Monday, September 26, 2011

Worship Leaders, Worship Services & Missionaries

Worship Leaders: Those who read the blog weekly know that several weeks back I asked for prayer as we hosted a family from Montana, worship leader and former church planter, who were praying about a church planting team to join in the Seattle area. We of course had a great visit with the couple who are in love with Jesus and trying to be for another church what they so desperately needed when they were planting in Montana... a committed family who is willing to work secular jobs and serve whole heatedly in the church. However, after spending the day with our church and having conversations about Tacoma and the people God has called us to reach, it became pretty clear that we weren't the right fit for this couple. Please continue to pray for the Powell's as they try and discern where in Seattle God has called them to serve.

This past Wednesday Kelli and I got to have dinner with Juli Morgan ( and her two adorable daughters. We were connected with Juli by a mutual friend who knew we were looking for a worship leader. To make a long story short, Juli is an awesome musician, has a heart for worship, we connected with her wonderfully and she already lives just a couple blocks away from us. We don't know what the future holds but for now, as a single mom supporting her two girls, Juli is working the only schedule available to her which includes Sunday mornings.

We still don't know what God is doing in regard to a worship leader but I am excited that Mackie Wood, a member of our church, has stepped up to use her vocal gifts to lead worship for us the last month or so. I am abundantly thankful for her and it is amazing to see God calling our people to step up and serve where they're needed!

Worship Services: I feel like our worship services are a roller coaster of attendance, emotion and actual worship. My heart is for Sunday mornings to be a time for the church to gather and lift high the name of Jesus. Sometimes, it feels like no one actually wants to be there and that we are almost robbing glory from God. However, in the midst of a great deal of prayer, the last several weeks it seems that the heart of The Pathway is changing, growing and molding into a church that desires to worship God. Our attendance has increased pretty significantly over the course of the last month. People are stepping up to lead and God is definitely being worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. We'll see how God continues to grow us but there is no doubt that the more of the church that is gathered the more passion in worship there is. I love worship and when the church truly desires to take part it is a beautiful thing.

Missionaries: We had our first Introductory meeting for our Missionary Process yesterday. This is The Pathway's membership process and I was very encouraged with the turn out. We had 5 high school students and 5 adults attend. People seemed genuinely excited about taking the next step. One of our guys told me that during worship he went to our prayer and response area, feeling dry in his walk with Jesus, and asked God to ask him a very specific question so he would know what he needed to do next in his walk with Jesus. He told me he knows the question was, "Will you be a missionary of The Pathway?" Wow! Please pray for The Pathway over the next month as we work through the Missionary Covenant Process together.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Commitment. It's a word that many people are scared of in all facets of life but when people are willing to embrace it in regard to a purpose they truly believe in the results will be far beyond anything that could have happened through the half-hearted efforts of a non-commital group. This is what churches need. Churches need people who are so committed to the vision God has given the church that they are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy, possessions, safety, security and more just to see the vision reached. Commitment doesn't mean that you agree with every method, every choice, every decision of the leadership, but in regard to the body of Christ, it means that as long as it is not sinful or unbiblical, you believe in it and you trust the leadership God has put in place to the point of making the same sacrifices on the days you are disgruntled or frustrated as on the days you are seeing results and are fully on board.

Some time ago we put together a team of people to explore what it could look like to become a member of The Pathway church. They explored purposes, processes and asked the question if membership is even helpful. They came back with passion and enthusiasm about the purpose of membership and presented a first draft of what The Pathway's membership process could look like. Well, after some time, growth and a few revisions and simplifications to the process, we will be implementing our first membership process beginning next Sunday. We will actually call this our "Missionary Process" as we want every person connected with The Pathway to understand that they are not just covenanting with our church to be "attenders," they are covenanting with us as "missionaries," sent out to reach their families, neighbors, friends and co-workers with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please pray for us as we go through this first "Missionary Process" as I'm sure there will be many bumps in the road and we will learn a lot on this first attempt. First and foremost, pray that God will call the right 3-5 people to go through the process. We need people who are growing in their walks with Jesus, who will be patient with us as we learn how to make this effective but who will also step up to the challenge and become more effective members of this body of believers. Below is our timeline for this first process. Please pray for us as we hit these dates and pray that it would be a time for our church to become stronger, more unified and more effective on mission for God.

