All posts written by Daniel Montgomery

More Dance, Less Evil

Coury Deeb is a good friend of mine and member of Sojourn, who lives at the intersection of art and justice. And now the film production company Coury founded, Nadus Films, is premiering one of the coolest events of June in our city.

Next week, June 21st, Nadus is hosting the More Dance – Less Hate tour here in Louisville, KY, in promotion of their latest movie BBOY for LIFE, which tells the story of gang life and breakdancing in Guatemala. BBOY for LIFE asks the question, “How can someone born into a world of violence and death find hope for a better world?”

This event includes the following:

– Meet b-boy Cheez and b-boy Gato from the film BBOY for LIFE and see them compete
– See regional b-boy crews battle on stage for a cash prize of $1,000.00
– Watch the film BBOY for LIFE w/ the central characters and engage in a panel discussion with the cast after the screening
– Enjoy a live music performance from Louisville rap artist Jalin Roze
– Enjoy family activities such as free dance lessons for kids
– Eat from some yummy food trucks

The More Dance – Less Hate tour kickoff is June 21st from 3pm – 11pm (free) at the Tim Faulkner Gallery (1512 Portland Ave, Louisville, KY 40203).

The first 100 people who arrive at 3pm get a free BBOY for LIFE soundtrack. And Nadus will be filming that day, so you stand a good chance of being in the promo video for their tour. I hope that all Sojourners and our neighbors in Louisville will consider attending. You won’t regret it!

Top 12 Books About The Holy Spirit

pentecost-blogPentecost Sunday is this Sunday, June 8. Pentecost reminds us that it’s not Father, Son, and holy principles, it’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a call to remember and re-envision life with the Spirit in the local Church. God doesn’t give us a business model to implement; He gives us Himself. Pentecost celebrates this gift and reminds us of the necessity of the Holy Spirit in preaching the gospel and advancing God’s mission.

This past year, Sojourn spent 40 weeks in John. Of all the New Testament writers, John provides some of the best teachings on the Holy Spirit, especially in the Gospels. In John we see the seven ministries of the Spirit: baptizing, regenerating, indwelling, reminding, convicting, teaching, empowering.

To further inform your understanding of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost Week, here are some of my favorite works:

He Who Gives Life & Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham A. Cole

While I don’t agree with everything that Graham Cole writes, I believe that “He Who Gives Life” provides some of the most sober reflections on the Holy Spirit. “He Who Gives Life” is a little bit meatier, while “Engaging with the Holy Spirit” answers six commonly asked questions about the Holy Spirit: (1) what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?, (2) how may we resist the Holy Spirit?, (3) ought we to pray to the Holy Spirit?, (4) how do we quench the Holy Spirit?, (5) how do we grieve the Holy Spirit?, (6) how does the Holy Spirit fill us?

Convergence & The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts by Sam Storm

Over the years, Sam Storms has provided some of the finest reflections on the Holy Spirit in the local church. In “Convergence” he provides us with his story and life with the Spirit, and in “The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts” he gives a field guide of what it looks like to live in the power of the Spirit in the context of the church. Sam Storms is a friend who has preached at Sojourn and led training on the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend all of his work.

Keeping In Step with the Spirit by J.I. Packer

This is by far one of my most ear-marked and highlighted works on the Holy Spirit. This is a devotional gem! It is also a great work in helping us map out the life of the Spirit on the terrain of the human heart as well as the local church.

God’s Empowering Presence & Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God by Gordon D. Fee

Gordon Fee is a beast. His opus “God’s Empowering Presence” is nearly 1,000 pages. While I may not agree with all of his interpretations, he models Spirit-filled scholarship better than anything else that I’ve seen. If 1,000 pages seems daunting, start with “Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God.”

Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human by Steven R. Guthrie

Steven Guthrie deals with intersection of the Holy Spirit, creativity, and spirituality. This work provides clarity regarding the particularity of the Spirit’s work in the arts, but also provides a vision of the Spirit’s beauty in the restoration of all things.

The Holy Spirit in Mission by Gary Tyra

“The Holy Spirit in Mission” is a must-read for understanding the life of the Sprit in living the mission. Many in the reformed camp understand that the Spirit brings enlightenment and sanctification but the conversation comes to a halt in regards to the Spirit’s empowering work for mission in the local church. It holds together the spirit enlightening and empowering.

Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere

I haven’t read this one in awhile, but “Surprised by the Power of the Spirit” was a bomb-shell in the evangelical world when it first came out. It’s a story about what caused a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor to believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are still active today.

The Counselor: Straight Talk About the Holy Spirit from a 20th Century Prophet by A.W. Tozer

As the title indicates, this is straight talk about the Holy Spirit from a man who was undoubtedly a great 20th century prophet. Before there were tweets, Tozer penned one of the most tweetable books on the Holy Spirit, packed full of wonderfully crafted one-liners all about Him and His presence.

