1 Week Left!

20 05 2011

The time is here. Next Saturday, May 28, 2011, is graduation day for New Life School of Worship students. Words and phrases that come to mind are: excited, relieved, bitter-sweet, I’ll miss it, I’m ready to move on, but probably the most accurate emotion I have is “I’m ready”. I’m ready to get plugged back into Lifeway, my home church in Celina, Tx. I almost feel like I’m start fresh again and so I’m ready for whatever God has for me.

For those of you who are reading this blog post who have ever had to move your family you’ll know first hand what we’ve been going through recently. Knowing we have to be moved back to Celina by June 1 there has been a level of stress on our part of needing to find a place to move into when we get back home. Yes I know God has it under control but sometimes my “human-ness” gets the better of me and the stress begins to build. I called a good friend, David Kinsey, who is in the real estate business in town and asked that he help us start looking for a house to rent. He quickly got back to me and said there were a total of 6 houses listed for rent in the whole city of Celina. Not good for someone trying to move in. We had planned for Diana to go home for a few days and spend her time there driving around house hunting. But in a matter of a week, he located a house, gave me his recommendations and went and looked at the house with my mother on our behalf, sent an application to the other agent and today we have a house to move into. Thank you Lord and thank you David. There has been a great opportunity here that God allowed us as parents to take advantage of, the opportunity to teach our children to be prayers. For the last month we have prayed with our kids that God would provide us with a house. Diana even added a few specifics as to what kind of house she was praying for and the kids made sure that those specifics made their way into their prayers too. And because God is so cool and loves giving good gifts to his children all of what Diana was praying for is in this house. Yeah God!

Please keep us in your prayers as we pack up our apartment and make our trek back down to Texas. Specifically as we travel on Memorial Day, for safe travel on the busy roads.

Thank you to all who have made it possible for me and my family to be where God has called us and we shall see many of you very soon.


(back-tracking) What we’re doing in Colorado

11 09 2010

I realized that some of you who read my blog may have missed some key info. One minute I’m living in Celina, TX and the next I’m in Colorado Springs, CO. Well for your sake I will back-track a little and get you caught up.

I have stepped down from my job at Lifeway Church as their Worship Pastor to attend the New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs, CO. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for several years but haven’t had peace from God to pursue it, but rather felt He was saying to be patient and wait for His timing. However, through wise counsel and spending time with God I have discerned it is undeniable that He is saying, “Now is the time!”

The question I’ve been asked most frequently is, “Why?”

A few years ago I was asked the question, “If you could be a professional at one thing, what would you like to be professional at?” My answer was fast and easy. I said, “I want to be a professional worship pastor.” Now, I don’t mean that I have any aspirations of wanting to become the next big thing to hit the Christian music scene, but I do want to become proficient at what I know God has called me to do. Just so we’re on the same page in our definition of “professional”, my definition of a professional is someone who is not only “good” or even “great” at what they do but they understand the “why” behind what they do and can then turn and teach someone else to do it. And not just share some tips and tricks they picked up along the way that only works for them, but to be able to teach successful principles that work for everyone.
I once hear heard Mark Hall (lead singer for Casting Crowns) being interviewed about a project he was collaborating on with Steven Curtis Chapman. He was asked the question, “What was it like working with such a legend in the Christian Music industry as Steven Curtis Chapman?” His answer became my inspiration. He said that working with Chapman he very quickly realized that he was in the presence of someone who was a true “master of his craft”. The scripture in Proverbs immediately came to my mind and has since become a driving force in my life:

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”
Proverbs 22:29

With all my heart I want to offer the Lord my very best. I want to be able to leverage the gifts, talents, abilities and desires He has given me to help others find and follow Jesus Christ. I believe that is what being a wise steward is. Being content with mediocrity will not get that job done.

While my mind was still trying to wrap around this idea of becoming a “master craftsman” God prompted me with another verse from King David:

“…I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
1 Samuel 24:24

I am reminded of something that happened to Diana and me when we were first married.
After the wedding we, like most people, waited until we were settled in to our new apartment together to open our wedding gifts. Before opening this one particular box we of course first read the card to see who it was from then proceeded to open the box. Inside was a nice porcelain fruit bowl and a matching pitcher. However, inside the pitcher was another unopened card. So, not wanting to miss out on a possible card with money in it I opened that card as well except the “well wishes” were not to me or Diana but rather was to the person who gave us the gift. Yes, we had been “re-gifted!”

If I only serve God with the talents and abilities He gave me and never take the time or make the sacrifices necessary to cultivate those gifts I have really offered him nothing he has not already given me.

Becoming a professional will not come easy nor will it come fast. It will require a lot of hard work and many sacrifices.

The time will come when I stand before God and in response to His Holiness, I will bow before Him and I will lay my crowns at His feet. When that time comes I want to give him a massive crown. I want to say with excitement and anticipation, “God you freely and graciously gave me these abilities to reach out to those who didn’t know you and by your favor and grace I cultivated those gifts and was able to reach many more people.” I passionately want to hear him say on that day, “Good and well done my faithful servant!”

My family and I are on an exciting journey and I hope you will stay connected by subscribing to this blog. We covet your prayers and support.

Jeremy, Diana and family

New Song for Easter

30 03 2010

It’s ALWAYS more fun when we know the songs that the band is playing on Sundays. This Sunday at Lifeway we’ll be introducing the new song “God Is Alive.” The best way for you to get this song “in your heart” is to download it, get it in your iPod, and worship with it every chance you get leading up to Easter. You can hear the full song by clicking the play button below or you can click here to download the MP3.

