Sermon Podcasts

Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part Three

07/25/2021 – Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part Three

As we prepare for our full return to indoor worship in August, we are using the month of July as a time to reflect on where we have been, and where we are headed. This week we discuss some upcoming liturgical changes as well as some new “tools” we hope to add to your toolbox.

Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part Two

07/18/2021 – Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part Two

1 Corinthians 12; Hebrews 10:23-25; Matthew 6:19-24; Mark 10:21. As we prepare for our full return to indoor worship in August, we are using the month of July as a time to reflect on where we have been, and where we are headed. Last Sunday, we used the Law/Prophet/Wisdom lens to look at Kingdom and Discipleship. This week, we use the same lens to discuss Community and Generosity.

Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part One

07/11/2021 – Homecoming: Return to Athens – Part One

As we prepare for our full return to indoor worship in August, we are using the month of July as a time to reflect on where we have been, and where we are headed. If the natural stages of growth in faith are illustrated by the arrangement of the Hebrew scriptures (Law/Torah → Prophet/Critical-Thinking → Wisdom), we have been stuck far-too-long in the middle phase. It is time to move into Wisdom-Faith.

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Seven – Do Not Love the World

06/20/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Seven – Do Not Love the World

1 John 2:15-17. “Do not love the world.” That is a tall order, especially when we are so immersed in it. How are we to rightly receive this scripture? If left unchecked, what kind of people will the world form us into? How can we ensure we will be more shaped (counter-shaped) by Jesus’ vision for the world? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3fzLn1ezB8&t=333s

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Six – When You Pray

06/13/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Six – When You Pray

Matthew 6:1-6. Many of us have a troubled-relationship with spiritual disciplines and practices we learned early in our faith journey, and those practices often become casualties of our “maturing faith.” In Jesus’ most well-known sermon — the sermon on the mount — he makes some uncomfortable assumptions about these practices in our lives … assumptions we need to hear. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-ydYp7EtBE&t=282s

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Five – Leave Your Gift at the Altar

06/06/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Five – Leave Your Gift at the Altar

Matthew 5:21-24; 18:15-17. My Least Favorite Verses – Part Five – Leave Your Gift at the Altar. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKUepX5UXDQ&t=302s

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Four – Beyond What You Can Bear

05/23/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Four – Beyond What You Can Bear

1 Corinthians 10:12-13. Colloquially, in Christian circles, there is a verse from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth that often gets (mis)quoted something like this, “The Lord will not give you more than you can bear.” I’m coming to believe that while this verse does indeed contain a promise, it may not be the promise we’ve made it out to be. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uwAje9eTBM&t=286s

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Three – Sun and Rain

05/16/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Three – Sun & Rain

Least Favorite Verses – Part 3 – Sun and Rain Matthew 5:43-48. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMLpM6l_hJ0&t=337s

My Least Favorite Verses – Part Two – Darker Still

05/09/2021 – My Least Favorite Verses – Part Two – Darker Still

Proverbs 24:17; Obadiah 1:11-14; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7​. There is a terrible, awful, sickly, cancerous, but wickedly satisfying sin that often takes root in the deconstruction (critical thinking) phase of faith. Most people who move out of “construction” faith into “deconstruction” faith are drawn to this sin like a thirsty man to water. What is it? And how can it be stopped? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IabYPgyPSxc&t=304s

Changes – Part Three – Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames

04/25/2021 – Changes – Part Three – Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames

Revelation 22:12-17. We Evangelicals often conflate our thoughts and doctrines and dogmas to be the gold standard, and reflective of all Christianity. But they are not. When it comes to thoughts and doctrines on hell, perhaps we need to listen to some different and older voices, and perhaps we need to revisit the last verses in Revelation as we might just be surprised. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWgtzcJ8P0Y&t=248s

Changes – Part One – The Wrath

04/11/2021 – Changes – Part One – The Wrath

Romans 5:6-11; Luke 15:11-24. When our theology says “God doesn’t change”, it makes reimagining God really hard, because it feels as though we are changing God and being unfaithful. But perhaps spiritual change — even radical spiritual change — is not an abdication of faith, but rather, evidence of it. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVHSmWumO_8&t=548s

Upon This Rock – Part Eight – Shepherds and Sheep

03/29/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Eight – Shepherds and Sheep

Today we take a closer look at first Peter chapter five and the encouragements to “Shepherd God’s flock”. How do we walk in humbleness as both the shepherd and the sheep in need of a shepherd? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vk5rXeOWxc&t=524s

Upon This Rock – Part Seven – More Thoughts from First Peter

03/21/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Seven – More Thoughts from First Peter

1 Peter 2:11​—3:9. The letter of 1 Peter contains some controversial texts. But when we look closer these texts point to the larger theme of the letter … suffering and how we respond to it. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq5X93F7cbU&t=842s

Upon This Rock – Part Six – Healing Through Pain

03/14/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Six – Healing Through Pain

Peter encouraged 1st Century Christians to find meaning and healing in the midst of their struggles. How can we, as 21st Century Christians, lean into our struggles in a way that would perhaps create meaning and foster healing? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ljM683O0g&t=635s

Upon This Rock – Part Five – Peter Denies. Jesus Restores.

