Put Your Hands Up

Today, around the office(church), i’ve had a couple discussions with the student pastor, Hux, and intern, Hugo, as well as the children’s pastor, Clint. We were discussing praise and worship in the scope of the youth group and the difficulties surrounding it. I remember when i was in the youth group, you couldn’t pay me $1000 to lift my hands up during worship time. The reason being, i was “too cool for school”. I had friends there and, well, what would they think of me if i did something that made me look like a nut? The truth is, they would have done nothing but wonder why i had done it. the wondering would have lead to questioning, and then i would have been able to give them somewhat of an answer..that is, of course, if i had known then what i know now.

Holly Furtick, Wife of Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick, wrote a blog on lifting of hands that i am going to directly pull from because i couldn’t have said it any better myself:

We lift our hands as a symbol of help…
Psalm 28:2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

We lift our hands simply in the name of our God…
Psalm 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

We lift our hands symbolizing sacrifice…
Psalm 141:2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

We lift our hands in praise…
Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.

We lift our hands in response and agreement…
Nehemiah 8:6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

We lift up our hands as we pray…
1Tim 2:8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

So, Team Church, i want to challenge you to prepare your hearts for Worship. I want to challenge you to lift your hands in surrender of the King. I want you to feel lead to step out of your comfort zone, it’s ok, you’re among family.

Here’s why: if you begin the practice of raising your hands, the more and more you do it, the more and more it will begin to feel like this is what you’re (you, yourself) suppose to be doing. Trust me..Trust the Father, He’s the one who encourages us in the freedom of worship.

Lifting of hands is only 1 of several different worship postures that scripture talks about. I’m going to, over the next couple of weeks, challenge you, Team Church, in these spiritual/scriptrual disciplines.

I look forward to seeing each of you this week!

Grace and Peace,
Joel

Wild at Heart

Today as i sit in the Charlotte-Douglas airport waiting to board a plane back to Kansas City, with Starbucks in hand and a sense of calmness. See, i’m on my way back to Kansas City to be the best-man at my best friends wedding. First, i’d like to say; Congrats to Caleb and Rachael, Lean on God for everything!

Anyway, i am excited to return home to see good friends and to have fun. My mentor and great friend Dan Brown(No! Not the “Angels and Demons” author) and my other great friend Troy Smith(hopefully) will be picking me up when i land in KC, and i am overjoyed to be able to see these men. These are men that i have warred with on a Deep spiritual level. We have gone to battle with each other many times and i trust none more than i trust these men(there are more than just the 2, there are 10 of us in all).

in the fall semester of 2009, i barged my way into a “men’s group” at Maywood Baptist Church. When i say “barged”, i mean, “BARGED” my way in to the group. I was at a point in my life where i wasn’t certain of what God was doing with me. I didn’t have an extremely solid group of men around me. Let me point out that all my guy friends with the exception of Scott Loring were considerably younger than me, and i was often looked to for advice or help. Since the Death of my father in 2008, i was in desperate need of someone, older and preferably male, to vent to and gain good solid “godly” advice. What was amazing about God’s timing, is that i pretty much just jumped in to the group and began to help with the renovation of the Youth Chapel, and it was because of that event that the men kind of over looked the fact that i wasn’t going to leave and they accepted me as their own. I’ll never understand why, but i’d like to think that my dad, who was previously a member of the group, spoke to each of them in a dream and told them that it would be good for me. Whatever it was, i am eternally grateful that i was allowed to be there. During my time in the “Iron Man” men’s group, we fought against spiritual injustice within the church…as a result, we kind of parted ways with the church…each of us going our own separate way. BUT, to most people, that would have been the end of that group, but to us men, who had battled long and hard praying fervently and crying out to God in the early hours of tuesday mornings(we would start our meetings at 9pm, roughly, on monday nights, and would sometimes carry on until 1-3am), it was just another turn of the page. Up until the day i moved to Charlotte, NC, our group was still meeting on Monday nights at one of our members house. We continued to study together, chat, and seek advice concerning our issues in this world. I am so blessed to call these men “Brothers” and, again, am eternally grateful for the love and support they have shown me.

