Renovation Church is a transcultural community of Christians in Atlanta, GA. We believe that you matter and that together we can do something that matters.
Vision Sunday 2023 | The Year of Freedom
Fifteen years ago, during a recession, Breanna and I began our journey of starting Renovation Church. We had no money. We had no team. All we had was the hope and Vision God put in our hearts—to plant the gospel, in hopes that a community would form, that would birth a church that represented God’s desire to form a family for Himself from all people. So much has happened since we started this journey and so much has changed, but we are both still so energized by what we believe God still has for this city and our church and us.
It is what today is about, prayerfully envisioning where we might go next in pursuit of God’s vision for our church and broader community. Today will be a bit different than a normal sermon, but I know it will engage your mind and I hope to thrill your heart as you see what the year might hold.
You can access all the materials from todays sermon at renovationchurch.com/vision-2023
Miracles | Faith To Be Healed
We have more faith in the practise of medicine than we have in the promises of God.
Now, as I said last time we were together, I am logical first. It is how I am wired. And I have a great deal of respect for the medical profession and medical professionals, but even their expertise is a gift from God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
And I am not telling you to reject medical care, so let me say it outright before I get any blowback—if you need medicine for a physical, emotional or mental diagnosis of any kind, get and take your medicine!
This is not an attack on the practise of medicine, but a challenge to our paradigm of belief. We trust people God made more than we trust God! And that is the bottom line.
Yet, what we see from scripture is that if our faith is placed in God, it is never misplaced. If our trust is invested in God, it is a good investment! And God still heals, but we must have faith to believe He can and does. The early part of Dr Luke’s record of the first church shows us this, without caveat.
Miracles | Miraculous Signs
One of my favourite movie lines of all time is, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he did not exist.” But he very much exists, and he is very active in this world. The reality is that we struggle to embrace the supernatural and miraculous aspects of the Scriptures… and the implications of those things on our life and faith. Some people, even those who say they are followers of Jesus’ way, outright reject them.
But it is not just the Devil, demons or the idea of incarnate evil that trips us up, it is miracles of any kind, and anything we cannot explain through what we define as rational. Yet, so much of the natural world we engage every day lacks the explanation of “how,” including the wind, or the earth’s ability to dually spin and not fling us from it.Further, for those of us who are followers of Jesus, the Scriptures are clear that the supernatural—both redemptive and non-redemptive—is real and we embrace their reality when we embrace Jesus.
Miraculous signs should accompany the lives and works of followers of the Way. If they do not accompany my life, or yours, then there is an opportunity for us to truly trust Jesus, and seek to see these things in His name. Only then will the church be all that God designed and designated it to be.
Miracles | Pray For Rain
Note: there are some technical difficulties with the audio for this week. This was recorded at our 10:00a corporate worship service on 1/8/23.
For the next few weeks, as we enter our Bi-annual season of Prayer and Fasting, it is this belief—among other things—for which we are praying. We want to believe God for things that are certainly impossible for human beings, but inevitably possible for God.
Though Thomas Jefferson painstakingly cut every miracle from his New Testament, desperately trying to reduce Jesus and His narrative to that of a good man with great wisdom, the reality is that the Scriptures are filled with the miraculous activity of God, and of people God works in and through. Our three week look into this is but the tip of the iceberg.
There can be miracles, if we believe.
Jazz Christmas | O Holy NIght
Did you know that the first song to ever play on the radio was a Christmas Carol? Indeed it was, and that song was the incomparable O Holy Night, brought to the airwaves on Christmas Eve in 1906 by a thirty-three-year-old university professor and former chief chemist for Thomas Edison, Reginald Fessenden.
Using a new type of generator, Fessenden spoke into a microphone, and for the first time in history a voice was broadcast over airwaves—a reading from Luke’s Gospel record. To the few who caught the broadcast, it must have seemed like a miracle. Fessenden was likely unaware of the sensation he caused on ships and in offices. He could not know that men and women—used to receiving coded impulses through their wireless devices—were now rushing to them to catch the Christmas Eve miracle.
Where does O Holy Night come into play, you wonder? After finishing his recitation of Jesus’ birth, Fessenden picked up his violin and softly played O Holy Night into the microphone, the first song ever sent through the airwaves. When the Carol ended, so did his broadcast, but the world would forever be changed as music found a medium that would take it worldwide.
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear | Jazz Christmas
This week we begin a three week series Jazz Christmas, our take on Advent this year as we explore the rich depth and truth of some of the most well known Christmas songs.
The year was 1849, and those attuned to the times knew that the U.S. was on the brink of catastrophic consequences. For over two hundred years African people had been in bondage in the U.S., and the prevailing winds of incremental change were blowing. War was on the horizon, and the sin of slavery would cost more life than anyone could have ever imagined.
Dr Edmund Sears, a Unitarian pastor from Wayland, Massachusetts, was attuned to the moment. As he sat trying to construct an uplifting Christmas message for his community, he felt lost. How could he inspire them when his own soul was heavy, wearied and restless in light of all the brokenness that surrounded him?
He thumbed through his bible as he struggled, and landed in Luke’s record of Jesus’ life and ministry. He was moved by the words in the eighth and ninth verse of chapter two.
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…”
After considering the miracle of that long-ago moment, Sears picked up his pen and scribbled out a five-verse poem he called It came upon a midnight clear.
LOVE these podcasts
These podcasts are an amazing way to start and end my day. I love hearing Leonce preach and I feel like I’m actually in Renovation church just listening to these. I saw Leonce on a YouTube video of racial reconciliation years ago and have followed him ever since. He has a was of speaking that makes you feel like his friend and gives the cold hard truth. I love the vulnerability and rawness in his messages. God is truly working. I hope to one day visit Atlanta and go to Renovation church and see all that God is doing!
Not Bible teaching
There is no “systemic racism” in America. But there IS a lot of false information. We need to come together as the body of Christ and look past our color and cultural differences. Let’s do what Jesus said, Love one another!
Saved My Life
I first visited this church as a wayward prodigal. God has used all of the elders, pastors, as well as lay members of the community to teach me The Gospel. I grew up a pastor’s kid with a rebellious heart and it took twenty-seven years as well as this very special breed of church (one that is transcultural, theologically sound, intellectually honest, and methodologically charismatic) for The Holy Spirit to break through my stubborn mind and hardened heart. My soul is now safe thanks to Renovation. This is my church and my family and I’m so thankful for them!!