Man, I do love Louie!  His preaching is passionate, God-centered, & Biblically solid, and his vision is HUGE!  For those of you who agree, I really do suggest watching this official video from the Buckhead (Northpoint) Church blog.  May God inspire you to deeper faith (and acts of faith) as watching this did in me!

So, it turns out the rumor is true. One of the world’s greatest communicators of the Gospel (if you have any doubts, just watch this dvd some day) and the most successful (ie – his songs are more widely sung than any one else living) contemporary worship singer/songwriter planting a church together. It seems, having read about Austin Stone Community Church, that they are looking at this as an opportunity for them to refocus as a church, as having Chris Tomlin as their worship pastor, who helped to plant the church years before, may have been a distraction at times (I personally have a hard time imagining having such a high profile staff-person), given the immense success he’s undergone in the past few years. Though I haven’t yet read any comments yet, I imagine that North Point Community Church is blessing this step by Giglio, as well, given their emphasis on planting new churches and campuses around the country, and his long-term friendship with Andy Stanley, North Point’s pastor.

How odd to think of planting a church that would be immediately ‘successful’, at least as far as numbers are concerned (let’s just say that the first tithe should cover the pastors salary, which is unusual in church planting). It seems like a blessing, in some sense, but in another would have immense drawbacks. For instance, most of the folks who would flood to a church plant such as this would be primarily coming from either name recognition and the sheer ‘talent’ of those planting the church – that does not assure a very ‘spiritually mature’ core congregation, and discipleship may be a chore. There will probably be a good deal of ‘flux’ for a while – people who come, must like we experienced the first couple weeks that our new building was open, just to see what’s up – to experience the ‘new thing’.

God knows I love both Louie & Chris, their gifts, and how God has used them. I think we all need to be in prayer for them, their former churches, and all this move will affect – that God blesses all involved, that the Gospel will be center, that God will be glorified, and even more people will meet Jesus as a result of this move.

So be it. Amen…

Stand in Awe

I admit it: I missed much of the ‘contemporary worship’ movement at first. A few bad experiences had led me to grow quickly untrusting of the whole enterprise, and I spent from ’96 to ’02 singing primarily hymns, and on occasion – when feeling really edgy – re-worked hymns. It was the lyrics of Matt Redman’s incredible Where Angels fear to Tread that changed all of that. Not only was it a guitar driven rock record that came out of the gate with both guns firing, the lyrics were thoroughly Biblical, and almost hymn-like in their depth and beauty. I was playing leading “Blessed be Your Name” almost a whole year before it hit radio, as well as the incredible “Lord, let Your Glory Fall” and “Wonderful Maker”. To this day Redman is an inspiration to me and I purchase his records without a second though as soon as one is released. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been processing from the last few Christian worship ‘concerts’/events I’ve been to.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of bands live in my lifetime – upwards of 3,500 (I worked as a guitar tech and merch guy at music festivals for 7 years in a row, and used to study in college at a concert venue – and I just like live music): as a result of that, and my age, it’s not really incredible musicianship that impresses me – it’s creativity, great songs, and the ability to move people – to change hearts – to realign people’s passions. I go to these shows not only to be personally moved, but to take ‘mental notes’ – to assess what they’re doing ‘right’, and how I can ‘hone’ my skills as both a performer and a corporate worship leader. Read the rest of this entry »