More questions equals more answers. Today's questions come from our some what adopted daughter (at least for six months) in Charlotte Kelly McNamara. She's a student at Winthrop and a very talented worship leader at Elevation Church. Here we go…
Do you have an awesome new group of kids that you've picked out to replace us? ones that you will view the Office and Lost with in the future?
There's of course no way to replace "the kids." I'm hopeful that we'll have new regulars here at the McCart home. SOOOOOOO excited about September and the return of The Office and still irritated that we have to wait till next year for LOST. Thank God for HEROES. Just like in Charlotte, it's taking some time for people to believe that we really do want people to come and hang out. Most people who say that don't mean it. We do. Come on over Charleston people.
You've worked at several different churches, but since you seem to really be settling in well at this church, what are some of the pros and cons of working in a church like this one compared to a church like Elevation?
Well this one could get sticky. Please understand that I'm going to give MY opinion on the pros and cons based on my four short months on staff at Elevation verses the other churches I've worked or am working at. I've been on five church staffs in a little of ten years. That's three more than I thought I would. I've worked at three Southern Baptist churches and two non-denominational churches. Elevation is a Southern Baptist church for those that didn't know. My first two churches are very traditional, old, stubborn and unhealthy. They have way too much history to make a significant change for the better and unfortunately will probably close their doors in the next thirty years.
That leaves North Point Community, Elevation and Northwood churches. North Point was my dream job and I never thought I'd leave. I worked there for three and a half years and learned, grew and was challenged more than I ever thought possible. People used to ask me (people from backgrounds like my first two churches) "what's the dirty behind the scenes stuff like at North Point?" Honestly, there isn't one. It's the healthiest place I've ever known. They have a high level of excellence, work ethic, commitment and trust at every level of the church that I was involved.
Elevation is a young church with a young staff. Even though some of their staff members are older than me they are still learning the lessons of ministry that we all have to and that I'm still learning. I do believe God called me to Elevation. Elevation is the most intense work environment I've ever experienced. They do a lot to try and release the tension. I believe in the future the leadership will do what is needed for the long term health of the staff. Elevation does have an incredible work ethic and expectation of excellence. The worship experience at Elevation is in the upper tier of churches in the world in my opinion. Steven and I were friends at one time and I knew when I met him he would stop at nothing to see God do the extraordinary in his life. That is happening. I still care a great deal for Elevation and many of the people there but I'm know convinced that God took us to Elevation in order to bring us to Northwood.
Northwood is the smaller of the three churches and I would have never considered being here had it not been for the experiences we've been through in the last year. There is an almost unbalanced level of trust here. I've never worked somewhere that meant "If the job is done, go home" to this degree. Our Pastor has been doing this for a long time and has created a very open atmosphere as it relates to getting the job done. The next two years will be possibly the most challenging years this church has ever seen as we relocate our church and school. Our leadership is making sure we are preparing for that season now. Our calling as members of our family is far more important than the job we have at the church. I believe God is going to use me in a major way here in Charleston and I'm here to stay as long as that's God's plan.
Sorry if any of that seemed harsh or judgmental. Again, I have only been here for two months, at Elevation for four and North Point for three and a half years. I'm sure I still have many lessons to learn and my life will be different as I grow and look back on this very difficult year in my life. I honestly believe that you have to be willing to be wherever God needs you. Sometimes you're in a place for Him, sometimes He has you there for your development. I'm grateful for everything I've been through. It's made me a better person, servant, leader, friend, father and husband.