As followers of Christ we have the unique privilege to greet each day, or each season of life, with renewed hope for better outcomes, increased strength for our trials, and a deeper relationship with Jesus. The satisfaction grows every time that we allow God to shape us and give us the tools necessary for the changes we need.
One month ago God blessed us as a church with a wonderful new tool to reach more people, with the opening of our new auditorium and children’s spaces. I refer to the building as a tool because that’s what it is; it’s the people inside of it that are precious. It’s the people: women and men, boys and girls who I pray will extract every resource that it and the rest of our campus offers. I pray you’ll take advantage of this opportunity and let God grow you greatly in 2018!
We are beginning a number of Bible studies, classes, and personal growth opportunities to help strengthen your walk with God. Check out our events page to see a complete list of offerings. Here are a few examples:
- Core Classes: Explore ways to grow, serve, and discover God's place for you in the LCC family.
- Life is not meant to be lived alone. Check out our thriving Life Group Ministry.
- Financial Peace University: Join the hundreds of other LCC attenders who have stopped letting their lives be controlled by their finances and began their journey to freedom.
As always, there is much more information contained on our website, so be sure to visit and explore further, watch a Sunday service, or to connect with us. I appreciate you so much and thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We are better together!
You are probably familiar with the book of Ecclesiastes and its compelling commentary on the passage of time where it says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens...” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
This month we are looking back with much gratitude on the 11 years we have worshipped in our current facility, and we are now greatly anticipating the Grand Opening of our new North Building on January 21st. In some ways, I view our five-year journey of faith and fundraising as our time of walking around the walls of Jericho. We believed that God had already won the battle, but He was allowing our faith to grow to be ready to meet the next challenges that will come with this new opportunity.
So, here we are, turning the page on one chapter in our church’s life and relentlessly and fearlessly moving to the next. We can be relentless because we are working in God’s power and His strength. We can be fearless because our God doesn’t change and will be faithful in every page of our next chapter.
So, this month is a time to celebrate and be grateful. It is a time to reflect and a time to renew. Most importantly, it is a time to worship the Living God who has saved us through His Son, Jesus. We praise His name! I hope you will join my wife, Darlene, and I at one of our three Grand Opening services on Sunday, January 21 at 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30am.
As we continue in our current teaching series, Share the Gift, I was so honored to pray with the few dozen people that made first-time decisions for Christ on
December 3. That never gets old! Did you know that in 2017 nearly 800 people have accepted the best gift of all and are now in the family of God? What an amazing testimony of God’s work among us.
In the midst of all we do at LCC our call to keep sharing the message of God’s
powerful act of redeeming mankind through the sacrifice of his Son is first and
foremost. Then, once we help connect people with God, we train and equip them to do ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
May I ask you to join Darlene and I in a few areas of ministry as we close out 2017 and look forward to a new year?
First, PRAY! Pray for our five upcoming Christmas Eve services. Pray that the Lord will bring many more people into His kingdom. Our families, community and world are as bad off as ever and Jesus is the only hope we have.
Next, INVITE! Studies prove that your personal invitation is the most effective
method of getting people to visit church. The most frequently attended services are Christmas and Easter, so let’s not miss this huge opportunity. Pick up some invite cards at church this Sunday to make it very easy for you.
Finally, GIVE! Because you give, lives are really being changed. Giving to God is a heart check on where we place Him on our list of priorities. For so many LCCers, it is obvious that He is number one. Thank you!
I look forward to sharing with you in January a more comprehensive recap on God’s work through the ministries of LCC in 2017, but for now I can say without hesitation it’s been a benchmark year. We have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to, in the Lord, in 2018. I am so thankful for you and it is indeed my privilege to be in ministry with you.
Sharing the Gift,
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
- Matthew 25:35-40 (NASB)
We have a responsibility to reach out to those outside of the family of God and take care of their needs. And that's always what we seek to do here. Whether it’s people inside or outside of the family of God, if they have needs or hurts, and we can meet them—that’s what Jesus has called us to do.
