We are in week two of a three-week series called "Splendor." We are taking the massiveness of God and breaking it down into three specifics that we can connect with as Christ-followers. Week one was "The Beauty of God’s Creation." This week, it was "The Blessing of God’s Covenant" and Todd talked about how God communicated to His people under the Old Covenant and now how He speaks under the New Covenant. Our take-away was the importance of creating space in our lives for God to speak...for us to create margin and silence to hear from Him.
Time of Prayer - Todd gave everyone just a few moments of quiet to listen to God - not to talk to Him or request anything - just listen - I underscored on keys....
"Running" - Full version
I purposely made the last song very repetitive and longer than normal to give everyone time to not worry about words and to also be still and listen. It was very different, but I felt it really communicated the point.
Debbie and Daniel Cort led worship with me as well as Randy and Macy. We are so blessed with gifted artists at HHICC! Our tech team did a great a job and most of all, we just really have a WONDERFUL time together using our gifts and being in community.
What an amazing week in the life of LowCountry this year. We began with Palm Sunday and our Worship Community. It was an unusual Sunday in that I chose a couple of specials - one before and one after the Message that really connected to our series. Here was our setlist:
"Salvation is Here"
"Because of Love" - Natalie Grant
"Moving Forward" - Israel Houghton
We had a Maundy Thursday service from 11 am - 1 pm at both campuses. This is a drop-in service that guides you through four stations. It takes about 20 minutes. Attached here is the guide we provided for everyone that attended.
Easter Weekend was awesome! We had record attendance at the HHI Campus - 300! We did one giant tent outside and the weather was gorgeous! We had Brandon and Kim Smith join our team to lead worship with me. Here was our setlist:
"All Because of Jesus"
"No One Like" - New song from Tad Tatum at Newspring - AWESOME!
BP, our tech director, and David Warren, lighting "guru," did an AMAZING job at both campuses with an install at the Bluffton Campus of new front fills and lighting (more lights are on the way! We are waiting on a slow boat from China...seriously!) and providing ALL the production for Easter at the Island Campus. They are THE BEST!
Of course, ProPresenter decided to crash right as we were about to start on the Island. It hasn't done that like...ever! Of course, it's Easter and this is just what happens. Thankfully, we got it back up and it worked great for our service!
Eric did a terrific job leading worship for all four services in Bluffton. Here's a stage shot from Saturday night during the countdown. He is SUCH an awesome part of our team and is doing a FABULOUS job leading worship and investing in our team! We had a little over 2000 at four services in Bluffton. Praise God! We had over 80 decisions made between both campuses for Christ!
What a tremendous week! I pray your Holy Week was a spirit-filled experience!
CLICK HERE to hear a podcast I was invited to be a part of with my friend Rich Kirkpatrick. We discuss "Women in Worship." It was awesome to be a part of this with two of my friends, Jan and Kim. I am so thankful for my recreate community where I was introduced to these amazing people.
I had the privilege to be in Manhattan this past weekend visiting friends and doing the "tourist thing."I love NYC so much. I've always loved the city from visiting as a tourist since 1995. However, living there a couple of years as a part ofThe Gallery Churchplant from 2005-2007 really gave me a sincere passion for NYC and its people to meet Jesus.
I got to attend Hillsong NYC on Sunday morning and...wow...what an awesome experience. It was so cool to attend a NYC church that has been recently planted and see the passion for the city just "ooze" out of the staff there. The service was so inspiring and the worship...yeah, it was like drinking from a fire hydrant for this worship leader!
Here was the service flow...
Pre-service - 5 MIN VIDEO - Great footage of the cities and communities that Hillsong has existing church plants. It was powerful!
Greet - "4 Minutes of Forced Fellowship" - This was fantastic! They used a countdown clock on the screen and served water and mini-muffins. It was terrific!
Offering - Scripture Reading on Giving
Song - reprise
Message - this happened 50 minutes into the service - I really loved that!
Invitation for Pre-Christians - hand-raised indication of accepting Christ
Invitation to Christ-followers - come forward invitation- I loved how Pastor Carl did it separately - it was so meaningful - he asked us to pray over these that were making decisions.