03/07/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Five – Peter Denies. Jesus Restores

John 13:34-38; 18:15-18, 25-27; 21:1-19. So far in this series, we have watched Peter leave his nets to follow Jesus, walk on water (albeit briefly), profess Jesus as Messiah, and much more. This Sunday, we turn our attention to Peter’s denial of Jesus, followed by his restoration. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc8mGFdmOQA&t=580s

Upon This Rock – Part Four – Tents and Swords

02/28/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Four – Tents and Swords

Mark 9:2-8; John 18:1-11. If you grew up in the church, you likely have heard Peter described as the disciple who is loud and brash and regularly sticks his foot in his mouth. He’s an act-first, think-later, kind of person. Our two texts today — the mount of transfiguration where Peter offers to build 3 tents, and the garden of Gethsemane where Peter cuts off the ear of the High Priest’s servant —these two stories are classic examples of this. But in these two stories, Jesus is revealing to Peter, perhaps more clearly than in any other story, just exactly who he is. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGp7VIXGSAw&t=652s

Upon This Rock – Part Three – Peter is the Rock … and the Satan

02/21/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Three – Peter is the Rock … and the Satan

Matthew 16:13-28. In the span of less than one chapter in scripture, Jesus refers to Peter as “the Rock” after Peter’s remarkable confession of who He is, but then refers to Peter as “the Satan” after Peter rebukes Jesus for predicting His death. How is it that Peter stories so quickly shifts from such affirmation to such rebuke? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjl7F-weOpg&t=687s

Upon This Rock – Part Two – Peter Walks on Water

02/14/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part Two – Peter Walks on Water

Matthew 14:22-33. Most often, the story of Peter walking on water is reduced to a simple spiritual platitude like, “When Jesus calls, you need to Step Out of the Boat.” But faith cliches and spiritual platitudes are almost always incomplete. What does this story teach us about faith? About doubt? About Jesus? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_gXffAHaHI&t=756s

 

Upon This Rock – Part One – Peter Drops His Nets

02/07/2021 – Upon This Rock – Part One – Peter Drops His Nets

Matthew 4:17-20; Luke 5:1-11. Throughout the gospels and the first half of Acts, besides Jesus there is no one mentioned more frequently than Peter — nearly 200 times. Throughout church history, he is often portrayed as largely one-dimensional. Impetuous, loud and overbearing. But as we will discover throughout this series, he is much more complicated … just like us. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNdtqCyHLu0&t=723s

5th Sunday Worship with Dr. Donna Battle

01/31/2021 – 5th Sunday Worship with Dr. Donna Battle

Genesis 20:1-18; Matthew 8:1-4. 5th Sunday Worship with special guest, Dr. Donna Battle. Several years ago, we decided to commit every 5th Sunday to the topic of Racial Justice. Of course, this issue is part of what it means to follow Jesus all the time, but 5th Sundays have been a powerful and important spiritual discipline for us to keep compassion, healing, and justice always at the forefront of our minds. Using texts from Genesis 20 and Matthew 8, Dr. Battle will teach on self authenticity, identity and how it impacts our relationship to God and others. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykuhNRSGbeE&t=512s

Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Four – Money

01/24/2021 – Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Four – Money

Luke 6:27-38. In addition to walking through a few graphs and figures and charts that show our budget and our giving over the past 12 months, today we also ask the question: why should generosity be our posture toward the world? Often, our standard Evangelical answer to this question falls short and leaves us with a distorted message about God. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79tli26_5D8&t=508s

Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Three – Community

01/17/2021 – Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Three – Community

Colossians 3:1-14. Of the four topics in our annual Refresh series, “Community” might be the most challenging to talk about in this current cultural moment. How do we encourage and foster community when gathering together is the very thing the pandemic is preventing us from doing? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7gEaGg-UDo&t=735s

Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Two – Discipleship

01/10/2021 – Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part Two – Discipleship

Luke 18:9-14; Matthew 19:16-22. In a previous “Refresh” sermon series, we defined discipleship as “everything we do that shapes our habits and thoughts to be more and more like Jesus.” In this message, we discuss how discipleship can become toxic when confined to a narrow part of life. What does a robust whole-of-life discipleship look like?  To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTndEG5PZL8&t=776s

Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part One – Kingdom

01/03/2021 – Refresh: Pandemic Edition – Part One – Kingdom

Matthew 4:17; 5:3, 10; 12:22-28; Luke 9:57-62; 13:18-21. Every January we begin the year with a look back at our first ever sermon series; a series where we tried our best to describe who we wanted to be, using four big ideas. Kingdom, Discipleship, Community and Resources (or generosity). Today we are discussing Kingdom. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qxC95S0TaI&t=559s

Christmas Eve – The Signs of the Season – Part Four – Light

12/24/2020 – Christmas Eve – The Signs of the Season – Part Four – Light

America loves its Christmas Lights. It’s a love affair that began way back in 1882 when Edward Johnson first hung a strand of 80 hand-wired colored lights and put them on a Christmas tree in the storefront that he ran together with his business partner, Thomas Edison. As beautiful as this was, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Light of Christmas. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlvCc0ilgDU&t=985s

The Signs of the Season – Part Three – Words

12/20/2020 – The Signs of the Season – Part Three – Words

Matthew 2:13-20. So far in our Advent series “The SIgns of the Season”, we have investigated the Christmas symbols of the Tree and the Cup. This week we turn our attention to another slightly obscure symbol. Words. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFdJrHVwbrs&t=898s

The Signs of the Season – Part Two – The Cup

12/13/2020 – The Signs of the Season – Part Two – The Cup

Luke 2:22-35. Last week for Part One of our Advent series “The SIgns of the Season”, the Christmas symbol we investigated was the Christmas tree. This week we turn our attention to a slightly more obscure symbol. A cup, which is something you may not immediately associate as being a sign or symbol of Christmas, but it is. And it is one that Christianity cannot survive without. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moZL0s870hY&t=863s

The Signs of the Season – Part One – The Tree

12/06/2020 – The Signs of the Season – Part One – The Tree

John 1:1-18. Today we begin our Christmas series, The Signs of the Season. Each week we will talk about a symbol of modern, American Christmas and explore its deeper meaning. In this first installment, we will be talking about the Christmas Tree. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCbDS3mb_L0&t=791s

Abundance – Part Four – Water into Wine

11/22/2020 – Abundance – Part Four – Water into Wine

John 2:1-11. In this miracle, Jesus takes what is completely common and ordinary – water – and He transforms it into something extraordinary. But this story is about something more. As John tells, us, this whole story is a sign. What Jesus does with the 6 stone jars and the water is symbolic of what Jesus is set to do with religion itself. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY8P_muZyAs&t=258s

Abundance – Part Three – Parable of the Talents

11/15/2020 – Abundance – Part Three – Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:14-30. The world’s myths tell us that there is never enough, and we will always need more. Jesus life and ministry destroy these myths with a worldview of absolute abundance, a worldview of more than enough. It is no small task to move away from the world’s myth of scarcity to the Kingdom’s truth of abundance. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpoWvjN3d3s&t=288s

Abundance – Part Two – The Parable of the Sower

11/8/2020 – Abundance – Part Two – The Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. What does Jesus’ story about a farmer who sows seed on four different types of soil (three of which are unproductive) have to teach us about the Kingdom of God? To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrAyF6MhuvE&t=291s

Abundance – Part One – The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

11/1/2020 – Abundance – Part One – The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16. The world’s myths tell us that there is never enough, and we will always need more. Jesus life and ministry destroy these myths with a worldview of absolute abundance, a worldview of more than enough. It is no small task to move away from the world’s myth of scarcity to the Kingdom’s truth of abundance. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kdI_Z9-OtY&t=917s

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Eight – Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

10/25/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Eight – Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:10. Of all the truths and phrases in the beatitudes, “persecuted because of righteousness” may be the most foreign to the American Evangelical Protestant Church. We have a problem with it. It’s not that we don’t like it or that we want to change it or that we want to expunge it from the record, it’s just that we simply don’t understand it. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN6toTe2mRA&t=756s

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Seven – Blessed are the Peacemakers

10/18/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Seven – Blessed are the Peacemakers

Matthew 5:1-10. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9. To watch this message on our YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvdGzlRQrsc

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Six – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God

10/11/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Six – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Matthew 5:1-10. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” One of the biggest impediments to seeing God is thinking we know precisely where to look. It turns out God prefers to surprise us. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sOgxryJX7g&t=906s

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Four – Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

9/27/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Four – Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Matthew 5:1-10. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” When Jesus uses the word “righteousness” in this beatitude, he has something much bigger and more expansive in mind than personal holiness. The righteousness of God always includes justice. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kj5IXgQ3ss

