Sunday, August 30, 2009

Goin' To Nashville

It's been awhile since I've done this "blog" thing, so you may have to bear with me. I have now been trained to think in only 140 characters. :-)

After 15 amazing years at Seacoast Church - the last 5 as Campus Pastor at the Greenville campus - I have accepted the call to join the awesome staff at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. My official title will be Pastor of Spiritual Formation, where I will oversee community groups and help with multi-site strategy. Cross Point currently has 2 campuses and is launching 2 more in the next few months.

I am very excited to join Pete Wilson, Jenni Catron, and the entire Cross Point staff. They are doing an incredible work in the Nashville area. I have been an admirer from afar for a couple of years, and I can't wait to soon be serving side-by-side with them.

This has not been an easy decision. It has required many, many hours of prayer and Godly counsel. I absolutely love Seacoast and it has been my privilege to serve the Greenville campus over the past 5 years. We will miss the people and leaders in Greenville deeply. I feel confident that Seacoast Greenville is in great shape with great leadership in place. I was probably just getting in the way! :-)

My brothers Greg and Geoff, have been awesome through this entire process. They have walked it with us over the last few months as we wrestled with what was God's direction for our life. Geoff came up today and helped me announce it to our congregation. They have both been very supportive through all of it.

So now we will work on transitioning our life to Nashville. My last Sunday at Seacoast will be September 13. We are praying for a quick sale of our house. If anyone would like a nice home in Greenville, please let me know. We will throw the dog in as a bonus door prize. :-)

Oh, and if Keith Urban needs a session keyboard player, I'll be in town...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I am really excited about kicking off the OnePrayer series this weekend at Seacoast. I think that it is an unprecedented opportunity to connect with churches around the world on the same mission. We are starting things off with Craig Groeschel's prayer that God will make us one. Powerful stuff.

There are over 1200 churches that are participating in the series, and I am curious about the churches that are not. What drove the decision to not be a part of it? I am not condemning, just completely curious.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. A bitter, sweet day for me every year. I love celebrating the day with my wife, who is an amazing mom to our two girls. If I had to raise them by myself, they would have absolutely no chance in life. Jenny is our rock.

It is also bitter because I miss my own mom. She was also the rock in our family. She was beautiful and kind, and could twist an ear harder than anyone should be able to! I see her in my girls everyday and I know that she would be proud of her kid.

Thank you mom.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where I've Been

I'm sorry that I have not posted in a while. I am really digging the twitter lifestyle right now. If something that requires more than 140 characters pops into my head, then I will put it on the blog. Otherwise, come follow me on twitter - it's a swingin' good time, baby!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Acknowledge & Celebrate

The ARC conference was really good. It was the first time that I have heard Brian Houston speak in person and that church is not just about the worship. The guy can bring the truth. His Wednesday morning session was one of the most inspiring messages that I have ever heard. I will never forget that the "oil is in your house." Good stuff.

Another thing that grabbed me was something Dino Rizzo said during his session. Dino is always great and he talked about the 4 thoughts that he wrote down right after starting Healing Place Church (although it was not called that then). The one that stuck out to me was:

Always acknowledge and celebrate what others are doing.

Dino said that you cannot have the attitude as a church planter that you are the only good thing in town. That there is no one else in your city reaching the lost. That there is no one else in your city feeding the poor. That you are the only one in your city doing great ministry. There are great things going on in every city.

Dino said that every ministry that has fallen into sin was preceded by an elite spirit. We have to acknowledge and celebrate what others are doing. I know that I need to get much better it. How about you?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This weekend was very tiring, but a lot of fun. We kicked off our new series Reflect by putting a stage out into the audience with chairs wrapped around the sides. Mitch and Rebecca once again did an amazing job with the stage set. They customized the entire set to go around and under the new stage. It really looked cool. We had plasmas on each side as well as the large screen on the stage. Here are a few pictures from this morning. You can't really see the stage, but I will try to get some shots next week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shakin' It Up

We're going to do something this Sunday that we've never done before. It will be a lot of work to pull off, but this is what energizes me. I am not a very good "stay the course" kind of guy. If we are not shaking things up occasionally, I tend to get discouraged and feel like we are in a rut.

I think that it should be pretty cool. I will try to post some pictures here next week...if we survive the weekend. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

All A Twitter

I have been observing Twitter for a while, trying to figure why anyone would want to keep up with anyone else that closely. Well, while I am positive that no one wants to know what I ate for lunch (5 Guys) - I have begun to Twitter. If you would like to come follow me, click here. Just don't follow too close...that kinda creeps me out.

Monday, April 07, 2008


A few years ago, I went with a team from Seacoast to the 2nd ever C3 Conference at Fellowship Church in Dallas, TX. That was our first exposure to Fellowship Church and it rocked our world. We came back and changed a lot of what we do creatively because of that conference.

