Sunday Conversation: I Believe Because?

It’s the crux of why we do what we do and why we dedicate so much of our lives to the church, helping those in need, and sharing the gospel of hope and peace. One of the hardest times in my life came after I asked myself this question. It’s not like I hadn’t asked before but for some reason this tine sent me down a dark road that was a struggle to walk. It was a tough time but a very important and life shaping one. My hope is that it is not a question that finds you a similar fate but one that encourages you and others as well. It’s hard to look past the “proper christianese” answer and just speak from your heart.

I Believe Because…?

Grace Church Setlist 6.6.10

Well it was the first official Sunday for our new Senior Pastor. Because of how the timing of things played out, he was unable to be around the office so we never really had much time together as a staff before he came to preach Sunday. There is a strange tension on the first Sunday of a new Pastor. It’s not a bad tension but it’s there. It ended up as another great Sunday with a powerful worship set and inspirational and powerful message. I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Today Is The Day – Paul Baloche and Lincoln Brewster
All Because Of Jesus – Steve Fee
He Made the Difference – Christ Church Choir
Revelation Song – Jennie Lee Riddle
God You Reign – Lincoln Brewster and Mia Fieldes

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at

Coming in for a Landing

Oh man it has been a long 6 months at Grace Church.  I remember roughly 6 months ago, sitting on my couch at home and receiving a phone call from a good friend (who was also my Senior Pastor).  He was on his way home from the Nashville airport after a quick trip to Denver Colorado.  Turns out when he mentioned to us that he was heading to the mountains for the weekend he was really heading to a job interview.  We all assumed, living in middle TN, that he was heading towards Gatlinburg for a vacation.  Nope.  It was like a little punch to the gut to find out the guy who gave you your first job in a church was leaving.  But alas God had called him to Denver and there he now resides.

So in the mean time we have had 6 months without a Senior Pastor, a Connecting Pastor who like me is younger and working at his first job in a church, a Youth Pastor who had practically just started, a Children’s Pastor who has been through this before, and me.  So a younger energitic staff but with less experience than desireable to keep a larger church opperating.  And to top it all off the way the Nazarene denomination works is that we all have to officially resign with the Senior Pastor and the Church Board decided whether or not to keep us (really just a beurocratic formality) to which they can only guarentee 90 days of employment after the new pastor is offically hired (it is their perrogative to bring staff with them, keep the current staff, or use the 90 days to determine how things will work).  While I was told I had little to worry about and that it is rarely ever the case for a staff overhaul, it sticks in the back of your mind as a possibility.  Plus we had just bought a house and planted roots.

So we have been opperating in what I called maintenance mode for the interim time.  We have basically been doing everything we can to keep the plane circling until we can bring it in for a landing (a nice safe non-crashed landing).  In times of Senior Leadership change it can become very stressful.  People seize the opportunity to voice oppinions that they would previously have kept to themselves.  People jockey for position and attempt to “right the ship” they way they had always hoped their church could be.  It can get heavy, people leave, rose colored glasses shattered and apparently pestilance, gnashing of teeth and the such.  Or so I am told from other’s who have been through the change before.

I have to say that even though it wasn’t my favorite time of my ministry life, it wasn’t the horror show it could have been.  The people of Grace really rallied together and despite the potential for a hard transition made the time one of spiritual growth rather than stagnation.  And now we sit on the precipice of a new season at Grace Church as well as for each of our lives both personally and professionally.  We have a new Senior Pastor starting this week and a new phase will begin.  I can’t tell you it will continue to be smooth sailing, I can’t know what tomorrow brings, and I can’t predict what is next for Grace Church but I can tell you that it is time to begin again.  We can come in for a landing and remove the scales of the maintenance mode and hit the ground running (wow a whole sentence of cliches and idioms!).  Regardless of the reckless use of bad overused phrases, it’s like my battery is so close to being completely drained and I am ready to get recharged.

So have you ever been through this type of transition before? What was your experience? Please share.

Sunday Conversation | To Worship Means To ______?

What does it mean to worship?  I am sure there is some definitive theological answer (maybe) for the question.  I am sure there are lots of great saying and phrases we have been taught to regurgitate when asked that question.  But what does it really mean to you?  Is it more than just singing?  Is it more than surrender?  One of the ways I like to view our worship goes back to the Old Testament story of Cain and Able.  You see in that story Able gives God the first fruits of his years crop.  And I see worship as a similar act of giving back our first fruits, giving back our best to God and saying here use this, use me.  So how do you see worship?  What does it mean to you?

Comment below and share if you would like to.

Friday Funny

It may be a day late, but it is certainly not a dollar short. I hope you enjoy these little gems that brought me so much joy this past week.  To start it off let’s explore the depth of T-Pain’s talent.  Auto tuned wolves!

Now pay attention to the man so moved by the spirit he chucks projectiles at the pastor and then baptizes himself.

That's Flipping Sweet!

It's all about marketing yourself correctly

Hmmm at least it comes with dental and a pension.

He's a pretty charismatic guy, what can I say.

Grace Church Set List 5.23.10

Another great Sunday, a little hectic trying to manage two different bands with less then 15 min to switch and get what semblance of a sound check we could. All in all a great day full of great music in every service. And the best news is we are drawing ever closer to the beginning of a new phase of the life of Grace Church as we welcome a new Senior Pastor in two weeks. It has been at times a rather smooth time without a Senior Pastor and other times just plain rough to be honest. But God can move through a bunch of fools just like me as long as we allow it to be.

1st and 2nd Service
Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down) – by Dan Hamilton, Chase Jenkins, Taylor Johnson, Ryan Owens, Robbie Seay, and Tedd Tjornhom
Your Grace Is Enough – by Matt Maher
This Beautiful Place – Mike Hohnholz
Come Thou Fount – Robert Robinson
Jesus Lover Of My Soul – Paul Oakley

Youth Band 3rd Service
Revolution – Starfield
Lead Me To The Cross – Brooke Frasier
From the Inside Out – Joel Houston
With Everything – Joel Houston

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at

Sunday Conversation – My Favorite Song I Sing In Church Is ______?

There are thousands upon thousands of songs we sing during church services.  It seems to be a commodity more available than oxygen these days.  So out of the maddening number of Worship songs you’ve heard or have used on Sunday mornings, which one is your current favorite?  My current favorite that we sing is Cielo by Phil Wickham.  It is an absolutely gorgeous and powerful song that I have fallen in love with.  What’s yours?  Comment below with the Title, Author, and why it’s your current favorite.  It could be anything from a traditional hymn to a secular song your church uses in worship (i.e. just about anything by U2 cause it’t the hip thing to do).

Join the Sunday Conversation, share and pass along.

Grace Church Set List 5.16.10

I have fallen in love with the song Cielo by Phil Wickham. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t sure how it would go over, we sampled and played a version of the intro and for us that was a little different than normal but it went great the whole team that was skeptical at first are now belivers. Great song. The day was great and God moved in a great and mighty way.

Glory to God – Vicky Beeching and Steve Fee
Love The Lord – Lincoln Brewster
The Power Of The Cross – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Cielo – Phil Wickham
Draw Me Close – Kelly Carpenter

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at