermon series on Sundays called “Simply Jesus” where we are journeying through the gospel of Matthew. Matthew is the first gospel of the New Testament and the most Jewish of the gospels. We are now offering our Seeking, Sharing, Serving Class on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. in the chapel. In 2022, our three focus areas at Woodmont will be Worship, Small Groups, and Hands-on Mission. January is an excellent time to......

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03
Jan 2022
Reflecting on a Tumultuous Year

The period between Christmas and New Year’s is a time to reflect. As we close out 2021, we recognize that a lot has happened. We have experienced another painful year of living in a global pandemic. American deaths have surpassed 800,000. We endured January 6th, which was one of the most bizarre and surreal events in the history of our nation. Regardless of your politics, right or left, that event should be a wake-up call for our democracy. Parker Palmer draws on the words of Abraham Lincoln and says this: “If American......

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23
Dec 2021
Tornado Relief update from Kentucky

How was my weekend? It was the evening of Friday, December 10th. The TV channels were buzzing with warnings of potential storms. We saw and we heard the warnings, but were we really listening? Saturday, 3AM: the weather alarm jolts us out of bed. We flipped on the TV. Reports were already starting to filter in. Arkansas: a tornado hit a senior center. Tennessee: tornadoes had touched down near Reelfoot Lake. Then…Mayfield, KY. Direct hit, people trapped in a candle factory. Initial estimates were that 40 people may have died. Minutes later......

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23
Dec 2021
Christmas After the Storm

One week ago, one of the worst storms on record swept through the south and midwest, leaving a devastating trail of destruction. The images from Mayfield, KY, and surrounding areas are devastating. Lives lost. Homes wiped out. Church buildings destroyed. Businesses gone. With one week left until Christmas, what are these folks supposed to do? Where can they turn to find hope and peace this Christmas? An undeniable reality of the human experience is that pain and suffering are inevitable. Life is very fragile. The most difficult part of any minister’s job......

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29
Nov 2021
Experiencing the Light of Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but we should seek to maintain a spirit of gratitude. You might have noticed that once again this year, trees, wreaths, lights, and decorations started going up very early as if many have been clamoring, “Bring on Christmas! We need it now!” 2021 has been another challenging year. This past Sunday began the season of Advent, which is the four-week journey to prepare for the birth of Christ. I love the Christmas season because we can feel a sense of hope in the air that is simply......

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18
Nov 2021
Our Longing for Authentic Community

The face-to-face connections we have in the church matter. I hope we never take this for granted. We are living in an age of mistrust, suspicion, and alienation. It has been well documented that in American culture, there is growing mistrust of government, political figures, religious institutions, media outlets, vaccines, university ideologies, and a wide array of other things. The result of this mistrust is a growing sense of loneliness, despair, and isolation, all of which were exacerbated by the pandemic. In his book A Time to Build, Yuval Levin makes the......

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08
Nov 2021
The Dangerous Idolatry of Political Ideology

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously argued that human beings are hard-wired to worship something: “That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming.” In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller defines an idol as, “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and your imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. A counterfeit god is anything so......

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25
Oct 2021
Joy is What's Been Missing

This fall, I am teaching a class at Vanderbilt called “Morality & Happiness in a Post-Corona World.” We are exploring morality, how the pandemic has permanently altered certain aspects of our culture (workplace, school, health care, religion, community life), and the different ways that we all seek to pursue happiness and live meaningful lives. In his book The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt identifies three different theories of human happiness. The first theory is called the “progress principle:” happiness comes from success and acquiring things. This principle clearly dominates our consumer culture. We......

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