Song reprise/Band played out - 90 Minute service total
It is such a powerful thing as a worship leader to attend a service and participate. I was inspired, encouraged, challenged, and spiritually refreshed. I know I have blogged about this before, but I honestly believe that attending services as a participant truly makes me a more authentic and inspired worship leader for my congregation. If you are a worship leader, I hope that you will take the opportunity to be a participant on a regular basis. You will experience things that you cannot experience when you are leading. Just do it!
Thanks to Joel, Carl, and the HillsongNYC team for such an amazing service. You guys are in my prayers. God bless your mission and your journey in NYC!
I've started leading the songs over the next few weeks that I want to do on Easter so that the Island Campus will know them really well by that Sunday morning. We are doing one service in a giant tent at the Island Campus. It's gonna be great!
This was my third time attending Unleash and in my opinion, it was the best! I was able to take my WAM Staff with me and we had an unbelieveable 48 hours together - dreaming, sharing, and getting to know one another. Here were some highlights:
Five things to get our vision right - Perry Noble - from Matthew 25
1. We must make Jesus the END GOAL of all that we do.
2. We must be more concerned with the outsider than the insider.
My favorite statement of the day...
"We must not organize ourselves around the preferences of the already convinced."
3. We must help people establish a new identity.
4. We must be patient with people.
5. We must make it our mission to proclaim freedom in Jesus Christ.
1 Samuel 14 - Every leader faces fear - Perry Noble
I loved this story of Jonathan and his armor bearer from 1 Sam 14:1-23. Go read it here. Perry started with John 14:12 and Christ's promise that we would do "greater things." He gave three stages of a leader being able to do greater things:
1.Preparation - vv. 1-4 -God has not called us to play it safe.
2. "Perhaps" - v.6- Perry said that everytime he reads the Bible, he sees that it is perfectly normal to not know what happens next. As Jonathan said, "Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf..."
3. Partnershp - v.7 -You can always submit to godly authority and trust God for the outcome. As Jonathan's armor bearer said "Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."
Shane Duffey - Creative Arts Pastor - In his breakout session, I love what he said about creativity...
"We must be committed to process and product but married to the vision."
The worship was terrific...Lee and the team led with such authenticity and energy. I was so encouraged! It is such a treat to be led in worship. I just took it all in!
Thanks to ALL the team at NewSpring for their fabulous volunteers and a great day of encouragement!
About three times a year, we plan a Sunday night service at our Bluffton Campus that gives us a longer time to worship, pray, celebrate stories of life change, and hear from our Lead Pastor, Jeff. It was an AMAZING time!
At Recreatethis year, I participated in a worship time led by 1211. They did their entire worship set on the main floor with all of us in a semicircle. You can see part of it by CLICKING HERE. It was such a worshipful, non-performance-like time that I wanted to try it at LCC. So we did!
We set-up in a semi-circle in the center of our Worship Center and arranged the chairs around us in a semi-circle. We used the stage for the interviews and for Pastor Jeff's portion, but all the worship was on the floor. Here was our service order...
Pastor Jeff - Letters of life change/Interviews/ Vision Casting
Time of Prayer
"Inside Out" - Hillsongs
"Hosanna" - Brook Fraser
"Glory to God" - Steve Fee/Vicky Beeching
Those of us who manage the tension of multiple services, parking, and all those WONDERFUL things a thriving church faces need opportunities like this to exhale. There was no service after this one and we were not in a hurry - it lasted about 90 minutes. It was SO refreshing and our team had a wonderful time just worshipping together in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Pastor Jeff did a wonderful job of sharing his heart and being vunerable with us. I was inspired by his honesty and at the same time so thankful to be a part of what God is doing at LCC!
Every year, attending Recreate is like drinking from a fire hydrant. I feel so immersed in fresh water that I cannot drink it all at one time. I wanted to do a daily recap like I have done in years past, but I was so enjoying the time with fellow attendees after and between sessions, I was not able to get my thoughts together during the week to even write about it! Here were the highlights for me:
1. Participating in Worship with 1211 from Gateway Church in Austin ,TX. I look forward to re-creating this worship experience set-up at LCC very soon. It was wonderful to meet all of them and get to hear their stories of life-change. Their leader, Ramy Antoun, is an amazing musician (drummer) and an Arts Pastor at Gateway. See a little bit of it here...
