Friday, November 30, 2007

Festival of Trees Video (Part 1)

So, before you watch these, let me describe the set-up:

We were on a 12x14 stage, about 1/8 of which was being taken up by the huge bench thing you can see in the back right corner...why they wouldn't take it down, we don't know...

The stage was about as flimsy as a cardboard box, and my best guess is there was close to a ton of weight sitting on top of it. We were getting sea sick trying to read our music as it bounced up and down.

We adjusted the sound on the fly through the first few songs.

Only the vocals and acoustic guitar and keys were running through the system. Everything else (except for the drums and percussion) was amped. So, if the mix sounds bad, it's because it was.

Our set was cut short...didn't get to do the last three songs because we started 15 minutes late cause they didn't plan very weel for the transitions between bands.

But, we had a great time, and our attitudes were good throughout. It actually reminded us of our old church building...the stage was about the same size.

Anyway, we didn't get video of everything, and some of the video turned out bad (more because of us than our video guy), so I haven't included everything. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Festival of Trees Quick Report

Lots of fun.
Not lots of stage.
Lots of stress.
Not lots of time.
Lots of people having fun.
Lots of video coming tomorrow.


Final Set List for FoT...

Here's the schedule as far as I know for tonight...

6-6:30 - some kind of singing group

6:30-7 - First Flight Church's band

7-8 - the MilePost13 Band

8-9 - The Church of the Outer Banks' band

I've heard that TCOBX does not have an hour of stuff planned, so maybe we can go a little long if needed. I've put the following in order as a playlist on iTunes, and it tells me we'll play for 50.9 minutes if we do everything exactly as the original recording does (which we're not quite doing). I've talked with the churches who are on before and after us, and we're coordinated a little with our instruments and gear to make the transitions on and off the stage a little smoother and quicker.

So, basically, if you can't come, but you want to pretend you were there, download the following, put them in this order, turn your AC down to about 55, and have fun!

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/G (MercyMe)
O Come Let Us Adore Him/G (Passion/Matt Redman)
Brief Intro
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree/E (MercyMe)
Rejoice/E (Chris Tomlin)
Extended Intro
Silent Night, Holy Night/A (MercyMe)
Joy To The World/D (Third Day)
Better Days/D (Goo Goo Dolls)
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day/E (MercyMe)
Short Break
Christmas Time Is Here/G (MercyMe)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Em (MercyMe)
What Child Is This/Em (Sarah McLachlan)
O Holy Night/C (MercyMe)
Gloria/C (MercyMe)


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Festival of Trees, Outer Banks: Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that the MilePost13 Band will be playing at the Festival of Trees from 7 to 8 tomorrow night. We're stoked to give back to the community in this way and to show people that church can be fun.

We'll be passing out these business-cards to anyone who's interested in learning more about us.

Please, pray with us that we do it all for God's glory and that we do it well. Thanks!

Learn More about the FoT.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Gathering Video (Part 4)

"Everlasting God"

"Jesus Paid It All"


Sean Taylor

Whether you're a Skins fan or not, whether you're a football fan or not, please, take a moment to pray for Sean Taylor's family and friends. Also, pray that coach Joe Gibbs and the other Christians in the Skins organization will take the opportunity to share the hope and peace of Christ. Thanks.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Free Stuff!

WorshipHouseMedia is giving a freebie away every weekday until Christmas. This is a good resource for videos.


The Joe Dimaggio Principle

Relating to my First Impressions posts from a few days ago (Part 1 & Part 2), check out Vince Antonucci's "Joe Dimaggio Principle" Here & Here. GREAT stuff!


Thanksgiving Gathering Video (Part 3)

We were really happy with how the combination of "Glory in the Highest" and "How Great Is Our God" turned out:


Thanksgiving Gathering Video (Part 2)

A few more clips from last Wednesday:

"Revelation Song" (the harmonica needs a little tuning...):

We went right from that into "Kingdom Come":


Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've Been Elfed!

Merry Christmas from the Staff of NHC!


First Impressions: My Experience as a First-Time Guest (Part 2)

(I split this into two posts...I hate reading really long posts. See Part 1)

> The band went into two more songs. The first song was up-tempo, and the second was much slower. The words were on the screen, and everyone was standing now, and most people were clapping and/or singing. I didn't sing or clap because I did not know the songs. I did tap my foot a little. The music was similar to what you might here on an adult light radio station. Not really my cup of tea, but not bad either. The percussion guy was sitting on a box drum really low to the floor...he played that and some other hand percussion was a little distracting just because he looked out of place sitting on that box and leaning over to play into his mic.

> The preacher came up after the third song. He mentioned that they were going through a "series" called "Retro", and that they were having a retro dress contest that morning, and the winner was going to get a new iPod. Fortunately, I had looked at their website ahead of time, and wore some retro cllothes. The preacher told everyone to sit down except for those who were wearing retro. I sat down because I didn't know anybody there and I didn't feel comfortable standing up with just a few other people. That sucks cause a new iPod would have been cool.