With that in mind, we're excited to announce the official launch of The LowCountry Dream Center. The LowCountry Dream Center is the outreach ministry of LowCountry Community Church. We believe knowing God has the power to change everything. Its mission is to reach people with the love of Christ by meeting both physical and spiritual needs. We are passionate about reaching others with the love of Jesus through practical service and making a difference in our community. Our goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, driven by His heart to serve others, while giving people the opportunity to find true hope and freedom.
We want you to become a part of making the Dream Center a reality. If you are interested in learning about how you can get involved, we invite you to join us on December 17th from 5:00 – 6:30pm as we share our vision for this ministry.
We also had the opportunity to see God work through the Compassion Experience and Compassion Sunday earlier this month—what an amazing weekend we had! There were over 4,000 people that walked through the actual experience, hearing, seeing, and responding to the stories of Olive, Carlos, and Kiwi—and between the experience and Compassion Sunday, we rescued almost 500 children! How amazing is that?!
But we're not stopping there—we also want to invite you to take part in serving right here at LCC during our five Christmas Eve Services. It takes hundreds of volunteers to provide the LCC experience. Our Christmas Eve services on Sunday, December 24th are a great opportunity for you and your family to serve others who are visiting our church and hearing the Gospel—some for the first time! You can sign up now to be a part of this special time of year with the LCC Family.
“What we do now echoes in eternity.”
― Marcus Aurelius
We have a lot to be thankful for, don’t we? The question is, are we willing to share it with those who are not so fortunate? Will you share what you have with those who are in need? Remember, it is the same as doing it for Jesus! That’s what we’re called to do.
Maybe it’s the change in seasons with the shorter days and, dare I say, cooler weather, (one can only hope!), but I’ve caught myself reminiscing a little lately about the road of life and where it’s taken me. I’m at the age now where as my favorite author, F. W. Boreham says that, “(one) may be pardoned if he pauses at times to take long and wistful glances along the road he has trodden.”
As I look back, I can scarcely believe how quickly time has flown and how much the world has changed. In the rearview mirror I see the streetlights of God’s loving hand lighting my way, the guardrails that have at times corrected but always directed me to the path He had for me, and His grace; His wonderful grace.
Thirty-four years ago this month I was ordained to the Gospel Ministry at Gunpowder Baptist Church in Freeland, Maryland. (Yes, that's really the name of the church!) My father and grandfather were part of the "laying on of hands" which made it all extra special. I had no idea then of the road I was being called to follow, but it's been a wonderful journey. I am grateful to God for His call on my life and to the wonderful people and church bodies I have met and served with along the way. I’m also grateful to my wife and partner in ministry, Darlene as well as my three daughters Tiffany, Lauren, and Emily. I wouldn't have wanted to do any of it without them by my side. We have been better together.
Well, that’s just a small part of my story. I would love to hear yours and I’m certain others would receive hope, courage, and strength from what you share. Would you consider taking a few moments and reminisce with me about what God has done in your life? Perhaps there is a valley He’s brought you through, an impossible victory, or something you are still trusting Him to finish. We all have a story and yours matters!
You can share your story online or stop by the information center on Sunday to tear off a slip from the "Share Your Story" pads, and turn it back in when you want. It's that easy! I can’t wait to hear your story.
Now, keep reading to see how your story can intersect and positively impact many more people through the Compassion Experience. It’s coming to LCC November 3rd – 6th as part of our upcoming outreach series, Without Borders.
The Compassion Experience is a free and interactive tour of what life is like in the developing world. I hope you and your family won’t miss it. Click the link for specific dates, times, registration information and how to volunteer for the event.
 F.W. Boreham, The Chalice of Life, pg. 23.
