Sermon Podcasts

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 Three – Loving Community

8/16/2020 – What’s In A Name? – Part Three – Loving Community

Mathew 6:19-34. What’s In A Name? Part Three – Loving Community. Pastor CJ connects our name, Ekklesia, to “Loving Community.” To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCpagjvhYd4&t=1273s

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

Race Reflection and Lament

5/31/2020 – Race Reflection and Lament

Good morning, church family. We are in the midst of yet another dark moment in our nation’s racial history. But even to call it a “dark moment” betrays my white privilege, because here’s the reality. For me it is only when the pandemic of racism makes it to the news that I’m aware of the darkness, but my friends of color live in it every day. It’s more than a dark moment. The truth is we’ve never yet made it into the light.
To watch this message online, go to https://youtu.be/zvZR7mKQ0bY

Acts – Part Six – A Story of Two Freedoms

5/24/2020 – Acts – Part Six – A Story of Two Freedoms

Acts 16:1-3, 16-36. The story of Paul and Silas’s encounter with a young slave girl in Acts chapter sixteen is a story about two opposing freedoms. One is an impostor freedom that is only “free” by keeping others bound up and in chains. The other is a true freedom that brings liberty to all. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucj6qVgcwSs

Acts – Part Four – Peter and Cornelius (and Huckleberry Finn)

5/10/2020 – Acts – Part Four – Peter and Cornelius (and Huckleberry Finn)

Acts 10. In the story of Peter and Cornelius, God challenges Peter to embrace a bigger, more generous, more expansive faith. In our fractured and divided world, perhaps it is important for us to remember that God loved Peter and was present with Peter both before and after his faith expanded. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWbRBVhSVv4

Acts – Part Two – Surprise Endings

4/26/2020 – Acts – Part Two – Surprise Endings

Acts 4:23-37. When Luke concludes his dramatic story about Peter & John healing a crippled man, preaching an impromptu sermon before an astonished crowd, and getting arrested by the Temple leaders, he ends the story in a surprisingly small and understated way. This gentle ending holds wisdom that we need to tap into. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0avdUv3U_wg

Acts – Part One – Why are you staring into the sky?

4/19/2020 – Acts – Part One – Why are you staring into the sky?

Acts 1:1-11. The Ascension is a perplexing event, but one that is central to our faith. As we begin our series in Acts, we discuss this fascinating story and ask ourselves the same question the disciples were asked following it: “Why are you staring into the sky?” To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5M_5P2YtA

Easter Sunday 2020 – See His Hands

4/12/2020 – Easter Worship 2020 – See His Hands

John 20:19-29. After Jesus died, the disciples locked themselves behind closed doors and lived out their own “shelter in place” orders. They were afraid. The story has some interesting parallels to our own moment in time as we live under “shelter in place” orders. Jesus offers to Thomas to “see my hands” as proof of His life. I believe Jesus is still making the same offer to us today. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl7q-14s2xM

Just Mercy – Part Five – Stone Catchers

4/5/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Five – Stone Catchers

Psalm 46. As we wrap up our Just Mercy series and celebrate Palm Sunday, we are reminded that as followers of Jesus we are not just called to repentance and compassion, but to be stone catchers as well. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgmEEPepQBE

Just Mercy – Part Four – Brokenness

3/29/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Four – Brokenness

Psalm 38. In most of David’s psalms, he is all-too-quick to call out the sin, hurt and evil around him, and far too slow to identify it in himself. Hmm. Sound familiar? But in Psalm 38, David seems to turn a corner and embrace his own brokenness. To watch this message online, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EV4RhA_vY

Just Mercy – Part Three – Irreparably Lost Time

3/22/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Three – Irreparably Lost Time

Psalm 89. In so much of life, it seems too long before justice and restoration arrives. It can make things seem hopeless. The remedy for this hopelessness is to remember Christ’s Kingdom is already arriving here-and-now, and a day is coming when Christ will set all things to rights.

Just Mercy – Part Two – Identification

3/8/2020 – Just Mercy – Part Two – Identification

Psalm 23. In David’s most quoted song/Psalm, he boasts about the table God prepares for him in the presence of his enemies. God still prepares tables for us, but could it be that God wants us to sit with our enemies? To break bread with our enemies? To identify with our enemies?

Colossians – Part Four – Onesimus Is One Of You

2/23/2020 – Colossians – Part Four – Onesimus Is One Of You

Colossians 4:1-9. The final chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae begins with a strong encouragement to slave owners to treat their slaves “fairly and justly.” But this was not Paul’s only word in this letter to those who owned slaves. Nor was it his most pointed or radical.

Colossians – Part Two – Be Careful not to get Synagogue’d

2/2/2020 – Colossians – Part Two – Be Careful not to get Synagogue’d

Colossians 2:1-15. The believers in Colossae are facing pressures from the religious establishment to follow Jewish observances, rituals and laws. Paul warns them (tongue-in-cheek) not to get “synagogue’d” into thinking they need more than Jesus. If Paul were writing to us today, what influences might he warn us against?

The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part Four – Community

1/26/2020 – The Great Omission (Refresh 2020) – Part Four – Community

Matthew 28:16-20; John 13:34-35. For many (most?) of us who call Ekklesia home, we share a common experience of faith deconstruction and the corresponding search for a better faith. As it turns out, this shared experience isn’t enough to create community. Something more is required of us.

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