> The preacher started his sermon...he walked around on the stage some and sat on a chair some while he spoke. He talked about living with thankfulness and gratitude to God. Good stuff. He quoted Bart Simpson...that was cool.

> The band came up as he was finishing talking. The guitar guy asked us to stand again, and they played another song that I didn't know.

> The preacher came up again and finally told us the name of the guitar guy. He told us about a few announcements, and then they asked everyone who dressed retro to come up front so they could decide the winner. Again, I wasn't cool with putting myself out there like that, so I missed out.

> After giving the iPod away, the preacher prayed for the offering. I didn't come ready to put anything into the offering, so I was happy when the basket somehow skipped my row (again, I was the only person in my row)...BUT, I felt really uncomfortable when the girl walked backwards with the basket and offered it to me...I shook my head. That was awkward, and I felt guilty for not doing something.

> The band played one more song that I didn't know, and then the preacher told us to live with gratitude, and then it was over.

> As I turned to leave, one of the guys who was sitting behind me saw my white bag and told me his name and shook my hand. I walked out to my car and drove away.

> After I left, I looked in the white bag. The contents were:

> A yellow and blue water bottle with the church's logo and name printed on it.
> A big magnet and a small magnet with the church's name, logo, website and phone number.
> A couple of business card size "invitations" to a series that the church did in September and October (not sure how that helps me...)
> An info card about their "growth groups".
> An info card about their "purpose".
> A postcard with info about that same series in Sept./Oct.
> A yellow piece of paper about their children's ministries.
> A green piece of paper about their student ministries.
> A white peice of paper listing their ministry groups.
> A white pieced of paper listing their growth groups.

So, those were my thoughts as best I could as a first-time, unchurched guest.

A few thoughts to add:

> Not once was anything about the church or the service explained to me as a guest...nobody told me what to do about the singing, the offering, the seating, the information card, etc. The only time anyone talked about "guests" was when the preacher mentioned guests in a "them" way, not a "you" (me) way.

> The website gave me conflicting info about service times. When I called the church number, the answering machine did not tell me anything helpful either. I guessed and was lucky about which time was right. If I hadn't promised my wife I'd check this church out, I probably would have gone somewhere else.

There were a lot of good things about the church. The band was good. The preacher was likable and relevant and engaging. The worship center was comfortable. The lighting and video were all good. But, the things that would have made the decision for me if I really were a first-time, unchurched guest were mostly lacking. I felt targeted more than simple welcome as a guest. I felt lost as to what was going on. I felt a little lonely.

I'm glad I went this morning. There are some things at NHC that we need to change. We do a lot of things well to make out unchurched guests feel welcome, but theres' always room for improvement.


First Impressions: My Experience as a First-Time Guest (Part 1)

(Before I begin, let me state that the purpose of this post in NOT criticize this hope is that I can use my experience to further understand how to become the church that God wants us to be. I'm not going to mention the church's's not a church I've discussed on PW before. If you can gain something from my experience, even better.)

I'm in Durham, NC this weekend because my wife is still in the hospital (almost two weeks). Tricia has been wanting to go visit a certain local church for the first time, and although she couldn't go, I went for her. I decided to go in with the mindset of trying to view everything as a first-time, unchurched guest (again, so that I can try to understand how first-time, unchurched guests view their experience at NHC). Because I grew up in the church and was brainwashed for several years, I can guarantee I didn't do a super job of thinking like an unchurched guest...but, hopefully I did OK.

This church meets in a strip mall. I only took a look at the small entrance lobby and the worship center, but I could see some kind of kid's area as well off to one side. The worship center seats about 250. There are colorful stage lights, and decent sound system, two projectors and screens on each side of the stage flashing graphics and announcements before the service, and video/lyrics/scripture/etc. during the service. There are actually two in the center holds the worship leader guy and his acoustic guitar and wireless head mic, three BGV singers (all ladies), a lady on the keys and a guy playing some percussion things. The second stage off to the left holds the electric guitar, bass and electric drums and the guys playing them.

I parked in the "first-time guest" designated parking space. I'm typically an outgoing guy, but not when I enter into a completely new environment, so I didn't go out of my way to talk to anyone. I walked directly into the worship center and found a seat in an empty row of chairs. I did not sing any of the songs (a few were familiar to me), I did not take any notes, I did not put anything in the offering basket, I did not seek out anyone to meet when they told us to get to know somebody after the first song.

So, here are a few things that I noticed based on my viewpoint as a first-time, unchurched guest:

> They had a couple of speakers on stands set up in the parking lot playing music. This was cool, but I did not recognize the music (actually, I did, but I'm trying to think like an unchurched person...). I think I'd feel more comfortable if they were playing something familiar.