The person that I remember the most from that conference was a singer on staff at Fellowship named Vanessa Whitwell. She was one of the most talented singers I had ever heard on a church stage, and beyond that, a beautiful person inside and out. She talked to us after one of the sessions and was extremely kind and real.

I just read on Ed Young's blog that Vanessa passed away last night at the age of 34 from a sudden brain hemorrhage. I cannot imagine the pain that her husband, family and church family are going through right now. Please take a moment and lift them up in prayer.

Movin' On Up

If you were not there last Sunday, I made a major announcement at the end of the services: we are moving into our own building! That's right boys and girls, Seacoast Greenville is getting our own digs and we are just giddy about it!! The location is 2309 Hwy 14, Simpsonville. That is 2 blocks south of Woodruff Rd.

We have been in our current location for the past 3 years and it has been great. We have seen some amazing things happen in those 3 years, but it is time to move on. The new location gives us room to grow in a GREAT location, and most importantly, it will be ours. That means no more set-up and tear down. Can I get a wup, wup?!?

We are still finalizing all of the details, but it is now just down to the fine print. The goal is to begin up-fitting/Seacoastizing the building this summer with the first services happening in August. We will be rolling out all of the details over the next few weeks. This is a MAJOR faith move for us. We know that God will provide, but we are definitely stepping into the Jordan river. I will keep you updated through our blogs on what the next steps are.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Passionate Worship

It seems like we have have gotten this idea that if you are passionate worshiper in church that you are automatically labeled a "charismatic" or "pentecostal". In my scripture reading lately, I have noticed that almost every time someone is worshiping they are doing it passionately. They are falling to their knees, falling on their faces, tearing their clothes (not necessarily recommended for public worship now), raising their arms, shouting, dancing...and the list goes on.

If worship here is practice for when we see Him face to face, you can label me whatever you want - I will be even more undignified than this.

Let's be passionate worshipers this week.

Pics From Easter

Here are a few pictures of the band from Easter Sunday. These guys rocked the house!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Back From Disney

We managed to survive Disney World during spring break week...barely. I have never seen so many people in one place in my life! We had a blast though. If you get there early enough and work the fast-pass system, it can be done.

Most pastors that go to Disney come back and write a post on lessons they learned from Disney. I am not going to do that, but we did notice one thing: we saw several Disney "executive types" walking around the park and they all had one thing in common - they were holding claws for picking up trash. Apparently, no one at Disney is above picking up trash around the parks.

That's a culture of excellence.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend Thoughts

I'm exhausted. I am also on vacation. That is a very good thing. I need a week to recover from the past month. We had a great weekend starting with our Good Friday service.

I will have to post some pics later. We do it very different from anything else that we do, and I think it's the most moving service that I have ever been too. It is a lot of work to set-up and tear down, but well worth it.

Sunday was a lot of fun. We set an attendance record, but I think if we are growing, we should set an attendance record at Easter every year? The services had a lot of creative elements that could have gone wrong, but nothing did. Everything was really smooth and the volunteers did an awesome job all morning. The band rocked straight from 7am until 1pm! That's not easy for musicians.

Our staff was amazing. Tons of extra hours over that last couple of weeks and everyone still had a smile by the end of Sunday. The auditorium looked unbelievable for Good Friday, and then completely different for Easter Sunday. I am not sure that anyone went home from Friday to Sunday!

Thank you so much Seacoasters for celebrating our Savior's resurrection loudly! I am now officially on vacation...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Deep Thoughts On Special Music

I read this quote on special music by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist in DC, on Ben Arment's blog:

"I think special music smacks too much of a variety show. I assume the choir is the congregation. I'd rather not spend the short time we have together listening to someone else sing."

I thought that was very interesting and kind of sums up my feelings about special music in our worship service. It's funny, because back in the day, I programmed special music for almost every service at Seacoast. I prided myself in being able to put together the hippest, latest song that would set-up the message perfectly - or at least close enough. We once went to a conference at Fellowship Church and they did 3 different Creed songs! We had to have us some of that!!

Here is what I began to see when I really took a look at it:
  1. As good as we could do the songs, they always came off as bar/karaoke versions of the originals. Every time I hear a church (no matter how good they are) doing a "cover" song, I end up wishing it was the original artist doing it.
  2. When it was done, it always ended up being 4 minutes of people just staring at us on stage. We typically have around 70 minutes for a service. 45-50 of those minutes are the message. That leaves 20 minutes to connect people's hearts to God through worship. Why would we want to waste 4 of those staring at someone singing someone else's song?
  3. It's much more fun to have the audience participate with you! It's like a great concert where everyone sings along with the band.
We do still occasionally do a special song - mostly for holiday type services, or if it sums up the message perfectly at the end. That also doesn't mean that we throw together some worship songs every week. Each song is very thought out, and we try to come up with creative ways to use them in the service. Lately, I have been using a lot of video for the lyrics. There are some great resources out there right now for doing this well.

In the end, it just has to be authentic to who are you are and the mission that God has called your church to. Doing Creed songs was definitely not who we were. :)