• The Welcome Home Project

    Linda St. Clair shares her story of serving refugees resettling in Raleigh-Durham, NC.

    Linda St.Clair talks about her experience serving refugees resettling in Raleigh-Durham, NC. The Welcome Home Project furnishes apartments and town homes for refugees in need of basic human needs. Linda and her band of friends are functioning as the hands and feet of Jesus to a marginalized group of people who may never experience the love of Jesus any other way.

  • This is Who I Wanted to Be!

    Adam Hoffman shares his story of faith in Jesus and following in obedience to be baptized.

    Hear Adam Hoffman describe the process the Holy Spirit used to draw him to Himself. Growing up Catholic, Adam had never made a personal decision to place his faith and trust in Jesus. After dating his wife Krystal and hearing the gospel at Journey, he placed his faith in the saving work of Jesus and made it public through baptism.

  • Begin with Prayer

    Cindy shares her story about the B.L.E.S.S. principle and how she began praying for her neighbors.

    We have been talking about B.L.E.S.S. in our Missional Community. We were talking about the B: begin with prayer.

    It also came up that I had a new neighbor and my MC challenged me to go next door and meet my neighbor to put the B.L.E.S.S. I had been talking about into action.

    So the following Saturday my husband and I were working outside in our front yard spreading mulch and pulling weeds. We were outside all day and I saw my neighbor walking to her mailbox, to her car, walking all around her front yard. I must have seen her about 12 times that day. I waved and smiled but I did not go over. I could feel God nudging me to go over, but I was hot and dirty and mostly procrastinating. And so I let the day and the opportunity go by.

    That night I was trying to come up with all the excuses why I did not meet the neighbors.

    The next day we went to church and heard Daniel’s story. Daniel was shocked to find out that many of his friends at school were Christians and not one person had ever talked to him about Jesus. And I had a major realization: I am just like Daniel’s high school friends.

    I know Jesus. I know that Jesus is our salvation, yet I tell no one.

    I could feel God poking me and prodding me and I could almost hear Him say, “that’s you, you’re just like Daniel’s friends”. Then, like a wave, was conviction, followed by a heartfelt repentance, followed by the peace and a new desire to share Jesus with those around me.

    We went home that Sunday and I knew that I had to go over and meet my neighbors. So, all day I watched for my neighbors. And finally I saw them and immediately went over and introduced myself. We chatted for a short time, and now I know their names and a little bit about them. I made a first step.

    I know that my next step is to Listen. I plan on inviting her over for coffee and just listening to her story.

    B.L.E.S.S. is a process, one step at a time. Begin with prayer, Listen is next and the Eat, Serve and Share will follow in their due time. I pray that I find a way to share Jesus often and that I am not ever again that friend who never shares Jesus.

    – Cindy

    B.L.E.S.S. is a process, one step at a time. Begin with prayer. #livethestories Click To Tweet
  • Don’t Miss Daniel Tyler on April 3rd

    Daniel Tyler, founder of Deliver Hope, will be sharing with us in our weekend gathering on April 3rd.

    This weekend we have the great privilege of welcoming Daniel Tyler as a special guest to our weekend gathering. Daniel founded Deliver Hope, a ministry that works to inspire and equip the church to love and support at-risk youth. You won’t want to miss Daniel’s incredible story of brokenness and hope. And bring a friend with you.

    Check out deliver-hope.org for more information on the vision God has birthed in Daniel.

  • A Candle Light in the Dark

    Wes Matlock shares about key opportunities he’s had to shine a bright light in his workplace.

    Wesley Matlock serves on our worship team at Journey and has been a vital volunteer in the life of Journey since the early days of the church. Wes recently shared with the worship team some ways God has opened up opportunities at his work to be the mouthpiece of God and to shine a bright light in times of darkness. Check it out!

    It is sometimes difficult to be viewed as a Christian in a secular workplace–especially when you are one of only a few. People will always hold you to a higher standard no matter how stressful situations may get. It is also very difficult to keep a strong will when it seems everyone is out to get you.

    Recently, I started to feel as if I may have gotten too open with my co-workers. Attempting to be a light in what feels like an inexhaustible darkness can begin to take a toll on your heart. This all began to change after we lost a very dear co-worker and a wonderful friend of mine back in December.

    Death is hard, it will never be easy; but, in death people can breathe new life. In this time of having my heart feel like it is getting torn apart I had a few people come to me and simply ask, “Why? Why would a loving God take someone so precious.” In my heartache I have been able to attempt to comfort and relieve some of the questions that follow a loss of a loved one.

    “God had a bigger plan in motion when He let him come home.”

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    That one answer–the one seed I planted in the few people that asked me–has allowed me to be a vessel for God. Through the pain they began to see that there is a true love that surrounds us.