> Before I reached the front door from the parking lot, a young lady approached me and asked if I was a first-time guest. I said, "yes", and she welcomed me and handed me a white bag (I'll tell you what was in the bag later). I thought this was cool at first, until I realized that this was a very sneaky way for the church to tag me as a first-time guest so that everyone else would know I was a first-time guest...this was not cool. I wanted to be able to go to this church and be as invisable OR visable as I wanted to be...I wanted to wait until I had a feel for what this church before I identified myself as the outsider. Furthermore, I did not see anyone else carrying a white bag like mine, which made me feel even more uncomfortable. I could literally feel the people I passed in the lobby and worship center on my way to my seat looking first at my white bag and then at me. When I reached my seat, I tried to hide the white bag as best I could.

> When I reached the front door, a guy handed me a card...he smiled but didn't speak. I glanced at the card and quickly put it in my white bag. When I reached my seat, I pulled the card out of my asked me for my information and if I wanted any more information about the church. Nobody ever mentioned why they wanted my information, why I should want the church information, or what I was supposed to do with the card.

> Except for the girl who handed me the white bag and the guy at the door who smiled, nobody made any contact with me. I guess that's OK, because, again, I want to be as invisable as I want to be. (But, had I really been an unchurched guest, I wonder if I would have known to enter the bigger room with the seats and lights and stage and sit down anywhere I wanted to sit.)

> I sat in a chair in an empty row of about 15 chairs about the middle left side of the room. Nobody sat in my row...I wonder why. The room only ended up about 35% full, but it seemed that everyone I could see was sitting with other people. It's not that I wanted to sit with anyone, but I wonder why.

> I only arrived about 2 minutes before the service began, so I didn't get to see much of what was being displayed on the big screens, but the ones I saw looked like some announcements that were meant for the people who were already going to that church. The graphics were cool, but they didn't seem like they were communicating to me.

> The service began with when about 10 people walked up onto the stage and grabbed the instruments and mics and began playing and singing a song that I had never heard. The words to the song were up on the screen. A few people around me were clapping and/or singing, but most everyone sat and watched an listened...I was cool with this because I didn't know the song and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be singing.

> The first song ended and the guy with the guitar (I didn't find out his name until near the end of the service) asked us to stand and then turn and shake somebody's hand. I was sitting alone in my row, but a family of three in front of me eventually turned around and shook my hand and said, "hi".

(Read Part 2)


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Festival of Trees Tentative Set List

O Come Let Us Adore Him/G
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree/E
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day/E
Silent Night, Holy Night/A
Joy To The World/D
Better Days/D
Christmas Time Is Here/G
What Child Is This/Cm
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/G
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Em
O Holy Night/C


More Fun with Adobe Illustrator


Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Gathering Video (Part 1)

Here's the start of the gathering the other night. I'll post more video when I can clean the heads on the the video camera.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Thanksgiving Painting

Chris Scarborough's Story

Here's the video we shot for and showed last night at the Thanksgiving Gathering. I met Chris last Saturday just before the shoot. IMO, this is the best (highest quality) video I've produced so far. The video and audio turned out almost perfect. And, Chris' story is excellent.

Do you remember your story? It may be similar to Chris', or it may be completely different. If you follow Christ, do you remember where He has brought you from? Take time today to give God thanks for your story.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Video 01

Here's a quick little video of artist Pete Rudolph from tonight's gathering:


Thanksgiving Gathering Review

It was well worth the trip home (see the latest schedule of my life).

About 150 people came. About 100 were our folks, and about 50 were from OBX Nation. Seems The Church Of The Outer Banks didn't get the memo (or didn't care?). But, that's cool, cause we had a great time. Got to meet some cool people.

Pete Rudolph joined us on stage for the entire gathering, painting an impressionist type piece.

Had lots of great comments, mostly about appreciation for the pportunity to worship (which are always more better than comments about how good or bad something was). Had one friend tell me that she experienced something very new and personal for the first time, so that was really cool.

MilePost13, as always, did a great job of leading by example. We changed it up a little...both of our bass players were OOT, as were Chad and Andy. So, both Thanisha and Rachel sang with me, Bonnie and Gail split time on the keys, and Rich filled in nicely on the bass.

And, George's new amp sounds great for his harp (that's harmonica for you uncultured people).

I'll have several videos to post over the next few days as I get some time to download and edit.




Just a reminder:


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Cheer Guys

A couple of friends of mine:

Check them out at


Monday, November 19, 2007

Rough Day/Good Day

My brother-in-law, Terry, resigned from his church yesterday (as youth pastor). He and my sister are moving to FL to be a part of a church down there. Here's video of him giving his resignation:

When I resigned from my last church (similar situation to Terry's), my pastor told the church about my leaving, which was probably much easier than what Terry just did. It's never easy, but it always feels good when it's over with.


Thanksgiving Gathering Set List

I'll post more about some other elements of the gathering later, but here are the songs that we're doing. As our drummer described it last night at practice, this is like a "best of" list for us.

You Are Good
Let The Praises Ring
Revelation Song
Kingdom Come
Let God Arise
Glory In The Highest
How Great Is Our God
Everlasting God
Jesus Paid It All


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Blitz

> Another LONG weekend...I've been single all week because Tricia's been in the hospital...I'm very glad I got married if for no other reason than it makes me not work as much as I would if I were still single all the time.

