Calling all creatives!

We’re having our 3rd gathering event – this time up at the church on the stage. Refreshments will be provided – and it’ll be a time of sharing, fellowship, community, and vision casting for this next season of our “Artists Creating in Community.”

This event is open to any creative (artists, sculptors, photographers, musicians, gardeners, architects, carpenters, poets, writers, you name it – if it’s creating something – come and join us).


Please Come Home – presented at the LoveLady Center tomorrow night!

Our kids choir will be presenting their new musical Please Come Home tomorrow night at the Lovelady Center.

If your child is coming – please see below for important information:

We are so excited to have the opportunity to present “Please Come Home” at the Lovelady Center on Monday, April 25 at 6:00pm.

All students will need to arrive at the center by 5:15pm. This exciting service opportunity is open to all students that learned the musical. We’re wanting to take as large a group as possible.

We’re privileged to get to serve the ladies with a feast before the program. We are in need of donations to help offset the cost of the dinner for the ladies. We want to feed 400 ladies, and we anticipate a cost of around $2000. We have to get this cost taken care of by outside donations, as this wasn’t a budgeted item. Greg Mixon is our point-person for the fund raising. You can write a check to the church, and note in the memo blank “Mercy – Lovelady Center.” If you don’t note this – the funds won’t be applied to this effort.

Your kids will wear jeans and a solid color t-shirt. The drama and dance portion of the musical will be shown via DVD from the March 6 performance. All the singing will be live.


The center is located at 7916 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL. Please see the map below for directions.

O Love…

Come join us this Sunday morning for our special Palm Sunday worship service – O Love.

I’m so excited about this one. It’s been a great journey over the past few months as the choir has been preparing. The texts of these songs are incredible – and my hope is that the congregation is able to come to the table with whatever baggage they may have – to whatever degree they feel unloveable, outcast, or in fact have trouble loving others – and find the unconditional, undeniable, unearned love in our Savior.

Make sure to join us at 9 and 10:45 this Sunday morning for O Love.

New Record from Oaks Worship from Dallas, TX

I’m pleased to offer a review of a brand-new LIVE worship album from Oaks Worship in Dallas, TX. The album, titled Lift up the LIght, features the worship teams from Oaks Worship, joined by Bethany Dillon, and Shane and Shane.

What a great, refreshing worship album. Abandoning tricks and gimmicks, this new record offers the listener a peek into the night of the recording. The instrumentation and arrangements are solid, the songs are deeply rooted in Biblical truths, and the tunes are easy to sing. I’m especially enjoying “Worthy of Affection.”

The title track “Lift up the LIght” reminds us of God’s faithfulness, HIS character to deliver – great tune.

Listening to the album several times, I was easily able to identify songs that would be appropriate for my congregation, both presentational and corporate worship tunes. I’m particularly impressed with the contrast in styles, tempos, and settings – as the listener can enjoy both celebrative and reflective tunes. Keys are appropriate for congregations, and instrumentation is appropriate for the feel of the songs.

Great record. Go grab it today on iTunes.

Monday Morning Recap for Sunday – March 6, 2011

Not your typical recap for yesterday. We premiered a brand new children’s musical called Please Come Home. Created and written by my wife, Mandy Sears, the musical explored both the prodigal son, and the older brother, and was an incredible reminder of God’s pursuit of us.

Most of the music was original compositions by Mandy, along with a tune each from One Republic, and FFH. Mandy also wrote all of the dialogue, stage direction, and choreography.

The kids started practicing late last summer, as we wrapped up charting the songs, and tracking the backing tracks. Over the course of the past few months, the musical challenged artists, decorators, set-designers, costume-designers, directors, and musicians to get involved in the skill-set, and contribute to telling this great story. It was so neat to watch the combined efforts of over 20 different adult volunteers all come together in yesterday’s worship service.

We’ll be making the musical available to other churches very soon, as we’re putting finishing touches on the tracks, and editing the video shot yesterday. If you are, or know someone that might be interested in putting on Please Come Home, feel free to contact me.

Please Come Home – a new Kids Musical

My wife has been doing kids choirs/kids worship for over 18 years. She’s an expert at it. I’ve seen her, in the past, go into churches for week long music camps, and within that week, transform their kids from a hodge-podge group into a unified choir. She’s spending time teaching them, not only about music, but about using their gifts for His glory. She’s teaching (without them “knowing” it) breath work, pitch, breathing, balance, and other fundamentals about choir, and singing. And i’ve watched kids under her influence go on to use their gifts in big ways – both later in school, and outside of school. She’s way smarter than me. She graduated school with 3 degrees (a BM in Music Ed, a MM in Church Music, and MM in Music Ed) She’s quite amazing.

