Posted December 26th, 2011 by admin with 3 Comments
I’ve always loved Christmas.
Long before I had a clue about Jesus, when Christmas was all about Santa, Rudolph, & ToysToysToys, there was always a magic about the holiday that set it apart from the others. Becoming a Christian years later only deepened my love for the holiday, as I – apart from the gifts & parties – solemnly celebrated God’s unique engagement with the world some 2000 years ago. Having children – yet again – took Christmas to a whole new level: now able to see more clearly God’s love for His children – and His unique Son – put a whole new perspective on Jesus’ birth.
This year’s Christmas set a new standard for me.
We got Christmas gift-giving out of the way days before Christmas itself. Every day Christmas week we unveiled another batch of gifts: first from my Mother & step-Father; next from my Father & step-Mom, then from various grandparents, aunts, & uncles; next our immediately local family, & on Christmas morning we took care of the immediate family: Cyle, the boys, & myself. Then we went to “Pipie” (pronounced “Pee-Pie”) & “Aly”‘s house for the real merriment.
After dinner, we all gathered in front of the fireplace at the Tucker homestead & began sharing dreams/callings, & what God-gifts we felt we would most need to make those dreams a reality in 2012 – then we prayed for them. Well, we didn’t EXACTLY just pray for them – with Mack & Alyson Tucker, and James Goll in the same room, along with family and friends, that’s just not going to happen in the “normal” way. We had – in essence – a revival meeting. Gifts were being prayed for, proclaimed, called out, & prophesied – people were being freed up/loosed, and commissioned – challenged, encouraged, & CHANGED right then & there. It was what Christmas probably should always be: a time of new birth, new seasons – a time of NEW.
Kenimer, our 6 year old, wasn’t going to be passed over by any means, so he came in and said “I want to be prayed for”, requested a gift of the Spirit, & sat down in our midst as hands stretched forth & voices rose to heaven. Jealous of his brother, Tucker plopped down & simply asked for the fruit of the Spirit – something God would LOVE to give him, so we prayed for that too!
These are the moments I live for – that remind me why I am alive. Thank you, Jesus, for the NEW… we stand expectant of 2012.
Posted December 24th, 2011 by admin with 1 Comment
Saint Lewis, in it’s various incarnations traveled to 6 different states, leading worship for at least 10 different churches (not counting Cyle & I’s home church, & usual Wednesday nights of Sunday morning’s there), including 6 extended Nights of Worship. On top of that, we played 6 conferenced/retreats/festivals, & were invited to do 5 guest times of special music, & 7 different teaching opportunities, from worship camps & conferences, to preaching at the Cloister Chapel on Sea Island & at North Island Church. I took part in training/mentoring/discipling 10 young worship leaders this year, some of which we partnered with in writing & recording, the results of which should see the light of day shortly. Lastly, we/I did 13 “outreach” concerts – low key acoustic shows – where we got to meet & mingle with believers & non-believers alike, making those “kingdom-connections” that open the door for deeper conversations in the future. No matter what we do, I never want to lose those opportunities.
A few of the greatest highlights…
I hate that I do this, but I sometimes make assumptions about people because of their affiliations. A few cases in point, Golden Isles Church of God & Revelation Church/Cedar Crossing Church of God. When we booked our first (yes, we’ve since been back) night of worship at GICOG, my whole band was – quite literally – very nervous. My only experience with COG peeps was very long ago in Ohio, & not necessarily so positive, but they invited us to come, so we did. I repent: these guys were GOING FOR IT! When I found out the pastor read Driscoll & Chan, I knew I had them wrong from the get-go. By year’s end we’ve now done 3 events with various COG churches, & we’re discussing 3 more for the first quarter of ’12. I’m happy to repent of my judgmental attitude towards a group of people I now consider friends & family.
I was blessed to co-lead with two of my friends, & open for another – all of whom I admire greatly & have learned much from. I was honored to open for David Walker at his CD release party at the Channel in Greenville, SC, co-lead with Aaron Keyes at St. Simons Community Church when his CD came out, & co-lead with Pat Barrett at Grace Midtown in the heart of Atlanta. If you’re not already sick of hearing me talk about these guys, you need to check them out!
This was my 2nd year speaking & leading worship at the Forge Conference in Ocean Grove, NJ, & was just blown away by the turn out & response for my sessions. Are you a worship leader? Have you gone to ForgeCon? If not, what’s your excuse?! It’s one of the best value’s in the conference circuit, & it’s like nothing else you’ll take part in. Trust me.
And it goes without saying that Camp Living Waters in Balsam Grove, NC, was an all-out worship-fest. For the first time in my life I worship so long & hard that I literally passed out on stage – fell right over – just layed there on the dirty old carpet. The speaker, Clint Adams took that as a sign that it was probably a good time to pray & take a break. Good move on his part. We’ll be there again this year & I can’t wait!
Speaking of Clint, the church he’s Associate Pastor of hosted their 1st Annual Creative Arts Camp (and yes, we’ll be back again next year for this too), the highlight of which was calling 4 youth out as worship leaders – co-leading with 3 of those at the Sunday close with 350+ in attendence – and calling one unsuspecting young man up to be a drummer, playing drums for the very… first… time… EVER! – and it “took”. He’s now drumming regularly for their church!
Lastly, “Your Mighty Hand” has done things we never imagined: it’s been sung at upwards of 30 churches, & received radio play on around 80 stations across the USA!
Though we’ve only 4 or 5 solid dates on the book for 2012, we’ve got a great number of others in the works, including the release of our 2nd CD, MORNING WILL COME. We can’t wait to worship with you in the New Year! Thank you for your prayers & support!
May His Kingdom come!
Posted December 14th, 2011 by admin with 4 Comments
Recently I was struck struck by a revelation of how important corporate worship is to Biblical discipleship: joining together with the Body – the more & the less mature challenging & encouraging one another – learning about God’s Kingdom through the lyrics, encountering the Kingdom through the lives, response, & example of those around you, & living the Kingdom via our growing, obedient response.
Observing Jesus’s own mentoring/discipling of the 12, the 70, & the 120, we see a pattern: Call, Teach, Model, Apprentice, & Send. He calls disciples to follow Him, teaching them truth, modeling that truth lived-out, walking along-side them as they begin to grasp it themselves, then sends them out to do the same. Since Christ’s call to discipleship is for all believers, is there any good reason to excuse us as worship leaders/worship pastors from modeling this? Not JUST by training teams, but by implementing these elements even into the services we plan.
So, I’m just asking the question: can we disciple Jesus’ way through the act of leading corporate worship? What would that look like? We would have to make room for instruction & the Word of God to be read… those on stage should be an example of Biblical response to God… we should constantly be challenging people to push forward as worshipers – as responders to God – & we need to continually be in the in the game of “sending”.
How would this look in your context? Which of these elements of discipleship are being implemented in your worship? Which could be further developed?
Lastly, what have you been reading that’s challenging your 1.) understanding and living out discipleship, & 2.) how you lead corporate worship?