Hey there Flatwoods family!
It was so good worshiping with you all yesterday. Then to follow that up with an incredible time together serving Mountain View with our annual Trunk or Treat…talk about a great day.
I have been anticipating jumping into Philippians 2 in our Better Together series. This has to be one of my top ten passages in the Bible. So much is packed in such a short few verses.
The past two weeks I have said, “How you understand the church determines how you understand the Christian life.”  By and large it is through the context of the local church that we learn to walk with Jesus.  So, our mental picture of the church and our definition of the church are vital.  Once those two are established, Philippians 2:1-11 comes alive.
We talked a lot about the nature and importance of humility within the church.  Paul basicly says there is no place for strife, conceit, and pride in the church.  We should strive to overcome these with unity, love, and humility. Humility is very difficult to accomplish, especially in the face of current culture.  Paul uses Christ as our ultimate example and benchmark for humility.
I want to make one caution coming off of Sunday’s sermon.  Let us not confuse leadership responsibility with pride.  Everyone has been given a certain amount of responsibility and sometimes leadership responsibility. Whether you are a mother, husband, business owner, or servant leader, there is responsibility.  It is not prideful to lead and lead well.  Children need to be led, families need leaders, marriages need leaders, and businesses need leaders.  It is not prideful to say, “This is the way we need to go, follow me as I follow Christ.”  We can exhibit humility in our leadership and we all have the ability to follow those in leadership.
Humility has so much to do with the motive of your heart.  As Flatwoods Baptist Church, let us continuely check our heart against Philippians 2:5-11.  Does our mind and heart match up with what we see in Jesus?
As you walk through your week remember to ask yourself, “How can I let my something turn to nothing so that Christ can be made something to someone.”  Have an incredible week living as those made in God’s image, who have covenanted together to carry out the great commission.  If you want to catch yesterday’s sermon, check out the link below.
Much love,
Jonathan Johnson

* Pray through Philippians 2:5-11
* When it comes to humility, what does Flatwoods need from me?
* Do I need to seek forgiveness because of conceit or strife?  Go to that person.
[creating conversation with your family around the breakfast or dinner table]
* Read Philippians 2:5-11
* What was your favorite part of what we read?
* What did you learn about Jesus from these verses?
* How can each of us live more like Jesus this week?


Flatwoods family,
This past Sunday marked my fifth Sunday with the Flatwoods family. I know I have only scratched the surface at getting to know many of you, but it’s been a fun ride thus far.
Last weekend we reflected on the story each of us is writing with our lives. We are all writing a story. Your story is valuable because you are valuable to God. You are valuable to God because you are made in His image.
So when you look at the story you are writing, where does Christ fit in the narrative? Is He in the narrative? What role does he play? Sunday we talked about Paul’s incredible statement, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Christ was the center, the main character, He had the starring role in Paul’s life. He even went so far as to say that above all else “…Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” Talk about Christ-centered!
I hope you have been able to reflect on your story. I pray you are allowing Christ to move to center stage as you drift to the background. We are so easily driven by the need for significance, and the desire for recognition that giving Christ the lead role seems impossible. Hang in there, learn to play the background, and make sure Christ is shining through in the narrative you are writing.
If you missed the sermon from Sunday you can catch it below.  I look forward to gathering with you to celebrate all Christ is doing through Flatwoods.
Much love,
Jonathan Johnson – Pastor
–  Think through your life story? Where do you see restoration (salvation) through Christ in your story?
–  Who is the hero in your story? You, someone else, or Jesus
–  Share your story with someone this week?
[create conversation with your family around the breakfast or dinner table]
–  Read Philippians 1:18-26
–  What was your favorite part of what we read?
–  What do you think Paul means by “To live is Christ and to die is gain?
–  How can our family magnify Christ this week?


Flatwoods family,
I hope you were encouraged by our gathering on Sunday!  There was such a great spirit in the room that just spoke volumes.  Huge thanks to everyone who has a hand in making our gatherings so good and God-exalting.
I trust you have been able to focus on three rich words from Philippians 1:1-11…FELLOWSHIP, GOSPEL, and LOVE.  Remember that we desperately need Christ-centered community in our life.  The church is much more than an event to attend or a building we walk into.  As disciples of Jesus, we constantly need the church and the church needs us.  We say Christ-centered because “good church” comes under one heading who is Christ, and the glorious message of Jesus…the gospel.  Unlike predominate culture, the church is a community of believers who express love, care, and generosity regardless of affinity or lack thereof.  My prayer is that we will be a Christ-centered church that continues to grow in love even more and more.
Sunday night I enjoyed digging into what Paul calls the “fruit of righteousness.”  I believe Paul is once again speaking to a list he makes in Galatians and Colossians.  As we are rooted in Christ the fruit of righteousness or fruit of the Spirit will come to bear.  Here is what I shared with you….
My artwork wasn’t quite this good, but hopefully, this will be a visual reminder of what can be the reality when we are rooted in Christ.  As Paul mentions, these 9 fruits are a direct result of being rooted in Christ and are fruit of the Spirit.  
You also see four words to the right of the tree.  Here are 4 spiritual disciplines that can deepen your roots in your relationship with Jesus.  So look at your everyday life and ask…am I worshiping Jesus, learning about Jesus, communicating with Jesus, and growing with others in Christ-centered community.  
I am looking forward to coming together this weekend in celebration of what God is doing in us and through us.  
Much love,
Jonathan Johnson
– Pastor

