Fresh Blood

IMG_0226 When I arrived in Hilton Head 2 years and 2 months ago, the thing everyone kept telling me was, "You will never find any musicians." Yeah...that is what you want to hear as a worship leader. I got on my knees for the 6 months before we launched our campus and prayed for God to send them. I told him I would use them if he sent them. Out of the 20 months that our campus has existed, I have gone only 2 Sundays without anyone on stage with me and 1 of those was a service outside at the beach.  I am losing Rob our cellist to college, Susan our flautist to a job transfer, and Carma our Lead Producer to a job transfer this summer...I'm grieving. Not only are they wonderful artists, but they were the 1st ones to say "Sure, I'll join the team."  But God keeps doing His thing and sending, as I call it, "Fresh blood." I have 2 new bass players joining us this summer, a worship intern who plays drums, keys, and sings, and a guitarist who also plays drums.  I write this post to give God the glory...100 percent. I also write it to encourage all Worship leaders and Worship Arts Directors to pray...just ask God for what you need.  I also encourage you to use who God has sent you. Have extra rehearsals...spend time with them...put them with a more experienced person on your team so they can learn. I do my best to find places for everyone who wants to use their artistic gifts for God. The key there is "gift."  I am looking for gifted people. I am looking for people who have ability and maybe need some development or opportunity to grow.  The pros on our team are so willing to help guide the younger ones on our really overwhelms me to see their servant's hearts. I pray everyday for musicians, tech people, producers, and artists in the low country to find their way to LowCountry Community Church.  I love my job.

Are you praying for "Fresh Blood?"

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?

Good questions

My husband Todd and I know that we are a little different. Most people would say planting a church with your husband could be a really, really dumb idea...especially if you are both staff members.  I don't care how many years you have been doing ministry on a church planting is a different ball game.  I'm not going deny that this experience has not had some really tough days. We are constantly learning how to keep margins in our life with ministry, people,and our family. BUT, as only God can do, we are surrounded with the most loving people in our church, leaders who are so willing to give, and a Lead Pastor who is the real deal. Our family is thriving here on the Island. We are "finding our groove" with our 2  preschoolers and having a blast in the process. With Sean and Sydney playing around us, Todd and I spent the afternoon identifying new leaders in our church for new levels of ministry. Here are some questions we asked ourselves...

  1. What are we doing that someone else would be willing and more able to do?
  2. What is our "TO BE" list look like - not our "TO DO" List?
  3. Who are we robbing of the opportunity to lead by being too "hands on?"
  4. Why is Sean covered in a sticky substance? (Just seeing if you were playing attention - he found the treasure box filled with candy in Promiseland - sorry, Barb!)

What are you asking about your job, family, or ministry? Share some of it here.

Divine Interruption

I heard this phrase from Dino Rizzo at the Multi-site Conference last week. He asked us as church leaders if we were willing to lead into Divine Interruption.  Are we willing to approach each day and ask for God to "interrupt us" with Divine appointments with people and situations.  I have to say this is a hard one for me.  As a wife, mother, daughter, sister of 2, church staff member - life is interruption.  I like order, somewhat of a schedule, and checking off a to-do can see my conundrum. The funny thing is I am trying to be aware of this and it is happening.  I have had a few "interruptions" this week and I am seeing the Divine appointment in all of them.  The phone conversation I didn't have time to have, the waiting in line that led to another conversation, the e-mail I didn't really have time to respond to - all these things have shown me more about God's agenda and how silly mine actually is.

Are you willing to ask for Divine Interruptions?

Muti-Site Exposed Conference - Day 1

Website_header6 Here were some great thoughts I paraphrased from Mark Batterson, Dino Rizzo, Greg Surratt, and Shawn Wood. They are not quotes because I frankly can barely read my own writing, thus why I am making sure my computer is charged for tomorrow' sessions (iphone, here I come).