The uncertainty surrounding Hurricane Irma is weighing heavy on all of us. Since the projected path is still unknown, we want you to know that as soon as we know the path and our plan as a church, you will be notified. We will send emails and keep our social media channels updated as frequently as possible, just like we did last year during the Hurricane Matthew evacuation. Follow our updates on Facebook and on Instagram. Stay updated on safety alerts by following direct updates from South Carolina, the Town of Bluffton and the Town of Hilton Head. To be notified of closures and cancellations affecting LCC, make sure you're on our News & Updates list*.
As we watch, wait, and prepare for Hurricane Irma and its effect on our community, use this as an opportunity to reach out to others. Talk to your neighbors—and lend a helping hand:
- Help a neighbor board their windows.
- Help others move patio furniture and other loose items inside.
- Be cognizant of friends and neighbors that might need help preparing to leave or with making a plan for where to go.
- Ask neighbors what you can do—make sure they have a plan for getting to safety. If they need help moving items to the second story of their home, be intentional and offer to help. If they need help getting items from the store for a potential evacuation, offer to get them when you're running errands to do the same.
People have a hard time asking for help, so be proactive in asking and lending a hand where you can. Find a need and meet it! If you need a full list of action items to prepare, please visit the National Hurricane Center's website for more information.
*After you sign up for LCC News & Updates, you'll receive an email to confirm your subscription that requires a response, so be sure to check your inbox and spam folder so that you're able to make that confirmation. You will not receive News & Update emails from us if that step isn't taken.
I’m so happy to be back from my sabbatical where I had some concerted time reflect, visit other churches, learn from some great leaders and pastors, and catch up on some rest. On top of that, Darlene and I moved! We were planning on it, but it all happened quicker than we ever anticipated. As He always does, God made a way for it all to fall into place, so I’m beginning my time back with new perspectives, new views, and renewed enthusiasm. Thank you for your great support to our guest speakers while I was gone. They all spoke of you and LCC very highly and felt so welcome. Thank you!
I hope you’ve noticed in weekly church updates that we are getting very close to the Grand Opening of our new North Building! For planning purposes, I want to share with you that we are hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 23rd from 2:00 - 4:00pm and a soft opening for our services the next morning on Sunday, September 24th. It’s going to be a great weekend and I hope you can attend both days.
The opening of our new building is a huge milestone; one of many that God has given us over these last five years. I am so grateful to each of you that have prayed, given, and supported both our Momentum and Relentless generosity initiatives. The completion of the new building isn’t a finish line, but a starting line to reach even more people and connect them with the God who loves them more deeply than they may even know.
We have more exciting news for the fall. On Sunday, October 22nd, my good friend and mentor, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, will be joining us to celebrate and challenge us in the continued work ahead. We expect attendance to be particularly high that day, so be sure to plan ahead for parking and seating.
Let’s celebrate together this milestone and then join together once again for the next chapter in the life of our church and our community!
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." - Philippians 1:6
In July of 2016, a team from LCC headed to our nation's capital to gather with thousands of others at one-day event called TOGETHER. During the week leading up to the event, our team served in various ministries around Washington, D.C. Those ministries included Martha's Table, Central Union Mission, and the Capital Area Food Bank. Our team had the honor of preparing meals for the homeless, packing boxes, and baking meals for the elderly and homebound. While serving at Central Union Mission, Steven Bell, our Missions & Outreach Coordinator, had the opportunity to sit down with a gentleman from West Africa named Noel. Steven was able to spend time talking and praying with Noel, learning more about his story and his struggle to find work due to visa issues.
Now a year later, Steven and a different team returned to Washington, D.C. and again worked with Central Union Mission, preparing meals and feeding the homeless. Steven was able to see Noel again and learn that while he is still staying at the center, he's successfully working for a company in the area on their marketing team. His plan is to save his money to start his own business and then move home to West Africa.
From Steven, "Noel immediately teared up when he saw him, because he said I had such an impact on his life. He says he refers to LowCountry (LCC) all the time when he is telling people about volunteering, because we do it right."