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Three – Blessed Are The Meek

9/20/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Three – Blessed Are The Meek

Matthew 5:1-12. “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” In our particular moment in time, perhaps no beatitude is more counter cultural than “blessed are the meek.” But this is precisely why we need to hear it so badly! To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6kFq_bRc3w&t=868s

The Kingdom is Yours – Part Two – Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

9/13/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part Two – Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Matthew 5:1-10; Luke 23:33-47. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” In this beatitude, Jesus is blessing those who willingly enter into solidarity with the pain of the world. If we’re willing to see it, there is much to mourn in our world today. More than once in the gospel stories, Jesus mourns. What can we learn from these stories? To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnFBP3_T2tQ&t=10s

The Kingdom is Yours – Part One – Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

9/6/2020 – The Kingdom Is Yours – Part One – Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Mathew 5:1-12. The beatitudes challenge us to reconsider the idea of blessedness. They describe an upside down kingdom where the porr and poor in spirit are the truly blessed. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdzZNL6xnLE

What’s In A Name? – Part Four – Radical Generosity

8/23/2020 – What’s In A Name? – Part Four – Radical Generosity

Mathew 6:19-34. Before we ever started meeting as a church, we wanted to take very seriously our commitment to live out radical generosity. And we did. We have always set aside one-third of all offerings to use beyond our walls so that we could engage in some radically generous actions. But this decision was never easy … and there are (at least) two significant barriers that often keep us from living this way. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRJolG6RpDY&t=1020s

What’s In A Name? – Part Two – Thoughtful Faith

8/9/2020 – What’s In A Name? – Part Two – Thoughtful Faith

Mathew 6:19-34. In my 25+ years of vocational ministry, I’ve known believers who span the age spectrum, the theological spectrum and the political spectrum who hold thoughtful faiths. But I’ve also known believers who hold unthoughtful faiths that span the same. So if it isn’t age, politics or even theology that determines whether or not a faith is thoughtful, what is it? To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq1STs4VuA4&t=1086s

What’s In A Name? – Part One – Ekklesia

8/2/2020 – What’s In A Name? – Part One – Ekklesia

Excerpts from 1 Corinthians. We are approaching our 10 year anniversary as a church! We have grown in beautiful ways through these years and have a deep hope that we will live fully into our name, Ekklesia. Have you ever wondered what “Ekklesia” means and why that’s our name as a church? We’re excited to answer those questions, celebrate who we are, and challenge us to fully become a people who embody God’s love through our community. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEPtv-acS30&t=970s

Guest Speaker Series – Part Four – Dr. Telika McCoy

7/26/2020 – Guest Speaker Series – Part Four – Dr. Telika McCoy

In the final installment of our guest preacher series, it’s an honor to welcome pastor and author Dr. Telika McCoy to Ekklesia (virtually) this Sunday. Dr. McCoy has preached at Ekklesia before, and we’re excited for the word she has for us! To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H8tVjWTzwI&t=993s

Guest Speaker Series – Part Three – Rev. Bankole Akinbinu

7/19/2020 – Guest Speaker Series – Part Three – Rev. Bankole Akinbinu

Our Summer Guest Speaker series continues this Sunday with a word from Pastor Bankole Akinbinu of Baptist Grove Church. The title of his message is “Our Call in Corrupt Times.” Pastor Akinbinu offers us a clear and unmistakable call to speak out against systems of oppression and injustice. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVQ_mcFruM&t=703s

Guest Speaker Series – Part Two – Dr. D.A. Harshaw

7/12/2020 – Guest Speaker Series – Part Two – Dr. D.A. Harshaw

This Sunday we continue our Guest Speaker Series with a message from Dr. D.A. Harshaw from the historic Raleigh First Baptist church in downtown Raleigh. Join us for a fresh and timely word on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J94S7P7iY9c&t=845s

Guest Speaker Series – Part One – Rev. Chalice Overy

7/5/2020 – Guest Speaker Series – Part One – Rev. Chalice Overy

This Sunday begins our month of guest preachers, starting with Reverend Chalice Overy who will be sharing with us a powerful word from the Old Testament book of Esther. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiL3dm6rCtg&t=759s

Acts – Part Eight – Spending Privilege

6/7/2020 – Acts – Part Eight – Spending Privilege

Acts 22. If we are willing to see it, Acts chapter 22 is a story about privilege – and how to spend it. In the story, Paul argues in defense of his “Jewishness” and surprises everyone with what he believe makes him most Jewish. It is a story we all need to hear in this cultural and historical moment. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbUegRqwCVg

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