Joel Hess - 1517 The Legacy Project

1517. The Legacy Project

1517 The Legacy Project serves churches and the world by providing a message of hope for those broken by the church, supplying theological resources that strengthen congregations, and modeling ways of engaging the culture in a manner that is thoughtful, courageous, and Christ-centered.

Jesus Doesn’t Need You to March for Him

Last week in our local 4th of July parade, our church’s float (which consisted of a tight three piece band, including myself, playing Johnny Cash tunes) was followed by a large number of people wearing red shirts with the words “March for Jesus” on them. What does that mean? What might it mean to the […]

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A Better Altar Call

I still remember visiting a friend’s church. A fine church, I suppose. Bible based they kept telling me. It’s the very word of God, the preacher proclaimed. Some music pumped us up. Some were crying and raising their hands. Nothing wrong with that. Then something strange happened. A spiritual thing, I was told. The preacher […]

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Out of Our Minds Yet Safely in His

“Pastor, they told me not to cry!” Helen cried frantically when I answered the phone.  “There are six bibles on my night stand, can you pick them up?” She screamed for a moment, bellowed loudly and incoherently as if she was fighting off a stranger in her room. I told her, “You’re ok!”  “They’re telling […]

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What Do You Tell People Who Already Know the Gospel?

The Gospel. I vividly remember the first time I was asked to preach to a bunch of preachers. Not just preachers, but preachers whom I knew knew the Gospel well. They preached it well. They were the ones who taught me the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for Christ’s sake. I assumed I would need to […]

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Hey Pastor, Your Church Is Not Healthy (goggles required)

Dear New Pastor, I have to tell you something. Your church is not healthy. I know, I know, the districts have worked with these congregations to get them ready for a new pastor. Some have even endured interim pastors to try to help them get healthy after a previous pastor hurt them, or inner turmoil […]

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Fight Club Faith

The fantastic book “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk surreally explores the desire of modern American males to feel something, anything. The book is an adult version of The Velveteen Rabbit. It begins with the protagonist going to a testicular cancer support group in order to cure his insomnia. As he says, “when you have insomnia […]

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Anything Else You Worship Will Eat You Alive

“Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type […]

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Lost at Home

Everyone enjoys Jesus’ parable commonly called, ‘The Prodigal Son.’ For some time in church history Christians focused on the youngest son. Many commentators still today choose to title the parable ‘The Prodigal Son.’ At first glance the parable does seem to revolve around this youngest son. He appears to be the most doomed and therefore […]

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What Does It Mean When Jesus Says, “I Am The Way”?

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” — John 14:5-6 What is the way? Despite Jesus simple answer, Christians have been asking Thomas’ question for centuries. They also have been answering […]

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