> the MilePost13 Band rocks! We practiced again tonight...they're putting in so much time right now getting ready for our Thanksgiving Worship Gathering and for the Festival of Trees.

> Buddy is sick. He's one of our electric guitarists, and a good friend. Pray that he's feeling better so he can work, enjoy the holiday this week, and play with us on Wednesday.

> This morning was weird. The first gathering never really felt like it got any momentum. It was packed with people, but I just never felt like we connected. The second gathering seemed to click from the start.

> Have I mentioned how stoked I am about the Thanksgiving Gathering and the Festival of Trees?

> The Skins lost again...luckily I didn't get to see any of the game.

> I hope Barry Bonds goes to prison, if he is indeed guilty (and doesn't anybody still question that?), and I hope his name and records get erased forever from baseball. Sorry.

> My dog, Meka is the coolest ever. She hung out with us at practice tonight (yes, I take my dog to church all the time). I've had her for about a year now, which is why I mention her.

> Tricia doesn't remember where she packed my razor, so I haven't shaved in about three weeks, including my neck...that's bascially a record for my neck. I probably looked a little scary on stage today.

> Andy did a great job filling in on drums for Chris who hurt his back earlier this week.

> Our Christmas music is going to rock the house and bless God and His people this year...we're really stoked.

> We baptized two people young lady who discovered life in Christ for the first time just last Sunday, and a little girl who was baptized by her father. We use the YMCA pool in the cold months.

> I shot a video with a local guy named Chris on Saturday...we're going to show Chris' story on Wednesday night. I'm really happy with the's the best I've done so far. I'll post it after Wednesday.

> I've been addicted to Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" album the past week. We bought it last year just before Christmas, so I didn't listen to it much then. It's very beautiful, very laid back Christmas music. Pick it up if you can.

That's all for now.


PS. I never get many comments on my Sunday Blitz posts, so I don't know if anyone reads them or cares. If you do read them, and if you do care, you can also check out what My Pastor thinks about things as well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Festival of Trees

the MilePost13 Band is going to be playing at a local annual fundraiser called "The Festival of Trees" in a few weeks. We're really stoked about this event for a couple of reasons:

1) This is a big event that takes place outside on the property of one of the biggest local bars. That means this is a HUGE opportunity for outreach.

2) We're good. Not like, good for a church band...we're just good, for any band. I don't say that with an ego or arrogance, but with humility and confidence in knowing that God has given us all that we have and are. And because we're good, we're stoked to show our community that church and God can be fun and high quality.

3) This will be our first event like this, where we've been asked to come and play in a "secular" atmosphere. We're hoping for more opportunities like this one.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Christmas Set List

Here are some of the songs we're working on for the next several weeks:

From MercyMe's "The Christmas Sessions" album:

"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
"Silent Night"
"O Holy Night"
"I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day"

From Third Day's "Christmas Offerings" album:

"Joy To The World"

From Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" album:

"What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)"

From Passion's "Sacred Revolution" album:
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"

From Chris Tomlin's "See The Morning" album:

"Rejoice" (with the chorus of "O Come O Come Emmanuel")

What are you doing this Christmas?


Somebody's Out To Kill Me...

So, when I got to church today, I immediately went to the men's restroom (yes, the men's, just in case any of you were unsure about that....). (without giving too many details) I sat down, and just as I was reaching for the paper I noticed something stuck on the first square...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the local vegetation, that is what we like to call a "sandspur". They're basically prick and you'll swell up like a cactus until your throat closes and you die.

OK, so maybe that last part about dying isn't true, but they can hurt and leave little splinters in you for weeks...I can only imagine the pain had I not spotted the trap.

My guess is one of the little punk youth boys left that there for me last night knowing that I often dance with the porcelain queen in the morning...there's no way it could have gotten in that place unless somebody planted it there. I've narrowed it down to a few likely suspects. Lucky for me I know where their bathrooms are located...


Cool Idea

Here's a cool idea that a friend recently told me about:

"We are holding a 'StoryTelling' Evening this Sunday instead of a normal service. It is about telling the stories (theology, why we wrote it, who wrote it, what is it about) for songs that we wrote during the last year. All these songs have been activly sung in the last 6 months. It has a VH1 storytelling feel to it and we are very excited about it!"

Unfortunately, we aren't writing any of our own music at NHC, but I hope we do someday. I think this idea is really cool, though. Any thoughts?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Changes" Video

Here's the in-house video that we showed on Sunday to set up talking about "The Thing That Cannot Change".

Check Out All of Our YouTube Videos.


Church At The Bar TV Report (Video)

Forefront Church totally needs to pay me as part time staff for all of the time I spend posting about them...


The CALL Graphics

Every February, our church hosts a big youth event called The CALL. 300 students and adults is "big" for our area. Anyway, here are some graphics for this year's event:


Postcard Front

Postcard Back


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Two Quick Things

My friends at Forefront Church at the White Horse Pub are going to be on A Local TV News Station tonight at 11.