Recruiting in Progress

15 10 2009

double-worship-team-buttonRight now at Lifeway I am in the middle of the largest recruiting process I’ve ever undertaken in my 9 years of Worship Leading. As many of you may or may not know, in February 2010, Lifeway will be a big 2 years old. If you’ve ever been a part of a church start up (from scratch) you’ll know that the few people you have do everything. Everyone MUST work or the job just won’t get done and more importantly people won’t get reached. So, what generally happens is you begin to start building teams based on necessity, a need will pop up and wah-la so does a team to fill the need. After a while you have a bunch of teams but you begin to lose continuity amongst them and thus the need for organization. At Lifeway we are at that place.

Earlier this summer I was able to take a two week vacation. The first week was spent with my wife (no kids) on the white sands/ blue water beach in Mexico on a much needed honeymoon that we never took 10 years ago when we got married. The second week pretty much spent by myself. During this time I was able to get away from everything and really evaluate my ministry and my leadership. This was a great time and it’s where I stumbled upon the recruiting process that I’m currently using. Some of you may have read his material before but I have listened to and read several of Jason Hately’s publications on leading worship as well as his recruiting process. Jason is the Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey Church in NY and serves under his Lead Pastor, Nelson Searcy. It doesn’t take a long time listening or reading things by them and you will quickly realize that they live and die by “systems”, a philosophy I am quickly coming to live by myself. When you think about it, God designed everything according to systems… the solar system, the eco system, the central nervous system and the list goes on. Everything we do, whether you realize it or not, is done by some sort of system. As I began this article I said I am in the middle of recruiting right now and it is going very well. I am following the How To Double Your Worship Team system by Jason Hatley. We began the recruiting process 4 weeks ago with 23 people currently serving on the Worship Arts Team (W.A.T.) (who have been recruited over the last two years). In the last 4 weeks we’ve had and additional 22 people sign up for auditions and interviews which are coming up next week on Oct. 25. Of those 22 people 3 are currently serving somewhere and would like to join another team and 19 are not currently serving anywhere. These are great results! I could share more but there’s way too much. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to know more and I would HIGHLY encourage anyone in a leadership position to get you hands on Jason Hatley’s material.

Acquire the Fire, Battlecry Event

3 03 2009

This weekend (March 6 and 7) we, Overflow (the Lifeway Student Ministry), are taking 105 people to the Acquire the Fire Battlecry Event at SMU’s Moody Colosseum. God is DEFINITELY up to something though I wouldn’t attempt to speculate what. He (God) has provided the money for this event to be possible. Our students were challenged to use this as an outreach opportunity and if they invited someone to go with them then their way would be completely paid for. This was made possible by an anonymous donor being obedient to God with their money that said they would cover the cost of going for any student and their friend who met the challenge put before them.  In one weeks time we went from having 12 students signed up to having 92 students sign up to go. That’s 41 teenagers who invited a friend. It doesn’t stop there. No, no. God has gone another step farther. Now, because of the vast number of teens we ran into a transportation issue. It’s one thing to barrow a Suburban to transport 12 kids, it’s quite another to have to transport 105 counting our adult sponsors that are going as well. Two weeks ago, someone else came to church and donated $2000 dollars and specified that it go towards the Overflow ministry. This amount covered the cost of renting 7, yes 7, fifteen passenger vans for the weekend. I said this earlier and I’ll say it again, God is DEFINITELY up to something. The effects of this weekend could and most likely will be felt for years to come even until Jesus returns.

Should you think of us this weekend please pray for our adult leaders, our student small group leaders and each student who will be attending. Pray for safe travel (though we’re not driving far) and pray most of all for the spiritual battle being waged over us while we’re  there that God will be able to work in someones life.


Click here for Facebook Group link

Freedom! Free From Past Hurts

7 10 2008

God did some amazing things this last Sunday at Lifeway. For starters, we had another record high attendance with 282 people. WOW!!!

As I said in my last update Diana and I were going to be sharing a part of our life that not many people knew. Satan tried all week to thwart those plans. The plan was to video tape our testimony and then show it during the sermon but after numerous, and I’m mean numerous problems by Thursday it was evident that the video wasn’t going to be possible and we were going to have to do it live. Just the thought of having to do it live made us both tremble. We didn’t know how it would be received. Would people think less of us once they knew our past, would we still have the same friends once everyone new who we were and what we had done? God proved himself to be a very big God. When it was over, people lined up to share how our story helped them and how it encouraged them to know that we were real people too just like them and because of it they are able to begin their road to freedom. It was awesome!

Lifeway Church Happenings

23 09 2008

Hello again! Sorry for the gap in updates. We have moved the Lifeway Church offices to the new church building and have been unjustly deprived of internet for the last 2 weeks and just today we got back on the grid.
There is a lot of work (remodeling) going on here for the last 3 weeks and this week the fire sprinkler system is being installed. It is VERY noisy around here and very difficult to get our jobs done as it does require a little bit of concentration. Nevertheless there is a lot of progress being made this week and soon we’ll be able to have an actual Certificate of Occupancy and not a Temporary C of O which only allows 299 in the building at any given time. Because God is so cool that number will quickly becoming the normal attendance. We have already had 278 here the Sunday before last.

On a different note, please pray for Diana and me over the next few weeks. The current sermon series at church is called “Freedom” and next week the sermon is titled Free From Past Hurts. We’ve been asked to share our testimony and talk about the things we went through while we were dating and early in our marriage. The scary part for us is that NO ONE in our church has heard our story before and well, we’ll be “exposed.” We want to be as real and as transparent as we possibly can and hopefully help those who have walked where we have walked and maybe help those who are walking there now.