Sunday, November 16, 2014


Below is such a great promotional piece on coming together. I am not a Lebron or Cavalier fan, but I love this video. If we can be inspired by this, a man from Cleveland going home to play basketball, how much more should we be inspired for the cause of Christ at First Baptist Rowlett... TOGETHER!

FBC Rowlett family, bring it on in, it’s our time! Jesus is our Savior we gotta do it for Him. We gotta do it for Christ, His people are waiting on us. What we do here will define what we’re about. Lets get it going.
Every single Sunday, every single Wednesday, every time we meet, we’ve gotta give it all we got. Because He’s gonna ride with us. Everything that we do as a church is because of our Savior. We owe Him. We’re gonna grind for Him. He’s gonna support us, but we gotta give it all back to Him. If we get it done, the toughness we have as a church, it’s going to come from our Jesus. Everybody. The whole church. That’s what it’s all about. It’s time to give Him something special. Let’s go, bring it on in, everybody, let’s go. Let’s go.
Hard work on 3, together on 6. 

First Baptist Rowlett: 1, 2, 3 --- HARD WORK --- 4, 5, 6 ---TOGETHER!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung was crazy good. Basically, DeYoung offers ways to find sanity in and for the busy lives we live. His outline consists of 3 dangers to avoid, 7 diagnoses to consider, and one thing you must do.

His 3 dangers deal with what busyness does to our lives. Busyness can steal our joy, rob our hearts, and it can rot our souls. His 7 diagnoses are really good, and they end with an interesting twist! He lets the reader know that busyness is something we all are going to struggle with. There is no cure, no way out, no escape, however if we can embrace the burden of busyness we will be able to deal with it in a more productive manner.

He closes his book with one thing you must do: Prioritize Christ. On page 116 he writes, “When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of His Word, I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Savior.” What a powerful thought, which is the last thought of this book I would recommend to anyone seeking how to deal with busyness.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dear First Baptist Jenks

It is with my most sincere gratitude and humble appreciation I announce my resignation as the executive pastor of First Baptist Jenks. I have greatly appreciated being on staff the past 10 years and have enjoyed being a part of God’s work here. It is difficult for us to leave this church, because you are our family and we love this place so dearly. Thank you for loving Christy & me, and our children Chloe, Coleman, and Clay.

God is calling us to move to FBC Rowlett, TX to take on a new challenge of being the Senior Pastor, a role I have felt God calling me to since I was 13 years old. While we are excited about this opportunity, we would like to ask you to keep us in your thoughts, prayers, and communication lines. Your support and encouragement will be appreciated.

At First Baptist Jenks we are all about Faith, Family, and Friendships. Although we are moving to a new location, my family will always be a part of this church family. It is difficult for us to leave because of all the great things this church has done and will do in the future. I look forward to hearing the stories of God moving in this church family from Pastor Rick, Jamie, Cody, & Dan. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful staff.

Thoughts of being used by God at FBC Jenks will be a constant joy to our hearts. Moving from one worship service and Sunday school hour with a handful of people under 30 to what we have now is evidence of God’s hand. Growing from 310 to over 900 in attendance was incredible. Our great missions focus, Bible Fellowship, capital campaigns, and bible studies is incredible. We will not forget those who came to faith in Jesus and followed Him in baptism either!

As Christy & I prepare to move our family to a new town, please keep us in your prayers. We will be taking the reigns of a church that has been in decline over the past few years. We are excited and filled with a Kingdom agenda for the work of the Lord, but again ask you for your prayers . Hopefully, we can partner with this church in the years to come. My last day will be October 29. It is my hope to be able to visit with each of you in between that time and now, but if time does not afford us that opportunity, please know that I do appreciate you all who make this place such a wonderful church!


Cole Hedgecock & Family

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Internally Strong, Externally Focused by Mark Spence

My longtime friend, Mark Spence, recently wrote a blogpost I'd like to share called "Internally Strong, Externally Focused." This is posted with his permission. Enjoy:

In the book, The Externally Focused Church by two pastor-theologians, Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson, coined the phrase “externally focused” that defines a church that equips, empowers and encourages church members to be missionaries to their community, particularly through service. Before going deeper into how a church can be internally strong and externally focused, I would like to take a brief look at other types of churches that maybe aren’t as interested in practicing both internal strength and cultivating an external focus.