Anyway – she wrote a musical. Starting late April last year (2010), I would come home from work and find her sitting at our piano, with a pencil and staff paper, writing notes and lyrics for songs. She’d spend hours each night sitting at the piano. She wrote most of the songs used, and all of the dialogue. She conceived the stage design, costumes, direction – every bit of this is her brain-child.

You see, she had grown weary of trying to find material for kids choirs – in the musical genre, that are Christ-centered, Gospel-centered, and more substance, rather than just cute songs and kids wearing sunglasses. After searching, and searching, she decided to write her own.

Next Sunday – March 6 is the debut for “Please Come Home.” It’s a musical written by my wife based on the story of the prodigal son. It explores the older brother, the younger brother, and a Father who tirelessly waits, with open arms – and even runs to us, pursuing us when we’ve tried to run, hide, cower in shame…

The kids have been working their tails off. The number of adult volunteers involved is staggering, and it’s going to be a great time of worship. Come join us. And stay after for a feast in the gym. The cost is $6/plate. We’re not making any money off of it – in fact, we’re just trying to cover most of our expenses. It’s not too late to get a ticket – you can do so HERE.

I don’t have a gift to bring…

One of my vocalists, a dear friend – that sings on praise team quite often, was told in high school (by an ill-informed chemistry teacher) that she shouldn’t ever sing. It scarred her, probably permanently, and affects the way she views worship, singing, participation in ministry, and bringing her gifts before the Lord. What a tragedy – that the enemy can use a chemistry teacher, in high school, to distract someone from bringing a truly sweet gift to the table, to be used for God’s glory.

There’s a movement in the church – just starting out, of artists (creatives – photographers, sculptors, landscape architects, interior designers, painters, writers) that are gathering and starting to explore, once again, what it means to use their gifts for His glory.

I fear that, like my friend, some of these veteran or budding artists have been wounded along the way, either in lack of support, or lack of prodding to get out and create, or in simple fear that they won’t be accepted, loved, cared for…

That’s exactly what the enemy wants. Listen – we are actively engaged in a battle for people’s minds, affections, and passion – and the enemy would want nothing more than to take those, and misguide them away from the church.

We’re opening the door – and asking you, the artist, to take a step back into safety, nurturing, care, support, and wanting you to bring your best – whatever it may be, for His glory. You’ve got an opportunity. Right now we’re accepting “submissions” for what we’re calling a “late-spring sharing event.” We don’t know exactly what the date will be, nor do we know exactly what it will look like, because we want YOU and your submission to help us determine what the best type of event will be.

Don’t let the “submission form” scare you off – it shouldn’t. It’s just to give us an idea of what you may be bringing (is it going to hang on the wall? does it need a table? Will it fit in your hand? or in the back of a truck?)

Take a step. I know we’re asking you to “trust us,” and for many – that’s a tough step, to come out of obscurity and take a jump into the light – but we won’t let you down.

You can register, and download the form HERE.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

2011 Worship MInistry Schedule

For those looking for our volunteer schedule, you can get it here.

If you’re looking for the big dates:

Choir will be singing on: (by the way – NOW is a great time to get involved in choir). Wednesday rehearsals resume on January 13 at 6PM.

January 23
February 20
April 17 (Palm Sunday Spectacular Spectacular)
May 22
June 19
July 24 (Bullfrog Choir)
August 21
September 26
October 23
November 13
December 11 (Christmas Spectacular)

Easter Sunday is April 24.

The Kids will be presenting their spring musical on Sunday MORNING – March 6.

Our VBS will be June 6-9.

Our Bullfrog Choir sings on July 24.

Christmas Spectacular will be December 11.

Our Christmas Eve Services will be on December 24 🙂

Monday morning recap for Sunday – August 1, 2010

Greg continued his sermon series on suffering this past weekend. It’s been a great series. let me encourage you to get the whole series by visiting our podcast on iTunes.

We opened last weekend with What a Savior.

After our call to worship we sang All Hail the Power of Jesus Name (in the key of E – i know that’s an important detail). We also sang Your Grace is Enough, Your Name, and Mighty to Save.

Our offering song was A Mighty Fortress (Nockels).

Communion this week. Come ready to feast!