Land of the Free


Do you think that slavery ended with Lincoln? Today I want to share what has been breaking my heart lately. These Church 2.0 Local Forums I’ve hosted around the country have been used by God to stir my heart. God really used the Atlanta one to open my eyes to the problem of child sex trafficking right here in the good ‘ol USA. Since that time I’ve done some research and soul-searching.

Did you know that there are more slaves today than ever before in human history? Alltop now has a slavery version. You can find great information and links HERE. In my blog about the Art+Music+Justice Tour, I mentioned one of their sponsors: The International Justice Mission – a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. I highly encourage you to get to know IJM and support them.Â

A few things you can do to learn more about this real problem:

I know that slavery exists in Atlanta, Phoenix and Dallas (you may know of other cities). This is not a 3rd world country. This is happening right here in the states. Wake up Church!

Happenings At Bent Tree

Things are busy around my church (Bent Tree). Here’s what’s going down:

  • Last month we had our Grand Opening (pics HERE).Â
  • This month we have our annual Missions Festival. This years theme: GLOCAL. I’ve been using that term a lot lately. Our Visual Arts team is transforming our church for this yearly extravaganza! More info HERE.
  • Saturday, Oct 25: We host the Art+Music+Justice Tour. More info HERE.
  • In November we’ll host the “Hymns of Hope” featuring worship leaders (including our own) from 4 amazing churches. Click HERE to see a sneak peak of them on The Worship Network and hear our worship leader, Scott Dyer
  • In December we’ll have some sort of theatric/dramatic presentation in the early part of the month. I’m told we’ll do something “simple” for Christmas Eve. I’m counting on it!
  • In January we host Leadership Network’s Innovation 3 Conference featuring MANY amazing speakers. Be there!
  • Word on the street is that we’ll also be hosting Catalyst in May ’09.  Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will be on the Bent Tree stage. Watch out!

Art+Music+Justice Tour

The Art+Music+Justice Tour is coming to Bent Tree on Saturday, Oct. 25.

ART*MUSIC*JUSTICE on tour this fall, benefiting both the International Justice Mission and Food For the Hungry.

The International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Food for the Hungry works in more than 26 developing countries providing disaster and emergency relief, and implementing sustainable development programs to transform communities physically and spiritually.

Derek is pleased to be joining Sara Groves, Brandon Heath, Sandra McCracken, and Charlie Peacock on this tour, running from September 19th-October 26th, bringing not only the music of these tremendous artists but also telling stories of the great work of these organizations as they work for justice, advocate for the oppressed, and point towards the day coming when all things will be made right.  More than just music, these unique evenings will bring with them opportunities to involve yourself in the stories of our poorest neighbors.

This past Sunday, we were blessed to have Tommy Walker lead us in worship. He, and his band, were a blessing to our church and our worship & arts family. God is still using him!

Last night was one of the greatest nights of my life. I attended my first ever Cowboys game with my friend, designer Ben Jordan. The Cowboys/Eagles game was a “Monday Night Football” game on ESPN and didn’t disappoint. It was a VERY intense game until the very end. Amazing!