Internally strong, internally focused

An internally strong and internally focused church is mainly interested in itself.  This is a program heavy church with a full church calendar.  The goal is to keep members busy and to attract new members by offering as many events, ministries, programs, etc. as possible.

A sign that a church is internally focused is that although it may be adding new members every month, the new members join by transfer from other churches.  This type of church may baptize many each year as well but it is likely that the baptisms are of members’ children.  So the church may seem evangelistic due to its new members and baptisms, but in reality, it is not reaching non-Christians outside of the walls of the church campus.

This type of church is more of a Christian country club than it is a church on mission with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Internally weak, externally focused

An externally focused but internally weak church is outstanding at evangelism.  This type of church attracts a huge crowd at weekend services and consistently witnesses many adults, students and kids come to saving faith in Christ.  The majority of the church’s time and resources are poured into making the worship services as exciting, creative and attractive to the lost as possible. Using a tired cliche, this type of church is a seeker-oriented or seeker-friendly church.

Because the focus is on the worship services, an internally weak church has a huge “back door”.  Meaning that while it sees many new Christians come to faith, it also sees many members looking for a church that offers more depth in discipleship.  The disciple making ministries, such as small groups, are an afterthought of an internally weak church.

Internally weak, externally unfocused

An internally weak and externally unfocused church is an unhealthy church heading towards closing its doors.  The age of the church members tends to be older, with little interest in doing what it takes to reach new people with the gospel.  While the church may have small groups and other discipleship ministries, the small groups have not added new members in recent memory.  Unfortunately, the baptistry is dry with members unable to remember the last time it was used.

The scariest aspect of this type of church is that far too many churches in America are both internally weak and externally unfocused; too many churches in America are more likely to close their doors within the next generation than they are to reach people with the gospel.

Internally strong, externally focused 

Externally focused churches encourage members and leaders to become involved in the community. Service, outside the walls of the church campus, encourages members to build relationships with the unchurched.  As relationships are developed through community involvement, hearts will be opened to the gospel. Service allows Christians to be the salt and light that Christ has called them to be.

Church members can discern where to serve through their personal interests and proclivities.  For my family, this means that I coach my boys’ soccer team.  For others, it can mean active engagement in scouting, service organizations like Lions Club, dance troupes, bands, sports at all levels and ages, PTA, biker gangs, gaming (video game)…things…, etc.   The sky is the limit and creativity should be encouraged. 

Community engagement and service, when done with intentionality for the gospel, has great potential for the church to the unchurched with good news of Jesus Christ.

An externally focused church will have fewer activities and events.  Some events, such as Fall Festival, may have to be sacrificed in order to free church members towards externally engagement.  Ministries, such as upwards sports, may also have to be given up so that a church member can enlist their children in a local sports league and for parents to help lead the team.

Even though there should be fewer ministries and a cleaner calendar, the church will have to prioritize disciple-making ministries in order to be internally strong.  When someone is lead to Christ through community engagement, there has to be a process in place through the church to help the new Christians to reach spiritual maturity.

In addition to a strong disciple making process, the worship service will have to be engaging, sermons will need to exposit the scriptures faithfully, small groups must be a place for fellowship, community and accountability, the pastors will have to take their responsibility to shepherd the church seriously and the church must have a means to equip church members to share the gospel.  In short, the church must be internally strong in order to fulfill the great commission’s command to reach people with the gospel and disciple them.

Also, pray for Mark today (9/25/14), he is having knee surgery.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Cofee House Chronicles Set

For the past few years a friend of mine has been struggling with faith in God. He has questioned God, Jesus, creation and everything else that goes along with faith. Through this process, we have moved from creation to the person of Jesus.

I purchased the first book in this series, “Who is Jesus,” in hopes of taking a in-depth look to see if my friend could be convinced that Jesus really was a real person who lived, died, and has a story history cannot deny… in my friend’s mind! This book was totally different than what I expected, but it was good and proved useful.

Written by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett, this series is comprised of three books: Who Is Jesus, Did the Resurrection Happen, and Is the Bible True. All of these books are all short reads, told in a story format. The setting is a college campus and coffee house where people wrestle with and debate points of faith and Christianity. Personally, I really enjoyed all three books. I found all to be beneficial, easy to read, and filled with great facts. However, if you are looking for a resource comprised of cold hard facts, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fully Filled Worship

On August 3, I had the privilege of preaching a sermon called Fully Filled Worship, based on Ephesians 5:15-21. This passage provides great insight into a heart of worship, which is our current sermon series at First Baptist Jenks. When we are Full of Wisdom, We can Be Full of God, which is seen by being Full of Evidence of God overflowing through our lives. I love this passage, it's clear commands, and insight for believers. You can listen to this sermon here (the video below was played towards the end of the sermon, but the audio did not pick it up so it was removed from the message).

