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Aaron Menikoff
Sandy Springs, GA
Aaron Menikoff is the Senior Pastor at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, GA.
Interests: running, reading, NBA basketball
Recent Activity
No one can accuse Christopher Ash, the author of The Priority of Preaching, of having a low view of the church. In this excellent little book he places the gathering of local churches in the context of all history. A people once scattered (Genesis 11) are in the process of being gathered (John 10) and, one day, our gathering will be complete (Revelation 7). But in the meantime, until every Christian is together in the new heavens and earth, we gather as local bodies of believers throughout the world. And these gatherings are more important than most of us are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at Free to Serve
Clement Clark Moore is the author of the famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," which most of us know by its first line, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." These words, first published in 1823, did a lot to cement in the American mind the traditional view of Christmas that exists today: a jolly Santa Claus delivering gifts from house to house on Christmas Eve. I grew up loving this poem and this idea. When I became a Christian 24 years ago I finally understood Christmas. Moore's poem is light and playful but it has nothing to do with the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Free to Serve
For a couple weeks I've devoted the Sunday morning sermon to giving counsel to parents. The past few years, the Lord has blessed MVBC with a significant number of new moms and dads. It seemed appropriate to devote a couple hours to some basic, biblical counsel on how to think through parenting. One of the things that struck me the most as I talked to folks after the messages, is how thankful so many singles were for the teaching on parenting. Some of them carefully listened, storing up counsel for the day they may be parents. Others are struggling to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Free to Serve
Every day when I drive to the office, I pass 5855 Riverside Drive, NW, an address that was once the home of the Church of St. Andrew. That local church has been gone for months. This past week, even the name was scratched off the sign that sits near the road. A wooden cross is still perched in the yard, the last bit of evidence that a local church once called those grounds home. The Church of St. Andrew was a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a denomination founded in 1983 when two mainline Presbyterian churches merged, the PCUS... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Free to Serve
I wrote a short article for asking the question, "When should you correct another Christian?" You can read it here. It's certainly a good question to think about. Correcting and receiving correction is a vital part of the Christian life. What good is a discipling relationship that doesn't include lovingly point out sin? After all, sin unchecked may be evidence of an unregenerate heart. But there are times to overlook the sins in others, too. So I address that as well. In a nutshell, I'm thankful for the brothers and sisters who point me to my sin and I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Free to Serve
I once had a friend who was paid to go to the movie theater. Seriously! She bought a ticket, ordered snacks, and sat down for a screening of her favorite show—all on someone else’s nickel. How do you get a job like this? As it turns out, the theater hired people to rate a local cinema’s performance: Were the ticket agents friendly? Was the popcorn fresh? Did people’s shoes stick to the floor? She collected all this data and wrote it up into a report that could be used to help improve the viewer’s experience. Did you know that some... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at Free to Serve
This past Sunday a member of the church came up to me with an honest question. He wanted to know how he could best absorb all the teaching he received on a Sunday. His comment was something like this: Aaron, do you have a method to figure out what to walk away with on a Sunday? In Sunday school I get a great lesson, the sermon is meaty, and the Sunday evening devotional is helpful. But sometimes I’m overwhelmed, and I’m not sure how to take what I’ve learned and put it to use the rest of the week. What... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at Free to Serve
This past week, CNN posted a video poking fun of creationists. For just under three minutes a young man dressed as a Mormon drives through universe in a white minivan with the words, “Creationist Baptist Church,” emblazoned on the side. Wheeling his way through the cosmos, he makes weighty theological points with a quirky smile: o Black holes don’t exist because they can’t be found in the Holy Bible. o One shouldn’t ask why God made anything, since that would be irreverent. o Fossils were put on earth by Satan to trick us. You get the point. Mocking creationists is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at Free to Serve
It's been six years since I started to pastor at MVBC. My first day in the pulpit was June 7, 2008. What a ride! I'm convinced that there is nothing more challenging or satisfying than being a pastor. I'm thankful for doctors and lawyers, plumbers and electricians, writers and basketball players--but as for me, I want to preach. What a privilege the saints give me at Mount Vernon. If you are one of them, thank you! I heard today, at the annual SBC meeting, that 9 out of 10 men who start in pastoral ministry don't finish. I'm not sure... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Free to Serve
One of the most incredible New Testament passages is the simple explanation of Jesus’ identity we find in Colossians 1:15-18: 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at Free to Serve
For a few more weeks Bryan Pillsbury and I are teaming up to teach Sending MVBC, a class on missions. We are packing into a few hours the basics that we'd like every member of the church to know about the global evangelization of the world. In the next session, I want to make the point that missions without the church is like flour without bread. Bread is the point of flour just as the church is the point of missions. We plant the gospel so that God will plant churches. One of the amazing facets of God's plan is... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Free to Serve
A few years ago Suzanne Staline of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article called, “The Backlash Against Tithing.” She noted for the Journal’s readers what Christian pastors have presumed for quite some time: giving to the church is on the decline. As these pastors seek to reverse the trend and encourage tithing to the local church, many members object. Some oppose their dollars being spent on “coffee bars and widescreen TVs.” Some take issue with the implication (or outright teaching of some) that giving convinces God to bless them materially—the so-called prosperity gospel. Still others simply aren’t convinced that... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at Free to Serve