In the Early years of this “men’s group”, the one that my dad was a part of, they picked up a book called “Wild at Heart” and read it as a group. Because of the influence of the book, it sparked my dad buying a copy for my grandpa(his dad). Moving forward 7 years, my grandparents were cleaning off their shelves and looking at books that occupied them. They ran across the copy of the book that my dad had gifted his dad for his 70th birthday. Upon opening the book, my grandpa noticed his son’s words written on the inside cover of the book. Those words read:

Dad,

Joel wrote a song for me the other day. Through all the struggles my family has been through, to still hear how much he feels i have been a blessing in his life was a great honor and it reminded me again of what a blessing it has been to be your son. I have not done anything special. I have simply tried to raise my kids the way you and mom raised me. My children know that i love them, through the way the two of you have passed down your love for me. My journey group has been reading through this book. I don’t think i’ve made it through a single chapter so far without shedding a tear. It gives great insight into the struggles of men and how God has made us. IT’s sort of like reading deep truths about yourself that you were never able to express of understand clearly. It also talks a lot about fathers and sons. Here, for me, the tears have been tears of joy. Sadly, the author states that he has never met a man who was not wounded in some way by his father. He has not met me. These are not just a bunch of fluffy words in honor of your 70th birthday. I had so many opportunities to think long and hard about my life. Recently, through talking with the other men in my group i have discovered even more just how truly blessed i have been. I have every confidence that my children’s children, and even their children, will live under the tremendous blessing that you started. Generations will be reaping what you sowed, Dad. And it has been a good thing! Thanks Dad, for all you are and continue to be in my life. I love you!

Happy 70th!

Gary

I have only just begun reading the book, but even in the first couple of chapters, i can fully agree with my own father’s words to his father. I was not wounded by my dad…i was immensely blessed by his sacrifice for me, my brother and sister. My father was truly wild at heart and i can only hope to, one day, be like him. I will leave you with this verse. Taken from the book of Proverbs chapter 20, verse 5:

“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”

Grace and Peace,
Joel

Leave it on the Field

I have heard several comments following yesterday’s services about “Leave it on the Field”. I am going to attempt to put the song on here as well as the lyrics. Also, this is the demo recording of my dad singing the song. Here goes nothing:

Leave it on the Field

Leave it on the Field
Words and music by Gary Driskell

Throwin’ it around in the mile-high field in my back yard
with a path worn from runnin’ and slidin’
Baseball was young in this city
But daddy came from a place where you learned it like readin’ and writin’
My friend was Larry Walker and I was Todd Helton
My brother was Dante Bichette
Daddy was pitcher, scorekeeper, umpire and coach
And before every game this is the speech we’d get

Make sure to leave it on the field
Cause son, you just never know
when it’ll be the last pitch, the last hit
The last time around the bases
So take it to the wall
Cause boy, you don’t ever want to think
maybe you’d've done this, or could’ve won that
if only you’d pressed a little harder
There are no guarantees so whatever you’ve got
Leave it on the field
Leave it on the field

Movin’ around in my high-school years
We made our home near the Turnpike on the west side of Bean Town
I still had a dream of what I wanted to be
And so I worked on my game from sun-up to sundown
Oh, to play where Yastrzemski and Williams and Manny
have blasted ‘em from Fisk’s to Pesky’s pole
But I knew it was a long shot so with every chance that I got
I took to the game with daddy’s words still my goal

Make sure to leave it on the field
Cause son, you just never know
when it’ll be the last slide, the last dive
The last time to get your game on
So take it to the wall
Cause boy, you don’t ever want to think
maybe you’d've done this, or could’ve won that
if only you’d dug a little deeper
There are no guarantees so whatever you’ve got
Leave it on the field

And I know there’ll be a someday when all I can do
is point to the pictures on the walls
But while I am here I’m gonna still lean my ear
Where the voice of my father still calls
CHORUS

Please Enjoy!