September 25th-- Introduction to The Pathway's "Missionary Process"
October 9th-- Biblical Doctrine Class
October 16th-- Spiritual Gifts class
October 23rd-- Baptism Service & Covenant signing service

Monday, September 12, 2011


On a given Sunday in Tacoma I sincerely never know what to expect. The token question people ask church planters is... "How many people do you have in worship?" I often respond, "Somewhere between 15-40." That's the truth too, I just never know what to expect.

Well, yesterday was an exciting day for us. It was the second week of our vision series and we've really been challenging our people to come to worship so they can hear who we are and who believe God wants us to be as a church. Yesterday we had a fantastic turnout. We had 8 new faces, one of our ladies has stepped up and she led worship for us for the third time. We had great fellowship and it was just an all around great time of worship for The Pathway church.

Then the spiritual attack came. It actually started during the service. Just before i went up to preach I found out that one of the ladies in my Community Group was back in the hospital in pretty serious condition after attempting suicide. It's heart breaking and all I can do is say to God is, "Please bring a radical change in her life." It is heartbreaking but I know God will use it for his glory and I truly believe he can change her life and use her story as a testimony of the power of the gospel.

Later I got a text from one of our ladies who has been having struggles with her 17 year-old daughter. It's been up and down and up and down and yesterday was a major down. We go to pray with her and love on her but it didn't make the situation go away. Loving with the heart of Jesus is hard, especially when loving someone who is living in rebellion.

On top of that we have another teenage girl in our youth group whose home life is crappy to say the least. Her family is currently homeless, which sadly she is used too, and she had to leave the home where she was staying with a friend. I picked her up last night and she is staying with my family for the next days. She is sad, angry and when you look in her eyes you just see a broken little girl. It makes my heart so sad.

God is working. Satan is attacking. Please continue to pray for us and the people of Tacoma on the journey to Kingdom growth.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God is up to something...

As followers of Jesus, we know that God is always at work. He is the creator and sustainer of all things. However, there are times as believers, filled by the Holy Spirit, that we can sense God is doing something a little more drastic, possibly more visibly and definitely on a more than we can imagine type of scale (Eph. 3:20). It's hard to describe but if you've been a believer for any amount of time, you probably know what I'm talking about.

This post is really more of a prayer request. First though, I need to share with you what we have been praying for and what God has been doing. As a Leadership Team we have been praying for quite some time for God to bring us a worship leader. We have been praying for God to raise someone up from within our church to lead and/or for God to bring us someone who is gifted & passionate about teaching a church to worship. We have been amazed at how God has given one of our ladies the courage and boldness to use her voice for God's glory and lead us in a few worship songs for the last several weeks.

As a church we spent the summer praying and working to see God connect us with more families. We have prayed for God to send us families who already love Jesus as well as families who are lost or new to following Jesus so we can see the gospel transform the culture of our community.

Finally, I have personally been praying for God to call more families to move their lives to Tacoma and serve with The Pathway in a leadership role. I have specifically been asking God to bring another man who is called to pastor people so that I can have someone to walk with as we learn to shepherd a vast and previously un-shepherded culture of people.

Now for the prayer request. Last week I was connected with a family who has been in ministry in the west and northwest for years. The husband is an experienced, gifted and passionate worship leader. For the past 3 years he has been the lead planter of a church in Montana that has recently felt God closing their doors. Amazingly, the heart of this family is not callous or bitter. Instead, they want to join another church planting team and be for them what they so desperately needed when they were in Montana... a committed family of believers who will serve and make disciples.

I don't know for sure if this family will be coming to Tacoma, but I would like for you to all join me in praying that God will show them where they are called to minister. They are looking at visiting the Seattle area next weekend, they are placing their house on the market and they are trusting God to open doors for them.

God is up to something... can't wait to watch and be an active part of what he does.