The Body Church Memphis, TN Tue, 19 May 2015 01:17:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Last Pick for the Team Fri, 15 May 2015 14:06:47 +0000 When I was younger I was extremely uncoordinated and quite out of shape. That is a bad combination for a 5th grader on the playground. I was reminded of my lackluster athleticism every day at recess when the time would come to pick teams for our game of football. I was most always picked last. I quickly decided that to spare myself the indecency of being pick as Mr. Irrelevant I would appoint myself as full-time referee.

Does 5th grade recess football really need a ref? No. But I’d rather be an irrelevant ref than last pick on the playground.

My lack of athleticism that led me to refereeing makes me laugh today, but back in 1998 there was a very real feeling of not belonging to the “in-crowd” (you know, those kids who could catch a football or run without wheezing).

But as pastor who has had conversations about Christianity with people, I understand I could’ve just described the way you feel about church.

You might think…

Church is full of perfect people, the type of people who have their lives together.

Church is full of people who behave, who make the right choices and hang with the right people.

Church is full of people who have all the answers. They can quote the entire sections Bible to you.

That train of thought leads you to believe…

Christianity isn’t for people who did “that” on Spring Break.

Christianity isn’t for people who continue to struggle with things that they know are wrong but can’t seem to stop.

Christianity isn’t for people who have legitimate questions or doubts.

See, often times our checkered past, lack of knowledge, or encounters with the “Christians” who have made us feel like outsiders have left us to believe that Christ wants nothing to do with us.

If Christ were choosing His team, you would say that you’d get picked last. So you excuse yourself from the draft rather than face that indignity. You give up on Christ thinking He wants nothing to do with you.

That is why I love the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). In that story Jesus completely deconstructs all of these assumptions. Let me show you why.

Zacchaeus was a thief, ripping off his own neighbors on a regular basis.

Zacchaeus had no friends, selling out relationships for money.

Zacchaeus was a religious outsider. His horrific behavior would’ve left him on the outside of any Old Testament church service.

One would expect Jesus to glare angrily at Zacchaeus, give him a good lecture, and send him on his way. But that’s not what He does…

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”

Jesus picks Zacchaeus to stay the night with! The thief, the hated, the religious outsider – that’s who Jesus befriends. That’s whom Jesus engages. That’s whom Jesus loves. That’s whom Jesus changes!

This Sunday at The Body Church is our first service at our new location, Ridgeway Baptist Church’s Christian Life Center, and we are going to unpack the story of Zacchaeus. I CAN’T WAIT! And I want you to join us as we look at this passage and celebrate a Savior of seeks and saves the lost, the broken, and the marginalized.

He is a Savior who specializes in taking late round draft choices and turning them into trophies of His grace!

My prayer is even if you feel like Zacchaeus felt (alienated, cast aside, etc.) you would encounter the same Jesus that Zacchaeus encountered.

The same Jesus who says, “I know all you’ve done, I know your past, I know your struggles, I know your doubts, and I’m going to love you and come home with you today.”

I hope to see you at 10:30 AM at The Christian Life Center!

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A New Home Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:50:53 +0000 lp.aspx

Oh man, oh man! We’ve got some big news at The Body Church!  On Sunday, May 17th we will begin meeting in a new location! To say that I am excited would be an understatement!  May 10th will be our last Sunday in The Ridgeway Cinema Grill movie theater and then we will be off to our new home.

So, where is it?

Ridgeway Baptist Church, located at 2500 Ridgeway Road in Memphis, has a building on its campus called The Christian Life Center.  This building houses a basketball gym, racquetball courts, workout facilities, children’s area, and a space that is used for corporate worship.  Our friends over at Ridgeway Baptist Church are going to allow for The Body Church to begin using the corporate worship room in their Christian Life Center for our Sunday service, and (as I said earlier) I’m pumped!

The room works perfectly for what we currently need.  It can seat up to 125 people, has a staging area, sound booth, and an adjacent lobby room that also doubles as a coffee bar.  We will get to use the coffee bar as a space to gather before and after service, not having to worry (as we currently do) about setting up & tearing down our equipment or movie patrons kicking us out of the space immediately following service.