There are times when we think that a simple conversation and act can get someone through tough times, and maybe even change a person's life. How can your daily conversations do the same? What would happen if we actually saw each other as we are supposed to see each other? What would happen if we truly cared about others? What would happen if we lived as forgiven people? What would happen if we valued people over our opinions? This could change everything.
And now you know a little bit about the rest of the story. How can you show up for those in your life today?
by Jason Best, Executive Pastor at LowCountry Community Church
It is wonderful to see so many young families attending LCC. Every week there are new children and students experiencing church at their level in dynamic programs with our caring and well-trained leaders.
Statistics say that the older a person gets, the less likely they are to make a decision to follow Jesus. Therefore, we take our ministry to children and students very seriously. We want to make the most of every opportunity for them to begin growing in wisdom & knowledge in their relationship with God. As they grow, they begin putting their faith into practice. Can young people actually do this? Emphatically, YES!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me” and that “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14 & 15) This is a great challenge from God. You could argue that other ministries are just as important as kids and student ministries, but there are no ministries more important! Did you know that our weekly attendance in LCC Kids and Middle and High School gatherings is larger than most entire churches in America? However, as big as our LCC Kids and LCC Students ministries are, we aren’t even making a dent in the large number of children who live in our area that have never heard the name Jesus—except as a profanity.
That is why we are saying yes to being relentless in reaching the next generation. We’re saying yes to expanding our commitment to be there for our community’s children and students. We’re saying yes to helping families navigate some of the most difficult phases of life. The timing couldn’t be more critical and the need couldn’t be greater. By saying yes and fostering a culture of positive, biblical growth, we are not only helping our students in the short-term, but all those who may be impacted by your legacy on their lives in the future.
Saying yes is possible because of your prayers. It's possible through your faithful giving to the LCC Relentless generosity initiative. By taking an eternal mindset, you are literally training and equipping the “heroes” that are now reaching the youngest generation. The new building’s construction is on schedule, and when finished, will be a God-given opportunity to reach even more families. Thank you!
As we move through the remainder of the summer, would you please join me in praying for our children, students, and their families? God is calling us to be relentlessly raising the next generation of leaders. How will you join in with LCC to be relentless? Also, please pray for Pastor Jeff as he spends the final weeks of his sabbatical renewing his energy, his call, and his mission as our senior pastor.
By Carl Martin, Adult Ministries Pastor at LowCountry Community Church
Our 2017 pilot project for our LCC Summer Internship Program is well underway! These interns are getting a sneak peak behind the scenes of LCC—and the key word for internship is exposure! Moving from a volunteer role to a staff position is an eye-opening experience. Our church moves fast and our staff works hard to serve you, our community and members. These interns are reading, learning, mentoring, building relationships, and serving their hearts out. You, the church, gave them this opportunity by giving through our Relentless Initiative. Here are some responses directly from your interns:
"This internship has driven me to the feet of Jesus more than I ever expected it to. I have been encouraged and challenged by (1) the fact that my dependence on the Lord has increased through my involvement in ministry and (2) the example the staff set for us. Working with students and participating in the life of the church has given me an increased desire and need for closeness with the Lord, and He has been using this internship to show me more deeply the importance of maintaining my personal relationship with Him. And getting to watch the staff love and serve Jesus and people has taught me so much about what a life fully surrendered to Him looks like! I have learned so much in just the first few weeks, and I look forward to continuing to soak up all that God has for me in this experience."
- Hayley Edwards, LCC Students Intern
"This internship has truly tested and stretched me. The pace is much different from that of a volunteer, but I am thoroughly enjoying this experience. I've been able to get an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at youth ministry at LCC. I've received so many new devotional resources and made so many new friendships with the staff at LCC. But MOST importantly my dependence on Jesus has increased exponentially!"
- Justin Clemmer, LCC Students Intern
"The experience I’ve had as an LCC Intern has been absolutely incredible. They have offered me the proper space to grow fundamentally in every aspect, all while growing spiritually more than I ever have in my life. It has been Jesus-centered and full of practical ministry learning. The leadership skills I have learned in the short few weeks I have been an intern I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I quickly became family, not just with the interns, but with the staff as well. Incredible experience."
