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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Friday, April 9, 2010

Lent Lesson #2

As we have planted Vintage Church over the past two years, I have cut-back significantly on my speaking gigs outside of New Orleans. I have strategically focused on preaching in NOLA with Vintage and MissionLab. Occasionally, God leads me to accept one. I traveled over Lent with the Andrew Ogea Band to TN and SC. On the way to these events we went to the Unleash Conference at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. This one-day conference was perfect timing for me as I was at a point of exhaustion and even a little confusion. Perry and the NewSpring story is crazy phenomenal. I first met Perry when I was being recruited to play ball at Anderson University. Perry at that time was an RA for one of the dorms and led a bible study on campus. I remember him coming up to my dad to ask advice about God calling him to plant a new church in Anderson. Perry was crazy excited as he shared with us what God had placed in his life. 10 years later, Perry now pastors a church of over 10,000 people. NewSpring puts on this conference once a year to pour into church leaders. It was during this conference that God gave me a second lesson.

Perry got up and reflected about the journey over the past 10 years. Whether controversial or not, risky or not, loud or not; Perry summed up what he had learned over this journey.


For some this might seem elementary. Even for me, I wasn’t exactly shocked by this truth. But at the moment, Jesus laid the smack down on me. As a new church planter I have been overwhelmed by the amount of resources. Google any subject and you will find thousands of blogs, books, etc. At one conference people are talking about being organic, at another people are talking about being missional, and at another people are talking about being multi-site. Honestly, I am not finding anything out there that has been crazy successful in New Orleans. I believe that I live in one of the most difficult places to plant a church in the world. For those who aren’t from NOLA, you won’t understand.

This simple word of wisdom was exactly what I needed to hear. The most fruitful times of ministry have been times when we least expected it. Vintage isn’t my idea, I didn’t launch Vintage, and I’m ultimately not responsible for Vintage. Jesus is Lord, King, and Senior Pastor of Vintage. True success isn’t what American evangelicals have deemed to be success. True success happens when we are faithful to what Christ has called us to do…even if that means being a persecuted, poor, and unpopular Christ-follower.

There are two keys to this phrase:

LISTEN TO JESUS. If Jesus calls the shots, if Jesus runs the show, if Jesus rules your life…why do you spend more time reading tweets & blogs, watching TV shows, and reading books than listening to Jesus. How do we hear from Jesus? Through prayer and Scripture. As lead pastor I am completely overwhelmed by my responsibility to represent the very Words of Christ to our church. This truth should lead me to read more tweets, it should compel me to my knees in humility to Christ and His Word.

DO WHAT HE SAYS. Now this is where it gets tough. We have been fed an inaccurate picture of what it means to follow Jesus. Somehow we have bought the lie that to follow Jesus means that we will receive all the prosperity we could imagine. In fact, if you are a “full-time” minister you can even become a “superstar” traveling the country signing books or playing an instrument on stage pimping Jesus along the way.

It is true that some followers of Christ have received great wealth and prosperity. But the only reason why they have been blessed is because God intended them to use it for His glory. Period. A true picture of what it means to do what Christ says is found in Matthew 10. Spend some time walking through this passage. I got to preach through this text a couple of weeks ago at Vintage.

Thank you Jesus for this lesson. Give me the strength to listen to you and do what you say.


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