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: The Good News About Marriage

What if I told you that everything you thought you knew about marriage and divorce was wrong? You know, that 50% of marriages end in divorce and the divorce rate in the church is the same as in the rest of the world… Would you feel deflated? Would you be discouraged? Perhaps you would feel a bit hopeless, and maybe destined for defeat? I think most everyone would feel that way, and even the best of marriages might have times where the doubts of, “are we really going to make it” might creep in.

Shaunti Feldhahn (a research analyst) decided to examine the divorce rate, factors influencing the divorce rate, and then she found The GoodNews About Marriage! Basically, over the past several years we have been told the divorce rate is 50% in and out of the church, Church Matters!

Not only has the divorce rate never been close to 50%, it has never been the same for church attenders and non-church attenders (listento a sermon on Church Matters here). Feldhahn also discovered the actual divorce rate to be between 20-25%, with that number dropping in half for those attending church. These are just a few nuggets in this book I would recommend to anyone wanting positive information on marriage and the church!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Church Matters

June 22, I had the privilege of preaching a sermon called, “Church Matters.” This message details how attending church can significantly impact one’s life for the better. Hebrew 10:19-25, this message discussed how the church was to be a place of Compassion, Healing, Understanding, Repentance, Challenge, and Hope. You can listen to the sermon here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: All In by Mark Batterson

All In by Mark Batterson is a great book. He opens strong with the one-way missionaries stories, and finish strong with a challenge not to hold out on God, knowing God will not hold out on you. Throughout the book he provides biblical wisdom with personal testimonies and stories from Christians past that spark the reader’s imagination to think what God could do through them if they would simply make themselves open and available to Him. Again, this is a really good book I would recommend to anyone struggling with being fully devoted to Jesus.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review: Fight by Craig Groeschel

Recently, I traveled on a plane for 16 hours and had plenty of time to read. A buddy lent me a copy of Fight by Craig Groeschel and told me I would enjoy it, which I did. Fight is a book that examines the life of Sampson and challenges men to live the life they were intended to live. He calls for belief, faith, prayer and purity, among other things in his call to fight for righteousness. As Groeschel always does, he makes the truth of God’s word simple while providing easy instructions to apply God’s Word to one’s life. I enjoyed his steps to God’s power, his insights on dealing with lust, and his call to discipline. Although this was not a book I intended to read, I am grateful to have read it and would recommend to a man in need of a pep talk!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Living the Life

April 27, the Sunday after Easter, I had the privilege to preach a sermon called Living the Life, based on 1 John 5:11-13. The main idea of the message is if we Know that we Know Jesus as our Savior, we should live our life in the know. The testimony, truth, and trust of God gives us the ability to live this life to the fullest. It is my hope you will be inspired and encouraged by this message you can listen to here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Despicable Days, Grand God

2 Kings19 captivated my attention last year as I was doing my read through the Bible plan. “Despicable Days, Grand God” is based on the fact that there is nothing God cannot do. It was my prayer that people who were overwhelmed by various trials in life at the beginning of this message would leave overwhelmed by the greatness of our God. Listen to this sermon here.

* One of my favorite things in ministry is being able to tangible feel God at work. On March 16, God was tangibly present with us at First Baptist Jenks. My hope is that in listening you can feel God’s presence with you as well.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Response Ready

Every once in a while, a familiar passage becomes new. 1Peter 3:13-15 presents an expectation for believers living like followers of Jesus to be ready to explain what is different about them. This sermon, Response Ready, highlights simple ways for a Christian to share their faith, and follows with a skit highlighting sharing gone terrible wrong! Listen here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sow Much Guts

Sow Much Guts is a sermon based out of Matthew 13:1-9, 19-23, the parable of the sower. In this parable, Jesus talks about the importance to constantly be sowing seed – sharing Jesus with those around us. This message focuses on God Perspective on Sharing, Understanding the Process of Sharing, Tips for Sharing, and Seeking Opportunities to Share. Listen to this sermon here.