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. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Helicopter Drops

Since it seems like we somehow missed the memo about churches doing egg drops from a helicopter, we have decided to drop turkeys from a helicopter for Thanksgiving. We're pretty sure they can fly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Giving Hope, Giving Life

I know that I have not posted a lot about the church lately. I am not a big fan of the 'hype' style of blogging that seams to dominate these days. It probably has it's place, but that's not really who I am.

However...I do get very excited about life change and serving the community. We had a 2 hour outreach meeting this morning and there are some really cool things planned for this year. Our community may be sick of us by December! It starts this Saturday with our Giving Hope, Giving Life outreach from 12-3pm at the church. Here are just a few of the things that we are doing:
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Lots o' food
  • Jump castles for kids (and me)
  • Free oil changes for single moms
  • Free car wash and detailing
  • Free massages
  • Free dental screenings
  • Free medical screenings
  • Free financial seminars
  • Free job interviewing seminars
  • Free business clothes for job interviews
Did you notice the theme there? Everything is FREE! And this is not some scheme to get you to sign up for the real stuff that costs later. We have people in our church that are doctors, nurses, dentists and business leaders and are giving their time and expertise to just be Jesus in the community.

I think that's worth the hype.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Radio Call

I was asked this morning if I would make a "surprise" call to the morning show at The Joy FM in Sarasota, FL, who had Chris Sligh in the studio for an interview. Against my better judgment, I called in. You can listen to the damage here. :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


We got a dog. I am not sure how it happened, but we went out for lunch on Saturday and came home with a dog (We adopted a rescue - we didn't steal one). We couldn't just start with a little cute puppy - we got us a DOG. It's a 3 year old, 60 pound Australian Shepherd. If you need something herded, give us a call. We put a gate on a doorway to keep the dog out of a room, and it jumped over it with no run up. Somebody told us that they will jump on the back of sheep to get to the other side of a herd.

Yeah...we got a DOG.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Would You Be My Neighbor?

I have noticed a few pastor-type blogs lately talking about similar churches that are basically locating right next to each other. Tim has a post about a church that is planting a campus very near Granger. Michael talks about a church that is relocating to the same area that they are in. Greg pointed out that his church is directly across from Prestonwood Baptist, another mega-church in Dallas. I was visiting my friend Rich Butler's church a few weeks ago and was shocked at how close they are to Brookwood Church here in Greenville. They could almost share a parking lot! We are experiencing this at Seacoast Greenville with Newspring Church planting their first campus less than a mile from where we are.

I am not sure what to think about this phenomena yet. I know that this is quite common in the retail world. There is usually a Home Depot directly across the street from a Lowe's. Grocery stores that sell the exact same products are almost always clumped together. I am just not sure if this is the best strategy for life-giving churches that have the same mission and strategy.

Then again, maybe it's a good thing and each church feeds off of the spiritual momentum of the other.

Just something that I am pondering right now. I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts on this.

Friday, February 29, 2008


  • Possible ticket from speeding to DFW airport to catch the early flight = $100
  • Bad airport sandwich and coke for lunch = $11.23
  • Home 6 hours early for family movie night = Priceless :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chris Sligh's New Single

My friend and our former worship leader at Seacoast Greenville, Chris Sligh, has just released his first single, "Empty Me", from his upcoming album, "Running Back To You". It is really, really, really good, and you can download it from iTunes here. It was also released to Christian radio this past week.

Chris has been in Nashville for the past 6 months working with famed CCM producer, Brown Bannister, on his debut release with Brash Records. I think people are going to be blown away when they hear the final product on May 6th. On top of being an amazing singer, Chris is a fantastic writer and musician.

Chris is also writing reviews of this year's American Idol at www.ew.com. As you know, Chris does not hold anything back!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Like Me Some Foo

I just caught the Foo Fighters on Letterman tonight. For my money, Dave Grohl is the coolest dude on the planet. NO ONE rocks harder than the Foo.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


15 - that is how many people we baptized this morning at Seacoast Greenville.
2 - that's how many people were signed up to be baptized.

I really don't have any words for what we experienced this morning. After a great message on why you should be baptized, we opened it up during our response time for anyone who wanted to take that extra step of faith.
We did not have any idea of what to expect.
We thought we were ready with plenty of clothes and towels...we were not.
The last few people had to wear recycled shorts and use already wet towels.
We were still baptizing people after the second service was over.
The sight and sound of people worshiping and cheering at the same time was overwhelming.
I cried - a lot.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

  • Not that I ever considered it, but...really glad that we did not cancel church today. We filled up 2 services with people that didn't seem to mind the cold!
  • I don't think I saw single piece of ice on the road this morning.
  • We kicked off our winter small groups this morning. 19 groups! Every group made cookies to entice/bribe people into their group. Hey, whatever it takes!
  • The band was laying down some serious rock today! I had someone ask me after church if the guys in the band came out of our church. Yes, they did. I love that the people on the stage believe in the mission of the church. And they seriously rock my face off every Sunday!
  • I'm rooting hard for the Packs to make the Superbowl. That would at least make it an interesting game.
  • Jenny's birthday is Tuesday, and she has asked me and the girls to make her cake. I told her that it will not probably be edible, but we'll give it a shot!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Church Tomorrow