    Beyond having questions of faith, I have co-workers asking for small prayers. Even the smallest mustard seed can be reaped. Another loss happened with a great friend and co-worker when their mother was tragically taken from her. I was able to be a small candle light in a world of darkness for them. I now get asked about bigger questions of faith. I don’t know all the answers to every question I am asked, but I hope that I can be that small light for someone and allow God to do a work in their life. My candle light is slowly burning into a more ferocious flame that has begun to open people to returning to the church or even trying to come to a service for the first time.

    Even in the darkest times, the smallest lights will burn bright. Click To Tweet
  • From Dance Class to Dinner

    Leanna Caudle is answering the Lord’s call to reach out to a neighborhood family.

    We recently caught up with Stephen Caudle who serves on our audio team at Journey. Stephen and his wife Leanna were instrumental in the launch of Life City Church a few years ago, and are now back on the volunteer team at Journey. Stephen shared with us about Leanna’s recent opportunity to engage with some unchurched neighbors. Feeling the Holy Spirit’s call to reach out and befriend them, the Caudle’s are stepping into a missional pattern as simple as sharing meals together. Hear it from Stephen in his own words.

    Leanna met a mother at one of our daughter’s dance classes and found out she lives in our neighborhood.  After a very short time of talking with her, she realized how much our families have in common and really felt the Holy Spirit convict her and tell her that we should be investing in this family.  The mother considers herself to be Catholic, but doesn’t really go to church much.  She mentioned that her husband thought he was a Christian, but doesn’t really know anymore.  He doesn’t really think there is a God at this point.

    Leanna told me about this conversation as soon as I got home from work that day and we started planning to have them over to our house for dinner.  About a week ago, they came over and we had a great time.  We played some games and had dinner and just started to get to know this family better.  We plan on making it a regular occurance and will be looking for more opportunites to be Jesus to this family.

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    The reality is, God has placed people all around you that you can begin to invest in and truly befriend in an authentic way. Sharing meals together serves as an incredibly simple, yet profound way to begin living missionally. Begin viewing your table as a mission field.

    Sharing meals together serves as an incredibly simple, yet profound way to begin living… Click To Tweet
  • Authentically Loving Non-Christians

    Matt Ferrell reminds us of the importance of cultivating genuine friendships with lost people and loving them where they are.

    At one of our recent Thursday night band rehearsals, Matt Ferrell shared with the team a simple opportunity he recently had to reconnect with a former co-worker from the Wilmington area. By simply being available to his friend over the years to listen to his concerns and questions and by displaying genuine love, Matt earned the right to share Jesus with his friend. Let’s turn now and hear in Matt’s own words the way he displayed genuine Christ-like love to his lost friend.

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    12390930_10203669863306382_5632349428653110254_n Matt and Jaclyn are expecting their first baby in July.

    Jesus commands us to love one another. Not only are we to love fellow Christians but we are also to love unbelievers. But what exactly does this mean? I believe that the answer to that question can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where we find what is perhaps the greatest definition of love given in scripture. It tells us that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Showing others the type of love listed in this passage will go a very long way in reaching this lost and broken world.

    Several years ago I worked for a small startup company in Wilmington, NC. While I was there I had the opportunity to work with many unbelievers. Some were self proclaimed atheists and others were agnostic. My workplace quickly became my mission field, however, you wouldn’t find me standing on my desk preaching to my co-workers! Nothing wrong with it if that’s your style but I took a different approach. My game plan was to love these people like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Eventually, the way I talked, treated others, listened, etc. caught the attention of a couple of my co-workers which opened up some great conversations about our personal lives and eventfully we were able to develop more personal relationships outside of work. Eventually I became close enough with one particular co-worker and earned the right to share my story with him. I was able to share the gospel to an unbeliever who may have never been open to it or given me the time of day had I not demonstrated that I truly cared about him. He attended church with me and often had questions but always hesitated to that step of surrendering his life to Christ. As time went by I continued to pray for him and continued to be Jesus to him in any way that I could.

    After a year and some change I moved to Raleigh after accepting a new job. This co-worker and I stayed in touch closely at first but as time passed our conversations started getting further and further apart. God continued to put him on my heart and I prayed for him often. Recently he called just to chat. It was the first time we had spoken in about 4-5 months. He expressed that he wanted to come see me and that he would even come to church with me if he stayed a Saturday night. He also shared some personal things he was going through in his life and allowed me to comfort him and give some advice. I don’t think it was until recently that I realized the impact I had on him during the year and a half we worked together. I realized that the love I showed him really payed off! It earned me some real credibility with my lost friend.

    As far as I know he hasn’t given his life to Christ yet. He is a seeker. I know that Christ is still working on him and I am ready to be that vessel Christ uses in his life. I just have to continue loving him and praying that God will remove the blinders from his eyes so that he can see the love that Jesus has for him!

