Lions, Tigers, Bears, & Walking on Water – A Rundown of Courageous Church!

11 01 2009

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I just got home from the very first service of Courageous Church, a new church plant at Center Stage in Downtown Atlanta. You may have heard me talk of this church and its pastor, Shaun King, in some previous blogs. Well, it was such an awesome service, I just had to blog about it today. I have so many thoughts running through my head right now, I'm just gonna give you the run down…

  • From the moment service started it kinda reminded me of "home" a little bit. And when I say "home" I'm talking about church like I grew up with where people rock, raise their hands, clap, say "Amen!!" and are active participants in the service. It's been a minute since I've seen that in church and it was nice to experience that again. I almost forgot what to do myself. 🙂
  • I liked their rendition of Nas' Hero, but I love, love, LOVED their rendition of Lions, Tigers, and Bears by Jazmine Sullivan. The two girls who led the song had such beautiful voices and they complimented each other very well. I wish I had that version of the song on my iTunes. NICE JOB!! And it was nice that they could take songs that were familiar to the audience and apply it to our faith, without straying from the core message of Christ and without being corny. (Trust me, I've been to some churches in the past that tried this and it DID NOT WORK. Sorry. :-/)
  • I didn't really get the 24-countdown (maybe because I don't watch 24) but I loved the idea of having a DJ and a dancer on stage during worship. It kinda broke the ice and made the atmosphere much more relaxing.
  • They showed the video I shot and edited on the toy giveaway at the start of the service. That freaked me out a little because I didn't know they were going to show it, and because I always freak out whenever I see stuff I shoot or edit played on a big screen. :-/
  • It was very cold in Center Stage. I thought Buckhead Church was the only church in America that felt like an icebox. Aw well, good thing I had my coat and scarf to keep me warm.
  • Only thing is, for some odd reason, cold air usually makes me yawn more, which inadvertently makes me more tired, instead of the opposite. I did yawn quite a bit, partially from the cold and partially from the fact that I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. But you know what? You know truth is being told when you hang on every word that comes out a person's mouth and even though 2 hours go by, you never get tired. That's how I was today. Despite the cold, despite the lack of sleep, I latched onto every word Pastor Shaun said because it was such a good message.
  • Right before the sermon, they showed a video by Anderson Cooper about the plumpynut, a simple peanut butter product that could end world hunger. Are you kidding me? Has anyone every heard of this? You have to watch this video to believe it. It was sad and a bit frustrating to watch. Sad that we hear so little about this in churches, which is exactly where we should be talking about this kind of stuff and about what we can do to help solve the problem. Frustrated that it's such a simple thing! I can't believe that this plumpynut has all the nutrients children need to live! I encourage you, watch the video, and join with Courageous Church and the plumpynut initiative! I know I am!
  • Pastor Shaun's sermon came from John 14:12. Some of the key points I remember from the message were that:
    • Jesus walked on water because he had to get to his disciples in the boat. Jesus turned water into wine because they ran out at the wedding and they had no means to get more quickly. Jesus did those miracles because he had to. But Jesus says in that scripture that we will do greater things than he did. We don't have to walk on water now because we have boats and planes and
      cars. We don't need to turn water into wine because we have stores for
      that. But God does need us to turn dirty water into clean water because there are some people in this world that don't even have something as simple as clean water. He needs us to feed people because there are literally people dying from hunger. Those would be our modern-day miracles.
    • We can achieve those miracles if we work together.
    • This scripture is in the Bible, but somehow its principle has gotten lost within the moral fiber of Christianity.
    • The things that Jesus did like healing the sick, should be a starting point for us as Christians. We're supposed to raise the bar and do greater things than that! 
    • So why aren't we?
  • Pastor Shaun made a good point about how most people think that the Civil Rights Movement was made of droves of people who came together for change. When in actuality, the Civil Rights Movement really didn't have a whole lot of people behind it. I think I heard on the radio the other day that there were only about 250,000 people at the March on Washington. I know that's a lot of people, but tv and history always make it seem like it was millions. But it was a small group of people who decided they want change. They stuck together and change happened. The same thing can happen today if a small group of people decide…
  • Pastor Shaun also mentioned that since a lot of people will be going out of town for Obama's inauguration, there won't be as many people here in Atlanta volunteering during the MLK holidays for organizations like Hosea Feed the Hungry. I had been thinking about volunteering with Hands On Atlanta. Since it looks like I won't be going to inauguration, what better way to celebrate the swearing in of our nation's first black president than to serve the community? I'm not sure which organization I'll end up going with, but anybody out there care to join me???
  • I met @jarrettstevens today. Some of you may remember Jarrett from 7|22. I just started following him on Twitter and realized halfway through the service that we were sitting right next to each other so that was a nice surprise! 

If you don't have a church home or even if you don't like church
altogether, you might want to check out this place. They're really
doing some practical things to help make the world a better place. Today's message was the first in a 5-part series called "Greater Than God." Check out this website for a rundown of the message and of some of the action items prescribed for people who want to get more involved in the community.

Right now I'm committed to Buckhead Church but I'll definitely be visiting Courageous Church again in the near future. After all, it really doesn't matter which building you go to on Sunday mornings, we're all in this together!! We are all one body!!

But speaking of Buckhead Church, I gotta go take a nap now so I can get ready to go there at 6:00. Andy's teaching about finances, and Lord knows I need to hear about that, regardless of how much I'm fighting it. I'm amped because God is tearing me up in so many ways, but it's allll good…

Peace! 🙂

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4 responses

11 01 2009
Jam

Thanks for the post. I want to check out this church soon.

11 01 2009
Rai King

Avril,
I hope I didn’t misspell your name. No excuse for that, so sorry if I did! Just wanted to thank you for your post on today’s service. I wasn’t sure how the music was going to turn out, but I agree with you…I thought the remixes were awesome! And like you, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a service where people really actively participated. It’s so funny, because I too almost forgot how to respond.
Thank you so much for all your help and support. I sincerely pray that God blesses you immensely for your selfishness and desire to serve this vision even though you’re a part of another church. That’s just awesome!! We’re all one afterall…at least this is how it’s supposed to be.
Great blog by the way!

11 01 2009
Angela

Sounds awesome! Wish I could’ve gone… Any church talking about something as hands-on practical as Plumpynut is awight with me!!

12 01 2009
steveharrison

thanks for the recap of what I know was a great service and time of lifting up our Lord! Excited for Courageous and knowing that greater things are yet to come for the “C”hurch all across America!

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