Another huge positive of this new space is that we have a dedicated room for childcare.  This room is currently equipped as a children’s area and we are blessed to get to come in and use it.  It will allow us to really thrive in the area of children’s ministry because we now have a dedicated space designed specifically for kiddos in which to engage them about Jesus on their level.

I’m getting pumped just thinking about it!!

It has been incredible to watch Jesus work out this situation and make it a reality. I am marveling at all the doors He has opened to make this happen. Jesus truly is building His church and His provision of a new home for The Body is such a blessing!

I hope you are making plans to join us at our new home starting at 10:30 AM on May 17th!

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We Exist to Help, Not Hinder, People to Jesus Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:17:34 +0000

Why does The Body Church exist? Jason took a few minutes in last week’s sermon to unpack the vision of our church, saying that we exist to help, not hinder, people to Jesus. That is why we exist as a church. We’d love for you to check out this short video to see more about the vision of our church.

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Why plant a church in Memphis? Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:27:50 +0000 Did Memphis really needed another church? Driving down a busy street for five minutes in any direction will result in you passing at least seven churches. In business terms, the Memphis market was already saturated with houses of worship. As one who felt called to start a church, it would’ve seemed more logical for me to go somewhere different. It would’ve made more sense to start a church in a place where churches aren’t so numerous.

But Colleen and I moved back to Memphis. We started The Body Church here. To be honest, I felt incredibly lead not only to start a church, but to start a church in Memphis. There was never a question in my mind as to where this church was going to be. My hometown of Memphis, Tennessee was always on my heart.

But why? Why start another church here?

When I was eight-years-old I gave my life to Christ. It wasn’t until college, however, that my relationship with Jesus began to grow exponentially. I can remember arriving on the campus of Clemson University, unsure as to what the next four years would hold for me. But God knew, and He began to draw me into a closer relationship with Himself, using certain people, churches, and organizations to do so.

Those organizations (specifically NewSpring Church, Tri-County Young Life, and Clemson FCA) where willing to take a young-in-the-faith Christian like myself and show him what it looked like to follow Christ. Even though I had known Christ for a decade, I was confused by much of the religiosity that I saw throughout my adolescent years. I wanted a real, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and in these organizations I found people who were willing to help me engage in that.

As I began to grow in the Lord I became increasingly aware of the role that these places had in my growth. It wasn’t long before I began to fell “the calling” – go back home and plant a church.

Plant a church? Never before in my life had I considered that. I went to Clemson in order to work at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina when I graduated. Church planting was not on my radar.

The church I was to plant was to be a place with a specific environment that we were to create and cultivate. We planted The Body Church in order that people, just like eighteen-year-old college-bound Jason, could come and see what it looks like to follow Jesus. It wasn’t required of attenders to have all the answers, but rather to bring your questions.

We desired to make The Body Church a place where all could come to Jesus, completely unhindered.

This Sunday at The Body Church we are going to look at Mark 10:13-16 in which Jesus commands the disciples to let the children come to Him. Then He says, “Do not hinder them.” Jesus gets incredibly angry throughout the scriptures when anyone is hindered in their pursuit of Him, and the disciples are the focus of that indignation in our passage. They are turning away children, but Jesus says, “do not hinder them.” He wants the little children to come to Him. He wants all of us to come to Him.

As I have prepared to preach this passage I was flooded with waves of nostalgia, remembering where I was when I stepped onto Clemson University campus. I remember becoming a part of these ministries, not knowing much about a vibrant relationship with Jesus. I remember those involved in these ministries not hindering me, but rather helping me to Jesus. And I remember the call that Jesus placed on my heart… to go back to Memphis and plant a church that would do likewise.

And my prayer is that God would continue to use The Body Church, along with other like-minded churches and organizations here in Memphis, to bring those who are far off from Christ into a vibrant relationship with Him.

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’”

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Biblical Manhood Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:49:03 +0000 This past week at The Body Church we studied marriage, during which Jason challenged the men to be the type of men God’s Word tells us to be.  What does that look like?  Check out this 4 minute clip and watch Jason answer that question.

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Does God Hear Our Prayers Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:49:35 +0000 My two-year-old daughter is a talker. This started around her first birthday and her vocabulary has been rapidly expanding ever since then. In fact, Colleen and I have now noticed that she will pick up pretty much anything we say and have the ability to repeat it, even if she doesn’t quite understand the definition of the words she is saying.

