More Fasting and Praying

 I was so struck today by Acts 13. Hear are verses 1-3. "Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”"Go to" Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas[b]), and Saul. 2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way."

They were already fasting and praying. You can read on and see that they were going to a TOUGH place to minister. This required MORE fasting and praying. Are we doing that in the face of churches declining at an alarming rate? Are we doing MORE fasting and praying or are we coming up with a "new strategy" in our staff meetings? I am all for "If you are riding a dead horse, dismount." However, the Holy Spirit told them to fast and pray more for the challenge ahead. This hit me square between the eyes. This is what I need to be doing for the challenges ahead...more fasting and praying...and less planning.

What do you think?

Sunday Recap

It was one of those weeks...I chose a new song ("All Praise to God") and I loved it all week. It went ok in rehearsal. It just didn't cut it on Sunday. I love the song and I will definitely do it on my own on acoustic, but it just didn't work... the band agreed. We added "The Doxology" to the end and it was cool - I definitely recommend doing that if you do this song. Don't get me wrong - this is a GREAT SONG! It just didn't work for us. I changed the order after the 1st service - didn't like the way the songs were working with the other elements. It went SO much better in the 2nd service. We opened with "We Stand" by Lee McDerment. It rocked! This is GREAT opener and the people loved it! My 9-volt in my acoustic died during the 2nd service, so I had to switch over to keys for "All Praise to God" (which I had never played on keys before!) but we pulled it off. Just a weird day...Here was our service flow (from the 2nd service).

"We Stand" - Lee McDerment
"Sing to the King"  - Foote
"Let Me Sing" - Fields
Psalm 96 Reading
"All Praise to God" - Foote- w/ "The Doxology"
Time of Response
"Lord of All" - Stanfill

Meet me at Fred's!

A proud Blog Mama

We all have blog mamas and papas....Randy Elrod is my Blog Papa. He got me into this in February 2006. Actually, it was a year before that, but I was a slow starter.  This has moved from being something that I did (one-way) to a true community of people in conversation (two-way). I am very passionate about people sharing ideas, sharing their journey, and being in authentic community...that is why I love blogging. The online community has been amazing, but the face-to-face conversation that has been generated by my blog has been unbelieveable.   I've spent most of this week developing a campus blog for our core campus and tweaking our own campus blog. It has been a privilege to come alongside our Lead Pastor, Jeff, and help him start his blog this year (which, by the way, he was BORN to do this!) Our entire Hilton Head Island Staff are bloggers (ok, there are only 3 of us, but it is 100 percent participation!) I am also working with other staff on the Bluffton Campus over the next few months to help them become a part of this community.  Clay has ben a huge help as a fellow blogger since he knows A LOT more about CSS than I do and has a great eye for design.  I've had a blast this week!  Check these out...Todd Cullen
Jeff Cranston     Barb Weatherwax     LowCountry Community Church - Hilton Head Island Campus Blog
LowCountry Community Church - Bluffton Campus Blog

At the plate

It's Sunday morning...very early.  I got a call late last night that our main worship leader on the other campus, Clay, is sick, which means Rob has to lead worship out there.  Normally, no big deal except today, Rob was scheduled to lead worship on my campus.  You've heard of musical about musical worship leaders? So, I'm thinking through the worship set this morning, changing all the keys, maybe changing a song or 2. Our lead pastor, Jeff, has been on a 3-month sabbatical and just returned last week. He's doing a 3-week Message series entitled "PAUSE" starting today on our campus. He's putting our current Message series on hold while he addresses the worry, fear, and frustration that we are feeling as Americans with our current economic crisis. I'm really looking forward to this series. I've chosen "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman as a song of reflection today - I'm pumped about that. So, if you read this before 10:30 AM  E.S.T, pray a little prayer for me.  I'm feeling ill prepared (the perfectionist in me!) But, that is usually when God does His greatest work in me...when I'm up at the plate and needing Him desperately to help me swing.

AtBat At Bat by Les Tait

I'm a woman in church leadership

I have tried the best I can to avoid this...but I cannot any longer. After reading Vicky's blog today, I have a responsibility as a woman who is in church leadership to contribute to this conversation.   I have seen and heard more than I have ever wanted to about this subject in the last month. This issue is not strengthening the church - it is dividing it and that causes me such heartache.  I can only speak to my convictions and my experience in church as a woman.

