About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you Jesus - Reflections over the last month.

It has been a while since I added some personal reflections. Honestly, my life has been in a tornado since the Gustav scare. Between the hurricane, new baby, classes, church baptism/mission/and official launch...at times I have asked for Christ to take me home. I have slipped up on a lot of my personal goals like getting in shape, reading some books, and even some family priorities. It is going to be tough, but I am determined to get back in the zone. Thankfully I have survived the dive and have just started to reach the surface for some air.

When I think about the last month all I can say is "THANK YOU JESUS". His grace and strength has certainly kept me going. The following is a list of my "thank you Jesus" moments:

  • Surviving Hurricane Gustav. This is the reality of living in New Orleans. My life went through so many emotions during this time. Because God is sovereign all we can do is repond to what he allows to happen in this world. I love how our church responded to this storm. It was awesome watching our church DO WORK (for all those Rob&Big fans). Be the Church...sounds like a cool concept. Please don't forget the areas that were impacted by Gustav and Ike. There are a lot of people that still need help.
  • 28 Days of Prayer. Starting at the beginning of September our church united in prayer. Each day we focused on a specific prayer request, country from Operation World, and read through the One Year Bible text for the day. Honestly, there were many days that I probably would have quit if it wasn't for my time in the Word and time in prayer. I believe that this is just the beginning of a mighty prayer movement in our entire church community.
  • 9/20 Mission Day. Our missional strategy at Vintage is three-fold. Personal, Life Group, and Corporately. Instead of filling up the calendar with missional events, we are encouraging our members to live missional each day. As they engage their world, they are called to bring in their life group to meet needs each week. And then quarterly our entire church will unite to reach our community. Corporately we will also serve together in a foreign mission field twice a year. The mission day on the 20th was amazing. We had over 50 people show up to clean yards, parks, pass out waters, prayer walk, pick up trash, clean bathrooms, and tell people about Jesus. Ben did an amazing job leading this event. Thanks to everyone who got their hands dirty for Jesus.
  • 9/21 Baptism and Barbeque. This is what it is all about. Our gathering for worship each week is not the focus of our church. It is a celebration of the focus of our church - going and making disciples. Our baptism team (Edmund, Wendy, Mike, Tiffany, Dennis, Kaitlin, and many others) did a first class job. After a time of worship, we went outside and had a baptism celebration. Notice I said celebration. I have attended way too many baptisms services that felt like funerals. We sang, prayed, yelled, clapped, and of course baptized 7 people. It felt more like a tailgating party than a funeral. I pray that we have thousands more.
Here is a video of the Mission Day and Baptism (thx Mike and Travis):

Vintage Church Mission Day & Baptism Sunday from Travis Manint on Vimeo.

You can also check out the pics from the two days at www.vintagenola.org/photo-gallery/
  • 9/24 Life Group Launch. This was a huge day for our church because we consider our LIFEgroups to be the foundation of our mission. This summer we had 3 lifegroups led by our pastors. On the 24th, we launched 13 LIFEgroups all over the city. I am superpumped to watch God use these groups to connect people to Christ all over our city. These groups of 5-15 people gather in homes and participate in learning God's Word, interaction with God in prayer, fellowship with each other, and then evangelism in the community. More info on them at www.vintagenola.org/lifegroups/.
  • 9/28 Official Sunday Launch. Once again, we don't consider this to be the point...however, we believe that God can do an amazing work through the corporate gathering of the church and through the preaching of God's Word. Andrew and our band did an amazing job. I am excited to co-preach this fall with Page through the book of I John. Our series is called "Christology". You can subscribe to the podcast at www.vintagenola.org/podcast/. We had over 120 people join us on the day as we gathered at 10am & 6pm. Although we still have a lot of things to work out with our volunteer teams, we are certainly heading in the right direction. I am excited to see where God is going to take His church.
WOW! This has been an amazing month. THANK YOU JESUS!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vintage Launch & Challenge



Two Gatherings
(10am* & 6pm)
Location: Vintage Uptown / 4523 Magazine St / NOLA 70115
*Vintage Kidz provided only


We are challenging every member of Vintage to invite ONE FRIEND that needs to hear the great message of Jesus. Come ready to serve, learn, and worship.

This Sunday we are starting a new series...


This series will be a study of the book of I John. The book of I John was written by John the apostle in the late first century. This book is a straightforward message about the truth of the Incarnation (full divinity and humanity of Christ). John reaffirms the core principles of what it means to live as ultimate light, live as ultimate love, and to simply put it...live as Christ. As we begin this new church, our desire to build this community upon the One who started our church. Join us this fall as we dive into a greater understanding of the Ultimate God/Man...Jesus Christ.





Also, get plugged into our fall LIFEgroup study, VINTAGE JESUS.


