HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series September 10, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series September 10, 2023

Whether you call them homilies, sermons, or talks, there’s a lot you can learn from the spiritual leaders in our community. While in a perfect world, you’d have time to listen to everyone, that simply isn’t possible for most with limited time to spare. To help, we’ve surfaced and summarized the teachings from the audio sermons of some of the most influential priests and pastors from around town and in the Christian sphere.

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Fr. Mike Schmitz

Tough Love

Fr. Mike reflects on the concept of “tough love” and its importance in relationships. He starts by sharing personal stories about his childhood and how his parents expressed their love, emphasizing that tough love often means making difficult choices for the good of the person you love.

Fr. Mike Schmitz recounts a childhood incident where he stole a Spider-Man game, and his mother, instead of scolding him immediately, took him back to the store to confess his actions. This, he believes, was an act of tough love, allowing him to experience the consequences of his actions and make amends.

The central theme of the talk is that love, while a fundamental human need, is not always easy. It often involves making difficult decisions and sacrifices for the well-being of others. The speaker introduces a new sermon series titled “Tough Love,” where he plans to explore the challenges and complexities of love over the next four weeks.

He draws from biblical teachings, particularly St. Paul’s emphasis on love as a commandment and the idea that love is not just about emotions but also about choosing the good for others (agape love). The speaker suggests that real love always involves sacrifice and can be difficult.

The talk also touches on the importance of communication and addressing conflicts within relationships. The speaker highlights that avoiding tough conversations and stonewalling can lead to strained relationships, drawing from the insights of psychologist John Gottman.

In conclusion, Fr. Mike encourages the audience to embrace tough love by actively listening, assuming the best about others, and having difficult but necessary conversations. He shares the story of Penn Gillette, an atheist who respected Christians who shared their faith because they genuinely cared about others’ well-being. Ultimately, the talk underscores the idea that love involves making tough choices and speaking the truth for the benefit of those we care about.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church

Be Rich 2023

Hal Donaldson, in his talk, shares a powerful message about his personal journey and the founding of Convoy of Hope, an organization dedicated to serving those in need. He begins by recounting his own childhood experiences, growing up in poverty and relying on welfare and food stamps. Despite facing adversity, Hal emphasizes that where you start in life does not have to dictate where you end, and he highlights the impact of kindness and support from his church community during those difficult times.

Hal then describes how he initially focused on pursuing education as a means to escape poverty but had a transformative encounter with Mother Teresa during a book project in Calcutta, India. Her question about what he was doing to help the poor and suffering ignited a desire for change within him. This experience led to his decision to live on the streets for three days and three nights in several major cities, where he encountered the struggles of the homeless, drug addicts, and others. This led to a deep transformation in his perspective, and he felt compelled to take action.

Convoy of Hope was born out of his desire to serve and share the love of Jesus with others. Hal shares how they started by distributing groceries to migrant farm workers and how the organization has grown over the years. He discusses the importance of aligning their work with God’s plan and relying on divine guidance to invite momentum into their efforts.

Hal also talks about Convoy of Hope’s rapid response to disasters and natural calamities. He highlights their ability to quickly mobilize resources and aid thanks to their pre-existing relationships and preparation. He emphasizes that they do not budget for disasters but rather rely on the generosity of donors to fund their rapid response efforts.

Towards the end of his talk, Hal touches on the church’s role in serving communities. He encourages the church to be known for its sweat and tears on behalf of its communities rather than its political positions. He stresses the importance of humility and earning influence through acts of compassion and service.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church


In this sermon by Brad Jones, he begins by acknowledging a recent break in the church’s services and expresses gratitude to the church staff and doorholders for their efforts. He emphasizes the importance of the upcoming two weeks as an opportunity for everyone to find their place in God’s story and discover joy in it.

Brad Jones takes the congregation to John chapter 20, focusing on the events of Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. He highlights how, even though Jesus had conquered death and was alive, the disciples were still living in fear. He draws parallels to our lives, where people may still live in fear despite the victory of Christ.

The sermon explores Thomas’s doubt and how he famously declared that he would only believe in Jesus’ resurrection if he saw and touched the wounds. Brad Jones emphasizes that God is not afraid of doubts and encourages believers to draw closer to God, ask questions, and be honest about their struggles.

The preacher points out the importance of faith and belief, highlighting that Thomas eventually declared, “My Lord and my God.” He underscores that true belief goes beyond mere acknowledgment and requires seeing Jesus as both Lord and God, with one’s life revolving around Him.

Brad Jones encourages the congregation to keep showing up, make room for others in their faith journey, and not hide their mistakes but use them to help others in their faith. The sermon ultimately emphasizes the blessing of belief and the transformative power of seeing Jesus as Lord and God in one’s life.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In this sermon by Kris McDaniel, he focuses on the practical teachings of Jesus regarding conflict and relationships, emphasizing the need to address offenses and sins within the church community. McDaniel starts by pointing out that Jesus provides concrete steps for dealing with such issues, which may lead to uncomfortable conversations but ultimately aim at healing and reconciliation.

McDaniel highlights that acknowledging reality and naming the wrongs committed is the first step. He acknowledges that it can be challenging to admit when we’ve been hurt or when we’ve hurt others. However, he stresses the importance of speaking truth in love and growing towards maturity in handling conflicts.

The sermon also emphasizes the role of a disinterested third party when one-on-one conversations don’t work, ensuring that the focus remains on healing and reconciliation rather than taking sides or escalating the conflict.

Lastly, McDaniel discusses the importance of not prematurely severing relationships and highlights Jesus’ desire for us to win one another back rather than resorting to exclusion. He encourages individuals to take responsibility for their part in relationships and pursue the path of healing.

McDaniel concludes by prompting the congregation to reflect on their own relationships and whether there might be a specific relationship with unaddressed offenses that requires their attention and steps toward resolution.

Listen to the full version here.

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