Watching from the Walls during Advent

This Advent season at First Church in Springdale, we will be “watching from the walls.” Like the watchmen of old, we will be standing guard and ready to herald the coming of our king.

Here’s a preview:

“Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.”
–Isaiah 52:8

Come and join us in worship each Sunday in December!


 

Family Faith Series — Part 5

Our final sermon in the series on Family Faith focuses on “Connection.” The Scripture passages used are Colossians 3:12-17 and John 14:21-24. The emphasis, as we wrap up the Family Faith worship series, is on what it means for us to form deep connections within the family of faith. That is particularly important when we consider all the forces in our culture that tempt us to think of connection in shallower, less real ways.

 


 

Behind the Sermon — Episode #6

BehindTheSermon-Podcast-Logo

In this week’s episode of “Behind the Sermon,” we reflect on our progression as professional podcasters, the massive identity-making might of the military, and how consumerism creates complications when connecting to communities. All this alliteration and more as we discuss the final sermon in our Family Faith worship series, entitled “Connection.”

Episode 6 — October 22, 2015

Behind the Sermon is now available for free via iTunes! If you’re on an iOS device you can open the “Podcasts” app, search for “Behind the Sermon”, then download episodes and click “subscribe” to get notifications whenever a new episode is posted.

If you’d like to access previous episodes of Behind the Sermon directly from our website, go to this link. Happy listening!

The Lord’s Prayer

This 56-second clip is worth watching. More than once.

As Steven Croft, the Anglican bishop of Sheffield put it, “This is a prayer said by billions of people every day in every language on the planet.  In every single moment in time, someone is praying these words.  They are the first words of prayer we learn as children and the last words we say at the moment of death.”

It’s called the Lord’s Prayer for a very good reason. When Jesus’ disciples asked him how to pray, this is the prayer he gave them. And so it is the prayer he gives to us.

A little website redesign…

I’ve changed the look and feel of the ol’ website over the past few days. You might’ve visited the site at some point lately and thought to yourself, “What’s going on here?” And, well, sorry about that.

I didn’t really give anyone a heads-up about the changes and just spent some time experimenting. (I also owe a big debt of thanks to Nathan Lindsey on our staff here at First Church. Couldn’t have done any of this without him!) There were really two things I was aiming for in the site’s redesign:

1) Simplicity. My old template was a great tool to use in the academic position I held at Memphis Theological Seminary. But now that I am back in pastoral ministry on a full-time basis, I wanted something simpler that would focus especially on my blog writing. So for example, you’ll notice that the blog is now on the front page of www.andrewthompson.com rather than there being a static front page.

2) Usability on mobile devices. This template — recommended to me this week by my good friend Kevin Watson — offers a MUCH better format for accessing the website on a mobile device.

There are still a few kinks to work out, but I am really pleased with the new design. If you have suggestions, feel free to let me know. And as always, thanks for reading!

Behind the Sermon — Episode #5

In this week’s episode of “Behind the Sermon,” we talk about the energizing effect of vitamins and Coke products, the futility of learning dead languages, and how youth are a mirror of the church. All this and more as we discuss the upcoming sermon, “Formation,” in our Family Faith worship series.

Episode 5 — October 15, 2015

Behind the Sermon is now available for free via iTunes! If you’re on an iOS device you can open the “Podcasts” app, search for “Behind the Sermon”, then download episodes and click “subscribe” to get notifications whenever a new episode is posted.

If you’d like to access previous episodes of Behind the Sermon directly from our website, go to this link. Happy listening!

Discipleship and the Means of Grace

The Seven Minute Seminary video series that is produced by Seedbed is one of the best ways to get familiar with Wesleyan thought related to the Bible, theology, and ministry. It features prominent Wesleyan scholars and pastors speaking on topics related to their areas of specialty. I’ve been lucky to record a few of the video presentations myself.

In the following video, I speak on the Wesleyan understanding of the means of grace. The means of grace are those practices of worship, devotion, and discipleship which lie at the very heart of Wesleyan spirituality. Click below to learn more:

For my other Seven Minute Seminary teaching presentations, go to this link.