My friend, Paul Joseph is offering a free download this week of A Christmas Song he and his wife wrote.

You're very welcome!


Fun Talent

This is pretty cool. It gets repetitive half way through, but it's still good. Simply for your enjoyment.

Thanks to my drummer, Chris for sending this to me.


Monday, November 12, 2007


This is perhaps one of the funniest stories in the history of the world. If you've ever heard that horribly bad version of "O Holy Night" that has been floating arround the internet for a few years, you must take the time to check this out. Give yourself a good 20 minutes to read some of the older posts to get the full back-story, but I promise you it's well worth it. "Funny" is an understatement.


Watered Down Gospel?

(This may be a dangerous post...not because I'll make anyone mad at me, but because I'm not sure if I can fully explain my thoughts)

So, yesterday morning, Our Pastor talked about "The Thing That Cannot Change". At NHC, part of our vision is that our methods will always change...our message will never change - it is the thing that cannot change. In his sermon, my pastor used the phrase "watered down Gospel" a few times, talking about how some would accuse our church of watering down the message of Christ either intentionally or not because of our use of culturally-engaging methods.

"Watered Down Gospel"...for some time now, I've had real trouble with that phrase. I hear/read it a lot, and it just doesn't make any sense to me. It seems to me that, if you water down (meaning "to dilute" or "to reduce the strength or effectiveness of") the Gospel (meaning the story and message of Jesus Christ), you're left with something that is not the Gospel at all. The Gospel has the power to save. A watered down Gospel would seem powerless to me. Let me explain...

The Gospel is not just that God is the Creator of all things, including man. The Gospel is not just that man has fallen into sin and is condemned to an eternity without God. The Gospel is not just that Jesus was crucified on the cross to redeem man. The Gospel is not just that Jesus rose from the grave three days later to prove He is God. The Gospel is not just that many will now spend eternity with God. (etc., etc.)

All of these facts are parts of the Gospel. One of these facts alone, or even a few of these facts together are good and true. But, without the entire story, any incomplete combination of these facts cannot be the Gospel. The complete Gospel is the only Gospel because everything is true and seemless.

The Gospel cannot be watered down and still remain the Gospel. It's not like cough syrup. If I have a cough, I can dilute some cherry flavored cough syrup with a little water to make it go down easier. Or, I could take out the cherry flavor (don't know why I would do that...). Either way, I still get the full benefit of the cough syrup for my health and well-being. Try taking away the fact that man does not sin, or that Jesus did not rise from the dead, or that we can never spend eternity with God, and you've got something that looks pretty good on paper, but has no benifit to us.

Now, I'm not saying that we've got to explain the entire story of Christ from Genesis to Revelation and beyond, or that a person must understand every little detail about the Bible in order to be saved. If that were the case, we'd all be in big trouble. The Bible says that all a person must do to become a disciple of Christ is to believe and confess that Jesus is Who He says He is. Full knowledge and understanding can/will come later.

And, the proof is in the pudding (I don't know why, but that's where I'm told it is). Yesterday, we had two (I thought it was one, but I was wrong) people discover life in Christ for the first time after our pastor shared the Gospel at the end of his sermon. If what he shared had been watered down...

So, is it just me? Am I thinking too hard? Am I the only one who thinks "watered down Gospel" is a bit of an oxymoron? I'm not sure if I explained my thoughts well, and I'll admit I'm still trying to work this out in my head. Maybe we can understand this better together?


Absolute Wisdom

"Committee: A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary." - Richard Harkness (NY Times) -


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Blitz

This is going to be's been a long, long weekend...

> Tricia and I moved (thanks to a little help from my friends) on in, all day Friday.

> I taught our Discovering Worship CLASS yesterday morning.

> I tried to get two days worth of work into yesterday afternoon.

> I got up at 4:45 this morning to hang with some of our people as we gave cold water to the participants of the OBX Marathon.

> Got together with the MilePost13 band tonight to practice some Christmas music.

> It was all worth it, and I'm glad it's over

> We had one worship gathering this morning to keep from repeating the headache of fighting the crazy traffic patterns that take place during the marathon. It's fun to have so many people singing and worshipping together.

> We showed a killer video that I'll post later this week. You might not think it's killer, but we do.

> At least one person discovered life in Christ for the first time this morning.

> The Skins lost to the eagels.

> I get to see my good friend, Matt Glock tomorrow morning!


Friday, November 9, 2007

Terminate the Worship Team!

We recently did away with our worship's why:

1) At NHC, we do ministry (serving other believers) and mission (serving the world) in teams. We don't have "committees" (that's actually a cuss word at our church). And, as I've mentioned before, we believe that every person in our church can worship God when they serve in ministry and/or mission. In fact, I believe that every single one of our teams can be labeled as a "worship team". To say that the one team who leads in musical worship is the "Worship Team" is to imply that either they are the only team that worships or they are more of a worshipping team than any of our other teams...that's just not true. Our "Worship Team" simply helps to lead others in musical (and some other forms of) worship...the same way our "Hospitality Team" helps to lead our church in being hospitable to our guests. But, it was hard for people to understand that when we defined them as the "Worship Team".