Friday, September 19, 2008


It has certainly been a crazy month. Because of a few storms, we had to change some of our plans. Over the last 3 years I have served with a ministry called Ignite Mission. Basically we united together in the city of New Orleans to spark a movement of God's Spirit in the lives of young adults all over the city. We were suppose to gather for our fourth year of Out of Range in early September. Because of Gustav, the gathering was canceled. Charlie Hall was going to join us and so was one of my good friends, Tony Merida. Tony is the Preaching Pastor at Temple Baptist in Hattiesburg, MS. Tony and I got together this summer at his house for a little talk about the conference and prayer as a whole. Check out the video of our time:

Out of Range 2008 Interview with Tony Merida from Travis Manint on Vimeo.

Not only was the Out of Range conference canceled but we also had to push back our first HIMnI gathering in New Orleans. After a few frustrating weeks, we FINALLY gathered for worship last night at Vintage Church. We had a blast with over 110 people from all over the city. My brother Greg and a great team of people lead this ministry with the purpose of connecting young adults to Christ and the local church. Last night my bro gave me the privilege of preaching the Word. We looked at Exodus 14:15. WHEN YOU PRAY...MOVE YOUR FEET.

If you are in New Orleans this fall, come and hang out with us at HIMnI. We believe that God is going to use this ministry to inspire the young adults of our city to live for Him.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wrong ?...Tough ?

I just got a forwarded email from someone who attends our church. He also attends an Anglican Church in town called Annunciation. The Rev'd Jerry Kramer from that church sent James this forward. I love some of the stuff that Reggie McNeal has put out. The first time I was exposed to him was at a conference in TN. Towards the end of his talk, he asked someone to get the ("Christian famous") band to come out from there weed smokin break in the back and lead the invitation. Love it.

Enjoy the questions:

Reggie McNeal is one of the nation's premier church leadership coaches. In his materials McNeal provides a list of wrong questions, juxtaposed with tough questions that church leaders SHOULD be addressing. These point out how very different the leaders' agenda will be shaped, depending on the questions being asked:

Wrong Question: How do we "do church" better?

Tough Question: How do we "be church" better? Or how do we de-convert from "Churchianity" (institutional religion) to Christianity (the movement)?

Wrong Question: How do we grow this church?
Tough Question: How do we serve this community?

Wrong Question: How do we develop ministers for the church?
Tough Question: How do we develop missionaries for the culture?

Wrong Question: How do we develop church members?
Tough Question: How do we develop followers of Jesus?

Wrong Question: How do we plan for the future we see?
Tough Question: How do we prepare for the future God sees?

Wrong Question: How do we develop leaders for church work?
Tough Question: How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement?

We need to really, really focus on addressing the right questions. This needs to be our check every time. So . . .

Wrong Question: How do we get the music covered on Sundays?
Tough Question: How do we create an atmosphere of worship and experience the Holy Spirit's power?

Wrong Question: How do we fund the budget?
Tough Question: How do we advance the mission God has given us?

One of the key insights from Willowcreek's "reveal study" was that people who have a relationship with "the church" go nowhere in their discipleship. They stay stuck, flounder, and even go backwards. Churches and programmes that focus on "the church" just go in circles. Progress is only realized in having a growing relationship with Jesus. This needs to be our lens and focus. Ultimate question: How does this foster people's relationship with the Lord Jesus? Does it?


The Rev'd Jerry Kramer, OP
Pastor, Annunciation, New Orleans

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Preacher

Check out this video that my friend Mike just forwarded me. This baby is getting his pentecostal preaching on. Amazing, hilarious, and kind of scary. I would want to tick this little man off. Not sure if I am going to let my son watch this. Enjoy, I hear he is already booking gigs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thug Jesus & Acts 29

I just came across this video from Mark Driscoll and his preaching series called "Doctrine". This dude does a great job sharing God's Word. Watch the short video here:


We are excited about hanging with the Acts 29 guys in St. Louis next month. Acts 29 Network exists to start churches that plant churches. I am going with a core group of guys to the Lead Conference at Journey Church. We are going to enjoy the conference and also go through an assessment and church planting bootcamp. We are looking forward to partnering with this movement.

Journey Church is doing an amazing job of engaging their city for Christ. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity of talking with the Lead Pastor, Darrin Patrick, on the phone. I really enjoyed our dialogue. He is a laid back jock that loves Jesus. My kind of dude. Keep checking out these guys. They are doing some amazing work for the Kingdom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sun Morn & Wed Night Reflections

After a scare from Gustav, we are back in the mix. There is still a lot of work to be done, but our worship is back to normal. Here are my thoughts on our last weeks worship:

  • We wrapped up our ADVICE series in I & II Timothy. We started this series in January with 10 people. 27 messages later we are done and we had over 50 people in each gathering. We have also seen 8 people surrender to Christ and 12 people are going to be baptized on Sept 21. WOW. Thank you God for blessing us through your Word.
  • It was great meeting so many new people. Especially those who have just moved to NOLA. There are a lot of young urban professionals moving into NOLA from around the country. I love there passion to rebuild our city.
  • Tonight was crazy hot! The air was broken, and it felt like it was in the 100s.
  • I tried out my first youtube video...probably won't do that again. I think I will let Travis do them from now on.
  • The Vintage water commercial was hilarious. It was great serving with our church over the last week. I can't wait for our mission day this Saturday.
  • Our joint life group was amazing. Over 60 people excited about getting plugged into home group study and accountability. We are going to launch 10-15 groups this fall all over NOLA.
  • Why does it take a hurricane to get the church outside its walls? Not pointing fingers, because I am guilty. I think I am going to write a future blog about this.
  • Remember this week's message: Preach the Word, Be the Word.
  • Praying for the Texas coastline.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Buy A Tarp

Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge and Pastor Dino Rizzo needs our help. Here is there website for disaster relief:


Check out the Catalyst blog to find out how you can help.