2. A live performance from Ed Kowalczyk (formerly with LIVE) and his new band. Ed shared a little about his new faith and then went into more detail in an interview with Randy on Wednesday morning. God is doing a redemptive work in his life and it was such a privilege to be a part of the concert and interact with him at the conference. CLICK HERE to read his interview with Randy Elrod. Watch some of the concert here...
3. Randy's talk on empathy, intuition, and charisma was my favorite session. I was challenged, inspired, encouraged, and comforted all at the same time! I will be dissecting a lot of his talk and writing about it here at cheval glass in the coming days, but my favorite sentence was this..." People have their best days and do their best work when they are allowed to make progress."
4. I was overwhelmed by Andrew Peterson and friends songwriting in the round and "Behold the Lamb of God." There are not really words to describe this two-hour experience on Thursday afternoon. The one word I came away with was BEAUTY. I just listened and drank in the beauty of the entire presentation as it was expressed through music, lyrics , lighting, sound, and most of all- skilled musicians.
5. I was immersed in community. This was the single word that was resonating all week through sessions and discussions (I agree 100 percent, Mark!) I spent more time talking with old friends and new friends over the five days than any other year at Recreate. There was such a sense of people truly desiring to connect with one another. I experienced so many meaningful conversations and life-changing discussion. I'm still processing all of it.
Charles Jones said “You are the same today that you are going to be in five years from now except for two things: the people with whom you associate and the books you read." These wonderful creatives that I have the privilege of knowing and learning from throughout year have changed my life. They continuously offer encouragement, wisdom, and accountability that I desperately need as a creative. They are my lifeline and I am more grateful for them now than I have ever been at any other point in my life.
Recreaters - you know who you are. Thank you for the listening ears, the nuggests of wisdom, the laughter, and the moments of authenticity. It is a privilege to be among you and to create with you. Thank you Randy and Chris, for your vision and your leadership. There are not words to describe my gratitude for your sacrifice to bring us altogether.
We are in Week Two of our Message series "This is the Life" looking at Romans 6-8. This week, we looked at how we should never allow sin to be our master. We should never open the door to it in our lives in the slightest way.
I chose songs that focused on abandonment to Christ - total surrender in every area. I chose songs that focused on His greatness and because of who He is, he should reign in our hearts. I ended with a song of declaration that focused on Christ as the Lamb who was slain for our sin. It was different way to end the service, but it really connected. The more we sang "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty..." it seemed the more everyone sang and really worshipped. It was quite an experience...
Here was our setlist:
"No One Higher/The Stand" - Hillsongs/Fee
"Counting on God" - NewLife Worship
"The Lord Reigns" - Gateway Worship
VIDEO: MESSAGE BUMPER
TIME OF RESPONSE: Giving, prayer, Communion
"Take My Life" - Tomlin
"Revelation Song" - Jenny Riddle
We had 200 people last week in attendance and 190 this week. It would seem that the HHI Campus has broken through a barrier...PRAISE GOD! We have new people coming every week and three people indicated they accepted Christ today in our services. It was a wonderful day of worship with my church family. What an awesome way to start the week!
...and I've found a new team mate! We hired Eric Abney today to join my Worship Arts Staff @ LCC. Eric currently lives in Kennesaw, GA (my old hometown) and has served as a Worship Leader at Eagle Point Church and at NorthStar Church (where I served for almost nine years). He has worked with some of my favorite Worship people in the world (you know who you are!) He brings such a passion for worship and a genuine love for developing younger musicians at LCC. Eric is engaged to Kaylie (pictured above). They are getting married in late May.
Eric will be leading worship a couple of times this month here at LCC and then permanately moving here the first of March. Eric and I will rotate leading worship at both campuses starting in March.
I cannot express the excitement and joy that I feel tonight! It has been a very difficult year managing both campuses alone and I am overjoyed about the fact that I now have a great teammate to serve with here on a full-time basis at LCC. The time was right for all of us to make this step forward and I am very thankful for our Lead Pastor, Jeff, our Exec Pastor, Jason, and our Board of Elders for their support with this new addition to my team.