    This experience has shown me that loving one another goes a very long way and that we must practice patience while God works in the lives of those that we love.

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  • Gospel Intentionality From a Stay-at-Home-Mom

    Through normal stay-at-home-mom kind of activities done with gospel-intentionality, a missional lifestyle is being cultivated by this mother of five.

    If you’re a stay-at-home mom with little rugrats running around, maybe you’ve wondered how living a missional life is even halfway feasible given the enormous amount of time and energy required for raising your herd. One mom at Journey Church has found that through intentionality in her daily rhythms, missional living is not only possible, it is enjoyable, and it provides a foundational discipleship tool for the little people in her life who call her mom.

    Tasha Via spends most of her days raising a brood of five children between the ages of 11 and 4 whom she endearingly calls The Colony. The Colony lives in Rolesville, NC–the “small town, bright future” of northern Wake County. As if raising five kids were not missional enough, Tasha has discovered unique ways to live missionally in the town of Rolesville through her normal routines and rhythms.

    Here are three principles of her missional lifestyle followed by examples of each. Maybe you can glean some ideas and begin to incorporate these missional principles in your own life.

    1. Assess immediate needs and then DO something.

    Shortly after the ice storm a couple of weeks ago, the downed branches invaded Rolesville like the plague. As Tasha and Jude (her 4-year-old, John Deere-lovin’ pre-schooler) assessed the damage, they immediately set out to help clean up the yards of their two elderly neighbors. They viewed their work of clean-up as an opportunity to bless their neighbors and shine the love of Jesus. It didn’t take a ton of time, but it was work that needed to be done and work that expressed Jesus’ love in a tangible way.

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    2.  Cultivate ongoing ministry to a specific target group

    With seven mouths to feed in the house, a typical rhythm involves frequent trips to the local grocery store. Tasha is on a first-name basis with many of the cashiers and clerks at the local Food Lion, particularly the young teenage girls or young moms who watch her in wide-eyed disbelief as she navigates the aisles with her gaggle of kids. Tasha has begun to view these moments at the checkout as moments to inject the truth of God into ordinary conversation. On one occasion, she stopped to pick up one of the employees who happened to be walking to work that particular day. Through brief yet intentional interaction, she is infusing these women with reminders of Christ’s love for them through the normal rhythm of grocery shopping.

    3.  The parents of my kids’ friends = my friends

    Moms and dads of small children have the unique opportunity to cultivate friendships with the parents of their kids’ friends. Through playdates, lunches, and afternoon coffees, Tasha has begun building lasting relationships with some of the moms within her kids’ network of friends. Her son Cai has become particularly close with a boy in his 1st grade class at school, which has resulted in many opportunities for Tasha to begin building a friendship with this single mother of two. Regular playdates soon led to text conversations about essential oils and ethnic hair products, allowing for trust and fidelity to be created. Now Tasha is beginning to see significant spiritual conversations taking place and seeds of the gospel planted.

    Through normal stay-at-home-mom kind of activities done with gospel-intentionality, a missional lifestyle is being cultivated by this mother of five. If she can do it, so can you.

     

  • The Soccer Field, The Mission Field

    Steven Hartanto shares how his passion for soccer has naturally culminated into a missional strategy for reaching his friends and colleagues.

    Steven Hartanto shares how his passion for soccer has naturally culminated into a missional strategy for reaching his friends and colleagues. Through the rhythm of this “third place” Steven has stumbled on a unique opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to his community of friends.

  • Volunteer Stories: Jeremy Davis

    Jeremy is a safety team volunteer at Journey whose experience as a teacher has opened up missional opportunities in the local school system with high risk teens.

    Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Jeremy Davis, a safety team volunteer at Journey whose experience as a teacher has opened up missional opportunities in the local school system with high risk teens.


    Josh: Jeremy, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. You’re a champ! So, let’s start with what you do for a living. Tell us a little bit about that.

    Jeremy: Well, for the past 10 years I have been a PE teacher at the Leesville Middle and Elementary schools.  This year I was hired at Rolesville High, 2 minutes from my house, to be a PE teacher.

    Josh: Sweet. I would really like to see you “scootering” to school. Can we make that happen?

    Jeremy: Probably not. 🙂

    Josh: Dang! Oh well. What area of ministry do you serve in at Journey?

    Jeremy: I serve on the safety team and love doing it.  Since I teach for a living, serving for the children’s ministry did not seem appealing, almost like it was going to be an extension of work. The safety team is a nice break.

    I have 5 kids in the children’s ministry and I love the fact that I am a part of making it a safe place for them and for putting the parents at ease with their children being there.  I really like serving because in a church our size it is easy to get lost and by serving it connects you with so many people on a regular basis.  Now the people I serve with and the small group I am apart of have become my church family as well as the service that I attend.  It’s a great way to make a large church seem smaller while also being a part of the body of Christ.

