Archives For Travel

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Where to begin? For the past year, I’ve been speaking, writing, consulting and serving as the Editor of Christian Media Magazine. But as many of you know, my heart is in the local church. In a way that can only be described as a God-thing, God brought me and Pastor Derwin Gray together to talk. I found out they had been praying for a Campus Pastor for their Rock Hill campus and you know I had previously served as a Campus Pastor at a multisite church. I, too, had been praying for a Campus Pastor position. God got us connected and the rest is history.

What you may not know is that Transformation Church is located in my home state of South Carolina, where I grew up and spent the first 24 years of my life. The church is located near the South Carolina/North Carolina line and is considered a suburb of Charlotte, NC. If you looked at a map of where my family and I are moving to, you would see it’s right in the middle of both my wife’s and my families. My wife has sisters in North Carolina. My entire family is in South Carolina and my wife’s parents live in Georgia. This is truly a homecoming and we praise God!

Now let me tell you about why I’m pumped to be a part of the team at Transformation Church. You may not know it, but I’m very picky and waited on God to lead us to the right fit. Here’s the scoop on TC from their website:

Derwin L. Gray is the founding and lead Pastor of Transformation Church, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community with two campuses in South Carolina (Indian Land and Rock Hill), both just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. Transformation Church (TC) was recognized as the 2nd fastest-growing church by percentage in America for 2010 by Outreach magazine. In 2011 and 2012, TC was again recognized again as one of the top 100 fastest-growing churches in America.

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You may be thinking, “I’ve heard of Derwin Gray.” Maybe you’ve seen the Evangelism Linebacker video? Derwin played in the NFL, where he met Christ. Derwin is also a best-selling author, speaker and champion for diversity and multi-ethnic ministry (which is what his next book is about). If you want to hear some more of his heart and story, listen to THIS message he preached a month ago for Rick Warren at Saddleback.

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Why am I passionate about this opportunity? Because it’s a chance to be a part of a God-movement and serve a multi-ethnic church that values diversity. My best friend (Thomas Rose – seen above) for 21 years is black and we have done a lot over the years to try to break down racial walls. When I worshiped at Transformation Church recently, I was moved to tears at both campuses to see the mix of people and races worshiping together. It truly was something to see and I praise God that I will see this regularly soon. I also pray I will never take it for granted as this is not the norm. 90% of churches in America are segregated on Sunday morning. Let’s do something about that! I wrote about this years ago HERE.

To see what the music is like at Transformation Church, watch THIS. To see an amazing day of baptisms and see what God is up to, watch THIS.

What’s next? First, I praise God for how He orchestrated this whole thing. It truly was a God-thing and a story that I’ll share in the future. Also pray for my family and me as we move, sell our house, find a new home, my kids change schools and I start my new role as Campus Pastor at the TC Rock Hill Campus. Pray that God would have His hand on my ministry and we would see many changed lives and much fruit. Pray for my kids as they move and make new friends. Now that you heard what God is doing in the Carolinas through Transformation Church, please pray for Pastor Derwin and the amazing staff that I will be joining. Pray we make much of Jesus. It’s all for His glory and His renown.

I’ll be blogging more in the future about my beginning a new role and settling in. God bless you guys and gals. I thank God!

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Hey friends. I wrote this blog post yesterday. Today and for the rest of the week, I’ll be at a spiritual retreat center totally unplugging. They don’t have internet or cell phone service. It’s just me, God, my Bible and my prayer journal. Please pray that God would speak clearly to me. Thanks!

 

*** Also Happy Birthday to my son, Tommy, who turns 12 today. It’s been amazing to see God work in your life over the past two years. I’m so glad we had a wonderful day of celebration  yesterday. You’re a great young man and I’m proud of you.

My kids first day of school Aug 2014

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Many of you know I’m from South Carolina. Today, I fly back (with my daughter Grace) to speak at a worship conference there. The good news is that I’ll get to spend some time with my family, in addition to speaking at the conference Thursday and Friday.

If you’re going to be at the Christian Supply Conference this week, contact me and let me know. Also, come by my workshops. I’ll be teaching on Church Leadership Essentials and my new book Strange Leadership. See you next week!

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I returned home Friday night after my son graduated from his month-long treatment program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. I packed another bag and headed out early Saturday morning to Amarillo, Texas to consult with a church on Sunday and do a secret shopper visit (I still do those and am booking for the summer. Click here for more details).

I’m home today doing laundry and packing a new suitcase. I leave tomorrow to go to Chicago for the week to speak at the Moody Bible Pastors Conference. This will be my 8th time speaking at Moody! If you’re going to be there, stop by my class and say hello. You can also get my books signed. I look forward to meeting you.

I should return to a semi-normal life next week for the first time in 5 weeks. Thank you for your prayers.

Cincinnati pic

Today my family and I head to Cincinnati to hang out with my wife’s family for a few days. This will be a time of food, fun (catching a Reds baseball game) and relaxation. I plan on reading a couple of books on the drive there and back. I also plan to visit Crossroads Church this Sunday. I hear great things about them and love visiting other churches. Something tells me chili is in my future, too! I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Great advice, counsel and words of wisdom from my friend, Scott Williams. Please watch this and reflect on it. It can be revolutionary to your life and family.

Sister church in Haiti

Today I leave to lead a mission team from my campus to Haiti. We’re taking 8 men from my church to minister with an orphanage, school and to help do construction on our sister church that we support. I’ll be preaching the gospel there on Sunday. Pray for us!

Today, my worship pastor (Matt Rector) and I are in Dallas for the next few days for the ECHO Conference. I’ve spoke at and attended ECHO for several years and always look forward to what they offer. If you’ve never checked out the ECHO Conference or ECHO HUB, I encourage you to check them out. Plan on attending ECHO next year and start using the resources of ECHO HUB right now.

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Visit CatalystConference.com

Join us for the Catalyst Conference (www.catalystconference.comOctober 3-5, 2012 in Atlanta, GA, where 13,000 young leaders will converge for the leadership experience of the year, including high-octane speakers, powerful worship, innovative programming, and a leadership experience unlike any other.

Hear from leadership authorities including Andy StanleyPatrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, David Platt, Christine Caine, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble and Matt Chandler, along with several innovative thinkers and practitioners like Emmy award winning executive producer of Survivor Mark Burnett, Harlem Children’s Zone founder and TIME 2011 Most Influential People list Geoffrey Canada, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, musician Israel Houghton, uber blogger and best-selling author Jon Acuff, , and best-selling authors and TED Talks sensations Susan Cain and Simon Sinek.

Plus, Catalyst Labs will feature innovative thought leaders like Reggie Joiner, Michael Hyatt, Mark Batterson, Tim Elmore, Lysa Terkeurst, David Platt, Carlos Whittaker, Eugene Cho, Bob Goff, Lynne Hybels, Tullian Tchividjian, Jen Hatmaker, Jon Acuff, and others. 

special registration rate of $199 is being made available to you (over $120 savings). To take advantage of this Exclusive offer, call 888.334.6569 to speak with the Catalyst Concierge team, or register at www.catalystconference.com and use RATE CODE FOB.

This rate expires on Thursday, June 28th (TODAY), so make sure and register early. 

 

Two weeks ago we moved to Missouri and that took an entire week. Last week I was back in Dallas for Catalyst. Yesterday was the first “normal” day  I’ve experienced in a while. Things are busy and crazy as I settle into my new ministry position. I have many thoughts to share about what God is showing me. Please know I love being a Campus Pastor and know I’m exactly where God wants me. More soon.