In case anyone is wondering, we are having church tomorrow. The snow is over and everything should be clear by tomorrow morning. We will have our normal services at 9:30 & 11:15. We are also kicking off our new series "Behind The Man - The Early Years", as well as our winter small groups tomorrow!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My First Series

I get a pretty good amount of phone calls and emails from pastor's who would like to know what our experience has been like as a multi-site church plant. What has worked? What would you never do again? What are the differences from a normal church plant? I thought that it might be fun (and potentially time saving) to do a series of posts on this subject. I love blog series now because I have the attention span of a gnat.

So gather up the kids and neighbors for some serious blog fun!

Snow Day!

We woke up this morning to find this white stuff all over our yard. I am not sure what it is, but apparently it is quite dangerous. All of the schools are closed and no one is going anywhere!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Growing Up In The Digital Age

My 4 year old daughter interrupted the bedtime story reading tonight with, "Daddy, can you put it on pause please?"

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I posted awhile back about how my daily Bible reading has transitioned to the computer. I hardly ever, except for Sundays, pick up an actual Bible. I wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing until the guys at LifeChurch.tv came out with YouVersion.com. This is a great, great tool for online Bible study.

I have never actually read through the Bible in a year. I have started a couple of times and lost it somewhere on the path. This year I am doing it through YouVersion's yearly plan. It also allows you to journal your thoughts as you are reading. That was the one thing that I felt like I was missing with electronic reading. You can also upload videos, pictures, mp3's...all to enhance the passage you just read. That's pretty sweet.

You can start your yearly plan by clicking here.

David Crowder Band

I just got back from my first David Crowder Band concert. A few observations of the show:
  • I haven't sat on a pew in church in a LONG time. Luckily, we stood most of the time. :)
  • The opening band was not very good. I guess that can be a good thing?
  • We are getting old. Jenny and I used to be cool (at least we thought so).
  • David Crowder was great! Anyone that can play a lime green keytar and a Guitar Hero guitar in one set, is my hero.
  • The lighting was fantastic. They used the moving lights to enhance the worship, not distract from it.
  • Video consisted of one screen with white letters over a black background. Surprisingly minimalist compared to the lighting. The projector didn't even fill the whole screen.
  • The guy is a great performer, as well as a worshiper. He proves that you can do both in the right setting.
  • We snuck out during the youth pastor's talk for some "Shrimp On The Barbie" at Outback. Totally worth it. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Christian Radio

One thing that I will never get is: churches that advertise on Christian radio. Who are you going after?!? I have yet to meet a seeker who's first step was to turn on some Christian rock. Just a thought...

On a positive note, Greenville has a great new Christian radio station at 96.7. I think it was formerly The Buzzard? I am not a huge Christian radio fan, but these guys are playing some good music (Switchfoot, Lifehouse, Reliant K...). Check 'em out if you're in your car today.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


  • The energy in the room today was amazing at both services. It feels great to back to the normal schedule!
  • Our special guest this weekend was Jim Caviezel, the guy who was Jesus in The Passion Of The Christ. This guy is the real deal. He doesn't hide from his convictions and faith.
  • It takes a big man to take a part that will absolutely kill your career in Hollywood, and count it as gain for the cause of Christ. Wow.
  • Great, great crowd today, and most of the college students come back next Sunday!
  • We are going to spend the next year in the book of Luke. I love that we are going to dig in like that.
  • We got a Wii for Christmas. My 4 year old slaughters me in bowling. She now wants to be a professional bowler when she grows up. I think that she has a real chance.
  • I can't stop playing the Wii.
  • No seriously, I am playing tennis with one hand while typing with the other.
  • We're going to lay out the vision for Seacoast this Sunday. My favorite Sunday of the year.
  • Jim Caviezel is tall. Or maybe my brother Greg is really short...
  • Love the holidays, but I am glad they are over. Christmas tree is still up though. My daughter thinks that we should leave it up and just change the decorations for the different holidays...hearts for Valentine's day, flags on July 4th, overdue books for National Library Week...I like it.
  • I have a need, a need for more Wii.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Proud Daddy

My 9 year old daughter, Brianna, decided (on her own) to ask for money instead of gifts for her birthday this year, so she could buy essential baby items for single moms at the Piedmont Women's Center.

Last week, we took her to Target so she could could spend her $85 on items for a boy and girl baby. The lady who was checking us out, asked us if we were buying all of that for a baby shower. When Jenny told her what Brianna was doing, she started to tear up and told Brianna that people like her make a big difference. She then revealed that she is a single mom with another one on the way. She had no idea that the Piedmont Women's Center helped out single moms.

Yeah...I'm a proud daddy. :)