The Body Church Memphis, TN Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:17:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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A Word of Encouragement I’ll Never Forget Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:34:05 +0000 Can you remember a time when someone said they were proud of you? Maybe a time when a friend told you they really appreciated you? Was there a time when someone hand-wrote you a “thank you” note or sent you a text message saying how grateful they were for you? Do you remember that phone call that someone made in order to say how delighted they were that you loved and served them?

Encouragement. I can easily remember acts of encouragement that were directed towards me. I can remember the time a friend said “thank you” or a time that a relative texted me to tell me they were proud of me. I can remember the hand-written note of appreciation that I received (in fact, it is sitting in my desk right now). I remember the hug that expressed gratitude. But there is one act of encouragement that always bubbles to the surface when I think about the topic.

I played rec-league basketball in high school. I don’t know why. I was horrible. No joke – once I literally ducked when someone tried to pass me the ball. My coach (and friend) Chuck wanted to see me get the ball more so that I could improve (hey, miracles can happen) so he told the team to be very intentional to pass me the ball.

And that’s when it started – the complaining about how “terrible Jason is”. And it didn’t subside… a constant ridicule throughout the rest of the practice from a few guys who simply didn’t want to throw me the ball but were being forced to. They really didn’t stop despite Chuck telling them to shut up. I really was upset despite how silly it now seems to get so upset about something that happened in church rec-league basketball.

But a decade later that’s not the part of the story that sticks out to me. Everyone has a story about his ridiculing him at some point in his life about some thing that he was doing – that’s not too unique or noteworthy. But the part of the story I can still vividly remember a decade later was my cell phone ringing as I drove home from practice. It was Coach Chuck.

He called and spent the better part of 10 minutes telling me how much he appreciated how hard I tried and how I continued to play despite what the guys were saying. He encouraged me to keep pushing forward and to keep trying. He told me how much he cared about me and how much he loved me. I can still remember what part of the street I was on when he told me those words on that Tuesday night as I drove my mom’s Mini Cooper home. That moment of encouragement is forever seared in my brain.

I’d like to tell you that conversation changed the trajectory of my basketball career and I went on to have an illustrious year in church rec-league basketball. I didn’t. I was still horrible. That’s not the point. The point is that the encouragement Chuck so graciously dispensed to me that Tuesday evening was a not-so-subtle reminder that God loves me and has sent people into my life to show me that.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Yes, we should be a people who love Jesus and one another enough to lovingly call out one another when we see sin in each other’s life. But we should never overlook opportunities to encourage one another when we see an opportunity to. In fact, we should always be seeking out opportunities to be an encouragement to one another. Why would we not want to find opportunities to speak hope, joy, and peace into someone’s life?

So here’s my challenge to us all today… encourage someone. Send someone an encouraging text message. Call that person who you know is going through that rough patch & tell them that you are praying for them. Give someone a hug and tell them that you love them (if you’re a hugger). Remind someone today that Jesus Christ loves them, died for them, and they need not look any further than the cross of Christ to see this is true.

You just never know how impactful a quick word of encouragement might be…

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Tiger Woods, Hank Haney, and Jesus Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:13:40 +0000 I remember back in 2010 I heard a name that I had never heard before. Hank Haney. A normal sounding name. Nothing too out of the ordinary. He is a golf instructor. That does sounds like an awesome job however it’s not his profession that has me writing about him this morning. The reason the name Hank Haney caught my attention back in 2010 isn’t because he has a unique name or crazy profession but because of who he coached from the years 2004 to 2010. During that time he was Tiger Woods’ golf coach.

The reason that Haney was in the news in 2010 was because Tiger Woods was changing coaches. This, of course, was noteworthy. The greatest golfer in the world was switching coaches… big news. But what caught my attention was the simple fact that Tiger Woods had a coach.

Think about that for a second. During the 6ish year span that Haney coached Woods he had 30 total golf tournament wins, including 6 Majors. During that period Woods was the greatest golfer in the world. Out of the 7 billion people on planet Earth not one of them was better at golf than Tiger Woods. Yes, he was that good. Yet he still had a coach!

But why? Even though Woods’ play during that period was legendary it wasn’t perfect. He didn’t win every tournament he participated in. He didn’t eagle every hole. He was great, but not perfect.

But here’s the thing. If we are honest about our lives none of us would claim to be perfect. I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that any of you reading these words would be offended if I called you imperfect (like me). But if you’re in Christ (you’ve trusted in Him) God sees you as perfect because He sees Jesus inside of you. However, throughout the rest of your life He is going to continue to change you so that you look more and more like Jesus with each passing season of life.

If you’re following Jesus you should begin to notice a change in your life. Philippians 1:6 says that Jesus began a good work in us at salvation and He will carry it to completion. What this means is that if we have trusted in Christ for salvation, given our lives to Him, and received His forgiveness than we have received eternal life. But He isn’t done with us. He is ferociously committed to making us holy, just like He is holy and perfect.

We have received a status of holiness from God. Throughout our lives Jesus is going to change our behavior to match our status.

In other words, no matter how “good” you get there will always be a coach lovingly showing you your next step in becoming the person God has created you to be.

You haven’t arrived. I know this for a fact because you are alive reading these words. God finishes His work on making us look more and more like Jesus when we go to be with Jesus. Until then there will always be an area of our life to be coached, to be worked on, to be made more like Christ.

So even though you aren’t where you use to be, even though there are days where you feel like there is no need for a coach like Hank Haney, I promise there is still work to be done. I promise you that there are still sinful areas in need of repentance. I promise you that you are still a work in progress, just like myself.

And my final encouragement… listen to your coach. When the Holy Spirit presses on something it’s because He loves you. And by God’s grace He is continuing to make you new.

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