- Daniel Calhoun, LCC Students Intern
"This internship has blessed me beyond any expectations that I ever had. I have learned so much just in this short time and I have grown so much in my own faith. It has been amazing to work along this great staff and to continue to grow as a worship leader. I have absolutely loved my time as an intern at LCC and cannot wait to see what God has in store for the rest of my time as an intern this summer!"
- Davis Owens, Worship Arts Intern
"I have learned how much goes into our Sunday morning services in the children's ministry. I have been doing things like getting the rooms prepared, setup on Sunday mornings, assisting during services, and working behind the scenes with our camps. I've witnessed our team making connections with families and volunteers that come to LCC, and I am doing so as well. My reliance on God is at an all-time high, relying on Him to guide me, equip me, and continuing to use me for His purpose to do His work. God is at work at LCC and I'm beyond thrilled to be a part of His plans!"
- Christina Burroughs, LCC Kids Intern
"This has been such an amazing opportunity so far. I have already learned so much from everyone, but I think the kids are the ones who have taught me the most. I have grown so much in my faith the past couple weeks and I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be. I couldn't be more thankful for this experience."
- Haley Kohler, LCC Kids Intern
"In a few short weeks, this internship has grown my dependence on God more than I ever anticipated. My life has been altered. I am awed at the team members who work toward one goal: to make Him known. I am so grateful to witness the lives that are being impacted every single day of the week and to see how it's done with such passion, consideration, and detail to excellence. My experience has exceeded any expectation that I had."
- Christina Dowd, Missions & Outreach Intern
"It’s been a great experience having access to Carl and the church staff as I begin to understand the inner workings of what it means to be part of a church staff team. I look forward to continuing to learn from the LCC team as I explore my role in ministry."
- Ian Leslie, Adult Ministries Intern
Jen Rowland calls LowCountry Community Church home and works on staff with United World mission in Brussels, Belgium.
I am a missionary with United World Mission and currently ministering in Brussels, Belgium. God has given me a passion for lost people in Europe. Brussels is the home of the European Union and NATO, and people from all over the EU come here. It is an amazing opportunity to reach people for Jesus through the whole European continent by being in just one city.
I meet people through the volunteer jobs I do with Serve the City and a church here called The Well. Serve the City connects people who want to help the homeless, refugees, and the infirmed to centers that help people or facilitate projects such as Breakfast4Refugees and Soup4theCity. STC project facilitation involves leading and sending volunteers out into the streets of Brussels looking for those in need, talking with them, and giving them some food. I have found that while we are serving and caring for the homeless, as we are called to do, I’m making a bigger impact for the kingdom with the person I serve alongside.
Many volunteers don’t know Jesus and serving with them has allowed me the opportunity to share the gospel, make new friendships, and invite them to Bible studies.
My role with the church also involves community outreach along with social media and multimedia for the church services. A team from Los Angeles is coming to hand out roses and talk to people about Jesus in different parts of the city. I’m the church contact person for them and will be part of their team as they come and serve for ten days. I also want to encourage and provide outreach opportunities for people inside my church to go out and serve.
Liz Shrieve calls LowCountry Community Church home and works on staff in Charlotte with Youth With a Mission (YWAM).
In September 2016, the Lord called me to serve with Youth with a Mission Charlotte (YWAM) after my high school graduation. Youth with a Mission is an international and interdenominational movement of Christians devoted to presenting Jesus Christ in a personal way to this generation, as well as training, equipping, and mobilizing believers for their part in fulfilling The Great Commission. They currently work in over 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.
During the first six months of my time at YWAM, I was a student in their Discipleship Training School. I had four months of intensive lectures and local ministry time, emphasizing growth in the areas of getting to know God better, His character, His will, intercession and worship, and God’s heart for the lost. In January, I left with a team of eight for two months to live in a small village in Cambodia. While there, my team focused on relationship building with all ages in the village, teaching English as a second language to students every day, working with teens in small and large group settings, and doing multiple community service projects.