Continue reading "I'm a woman in church leadership" »

LowCountry - Hilton Head today

We have been blessed at LowCountry-Hilton Head with some amazing musicians...I'm talking about string and woodwind players - Susan on flute, Rob on cello, and Sam on viola.  They bring such color to our worship and today was no exception. Christine was co-leading with me today on vocals and just killed it. Here was our set list:

"Trading My Sorrows" - Darrell Evans // "Alleluia (More than Worthy)" - Sheri Carr // Readings from Psalm 33// "Uncreated One" - Cynthia Cullen // "Ancient Words" - MWS version // "Lord of All"  - Kristian Stanfill

It was fresh, different, and so worshipful.  Of course, our new subs made it unbelieveable as well! As a musician, there is something so fulfilling about being able to write instrumental parts that enhance the musical environment that you are creating. As a Service Programmer, there is such fulfillment in seeing everything connect from Scripture Readings to intro's of the songs to the Message from your Communicator (Pastor Joe really connected).  Some days I walk away and I'm glad it's over (usually because of something stupid I did.)  Today, I felt that we had prepared spiritually and musically and it showed. I loved every minute of being with our people through the music, Scripture Readings, the Message, and Communion.  This was one of my favorite Sundays.

Sunday Wrap-up

I had expectations that this morning's service was gonna be good...I had a horrible week. I don't know how many times this week I quoted Ephesians 6:12 to myself. No need to rehash the details of the week, but let's just say this morning was true refreshment (oh yeah, a thunder storm decided to start at 9AM and end at 10:30AM - our service starts at 10:30 AM!) Our service was simple - you need to be in community with other Christ followers. Rion and Dave shared THE best small group testimony I have ever heard (the best part was Rion saying that you should host a small group so you will clean your house!) Set list was "Sing to the King," "Because of Your Love," "You Gave Your Life Away," and "Hear our Praises." Just keys, drum loops, 2 vocals - simple and so sweet. Pastor Brian gave a great challenge on the importance of community.  To top it off, I believe that God has brought a bass player and maybe a drummer to our community of musicians here on the Island campus. Bad week, yeah, but great 1st day of a new week.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Boss or leader?

I love leadership books.  I love reading blogs or really anything that helps me become a better and more effective leader.  I have been blessed in my life to have some truly tremendous leaders pour into my life and I feel a great responsibility to share their investment in my life with the team around me. My hubby e-mailed me this link today and I loved this comparison between a boss and a leader.Boss_cartoon

1. A boss may 'tell' but a leader will 'coach'.
2. A boss tries to rule by force and fear but a leader will encourage, motivate and gain  trust. 
3. The boss focuses on his or her own needs saying 'I'. The leader considers others and uses 'we'.
4. A boss cultivates a blame culture whilst the leader looks for solutions and expects mistakes.
5. The boss can tell you what should be done and how to do it but offers no help. The leader tends to show a person how to do it.

CLICK HERE to

Do you have tendencies to be a boss or a leader?

Not right now

Our Island campus staff made a big decision...we are not going to add another service right now. We feel confident about the times we have chosen (9:30 and 11) but none of us have peace about pulling the trigger right now. It was a really cool moment as Todd (my hubby and Campus Pastor) asked Barb and I what we were sensing from God.  We were all in agreement and felt God was saying,"Not right now." I've been at this juncture so many times in the 4 previous churches I have served with adding services. Sometimes, we went for it and it was a disaster.  Sometimes we went for it and it was a success. Have you ever felt God tell you to wait on a big decision?  How did you handle it?


I learn so much from Aaron Sorkin.  I love the way he writes on leadership, relationships, and religion. Granted, I do not agree with his view on everything, but the way in which he speaks through his characters in these three areas has taught me more in some ways than reading books on these subjects. He also makes me uncomfortable because he's right sometimes and I don't like it.

I love this scene from "The West Wing" Season 3 because President Bartlet says what unfortunately we do from time to time as worship leaders and pastors - We butcher it. Here is Sorkin's opportunity to let us know how he feels about it. I wonder how many people leave services that I design and feel the way that he felt. Have you ever been the "Hack" or the one that heard "the hackery?"

Disclaimer: After President Bartlet gives a Sinatra rendition, you can stop the clip. If you don't want to, I do not take responsibility for the one bad word he says very shortly after were warned.