2) Having a "Worship Team" implies that, when that group of people step up onto the stage and begin doing their thing, that's when we're really worshipping God. Again, as I've explained before, we believe that every aspect of our worship gatherings and of our lives can and should be an act of worship to God. The "Worship Team" is not the cue for people to start worshipping's the cue for people to sing and dance and whatever else you can do together during musical worship. "Worship Team"s help to reinforce the misconception that worship = music and singing...and, again, that's just not true. Music and singing is only a part of worship. We don't want to give people any reason to think that the "Worship Team" is the only team that can lead worship.

About a year ago, I began to really think through this whole "worship team" thing when Chris, our drummer appoached me after my Discovering Worship CLASS and asked me why, if some of the things I was teaching were true, did we have a "Worship Team"? (he asked in a very sincere.non-aggressive way, BTW) Shortly after, we made the announcement to the entire church that we were changing our name/title from "Worship Team" to "the MilePost13 Band" Here's why:

1) "the MilePost13 Band" gave us a real sense of identity. It gave a feeling that we were not just a group of musicians and vocalists and techs who got together a few times a week to lead worship, but that we were a strong, close-knit team who loved and cared and shared with one another much in the same way you hear about a professional band existing. It gave us a sense of pride and real ownership in what we were doing. It made us feel like we were professionals (IMO, any musican/vocalist/tech who puts in the hours that we do is a professional) and that we should always strive to give our best and to do things with the highest quality. (BTW, I highly encourage any ministry team to give themselves a name for the same reasons)

2) The name change also helped us to reinforce the idea that we were the band that led in musical worship, not the ministry team that led all worship. It helps us not to become egotistical with what we do, and it helps our other ministry teams to keep in mind that they are worshipping as well in their unique ministries.

So, what do you think? Have you ever considered what your "Worship Team" is really all about? Have you ever thought that you may be sending mixed signals by teaching that worship is a lifestyle but having a "Worship Team" that leads the worship at your church?


If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read the other posts in the Rethinking "Worship" series:

Gag The Worship Leader!

Fire the Worship Leader!

Death to the Worship Service!

Burn the Sanctuary!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Things I Learn From My Dog and My Cat

Ralphie (the cat) and Meka (the dog) are best friends...seriously. Can't we all just get along? I'm really stoked about our Thanksgiving Worship Gathering with two other local churches. I know our folks will be there...I really hope the others show up as well!


The Blogging Church

I can't promise that it will be good or helpful, but Our Youth Pastor's New Blog should at least be entertaining, if he can remember that he has a blog AND how to sign on...


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Burn the Sanctuary!

We no longer have a room where we do corporate worship called the "sanctuary" or "worship center"'s why:

1) defines the word "sanctuary" as a holy place, especially refering to the Jewish Tabernacle/Temple of the Old Testament. God's "sanctuary" is the place where He literally lives and dwells. While we do believe that, when we gather together to worship God, He is glorified in a unique and holy way, but we also understand that God no longer dwells in a building. We know that Christ came to literally change the law and make our bodies the living, holy sanctuary/temple of God (John 2; I Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19). So, to call the place/room we use for corporate worship the "sanctuary" is basically bad theology.

2) "Worship center" implies that this place/room is/should be the central hub of our personal and corporate worship. We believe that our bodies and lives are to be the central hub of our worship (Romans 6:13; 12:1). At our church building, every Sunday morning, there is just as much worship going on in the lobby as people hang out together, in the kitchen as people serve coffee and donuts, in the nursery as people change diapers, in the kid's area as people invest in the lives of young kids, even in the bathrooms as somebody changes the toilette paper. Also, there should be just as much worship happening at our work place, our schools, our homes, and our hang-outs throughout the week as what happens in our church building on Sunday mornings. Our worship center should be any place we take our bodies.

Instead, we try to use either "auditorium" or "gathering place" to talk about the place where we gather for corporate worship on Sunday mornings. Here's why:

1) "Auditorium" is a word that everyone can understand and recognize. Both churched and unchurched people would know where to go and what I was describing if I explained that we meet together in the auditorium. As I've said before, anything we can do to build bridges to anyone who gathers with us to worship or observe our worship to make them feel welcome and comfortable to consider joining in on what we're doing is a good thing.

2) "Gathering place" helps us to reinforce some of the things I talked about in my "Death To the Worship Service" post. It's not the place that we come to worship, it's one of the places in which we can gather to worship together.

So, what do you think? Have you ever considered what a sanctuary really is? Have you ever thought that you're basically fighting with yourself and confusing people by teaching both that our bodies are the temple of God and your building is the "sanctuary" of God?


If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read the other posts in the Rethinking "Worship" series:

Gag The Worship Leader!