I am now on staff with YWAM Charlotte, participating in their School of Leadership Development and Outreach. Their twelve-week course aims to fully equip students to be in full-time ministry through teachings on strengths and gifts, character growth, leadership skills, and understanding the call of God. Aside from teachings, students facilitate short-term youth outreaches, conferences, fundraisers, and serve in multiple areas of the community. The school prepares students to be on staff with YWAM at any location in and around the world, have an effective personal ministry, and serve in a local church setting.
I have learned so much during my time with YWAM, not only about who God is, but about His heart for His creation. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer as I continue to have the privilege to serve the Lord in this way.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
- St. Augustine
Travel is something most of us relish, and for many of us, our travel adventures happen over the summer. The kids are out of school and we relish the longer holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
In essence, we go! We go to make last lasting memories, to share new experiences with those we love, and to stretch our boundaries of thinking in terms of culture, people—and even food!
Jesus also told us to go. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). What a challenge, what an adventure, what a calling!
As a church, we too are being relentless in going this summer. We have teams comprised of students, families, and adults heading to Savannah, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Italy. Some are going outside our region for the very first time. Others are seasoned travelers, stepping out in faith to radically experience new things in reaching others. In the pages of their lives, they are adding life-change to their experiences. That’s going with a purpose!
Wherever these summer months may find you, you can know that the Lord is already there and He is working. Be open to His call even if you think you are only there for recreation. While you are going, pray for our mission teams’ effectiveness, safety, and health. Pray for your church, your neighbors, our civic leaders, and our communities. Please pray for me too, as I pray for you. Let’s go!
So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.” - Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
There’s an interesting dynamic that has changed the definition of community. It began with the advent of the internet and social media. The world has become a much smaller place. We can now enjoy meaningful relationships with people from practically anywhere around the globe. At LCC we are relentless in reaching our community, whether it’s someone who lives nearby, serving alongside one of our missionaries, or someone we encounter online. This is indeed a great time to be alive!
Your relentlessness love of Jesus showed up big time at our Easter services with nearly 4,000 people in attendance! This happened because you invited people and many of you gave up your Sunday seat and came on Saturday. Over 400 of you also gave your time to volunteer. I’m still blown away by the sea of blue shirts and smiling faces we saw, and because many of you prayed for lives to be changed, they were. Thank you! And, thank God, He answered our prayers and brought 182 people to a saving relationship with Jesus. Praise His name!
Friends, just so you know, that is not normal in America today. Overall, churches are declining, but the increasingly new normal in your church is changed lives. I believe that is because you are letting God change your life and through that our community and world are being impacted greatly. Keep going!
And we press on, too! Since Easter, we’ve been working hard to follow up on those who started their new walk with God. We’re also developing and have sent teams to Union Mission in Savannah. Along these same lines, our entire LCC staff are looking forward to an outreach day at Bluffton Self Help later this month.
Additionally, we’ve screened and selected our first group of interns that will be serving in our various ministry areas over the next months. Thanks to your relentless giving, we’re developing an exciting new internship program where we offer a hands-on learning opportunity to those who will take what they learn into their faith community groups all over the world.
In these few short paragraphs I’ve only shared a few of the wave tops of what God is doing among us here at LCC. Our community is growing and becoming more widespread. As we grow we need to get smaller at the same time; we do that through joining a life group or by finding an area to serve with like-minded people.
All of our efforts are also a result of your sacrificial gifts of time and money. On behalf of the Elders and staff I want to thank you for serving and for your regular and faithful giving. Let’s keep looking to God and being relentless!
This summer we have ton of things happening on our campus! We have crews in multiple areas that are beginning work and starting the final phase/push for the summer and our opening in the fall. It's hard to believe that nearly five years ago we started this process and we are at the stage where we have electricians and framers finishing the final interior portions of the new building. Insulation is going up, the connector between the two buildings is being worked on, and the plumbing will soon be completed!
