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Narrow Way Band at the Crusade

Tonite my band, Narrow Way, lead worship for Youth Nite at the Robeson County Crusade. I really felt like we had a tremendous evening. I had some thoughts that I wanted to share…

  • First things first: PRAISE JESUS that many people made a profession of faith. I didn't get a final number but there was quite a crowd down there.
  • I enjoy the challenge of leading multigenerational worship. There were quite a few kidz and teens there tonite. There were also just as many (if not more) of the older generation. I'm sure that the style of worship Narrow Way Band brings was challenging to some of the older generation, however, I hope that they paid attention to the words on the screens – I hope that they paid attention to their kidz and grandkidz ACTUALLY PARTICIPATING IN WORSHIP (I bet some in ways they never do at their home churches!).
  • Consequently, I got some really great comments from many from that generation about how much they enjoyed our music!
  • The sound of the congregation singing tonite was HUGE! I love to hear God's people passionately lifting their voices to Jesus!
  • The sound tonite was rockin'! Mark Autry is a sound genius! The sound that he got with a minimal soundcheck was nothing short of amazing! Any churches in our region that need Audio Visual work done is crazy if they don't call Mark. He's really great!
  • Love playing with the guys in NWB! Here's a funny fact: the band that played tonite (Robby, James, Charlie, Regan, JB, Brandon and myself) has not all been together to play (in rehearsal or live) in over 18 months. That includes the rehearsals for tonite!!!
  • Pretty good with that in mind, huh?
  • I appreciate the challenge that Evangelist Don Whitt brought tonite. Very challenging message.
  • Robeson Community College's Auditorium would be a SLAMMIN' church!
  • My main man, Matt P (yeah, the little one) worked so hard tonite! He set up and tore down gear, loaded in and out – he loves to work when he feels like he has an important job! I was proud of him! He told me, "dad – they paid me in pizza tonite". :)
  • Big shout-out to Buddy Stephens too! Man, that dude WORKED today! Thanks, man!

Big props to all of my hyde park peeps who came out to support us – I Love ya'll – you're the greatest! 

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My Breakout Session

On Saturday morning at the "What’s Next?" Conference for Baptist Campus Ministry, I led a breakout session called, "The 10 "BE’s" of a Lead Worshiper" – here are the notes from that session:

  1. Be excellent: to be excellent you must define what excellence looks like; and don’t define that by other churches (setting the bar too low). You must be excellent at what you do if you expect it from others. I am sick of the church having such a lack of excellence about it. Demand excellence: rehearsal and practice are not the same thing. I tell our musicians, "Practice is what you do by yourself to grow as a musician, learn songs and prepare to meet with all of us – Rehearsal is what we do when we put it all together. Your lack of preparation negates anothers hard work." Quit making excuses: excuses give me "an out" when i don’t give my best. We use people who aren’t talented because "they love the Lord" and then wonder why people don’t wanna come to our gatherings. There is talent on your campus – they may be lost – a great way to lead them to JESUS is by using them!
  2. Be Patient: Ministry is a Cruise Ship, not a Ferarri. Ferarri’s are fast and turn very quickly but they only carry 2 people. A cruise ship CANNOT turn quickly but it carries thousands of people – Ministry is like the cruise ship, if you turn it too quick you’ll make people sick…
  3. Be Humble: this one is hard… because if you do this (lead worship), God made you with this ability to stand before people and perform, and speak, and it takes a certain amount of confidence. If you don’t watch out, that confidence will turn into pride. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid everyone gives to you (you know what the Kool-Aid is?): "you are SO great! God is using you SO much!". "You have such an annointing!" "You’re the reason we come here!" I REPEAT: do not drink the Kool-Aid! It tastes good! don’t drink it! It’s poisonous… And besides, when you do you STEAL GOD’S GLORY… whenever someone does this, point them back to JESUS… which brings us to…
  4. Be a Worshiper: no-brainer, huh? One of the most dangerous things in the world is to become a "professional worshiper". Let me share something with you: God is more concerned with your private worship on Monday morning than He is impressed with your public worship on Sunday. Listen to this:

    21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
           I cannot stand your assemblies.

    22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
           I will not accept them.
           Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, [a]
           I will have no regard for them. (We cannot buy God!)

    23 Away with the noise of your songs! (Without the heart the most Theological of songs is noise to You, O God)
           I will not listen to the music of your harps. (Amos 5:21-23 – NIV)

    It is possible to "DO" the actions that represent worship without truly worshiping. The actions of worship w/o the heart of worship is nothing more than meaningless ritual.