What is great about her ever-increasing communication ability is that she now can express her desires and emotions in ways that we can understand. She is able to let us know her feelings. She is able to tell us when she feels bad, when she’s hungry, when she’s sad, or when she’s tired. It takes some of the guesswork out of parenting.

But even though she has developed an extensive arsenal of words she still can be difficult to understand at times. There are many occasions when the listener will be confused when she requests a song or requests food because it’s a struggle to decipher what her two-year-old mouth is saying.

But what happens in that event varies wildly, depending on who is listening to her. Often times the hearer will marvel at her ability to try to communicate but will not go through much effort to try to decode it. Since she’s not their child, they’ll usually just smile at the cuteness of her two-year-old voice and go about their business.

However, when Avery comes up to me (or Colleen) and begins to speak, we will sit there and try our hardest to understand what she’s saying. We’ll spend time racking our brains, trying to figure out what those key words she’s expressing could possibly mean. And often we will continue to ask her what she’s saying until we completely understand what she is trying to tell us. Why?

Because we’re her parents. Because I’m her father. Because she’s my daughter.

I care about what she’s going through. I care about what she has to say, and I’m willing to put in the time, energy, and effort to understand her and respond in the way that is best for her joy.

Often times I catch myself wondering if I’m just speaking to the air when I pray. I do believe there is a God, but I think He might be busy tending to greater matters than the trivial issues that I am currently praying about.

But then I remember how I, even as an imperfect father, feel towards my daughter. I want to hear her speak. I want to spend time with her. I want to understand what she’s going through. When she speaks, I listen.

The Bible tells us in John 1:12, “ But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” which means that if you have given your life to Jesus, you are a child of God. That also means that He is your Father.

And He is a good Father who wants to talk to His children. He wants to spend time with you. He wants to understand what you’re going through. When you speak, He listens.

And since that is true, we should embrace the fact that He invites us to, as 1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting your anxieties on Him because he cares for you”. He listens when we cry out to Him.

Like a Father.

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I Got a Pedicure Once Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:40:58 +0000 I have gotten one pedicure in my life. When Colleen and I were dating, she convinced me that a day at the spa would be a great way to spend an afternoon. Normally I would spend my summertime afternoons shirtless & shoeless, cleaning cars in my parents’ driveway. For some strange reason I never wanted to wear shoes while I cleaned cars, and the rocky concrete never really bothered my feet. Maybe that’s why Colleen thought I should get a pedicure…

When we arrived at Gould’s, they took us to the pedicure area and asked me to place my feet in a tub that contained water as blue as the beach water in Destin. After a minute or two of soaking my feet, however, the water turned gray. That was a pretty ominous sign.

After the soak, they began to work on my feet. The lady must have scrapped pounds of dead skin off the bottom of my feet but I couldn’t really tell. I was too busy trying not to laugh (I am very ticklish). Finally, after all the scrapping, clipping, and cleaning they put my feet in those disposable sandals and sent me on my way.

For me, it was an uncomfortable experience, but an experience nonetheless.

The next afternoon I went out, as usual, to clean a car in my parents’ driveway. I put on my normal uniform, which meant taking off my shirt and shoes, but something was different. The moment my feet it the concrete I felt something. Suddenly, the bottom of my feet were hyper-sensitive to every irregularity in the concrete. I immediately went back inside to put shoes on, realizing that the pedicure removed all of the dead, calloused skin off my feet which caused them to become hyper sensitive to everything that they touched.

Like our feet, over time the skin around our spiritual heart can become calloused and hard. And like my calloused feet, it becomes increasingly difficult to feel any type of spiritual discernment. Things that previously would move us to compassion no longer register on our radar. Things that would excite us now seem dull and lifeless. Things that used to encourage us no longer lift our spirits.

This becomes all the more dangerous when we realize the voice of the Lord has grown dim, the conviction of the Lord seems like a thing of the past, and the encouragement of the Lord no longer does its encouraging work.

Sometimes, however, an uncomfortable experience will come our way. And while we would never voluntarily choose that uncomfortable experience, it can act as a spiritual pedicure. We walk away with hearts soft and tender. That uncomfortable trial or circumstance can and will served to scrape all of the dead skin off our hearts.

