Thursday, October 12, 2017

Glorious Day

With last week's blog post, I shared a video of the Worship Choir singing "Your Mercy" from our Worship Wednesday Service.  They did an outstanding job and I know that the video was watched and shared a lot.  Well, with this week's post I would like to share with you a video of our Children's Choir singing from last night's service.  They sang a song called "Glorious Day" and did an AWESOME JOB!  I was extremely proud of them.  We've got a young and inexperienced group, but they did really well.  Emma Kate and Aiden did a great job leading the song and I know that the church really enjoyed it.  The video is below:


 Children's Choir-Glorious Day


Worship Big!

Brad

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Your Mercy

With this week's post, I'm really excited to share with you the video of the Worship Choir singing last night at our Worship Wednesday Service.  Over the last few years our choir has morphed from a performance choir into a worship choir.  They do a WONDERFUL JOB leading in worship each Sunday, but I also wanted them to have the opportunity to sing by themselves. So, they are now doing a choir special each time we have one of our Worship Wednesday Services.  Below is the video of them singing "Your Mercy" from last night's service.  It is OUTSTANDING!


 Your Mercy

Worship Big!

Brad

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Worship and Drama

Y'all! It's only 13 weeks until Christmas! Only 13 more Mondays...we can do it guys! So what does it all mean?! This means Christmas Program time 🙌🏼 This means more practices, Christmas music, (I mean who doesn't love Christmas music in September?!) and the Christmas play! Y'all, it's time to celebrate the birth of Jesus! (And also pray Pastor Brad doesn't turn into "Passion Play Brad" before we even make it to Passion Play time 😳😬)

I'm so blessed to go to a church filled with so many wonderfully talented people...a church that not only has an amazing choir and worship team, but one that also has a drama team--I'm so thankful for a church that sees that worship can take place in many different forms! 

Before I became involved with the drama team at MPBC, I had never done many plays in a church setting. I'm a theatre major; I'm used to performing in front of hundreds of people, but the first 2 minute skit I ever did in front of the congregation was one of the most terrifying things I'd ever done! The pressure you feel to get it right is overwhelming! I mean this isn't just for entertainment, this is someone's life! This is the Word of God being spoken, not just meaningless lines on paper...it's a big deal! You get to be a messenger of truth and hope, and just like singing lyrics to a song (no matter how upbeat or how serious) the same can be done through drama when you come with your heart ready to receive the presence of Jesus! 

I'm ready, are you?!

Nicole

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back to Church Sunday

Mrs. Hodges bust through the door and said with a sense urgency, and almost panic, “Turn on the TV, quick! A plane has hit the world trade center!”.  Mrs. Howell got the remote and turned the TV on (I don’t think it really mattered which channel it was on that day, the news was everywhere) to see fire and smoke coming out a huge hole in one of the two tallest buildings in New York.  We were too young to realize the weight of what just happened, but we all new it was bad. There was not a sound in the room other than the news men and women.  As we focused in to see what was happening
there came another plane which crashed into the second tower (which I had the privilege to see just a few months earlier on a trip up north with my family over spring break 2001).  The explosion was so real and happened so fast that even hundreds of miles away, we could almost feel it.  The rest of the day was a lot quieter, there was no noise in the halls or classrooms other than people talking about what had just happened.  I was in the 7th grade when America was attacked on September 11, 2001.


That next Sunday churches were FULL of people looking for hope, community, answers, and maybe Christ.


I don’t remember when the phrase “Back to Church Sunday” came about, but I know that the Sunday after September 11th is “ Back to Church Sunday”.  It is a day that we should all reflect back to that Tuesday and remember those who died during and after the World Trade Centers were attacked.  As you recall it, think of all the times that God has come through in His time, to answer your prayers, give you strength, and calm your weary spirit.  The reason so many people came to church then was to find what “we” have, even if they didn’t know that’s why they came. They may not have even heard of the Christ (so how could they actively seek Him?), but the masses hoped the comfort they were seeking could be found in the church.  The truth is, it can be found only in a relationship with God through Jesus, but people have to hear the Word first, and that’s where the second part of “Back to Church Sunday” comes in.

The second part is you and me inviting some people to our church next Sunday. People who we cross paths with everyday that may need to hear the preached word.  Just think of it; if 600 people invited 1 person and they all came on Sunday.  Now, you and I both know better, so let’s say 25% of them come on Sept 17th. That would be 750 people which would be like Easter or Christmas numbers.  MPBC has had that many before which means there are people willing to come. People might be willing to come if they’re invited, and who would invite them except us?  Interesting how that chain is linked together.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to just see numbers because each of those 750 would represent a person.  Each one will have troubles and good times, debt and blessings, and most importantly, each one is a soul that God has made unique in His own way.  Those souls are the very thing that we want to see reconciled with Christ.  Tell them about our Flag Football League, the Soccer League in the spring, the Passion Play, the Christmas Candlelight Celebration Service, our Worship Time, the teaching of the Bible verse by verse, the community that you have even at a large church, the MPBC App, and just why you go.  Talk to them about where they were “when the world stopped spinning that September day” (to quote Alan Jackson) and ask how they remember it, what they felt, and how they responded.  Tell them it is “Back to Church Sunday “ and you would like them to come.  Go to them with the sole purpose of steering the conversation towards September 11th, 2001 and then steering it toward MPBC, which will lead them to the hearing of Christ. Which is the entire goal anyway.  I hope this week you and I both will have the courage to take this challenge, possibly for the first time.