Fire the Worship Leader

Terminate the Worship Team!

Death to the Worship Service!

Back Online!

FYI, our church site and email is back up.

FYI, we'll be looking to change servers and update our website around the first of the year.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blog Stats are Fun!

Here are a few visitor stats from the past 5 weeks:

Top 5 Countries (outside the US):
1) Canada - 103
2) UK - 23
3) Australia - 13
4) Germany - 9
5) France - 7

Top 5 Traffic Sources (outside of engine searches and blogger):
1) - 218
2) - 170
3) - 53
4) - 21
5) - 18

Sundays are the slowest days with an average of 30 unique hits.

Mondays are the fastest days with an average of 45 unique hits.


Thanksgiving Gathering of Three Local OBX Churches

You're welcome to join us if you're in the area! We're stoked as we've never partnered with either of these churches before!

Church of the Outer Banks

OBX Nation


This Is What Christianity Should Look Like

A story from the church at the bar.... All I can say is "WOW!"


Thanksgiving Gathering Poster (Test)

Check It Out!



So...our church server is STILL DOWN!!! WHAT THE HECK! We haven't been able to use our website or check our email since Saturday morning. This is NOT cool, nor is it very good. We've got too much stuff going on right now to be without these communications.

What did we do before the internet/email?


Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas Music Warning: Todd Agnew's "Do You See What I See?"

Just a friendly heads up. I bought Todd Agnew's Christmas album "Do You See What I See?" last year around this time, hoping to find some good stuff to use at church. HUGE mistake...biggest music purchasing mistake of my life, in fact. I didn't even make it through one full listen. I rememebr almost throwing up in my mouth.

Agnew's voice makes me want to sit on a holly bush, and the arrangements and music choices were horrible. I literally deleted the entire thing from my computer before I ever listened to it all.

I'm usually not this negative on my blog, but I couldn't live with myself if I sat by and allowed the people I love to make the same mistake I made. I'm sure Todd's a great guy, and we even have used a few of his worship songs in church, but you wouldn't know it from this album.


Jars Of Clay "Christmas Songs"

I just sampled Jars of Clay's new album "Christmas Songs" over at iTunes... Sounds like some really goofy stuff (which I suppose isn't surprising...).

Anyone else give a listen or buy and care to give your take? Maybe I need to listen to the whole thing?


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Heads Up

FYI...the server we use for our church site and email has been down for over 36 hours now...this is for the thousands of people who hve been trying to email me because I'm so important...hopefully it will be back up ASAP.


Sunday Blitz

> Go Skins!

> This morning was very cool. We talked about finding your mission, showed videos of Operation Christmas Child, ToT, and several other things.

> We also had a commissioning service today. Last week, we asked everyone to come to church wearing their "work" clothes, and at the end of our gatherings this morning, we commissioned everyone to GO and be missionaries in their work places, schools, etc. Very cool.

> We had a few people say it was our best worship gathering ever, which is good to hear considering the weight of what we were talking about.

> Here's a video about our Kid's Church that we showed at CREST last Sunday say funny stuff!

> Be right back...we're packing and I've been asked to put some boxes together...Tricia's a beast when it comes to packing.

> Which reminds me...if anyone can help us pack and move our stuff to storage this Friday afternoon, let me know!

> Our communion gathering tonight was great as always. We feasted on thanksgiving food (yeah, that was awesome), and we remembered what God has done and is doing for us. Our communion gatherings have been taken to a totally new level in our new building!

> Still thinking a lot about our trip to Forefront. A lot of people have asked about it, and our pastor even talked about it this morning in his sermon.

> The MIlePost13 Band (our worship band) has been invited to participate in the local Festival of Trees at the end of November. We'll be playing Christmas music for an's a great opportunity to build a bridge to our community. We're stoked!

> We had at least one family come this morning for the first time because of Trunk or Treat! Make sure you check out all of the ToT Pics.

> We've got just ONE gathering next Sunday at 11. Come out early and me on mission as we serve those participating in the OBX Marathon!

> There's lots more I could talk about, but it can wait until next time. That's all for now.


Go Skins!

That's all...back to your regularly scheduled program...


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friendly Reminder: Daylight Savings

Begins tonight...don't forget or you'lll show up an hour early to church tomorrow. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!


TRUNK or TREAT Pics and Video



Friday, November 2, 2007

Church at the Bar Report

So, here is a quick and easy mind dump of our experience with Vince Anotuncci and Forefront at The White Horse Pub in VA Beach. (you will now see how poor a speller I am cause it's late and I'm not going to use spell check cause I do'nt care.

We had dinner with Vince at a deli. The salad was good. The conversation was better. Vince let us know that the article in that morning's paper was getting lots of comments, many from some very angry "Christians". He was a little apprehensive that they would have some people show up who would cause some issues, but that didn't happen. In fact, they had about 25 more people than they've had before, which I assume can be largely acreditted to the article.