While it can be an inconvenience, as with any construction project, we are already making accommodations for the work. Our foot traffic flow to get in and out of the current building will be affected, but it is also something to celebrate. It means we have been relentless in our mission, our community, and our world. It means that we started this movement to expand and gain momentum to reach our dreams of becoming a regional, multi-ethnic church with thousands of people from all backgrounds and experiences—and that dream is being fulfilled. It means we are developing and encouraging fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, learning to live in the security of His unconditional love. We know that we will provide multiple weekend services that offer a contemporary format, practical Bible teaching, and a safe place for people to come and bring their friends to discover and develop an authentic relationship with Jesus. We have faced many obstacles, but we have stayed true to who we are and watched God do the impossible.
Two years ago, we stated that we wanted to step out and fearlessly follow after God’s call. This fall's Grand Opening is going to be a truly special time to celebrate all that God has done for us. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for the monthly Relentless newsletter and our weekly updates at lowcountrycc.org. We are going to be making a lot of adjustments to traffic flow over the summer and we want keep everyone updated when those changes take place.
Get ready—we are going to have fun this summer preparing for a fall like no other!
by Vinnie Emery, Children's Pastor at LowCountry Community Church
Just like the other ministries at LCC, LCC Kids is continually striving to be relentless in the different endeavors that we take up as we partner with parents and build meaningful relationships with kids. We organize two or three different avenues a year where we give parents an opportunity to do ministry with their kids or allow kids to have some fun with their Sunday morning Life Group leaders. This spring we hosted two events to meet that goal.
The first was our LCC Kids Family Serve Day on Saturday, February 18th. Parents and their kids came to LCC and spent a morning serving two of our LCC ministry partners. First, parents and kids packed materials for Cru Military to share with those in the military in need of a helping hand spiritually. Second, the parent and kids, along with their life group leaders, constructed salvation bracelets for Hope Ministry. These bracelets will be taken to communities in Africa to be distributed to children as they attend educational opportunities run by the Hope Ministry volunteers.
We also hosted our Spring Life Group Game Night this past Friday, April 21st. Over 120 kids showed up to play five minute-to-win-it games, share ice cream, and get a little wet with some fun outdoor games. But most importantly, kids and their life group leaders got to spend some fun time together bonding and getting to know each other better.
We know that it is vital that we be relentless in helping parents find ways to do ministry with their kids. Parents want to do more and help build their child’s faith; we just need to give them the avenues to do so. We also know that it is important that we widen the circle of voices that a child hears concerning God and His role in their lives. By hosting events like the game night, we allow kids to build a bond with their life group leader and then use that connection to have more meaningful conversations about faith on Sunday mornings.
by Lisa Lewellen, Director of Membership & Volunteers
If you are like me, the first time I read this statement, I wasn’t sure what it meant—and I certainly didn't know how to pronounce it! The Latin quote Venit hospes, venit Christus by St. Benedict has a simple translation with a powerful meaning:
“When a guest comes, Christ comes.”
I would love to say that as I heard the translation, my mind connected quickly to its meaning and purpose and I was forever changed in that moment. Not exactly. The quote was one that I very much needed to hear—it gave me that feeling that I didn’t want to overlook it. As the Director of Membership & Volunteers, I certainly didn’t want to miss a message regarding guests! I reread it several times, but still found myself wondering what it meant. So I set out as most do, and began some Google-driven research.
Venit hospes, venit Christus was part of a lesson in hospitality taught by Saint Benedict (480-547 AD). His monks and priests were known throughout the centuries for providing warm welcomes to many strangers and travelers in their monasteries. They focused on what we would call today a "Hospitality 101" lesson: when we receive a guest, we should receive them as if they were Jesus Himself, directly in front of us. I’m sure you are shaking your head as I did, saying, “Absolutely! Oh, I totally do!” But do we, really?