As our trial begins to do its softening work, the Lord’s voice no longer seems like a whisper. His conviction seems so sweet and welcomed. His encouragement lifts our spirits. We begin to remember the joy that comes from knowing that God is for us.

If He is for us, who can be against us?

I say all this by way of encouragement. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

I believe God is working in your trial. I believe He is using your uncomfortable situation to make heart more receptive that what He wants to do in you, which is to make you perfect and complete. No matter how trivial your trial may seem to others, they are never pleasant. But take joy in knowing that through your trial God might be scrapping the dead, calloused skin off your heart and making you more receptive to Himself.

I take such joy in knowing that we serve a God who does not waste our trials or difficulties but rather uses them for our good and His glory. He is good, indeed!

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The Body Church Sermon Podcast Now on iTunes → Thu, 19 Feb 2015 04:52:59 +0000 The Body Church now officially has a sermon podcast on iTunes! Subscribe here to get the latest Body Church sermons downloaded straight to your computer or phone as soon as they are posted here on the site!

The Body Church: Podcast on iTunes Source: iTunes
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Welcome to the New Body Church Website Thu, 19 Feb 2015 04:26:31 +0000 Welcome the new Body Church website! We have some pretty cool new features that should make things easier to find and for us to keep in touch. I wanted to write a quick post to point out a few of the big ones:

Sermon Pages

We have a new section of the website where each week’s sermon will be posted. You’ve been able to view our sermons on the YouTube Channel for a while now, but now you’ll find the sermon embedded right here on the site where you can watch the video or listen to the audio version without leaving the site.

The Body Church: Sermon Pages The Body Church: Sermon Pages
Sermon Podcast on iTunes

And speaking of the audio version of sermons, we now have a sermon podcast available in iTunes or in any other podcast app. Just subscribe here in iTunes or search for The Body Church in your podcast app of choice and you’ll have the latest sermon downloaded and waiting as soon as it is posted here on the site. Pretty cool stuff.

The Body Church: Podcast on iTunes The Body Church: Podcast on iTunes
Mobile Responsive

The site is now fully mobile responsive to work on any mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. This should make is easier than ever to find the latest information or get in touch with The Body Church.

The Body Church: Responsive Design The Body Church: Responsive Design
Email Newsletter

We also have an email newsletter to keep you informed of any announcements we post here on the site. Just enter your email address here or in the form at the bottom of any page on the site and you’ll get emails letting you know when information or announcements are posted here on the site. Don’t worry–we won’t spam you.

Enter your email address:

And those are just a few of the features we’ve added in the new version of The Body Church website that we’re really excited about. The update is still a work in progress and we’re working hard to add new content as quickly as possible. If you have any ideas or suggestions please get in touch and let us know what else we can do to use the website to serve our community!

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Marriage Sermon Series Wed, 18 Feb 2015 21:37:36 +0000 Marriage. I recently searched the term on the Barnes & Noble website found 71,966 results. Of course, not all of the resulting items were of the non-fiction, self-help persuasion, but you get the idea… there is a lot of information out there about marriage! And we shouldn’t be surprised to find this is the case because the institution of marriage has impacted so many of us.

But the institution of marriage isn’t just important to us due to the firsthand experience many of us have with it, but it is also important to its Author and Creator. As the Bible in Genesis 1 & 2 gives us an account of the creation of mankind it also simultaneously shows us the creation of marriage by God for our enjoyment and His glory. Therefore, we should not be surprised to find that the Bible has much to say about marriage, since it was God’s idea.

Which brings me to the book of Mark… at The Body Church, we have been studying the book of Mark for almost a year, going verse by verse as we unpack the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. These next two weeks we are going to study Mark 10:1-12, in which Jesus will teach on marriage. And it is with the understanding of how crucial and central marriage is to so many of us I want to extend an invitation to you.

So, if you are married, if you hope to one day be married, if you hope to never marry, if you were once married, or if you wish you weren’t married, I’d love for you to plan to come to The Body Church these next two weeks! We are going to unpack what Jesus has to say about marriage, and I am praying that we would see marriages healed, people made new, and a church full of people becoming more like Jesus through their singleness or their marriage.

I hope to see you this Sunday!

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