DR: It is important to help your staff understand that every one is important on every campus.
DR:  There is not "first class" and "coach" with your campuses - we are one church.
DR: The DNA of our church is what we talk about in staff meetings.
MB: Every church should have a unique church print.
MB: Coffee houses are the post-modern wells of the Bible.
MB: Being a Muti-Site church forces us to think outside of ourselves.
MB: Anything less than multiplication is spiritual complacency.
SW: Seacoast is not a franchise. We give freedom to our campus pastors.
SW: We ask ourselves every week, "What can we leave people with on Sunday that will change their life?'
SW: The original campus has to provide leadership to all the campuses.
SW: The original campus HAS to think multi-site all the time with their decisions.
SW: We have to think about the person that just walked in for the 1st time in our language, the message, the music - we have to be careful how we build on each week.
SW: We have to communicate with our campuses as soon as we know information that affects them.
MB: Everything is an experiment. 
GS: Don't call the the first campus of your church "the main campus."  It is belittling to all your campuses.

Finding our groove

Img_7899Img_7901 1 year ago today, LowCountry Community Church-Hilton Head Island opened its doors (Well, the doors of the 7th Day Adventist Church we were renting, but you get the idea). Today, we held services in our OWN permanent location on the Island where we have been for 3 months.  Our festivities are being postponed for a couple of weeks due to the threat of Hanna (which turned out to be nothing, thank God). Today was just a good day.  My service producers, audio guys, and video team are OWNING it...shooting video, editing pieces, tweaking our service elements, buying new speakers (yeah!), and keeping me on my toes on Sundays. The band is coming together now with the addition of a new drummer and bass player and we are really starting to click.  I felt it know what I'm talking about...that place where things are really starting to find their groove and your team is understanding what it is all about. Sometimes in church planting, there are real serious times of loneliness. I have felt it at times this past year. I didn't really know any musicians or creatives here on the Island and that was very discouraging at times. But I have prayed and God has strategically brought each creative and musician to this church campus in HIS time.  When I look at the incredibly talented people around me, I just cannot believe that this wasn't here a year ago. Even better, this team has become more than just creative people that I serve with in ministry...they have become friends.  Today, I really felt like it was all of us moving toward a common goal...creating a worship environment that "Honors God and Inspires People" as is our mantra at LCC. BTW, we had about 10 people sign-up to be baptized(at the beach!) and 3 people indicated they were believing in Christ for salvation for the 1st was just a good day.

A drummer and a bass player

I prayed .I prayed hard for a year. I mean I really prayed hard. It happened today. I got a drummer and bass player for our Sunday services.  Better yet?  Their good friends. Even better than that?  I didn't go looking for them. God brought them to me. I'm a bit giddy. This isn't the 1st time He's answered my prayer for musicians.  He has a reputation. I pray. They show up.  Not on my time table, but His.

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."  - Matthew 7:7-8

What has God answered for you lately?

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?

LCC-HHI Creatives - Joel Patrick

I love my team. Our church campus is 11 months old and I have already discovered the most AMAZING group of creatives to journey with me here on the Island. In the next few months, I will be spotlighting my teammates and and their creativity.

Joel Patrick4d0t2007Img_7880 has been playing Lumiere in the Main Street Youth Theater's Production of "Beauty and the Beast" for the last month.  He was awesome!  I think I laughed aloud more than I was supposed to. He just bought a green screen for his video company (he is in high school) and we are using it to film some pieces for our upcoming MIssion Message Series. He is a video editor, director, photographer, runs video for our services, and his entire family is artistic...well, I don't know about Andy (old yeller?). Joe brings a young and energetic flare to our team and I cannot wait to see how his creative energy will change the world.

Passion Church

I remember sitting at "Passion on the Hill" about 6(?) years ago and thinking how amazing a Passion Church would be. Welcome, Louie, to the church planting world. ITP will never be the same (ATL's get it).So Los has set the world is true. Click here to get the 20 on it.  Most people do not know this, but Louie Giglio actually suggested the name Gallery Church to Aaron as a suggested name for the NYC church plant Todd and I were a part of helping start in 2005 (that was my Louie connection -very random, I know). So having been a part of church planting in various roles, I am prayerful and ecstatic at the same time for the Passion Team being willing to take a leap of faith and go for it.  Church planting is edge-living and the ride of your life...Godspeed, guys, on a journey like no other!