In my role at LCC, I am always reviewing how we can continue to make others feel welcome, like a part of the family, and find ways to make a deep impact by being the hands and feet of Jesus to them. In my research, I wanted to find the true motive behind it. Was it to help others feel warm and fuzzy with a cheerful hello, or simply answer questions? Was it to give directions to the Café,
or a firm handshake to welcome a guest—almost a surface level of hospitality? Was there something deeper?
Let me introduce you to radical hospitality.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”
- Matthew 25:34-35 (ESV)
Radical hospitality takes our serving to an even deeper level; think of it as an add-on to what we do as we serve guests. It’s a heart-depth investment. It’s hospitality from the inside of us that shows just how much we value and care for a guest, with one glaring difference: treating them as if they were Jesus...right in front of us.
In Luke 24: 13-16, we find the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who although were so saddened about Jesus’ crucifixion, did not notice who was walking alongside them. Verse 16 says, “But their eyes didn’t even recognize Him.” They had traveled, learned, and lived life with Him, yet were so distracted with grief that they failed to see Him. Many times, we too can fail to see Jesus in those right in front of us, especially when we choose to focus on ourselves.
I quickly realized that I needed to work on inviting the Holy Spirit to give me eyes and ears like Jesus, and the courage to act like Him. I knew this would help me take serving to that deeper, heart-depth level. It’s a level that I believe we, both as believers and volunteers at LCC, have truly been called to experience and be forever changed. What we are gifted to see and be part of is what so many other churches and communities pray to even glimpse. As His chosen people, we are called to be more than great hosts. We are called to actually be Christ to all and see all as Christ. We are called to be difference-makers; clothed in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3: 10-17 NLT)
My prayer is that our eyes will see all the places Christ is in our world. And more so, that we would see the opportunity we have to view each guest as Christ and act on it, walking through any aspect of our lives with a venit hospes, venit Christus mindset. Seeing people as Jesus Himself.
That’s radical hospitality.
What an amazing year 2017 has been so far! In only three months we have seen God do some amazing things, including celebrating the nearly 150 people of all ages making first-time decisions to follow Jesus. Our church services are filling up too, as you continue to be relentless in telling others about God’s work in your life and inviting people to join you.
We’ve actually reached what we hope to be a new normal and now have over 2,000 people of all ages attending services weekly. We also have a growing online audience sometimes exceeding 200 viewers. Why mention these numbers? Because every number represents a person with a name known to Jesus—and every person matters to God.
Speaking of names that matter to God, in two short weeks we have a huge opportunity to show what life with God at LCC is all about as we open our doors on April 15th and 16th to the expected 4,000 plus people at our five Easter services. While the magnitude of that number can feel overwhelming, isn’t it good to know that God is already at work preparing people’s hearts to respond to the Gospel?
As we prepare for Easter and the next few months, may I make a personal request for you to pray, invite and serve? Pray for God to work mightily, for people to respond to His call and come to Christ, then invite your neighbor, the clerk at the store, or a family member. Based on experience, I can say that many people who are coming don’t even know it yet, and they need to be invited, so please pick up some of our invitation cards and then use them.
Easter is one of our “Super Bowl Sundays” and we need a literal army of servant-hearted volunteers to sacrificially give of their time to effectively reach those God is calling. Many of you have volunteered already. Thank you! If you’re ready to volunteer and jump in with us, please register to do so now.
Serving others at LCC really is exciting and you’ll be appreciated in both tangible and non-tangible ways. This video is one tangible expression that was shared at a recent volunteer appreciation event. Maybe you missed it, so I hope it helps bring a smile to your face or inspiration to begin serving.
Finally, you may remember our newly adopted guest services motto: Hospes Venit, Christus Venit (When a guest comes, Christ comes). That is also the perfect expression to think about, as we are being relentless in our love for others. Philippians 2:3 tells it plainly,
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
May we all humbly put others before ourselves and love and serve, just like Jesus!