  5. Be Accountable: Who has permission to speak into your life when it is obvious something is out of whack? Who knows you like that? Being a stage personality (no matter how big or small) can be dangerous, what did i say earlier? Don’t drink the Kool-Aid! You need a few people who you can let your guard down with… make sure they are as strong or stronger than you (you don’t want that to be someone you can push around). It’s too easy to fall… make sure there is someone there to keep that from happening. Be diligent about this.
  6. Be Challenged: everything you do is a challenge to others, who is challenging you? Blogs… Vision… Be a learner (not a follower) what works somewhere might not work in your context – maybe not now. I was told 9 years ago that what I do NOW would not work in our region. Which brings me to…
  7. Be Prayed Up: Direction comes from JESUS! You need a white-hot vision from JESUS, not from another church or someone’s blog! Spiritual covering, Spiritual Guidance, Spiritual Eyes (i used to thank God in advance for what He had yet to do but i was believing Him for… "thank you, Jesus, for the drummer you’re gonna send." (I told the story of leading our drummer James to Jesus one nite in our parking lot).
  8. Be filled with the Holy Spirit: The power of the Holy Spirit will bring you a holy boldness that does not reek of puffed-up arrogance… Boldness is the annointing to
  9. Be creative – God is outrageously creative – look at the world! Why are we boring? We have believed the lie that excellence is not a priority.

  10. Be Dangerous: We have the power of the Living God on our side, what are we afraid of? BSU should not be a safe-haven for little christian youth group kidz, it should be a dangerous place that JESUS uses to bring light and life onto a campus. Your worship ministry creates the whole atmosphere of the evening – you gotta "bring it!".
  11. Be a Question Asker (so go ahead, ask me some questions)

That was the outline… it was well recieved and had some great questions thrown at me. I’ve said it before, i love ministering with this age group!

BCM Spring Conference Recap

RealemonJust got home a few hours ago from Mt. Airy from the Baptist College Ministry Spring Conference. The theme was "What’s Next?". The conference was excellent – here’s what we experienced:

  • I was ministering with Narrow Way Band. This version was made up of James on drums, Robby on guitar, Charlie on bass and Justin McQueen on keys. As you know, Brandon is really the leader on NWB but had to sit this one out due to a scheduling conflict. We missed him (but were proud that he made the right choice). We were planning to travel this weekend as a 3 piece band plus singer… we added Justin at the last second (he did a great job!)
  • From what i was told there were 300 plus students from colleges and universities all around our state…
  • Had the opportunity to meet some great people from different ministries – campus pastors, the North American Mission Board and the team from Baptist State Convention NC (who did a tremendous job making this thing happen so excellently!).
  • Met SO MANY studentz! If any of you are reading, send pictures or check out the Facebook Page!
  • Narrow Way was rocking!!!! Unbelievable… "We Shine" by Fee was by far the fan favorite this weekend (which consequently was the heaviest tune we do – it almost sounds like something i would’ve done back in the day grin)
  • We hung out all weekend with the weekend’s speaker, Rick Howerton. Great guy, passionate speaker. He did a great job challenging those students in the area of leadership. Rick is a great storyteller. I think Rick had as much fun hanging with "the band" as we did hanging with him.
  • I ended up being sick by Friday. It’s never good when you don’t know if the next sound out of your mouth is gonna be a "crack" or a "croak". However, God was SO good! In spite of the fact that my voice literally felt like I was singing at 30% of normal (no exaggeration) with the power of God and STRAIGHT LEMON JUICE (hence the above picture). No kidding… i was drinking big gulps of straight lemon juice prior to every set! It worked although the fix was temporary and was just good enough to get me through that set of songs.
  • We had some GREAT Audio/Visual help this weekend from Chess and Jake. These 2 are students at ECU and love all things "tech". With the way things were going on Friday afternoon I’m not sure what we would’ve done without them. UNBELIEVABLY GREAT JOB, GUYS!
  • Because of the weather we didn’t get to check out "Mayberry" – i did get to see Floyd’s Barbershop, though. grin
  • What to say about the Carolina game… Maybe next year. And yes, that was a shocker!
  • Finally got to meet 2 new friends: Rick Trexler and Don McCutcheon. Rick is the team leader for Baptist Campus ministry in North Carolina. He and Barbara (who works on his team) and their team of student leaders did a TREMENDOUS JOB pulling of an excellent conference.
  • …then this morning, after the service I finally met Don, who is the head of the Missions Growth/Evangelism team in North Carolina. What a great time he and i had, talking about JESUS and HIS (JESUS’) plan to turn NC upside Down! Thoroughly enjoyed meeting him and look forward to a great working relationship with he and his team for years to come!
  • On the hyde park front… heard that services were really great. I was told the drama was hilarious, the music was tight, Pastor’s message on point – an all around great hyde park day! There is no way to express to you how good it feels to be able to be gone and KNOW that your team is doing excellent ministry in your absence!

Love ya’ll – great to be home! Looking forward to a great, WholeHearted week!

No Narrow Way Band Concert Tonite

Narrow Way Band is the rockin’ worship band that i occasionally front. The reason that i only "occasionally" front them is because my schedule (nor Brandon’s – Meadows, hyde park Crossover – also in the band) doesn’t allow it – we’re just too busy to do a lot of dates.

Well, we agreed to be a part of a BSU Outdoor Concert at UNCP tonite but it has been postponed due to rain. Kind of good (maybe i can help with promotions now… Plus – we’ll probably bring our own PA!) but overall a bummer as everyone in the band was ready to do this. It has been over a year since we’ve played together live and the practices have been absolutely ELECTRIC! I can’t wait for ya’ll to hear where we’re at…

I’ll let you know as soon as I get a reschedule date…