In a recent article for the 9Marks Journal, Carl Trueman, pastor and professor, explains why some songs we sing at church should be sad. In other words, there are times to sing songs overflowing with joy--because perfect joy will be what we experience in heaven. But our songs should also help us meditate upon the pain and the sadness we know here on earth. Our songs, says Trueman, should be a reflection of the Psalms. Trueman uses the analogy of marriage. The marriage of Christ begins with tragedy and ends with joy. Our corporate worship singing should reflect both themes.... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at Free to Serve
"Before they call I will answer." So begins Isaiah 65:24, where the prophet expounds about life in the new heavens and new earth. What a promise! In this life, the Christian approaches God boldly, faithfully, always confident that God hears. In the gospel is the guarantee that Jesus Christ is our mediator. He has granted access to the throne of God and given us the conviction that God's ears are open, and he is eager to give good gifts to his children. And yet, in this life, there are times when we feel no response. There are times when we... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at Free to Serve
Mothers, would you please read this post by Colin Smith? He lists what he considers the top five worries a mom faces. Then he goes on to show from Scripture how Jesus answers those worries. Here's a taste: The length of a person's life is determined by God. It isn't something you can control. And no amount of worry will make a scrap of difference to it. But the root of all worry is that part of us feels that maybe we can control these things. Be encouraged, Jesus really is in control. Our lives truly are in his hands.... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at Free to Serve
I'm in the process of raising four kids right now (12, 11, 8, 3). They are each quite different from the other, but they all have one thing in common. They are church kids. With few exceptions, when MVBC is open, they are there. They listen to sermons, take notes, sing hymns, and hang out with other church kids. And that's just with the church gathered. At home we pray together, read the Bible, talk about the gospel, etc. My three-year-old received a chocolate cross in her Easter basket. (Really? A chocolate cross?) Yes, we bought her a chocolate cross.... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at Free to Serve
I have been very encouraged by Heath Lambert's new book, Finally Free. It is a hope-filled, grace-based, straight-talking approach to battling sexual sin. Sexual sin has its unique contours, but the fact of the matter is, sin is sin. The remedies for sexual sin find almost universal applications against any sin. The following paragraph is intended to be a word of hope to someone struggling with porn but willing to put his or her faith in Christ. But it's a good word for all sinners: There is no porn user so enslaved that Jesus cannot set him or her free.... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Free to Serve
People don't like to talk about fearing God today. It seems to some like an oppressive, even primitive idea. But for the Christian, nothing is sweeter than the fear of the Lord. In J. Gresham Machen's What is Faith? (which I just finished reading with a friend today), faith and fear in the face of death is presented in the most biblical and comforting of terms: Even the Christian, it is true, must fear God. But it is a new kind of fear. It is fear, at the most, of chastisement and rebuke, not of final ruin; it is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at Free to Serve
Take a look at Aryn Baker's recent Time article, "Unholy Choices." Baker argues that the recent revolutions in countries like Egypt, Libya and Syria have emboldened Muslims to persecute Christians. Currently, Christians living in the Syrian town of Raqqa, Baker reports, must pay the equivalent of $650, twice a year. Failure to comply may result in execution. Facing this kind of persecution, Christians throughout the Middle East are fleeing for their lives. Counting Catholics, Baker notes the number of Christians is declining rapidly. In the last census of the Ottoman era, conducted in 1914, Christians made up a quarter of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2014 at Free to Serve
Just before his betrayal and crucifixion, as they celebrated the passover together, Jesus gave his disciples the command of a lifetime. His words to the disciples on that fateful night have never been more relevant to our relationship with the church and to God. My prayer is that as you study this text, you'll agree that to truly love God we must love his people—the church. Download John13.31-38-mvbc-ssg Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Free to Serve
This is an interesting and difficult passage. Why would Jesus be so troubled that Judas would betray him? Was it merely Jesus contemplating his upcoming death, or was the Lord troubled that he'd be betrayed by one of his own disciples? I think it's both. Jesus loved Judas and was hurt to see him fall away. As you read this passage, be thinking about your own life, acts of betrayal you have committed and acts of betrayal you have received. Where does the gospel fit into all of this? At the end of the day, we know that Jesus understands... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Free to Serve
Jesus humbled himself by washing the feet of his disciples. The Lord of Glory took off his clothes, put on a towel, and washed the smelly feet of his sinful disciples. And yet, as scandalous as this act of foot washing is, it's nothing when compared to the humility Jesus displayed when the Son of God took on flesh and died on the cross. This great truth should lead us to think seriously about how we serve God and our neighbors and the church. I pray the attached Sermon Study Guide would be of use to you as you seek... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Free to Serve
In one short paragraph, we find a summary of all of Jesus' teaching in John 1-12. I pray that this study guide would press you deeper into God's Word, especially as you revel in the fact that Jesus is the Light, the Lord, and the Lamb. Download John12.44-50 MVBC SSG Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at Free to Serve
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20 (ESV) Jacob’s marriage to Rachel is one of the most important in the entire Bible. Through her came Joseph, the man God used to provide Jacob’s family refuge in Egypt. Jacob had gone to his father’s homeland to find a wife, and Rachel caught his eye. It’s hard to know why Jacob loved her. We are told she was “beautiful in form and appearance” (29:17). One can only hope that Jacob cared about more... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at Free to Serve
Finally, another sermon study guide! I pray this helps you dig deeper into one of the most difficult NT passages. More than that, I pray it helps you throw aside anything that would keep you from loving the glory that comes from God most of all. Download John12.36-43 MVBC SSG Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at Free to Serve