Grace and Peace,
Joel

What does it cost?

When you walk in to a store and you see it, the perfect thing, and you just have to OWN it; is it acceptable to walk right up to the item, take it in hand and walk straight out the door with said item? NO! That item cost us something whether we paid for it, or whether we end up “paying” for it with jail time and court costs, and the list goes on and on.

In 2 Samuel 24, King David has sinned by killing off thousands of men, and God has sent His prophet (also David’s Seer) Gad to give the King 3 options for punishment. The King replies with, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” it was at this time that the Lord sent a plague upon Israel for 3 days and 70,000 men died. In the moments to follow the prophet Gad tells the King to erect a new altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. It is here that we see Araunah, being a humble servant, try to just hand over the threshing floor to the King. Instead the King answers with this, “No, but i will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will i offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.”

In the same way, when we come together as a body of believers…when we come together as Team Church, we are to offer ALL of what we have to Him. All of our burdens, all of our troubles. Lay them all at the foot of the cross. Our lives should be daily, living sacrifices to our King.

This weekend at Team church, we are going to be introducing a new worship song “Great I Am” written by Jared Anderson of New Life Church. Many of us in Team Church probably are unsure of what that phrase evens means. Although we could probably take a wild guess and come to a similar conclusion. In Exodus chapter 3, is where we see the “Great I Am”. This is the story of Moses encountering the burning bush and in his conversation with said bush, Moses asks a deeeeeeeeep theologically rooted question…NOT, he simply asks; so, when i walk up to the children of Israel and say, HEY! The God of your father’s has sent me to you’, and they ask “What’s His name?”, uhhhhh, what am i supposed to say? (Pardon the paraphrase) The bush (GOD) replies with , “I AM WHO I AM”, and He said, “This, you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘ I AM has sent me to you’”. So, we see that the “Great I AM” is God. It is HIS name forever.

I look Forward to coming together as 1 body to lift up the name of our Lord, the GREAT I AM, HIGH!

Grace and Peace to you all,

Joel Driskell

A New Year..

It is my incredible pleasure to be here in this place as a “Worship Pastor”. I am so humbled that God would place me here in Matthews, North Carolina, of all places, and entrust me with the leadership of the Worship ministry at Team Church. I am So blessed to have all of you here with me, beside me worshipping in spirit and in truth.

I did want to take a moment and write a little about me, so that you can say, “Hey, I know Joel”;

My name is Joel Gregory Driskell. I’m 27 years old and I’m married to the most beautiful 6’1″ blonde headed woman in the entire world, Kassandra. We have to big clumsy dogs. Russel, the great dane, and Charlie, the Golden Doodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle).
I absolutely love almost all kinds of food…i used to love Sushi, until i had eel…but unless it’s fish, i’ll throw it down no questions asked. I’m a Starbucks “Gold” member, which basically means that i’ve spent toooooooooo much money on over priced, yet so delicious, coffee.
My name comes from a long long long labor in which my mother and father were just in disagreeance of what to name me until they were watching the movie “Risky Business”, you know, the movie with Tom Cruise where he slides out onto the floor in a button up shirt and underwear. Ya, that’s where my name comes from. Thanks mom..
I’m a huge sports fanatic. I love basketball. I played a little college ball at SBU. I’m a huge lover of Snowboarding. I have not been able to go snowboarding for about 2 years now due to the tearing of BOTH of my ACL’s. But i am recovered and ready to hit the slopes again. I love the Kansas City Chiefs..FOREVER! I also love the Kansas City Royals…(don’t say it). Pretty much anytime I can, i’m playing sports.
I’ve been playing the guitar for 7 years now and am self taught. I used to play Piano..that’s all i have to say about that. I can play drums on my steering wheel better than you. Trust me. I have been leading worship for Church Congregations since the winter of 2001. I love it.

Moving onward. Every week, I am going to be writing a blog about “Worship”. Things like, “Why worship”, “how to worship”, etc..I hope and pray that you all will go on this journey with me as we, Team Church, Journey together in Worship. Please stay tuned in each week.

“Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” Ephesians 6:23-24

Curating

I am on the search to find ways to encourage the creatives in our city. Every community needs leadership, I feel called to bridge gaps, connect people and cultivate environments where creativity and the church can collide. Leveraging the gifts from our Creator in and through the local church . . . and in some way change the creative culture of Charlotte itself. I didn’t know what to call this until I came across this word in a book from the creativecollective.is.

Curator: one who has the care and superintendence of something (a collection or collective)

I have been fortunate to meet many of the people I consider creative leaders in Charlotte. Some I’ve not met, however all of you are actively serving God through your art in worship. Most of you have expressed in one way or another the same sentiment, this City needs a movement. Most of you have remarked that it takes time, resources and well, a leader. The definition of “curator” reminds me of the biblical example of a shepherd tending his flock. It is the similar to pastoring a specific type of people (a collection or collective), in this case artists and worshippers.

Some of us already have great influence, but also have great demands on our time. So this is not an attempt to add something else to your plate. It’s merely a call to be responsible to the calling on your own life and the lives of others under your care. But also to share this experience in some way with the greater community around you.

A couple questions for the Creatives among us:

  • Do you desire to pour into and partner with others who want to use their gift for something greater than themselves.
  • To see the local church embrace and support the artist.
  • To see the artist engage culture for the Gospel.

A couple questions for Pastors & Church Leaders:
We are charged to tend our congregation. What can we do so that the Glory of God is on display through the church. What can we do to encourage the creatives we oversee. Do we give them voices in our services, series planning, message prep? Are they considered at all, or do we simply leverage them when it’s necessary or convenient? Do we tolerate them until they get frustrated and leave? Do we truly lend an ear to the yearning in their soul to create and do something that will have eternal impact? These questions originated in conversations from other artists, and it’s left me with some advice to those of us in leadership:

  • Give them space to create within the church. Resource them and, don’t micro-manage them.
  • Don’t simply hang them on the wall to view, but send them out for the world to see and experience. In other words, don’t hoard them . . .
  • Don’t appease them . . . Don’t lead them on, and then come short on your promise to allow them a place to be utilized.
  • Encourage them to engage culture with their gifting. Most artists aren’t evangelists by nature. But their art is a reflection of the creator who “…is not willing that any should perish…”. Their art can be a voice and vehicle for the Gospel.
  • Be honest with them . . . if it doesn’t fit the vision, tell them. However, be willing to go the extra mile and point them where they can align their gifts and calling with another local church that will embrace them.

For the pragmatic among us:
I was raised by two business minded parents. Being an artistic child, they didn’t know what to do. They put me in camps, classes, workshops, anything to stoke the creative fire. They still raised me under what I call “the grid”, but they encouraged me to pursue my dreams as well. If you don’t understand how creative community works here’s a suggestion. Do what my parents did . . . take a risk, invest, cultivate. When an artist knows that you’re for them, it’s impossible to contain the creative output. You’ll try to harness it, DON’T, just encourage them and lead them well.

Standard of Excellence:
I believe in it. I believe we are called by God to give our very best. I also believe that every community probably has there own standard of excellence. However to serve the community best, there needs to be a global standard of excellence. This one is a little tricky and I’m open to feedback here. However, I did want to address it since I’m sure it is an issue that would need to be discussed.

I’m an artist, songwriter, worship leader, husband, dad and connector driven by my belief that God has designed us for community. The City of Charlotte has a number of artists (from every discipline) who have a voice. It needs to be heard, it will transform hearts as it rings through our streets, originating in churches and homes, prayers and songs, paintings, video, photography and every subset or genre therein.

Some of you are resonating with this, but you’re also thinking you don’t have the time to do anything about it. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s this “we are better together than we are alone”. I want to act as a curator to this growing community of creatives and call us together for the purpose of advancing the Gospel. I am one voice among many, and I’m speaking up . . .

KC Clark
musbkc@mac.com
twitter.com/musbkc
facebook.com/musbkc