– How can you deepen your fellowship with the local church?
How are you allowing the gospel to shape your identity?
– How can you actively love those in your sphere of influence?
[create conversation with your family around the breakfast or dinner table] 
– Read Philippians 1:1-11
– What was your favorite part of what we read?
– What are you most thankful for when you think about our family?
– How can we do a better of job of being good family, enjoying each other, and remembering the gospel?
If you didn’t catch Sunday’s sermon, you can watch it here…


Flatwoods family,
I really enjoyed our time together this past weekend.  It was so good to gather together in celebration over what God is doing, anticipating what he will do, and reminding ourselves of the glorious gospel.
Thank you again for your love and care for my family over these first few weeks.  Our children are enjoying this new adventure in AR, and that sense of family is evident.
Thinking about Sunday, I am looking forward to walking through the book of Philippians together.  The Apostle Paul writes to this young church with such passion hoping they will remain in unity as they navigate the rough waters of culture.  He wants them to remain TOGETHER ever focusing on the gospel.  There is an overarching theme of TOGETHER throughout his letter.
Here was something I mentioned in my sermon last weekend…
When you think Flatwoods, do you think TOGETHER?  When you think of church, do you think of a people who are walking TOGETHER on this journey?
Here is what I hope…I want us to discover through this series what it is in scripture that convinces us that it is “BETTER TOGETHER.”
Flatwoods has walked through many changes over the past year, and I am sure will be walking through more changes.  We will walk through some highs, and I am sure we will walk through some lows, but here is what I know…I would much rather do it TOGETHER than divided…TOGETHER rather than alone…TOGETHER rather than splintered…because it is always BETTER TOGETHER.
So, if God meant TOGETHER and not alone, how can we…
• Be together for King Jesus
• Be together for the gospel
• Be the church together
• Be the church together on mission
BETTER TOGETHER…We only get one shot at this deal…let’s do it TOGETHER!
I believe we were all built for community, and the community we need is the local church.  I pray Christ will teach us about the beauty and importance of gospel-centered community, and we will walk away saying its BETTER TOGETHER.
• Bless, Eat, and Story
• Pray for gospel impact in Stone County
• Discover ways to display and speak the gospel to folks like Lydia, the slave girl, or the jailer (Acts 16)
AROUND THE TABLE  [creating conversation with your family around the breakfast or dinner table]
• Read Acts 16:11-34 aloud or tell the story
• What was your favorite part of what we read?
• Who can we pray for and go to?
Have a wonderful week!
God bless,


Hey there Flatwoods,
Wow!  What an excellent first week I’ve had with you all!  My family continues to be blown away by your hospitality and love. We are thankful and excited at the same time.
I hope you were encouraged through our time together Sunday.  Jesus’ words in Mark 12 are so good and so clear. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and…love your neighbor as yourself.”  Two beautiful commandments from Jesus, who promises to be with us.  King Jesus is asking for undivided loyalty and allegiance, followed up with selfless love for our neighbors.
I shared a quote Sunday night I find very solid.  “The goal of a disciple of Jesus is relationship, not perfection.”  Jesus isn’t after another rule to follow or a list to complete, he is after relationship.  So that actively loving your neighbor is not a duty, but the result of living everyday life in relationship with the Father.  I am praying we will run to the Father this week rather than seeking a temporary fix to our ultimate need.  I hope you will seek the lasting joy that comes from Jesus rather than settling for “a cheap substitute.”  I pray the Holy Spirit will work in and through you as you lovingly display and speak the gospel.
Here are a few next steps from our Sunday night gathering.  What could God do if Flatwoods lived this way in the coming weeks?
BLESS 3 people this week (one of whom is not a church member)
EAT with 3 people this week (one of whom is not a church member)
STORY…share your gospel story with someone this week
Please know that I am praying for you this week.
God bless,
Jonathan Johnson
– Pastor
If you missed Sunday’s sermon on The Great Commandment you can catch it here.