Vince is a cool guy...reminds me a lot of my college roommate and best man (wedding, not australian), Juan (not hispanic/latin...long story). He is slightly husky, but that's cool with me. He willingly shared anything he could about their experience with the church in the bar. If I understood the story correctly, it basically began out of a need to video their sermons so that they could run two seperate campuses simultaneously on Sunday would have a live sermon, and the other would have the same sermon shown via video. They wanted to tape in front of a live audience. They originally were looking at a local comedy club, but when that fell through, they began looking at local retaurant/bars. The owner of The White Horse was totally open, and that's basically that.

We arrived at the bar about 40 minutes before the beginning of the service. We sat in a booth with a good view of the stage and the rest of the bar. We ordered drinks (soda) and some wings (we weren't hungry, but we didn't want to mooch). We got to talk with Jason Bedell, Forefronts media/video/graphics (technically "creative arts pastor"). He's spent some time on the OBX, so that's cool. He uses ProPresenter as well, so that's extra cool. He's a Mac guy, which makes him the coolest.

By 7, the place was almost full. By the end, the only empty seats I saw were the 2-3 that didn't have a view of the stage. The only people that seemed at least semi-uninterested in the church stuff were the dozen people who were sitting at the actual bar. All of the other seats were free standing or at tables. They had about 120 people there...normally the bar only has about 15-20 people during that time on Tuesday nights...that means a 500% increase, which I'm sure the bar owner and staff enjoy.

The liturgy was very similar to what you would find at our church:

1 song (a new Foo Fighters song)
welcome (by the worship leader guy)
3 "worship" songs (all written in house)
explanation of communion
1 song during communion (another in house song)
video introduction of sermon ("Bench Warmers" movie trailer)
sermon (by the student ministries guy)

A few things that stood out to me that were notably different from a normal church/service:

> The crowd was mostly unchurched, so the engagement was not as evident. But, everyone except for the few at the bar seemed to be completely attentive the entire time.

> There was food and drinks (including alcohol) being served during, but again, everyone was paying attention to what was going on on the stage.

> The game - they asked for two volunteers who were then given baseball bats and told to place their heads on one end of the bat with the other end on the ground and spin around 12 times before running out of the bar and back inside. The person with the best time won a prize (don't remember what). Good times!

> Communion was served in little boxes (see below) that were placed on every table and passed around to the people sitting in chairs...they do this every week. Vince explained that they would not do communion in this environment except that about 20-30 of their regular Forefront people had committed to coming to the bar and not to their Sunday morning campuses, which would mean if they didn't do communion here, those people would never get to do it. I didn't pay attention to see how many did not participate (cause that's not cool in any situation), but Vince told us that a lot of the unchurched folks do not participate, and again, they did a good job of explaining the purpose of communion and asking people not to participate if they weren't believers in God.

> Vince and the others did a GREAT job of explaining things, including what Forefront is all about. The explained every aspect of the service very well, including the music and the offering.

> The entire service very much felt like a normal event at a local a concert or a comedy act. That's a good thing.

A few other thoughts:

> I was not crazy about most of the music they used (except for the Foo Fighters song and one of their own songs), but that's OK cause they're not trying to reach's obvious that the music they're using is attracting the people who are coming, and that's a good thing.

> It was a little strange to be surrounded by people who were drinking and smoking and eating during a church service, but again, it felt just as much like a bar as it did a church. The message was definitely there, but the meathods were very tangably relevant.

> We're seriously considering doing Vintage like this next year (in a nuetral location). It's hard to do a successful seeker-driven event inside the walls of the's much easier to go where they already are at.



Quick Hits About Trunk or Treat

> We handed out 3000 tickets in the past two weeks, mostly to elementary school kids.

> We gave away over 400 lbs of candy in two hours.

> We estimate that over 1000 people/250 family groups showed up.

> We cooked and gave away 465 hot dogs (and buns and drinks).

> We hung 100 posters in the community.

> We gave away several hundred bags of freshly popped pop corn.

> We gave away more than 300 bags/sticks of freshly made cotton candy.

> We gave away 136 Purpose Driven Life booklets to adults.

> We gave away 400 gospel stories to children.

> We were asked to be contacted by 41 adults.

All in all, we almost doubled what we expected. God rocks and so do His people! (and the dentists of the OBX said "AMEN!")


I Tried.... was weighing on my mind all day...I tried to sit down and blog, but I had way too much going on:

> We're showing 6 different videos this Sunday...that's basically like a record for us. Fortunately, only one is an in-house creation, but's it's taking up a lot of my time and I've got to get it done cause it's going to be flippin' sweet!

> We learned two new songs tonight at practice...I had to chord one of them out this afternoon cause I ran out of time any other time.

> I came home for an hour to move some boxes to our new storage unit.

> We had our first real staff meeting (I'm sure the others have been meeting without me, but it's not really a staff meeting if I ain't there...) in about two months.

> I spent time with Tricia tonight 'cause I've been crazy busy all week.

> I tried to feed my dog some benadryl cause she has allergies...