Our church just bought 5 tarps for them. It is real easy. Buy it online and they will ship it to them directly.

Praying for you guys in Baton Rouge. Keep Being the Church!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cleaning the Park and Free Waters

We had another great day serving our community. Check out the video:

*you can see more videos at www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS

Friday, September 5, 2008

Great Day / Don't Miss Tomorrow

We had a great day serving in Uptown. Here is a little highlight video from the day:

*you can see more videos at www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS

Don't miss tomorrow. We meet at Vintage Church @ 9am. Come ready to work.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Plan of Action for Friday and Saturday


Here are the details for this Friday and Saturday:
• 9am "Meet at Vintage Church for Prayer and Plan of Action"
• Bring equipment, snacks, drinks, and cash (in case we eat somewhere in Uptown). Bring enough to share with people.
• $10 for a Vintage t-shirt.
• We will work each day as long as there is need. Please come and join us even if you can only come for a little while.

A lot of the city is still without power. We are providing NO accomodations for people who have not been approved to come back. Check with your school to find out if your school has re-opened, please do not return before the approved time.


10am @ Vintage Uptown

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Updated Plan of Action

Message from the Vintage Church Relief Team:


We arrived in NOLA around 4pm yesterday. Our church and homes are okay and there is minimal damage in the city. We spent the last day assessing the damage and putting together a plan for our work in the community. New Orleans was definitely spared from the storm, but there is plenty of work to be done.


It is time for our church to step it up and "Be the Church" in Uptown. Hopefully most of you will be back in NOLA by the early weekend. The city will be open for return starting on Thursday @ 12:01am. We would love for you to make plans to join us on Friday and Saturday as we serve our community. Our plan is to spend the next two days in Uptown serving and putting a plan in place. As you return home, stop by a Walmart or a Church to buy or borrow some of these items:

Various Yard Tools, Rakes, Chain Saws, Gloves, Wheel Barrels, Ladders, Strong Trash Bags, Waters, Coolers, etc.

We will send out an email on Thursday Night letting you know where to meet on Friday and Saturday. Please don't miss this opportunity to serve our community. God has presented us a great opportunity to display the love of Christ. I know a lot of you weren't planning on returning till later in the week. We are asking for you to sacrifice and get back. The city is safe and needs your help.

Contact info@vintagenola.org if you have any questions.


Thank you for your prayers and support. Our city was spared from a major catastrophe. However, there were other cities that weren't so lucky. We would like to recommend that you and your church join with us in investigating how we can serve these different areas. We will keep you posted on the various needs that we discover. Thanks again for your willingness to serve.

Don't forget...


We are going to stay united as the body of Christ through our 28 Days of Prayer. This was something that we were going to do to prepare our lives for the official public launch. God is leading us to pray now more than ever. Go to the following links to pray with us over this time. Print it out and put it on your fridge.

here's the link to the PDF http://vintagenola.org/storage/pdfs/Vintage28days.pdf

here's the link to the page on our site http://vintagenola.org/vintage-prayer/


Pics from 8/31 - 9/2

Youtube Video Catch Up

I am back in New Orleans catching up on all my email, youtube, fbook, twitter, and blog. Man that is a lot. Thank you so much for praying for us. We are excited to begin the clean up process in Uptown tomorrow morning. I will send out two more blogs tonight. #1: all the pictures over the last two days from my iPhone. #2: a detailed relief plan for our church family and friends.

Right now you can get caught up on the videos over the past two days. Here is a video of our worship time on Sunday. See all of them @ www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Morning Update Video

This morning we had coffee, pancakes, and watched the rain and wind come in. The storm is not over, but it looks like we dodged a major catastrophe.

*see more videos @ www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS

Check out Edmund Kee

Good morning friends. There is a consistent rain and a strong wind outside right now. I woke up to the smell of coffee. By the way there is nothing like coffee in the morning.

Please pray for my good friend and member of Vintage Church, Edmund Kee. Edmund is in the picture above holding my son, Bolt. Edmund works for Entergy (the power company in our area). He was forced to go into work on the WestBank of NOLA at one of the power plants. He is also keeping a blog of his journey. He posted a video of his journey from Uptown to the plant. There is some great video of the storm clouds coming into New Orleans.

Edmund's Blog: www.edmundkee.blogspot.com