The Spirit-Filled Church by Terry Virgo

Even if you don’t agree with him, “The Spirit-Filled Church” is essential reading – inviting us to experience biblically grounded, Church-based, mission-empowered articulations of the role of the Spirit in the Church.

Other works include: Miracle Work by Jordan Seng, Joy Unspeakable by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Light of Truth & Fire of Love by Gary D. Badcock, God’s Indwelling Presence by James M. Hamilton Jr., The Annointed Community by Gary M. Burge, Thinking in Tongues by James K.A. Smith, The Holy Spirit: In Biblical Teaching through the Centuries, and Today by Anthony C. Thiselton


Join Me In Louisville At The Hope Conference

hope_conference_simmons_collegeFor three days next month, I’m excited to have Sojourn Community Church partner with faith, community, business, and political leaders across Louisville for a conference called HOPE (Having Only Positive Expectations) 2014: Renewing Urban America.

HOPE was conceived by Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen Church and president of Simmons College of Kentucky. It’s about experiencing and championing hope in the face of disgusting racism, despairing poverty and distressed neighborhoods. This conference will:

“address and offer practical, life-altering solutions to the critical issues felt within urban communities. Urban communities, more than ever, are feeling the plight of abandonment, social isolation, disinvestment, and neglect. Dr. Cosby and his team of dreamers and visionaries were convinced that this needed to change, and the groups to change it were faith-based.”

Kevin Cosby is a pioneer in bold declaration, whose heart bleeds for the west end in particular and Louisville at large. I’ll be leading a workshop on faithful presence and, and preaching on Friday. And our Midtown Worship Pastor Brooks Ritter will be mixing it up with St. Stephens Worship Leader Jason Clayborn.

It’s an honor to be invited to participate. Join us June 12 – 14 at St Stephen Church. Come to this conference if you care about the inner-city, if you care about poverty, if you care about seeing the end to racism and it’s effects on the Church, neighborhoods, and the city. Come if you want to be challenged and inspired to step into the mess of holistic ministry, a ministry that we are called to as ambassadors of Christ. Register here.

Five Best Mother’s Day Brunches in Louisville


Five Best Mother’s Day Brunches in Louisville

Mother’s Day calls for taking mom to brunch after church. Here are my five favorite brunch spots in Louisville:

o   Proof

o   Bristol

o   Dittos Grill

o   Ramsi’s

o   Grale Haus

What are your favorite brunch spots in Louisville? Did I miss any?

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and at Sojourn we’ll have free family photos after each service, in addition to flowers and tea for all the women in attendance. Come join us for church and then head to a tasty brunch after.

Final Words: The Seven Statements Of Christ On The Cross

seven-statements“Listen to this, oh ye purpose-driven, upwardly mobile, goal-setting high achievers.  He has done what we could not do.  Because we could not get up to God, God climbed down to us, got down on our level, and here, in the bloody, unjust crucifixion, we have at last descended to our level.  God has finished what God began.  It is finished.

What now is to be done by us? Nothing.

What might we learn from the lessons of this day?  Nothing.

What are we supposed to do for God before nightfall?  Nothing.  Did you miss his words?  ‘It is finished.’”

Thank God Its Friday by William H. Willimon

Christianity is synonymous with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; we should be preaching it week in and week out.  But, the Passion Week allows us to focus on His death and resurrection even more than usual.  There are so many rich traditions to practice during the Passion week, but one of my favorites is meditating on the last sayings of Jesus Christ.  There are many different books that could help guide your meditation, but here are three of my favorites:

The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by A.W. PinkReformed pastor/theologian, A.W. Pink, is a guy you can always count on to get the job done.  In this work, Pink walks categorically through Jesus’ last words; he identifies them as words of: forgiveness, salvation, affection, anguish, suffering, victory, and contentment.  This work will undoubtedly help you experience the Cross in a new way during the Passion week.


Thank God It’s Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross by William Willimon:  Willimon is undoubtedly a master wordsmith.  Pastoral and always provocative, he provides a great work on the seven last words from the cross.  Eugene Peterson nails it when he says this book is, “[an] urgent, demanding, glorious gospel work, [with] an altar call implicit in every paragraph.”

thank-god-its-friday-encountering-seven-last-words-william-h-willimon-paperback-cover-art”Passion: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day by Mike McKinley: In this book, McKinley writes with an earthy, pastoral voice as he unpacks the drama of Jesus’ crucifixion.  ‘Passion’ is thoroughly rooted in the beauty of the gospel, and draws us back again and again to reflect on the timeworn truths that coincide with the reality of Jesus’ Crucifixion.

blogger-image--1086986184My hope and prayer for us is that we would experience the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ afresh this Easter.  Meditating on the words that Jesus cried out on the Cross is a great way to stir our hearts with affections for the sacrifice that our Lord and Savior endured for us.  It’s through his death and resurrection that we can now have an intimate relationship with our Father; let us rejoice and celebrate this during the Passion Week!

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