I say go for it!

Derek

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

FaithFest

WOW is all that I can say about the Christian music festival that was held this past weekend here in Wilkesboro.  A big shout out to Craig Church of Craig Church Ministries who put this vision into reality.  Craig is a longtime friend and member of MPBC who does some amazing work in evangelism all over the world.  This event was a huge undertaking, but it was well organized and with the help of great sponsors and hundreds of volunteers, God was definitely glorified and people were exposed to the gospel.  

As a member of the MPBC praise team I love good music and on Saturday I was blessed to be part of this great event that brought national Christian artists like Unspoken, Matthew West, Phil Wickham, Meredith Andrews, Jason Crabb, Matt Hammitt, and Finding Favor to little ol' Wilkes County, NC.  Faith Fest also afforded the opportunity to local artist Caleb’s Crossing, John Lewis and our MPBC Praise Team member Kandace Brown to use their talents and glorify God as they sang in this venue.  This event was more than just a music event.  It was an event where we saw thousands come together to not only hear good music, but also hear the word of God preached by Craig and challenge us to carry the cross of Christ every day.  What an AWESOME experience it was! I really felt the presence of God throughout the evening and it was wonderful to see the community come together to support this outreach event. 

I must admit that at times I got caught up in watching the bands as they performed trying to see what they did musically or what their stage presence was like, hoping that I might see something that I could use to better my role on the praise team.  As the evening went on I stopped watching what was going on and drifted into “worship”.  You see true worship cannot be planned for, it just happens.   For me it was during one of Jason Crabb’s songs and I just had to stand and raise both hands toward heaven, I didn’t care who saw me or what they thought.  When you are in the presence of God you will give him praise!   Now, don’t get me wrong. I do believe that we can prepare our minds for worship, but true worship happens when we let go, don’t worry about what others see and just focus on God.
  
My prayer is that anytime that I am in front of others, my focus will be on singing and praising God and not worrying about what people see.  If I can do this then God will be glorified and hopefully I can be a vessel that will help lead others into letting go and worshiping as well.
  
Psalm 95:  Oh come, let us sing to the Lord.  Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, let us make a joyful noise to him with songs or praise.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 

I have no idea how many people attended the inaugural FaithFest, but here are a couple of pictures that I took looking back over the
crowd. It was awesome to see people praising God and lifting their hands toward heaven. 



Just a little glimpse of what heaven may look like!

Geoff

Thursday, August 24, 2017

This Is Choir

A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Brad posted a blog called "Top 10 Reasons to Join the Worship Choir".  It was great, it summed up everything that the MPBC Worship Choir is as well as touched on some things to come.  In this post, I think I would like to show you an 11th reason to join the Worship Choir at MPBC. 

This past Wednesday was the 2nd practice we've had since our big kick-off and it was awesome.  We had a total of 59 people! We went over some new music for events coming in the near future and also songs for this weekend's services. We even have a small group prayer time and a devotion each week! The room was packed and what an awesome sound it was!  Check this out...

video


Yep...this is what you can expect at choir practice!  That was one little clip of our practice together while going over songs for Sunday.  Nothing extremely structured or formal; just great people singing to the Lord and enjoying His presence.  What an awesome time of fellowship and encouragement!  I consider these people a second family! This truly is a highlight of my week!

If you've thought about giving choir a try, come on out!  You won't be sorry you did!

Peace,

Justin

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Not About Perfection

I had a conversation with a fellow praise team member on Wednesday night that stuck with me.... We were both talking about being perfectionists and how we struggle to find the positive when something goes wrong or doesn't work out perfectly. Especially when we’re onstage. I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to musical things. Whether I’m singing a song or playing an instrument. I used to be a “if it’s not perfect I’m not even going to try” person. I could sit here and tell you every time I’ve even slightly messed up on any song in the past 10 years. I have gotten into the habit of keeping a log in my head of all of my mistakes. This can sometimes be a good thing, but more often than not, it isn't. 

Recently, I’ve been working on being happy and finding positivity in all circumstances. This is also a good outlook to have in life. ;) I remind myself on a daily basis that God isn't asking for perfect, He is only asking for our best. I know the last thing He wants is for me to beat myself up over a small mistake that I made during a song. In this life things will go wrong. There will always be chaos and mistakes that are made. If everything were to always be perfect then heaven wouldn't seem nearly as wonderful. 

I think about this a lot. God is the essence of perfection and we are to be like God and strive for perfection, but not in a way that is obsessive or unhealthy. He wants our best. Whatever that may be. That is comforting to me... just knowing that God is up in heaven preparing a place that is perfect and that He loves us not for our perfect performances onstage or in life, but because we are His children. 

The next time you worry about a mistake you made or a problem you’re facing remember that God is on the throne and He loves us... for us. In all of our imperfect, chaotic and sometimes downright ugly ways. We truly serve such a good good Father! :)

Kandace