    Josh: Well, I for one feel safer when I see you on patrol in the kids hallways. 🙂 I definitely agree that, as a parent, it’s a great feeling knowing that your kids are worshiping in a safe environment. On that note, tell us about your family.

    Jeremy: My lovely wife, Piper and I have been married 12 years.  We met while waiting tables in college at an Applebees in Scranton, PA.  We have 5 kids, 4 biological: Harper – 10, Silas – 8, Aigereanna (AJ) – 6, and Olivian (Ollie) – 4, and 1 son who we are in the process of adopting now: Lane – 9.  Piper and I had always wanted to adopt since we got married.  After Ollie, Pipe was ok with not being pregnant again so we got into the adoption process. The kids have all adapted well so far and Lane blends right in but he and we are still adjusting to each other; how we function as a family, priorities, values, etc. It’s an adjustment for us all but a good one.

    Josh: I love it man! Adoption is no cakewalk. That is truly incredible.

    So, I know that you see your school as a mission field. How has that changed or not changed when you moved to Rolesville High?

    Jeremy: Man, listen to this. A week after I was hired I got a call from the principal saying that a county mandate was passed saying that beginning teachers were not allowed to teach an intervention class and they had already hired a beginning teacher for that position and he had already moved his family down here from New York.  Since they now could no longer offer him a job they asked if I would switch with him for this year since he is also PE certified.  I accepted.

    So now I teach an intervention class for students who are trying to recover credits from classes they did not pass.  Super weird.  I am in a classroom all day at a desk.

    Here is the crazy part.  I had been comfortable in my life.  With my job, family, etc.  I’m positive that God decided to move me out of that comfort zone to make me grow.  I now have a new job at a level I’ve never taught, a new vocation, a new school where I don’t really know anyone (students or teachers), I am coaching a new sport (volleyball) which I know little about, and I have a newly adopted son changing my family dynamic.  It’s crazy.

    Josh: Bro, that’s a lot on your plate right now! How are you managing all of that? And how do you see God working in the midst of all of this change?

    Jeremy: Ha! Well, I basically don’t know what’s going on half the time, and it makes me rely on God that much more to get me through.  Coincidence? I think not. But here is the kicker: When I got to Rolesville High I was introduced to a Pastor at Exchange Church who holds their services at the school on Sundays.  He said they had talked with our principal about starting up a mentor program here for the high risk kids.  The principal ok’ed it with open arms.  Since I am now teaching this new class I receive EVERY at risk kid in the school.  These kids are trying to fill the huge void in their lives (parents, friends, fitting in, etc) with worldly vices when we know that the only thing big enough to fill that void and give peace is God.  I am excited where God has put me this year because he is putting me in the path of so many that I never would have seen or been able to share Jesus’ love with.  I have kids who come to class high.  How cool would it be if they came in high on Christ?!

  • Volunteer Stories: Bayne Schulstad

    Bayne is a tech volunteer who has a powerful story of finding and following Jesus after 30 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness.

    Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Bayne Schulstad, a tech volunteer who has a powerful story of finding and following Jesus after 30 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness.


    Josh: Bayne, thanks for agreeing to join us today. Tell us what you do for a living.

    Bayne: I own a company called Triangle CompuDocs. I provide on-site PC and Mac Repair and IT Support to small business and residential customers for the Raleigh/Durham Triangle area.

    J: You certainly have bailed us out of a few computer faux pas here at Journey. Thanks, by the way. But house calls, huh? I bet you’ve had some priceless experiences.

    B: Ha! Yea. I once visited a new client in Louisburg and was welcomed at the front door by about 6 cats and a bowl full of what looked like spaghetti. Inside, the home had an obvious roach problem. I tried to power through, despite my discomfort, but when I opened the computer and 50+ roaches crawled out, I could take no more. As the homeowner stood there in her fast food manager uniform stating, “We have a roach problem,” I grabbed her vacuum and started sucking them up. Needless to say, I had the heebie jeebies the rest of the day. Oh, she is no longer a client.

    J: I have the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. Eesh! Tell us what volunteer responsibilities you have at Journey, besides vacuuming bugs.

    B: I am on the tech team at Journey. I run CG (computer graphics) and LiveStream. Occasionally you may see me pulling wires in the ceilings at Journey.

    J: Ah, yes, every church has the ceiling climber guy. Nice. Other than climbing in ceilings, what do you like to do for fun and recreation?

    B: I enjoy friends and family as much as possible. Of course one of my biggest hobbies is the same thing I do for a living, computers and technology. I have brewed beer for almost 15 years and really enjoy it. Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to brew as much as I would like to.

    J: Interesting. I’m curious about where you buy your hops and how you store the leftovers. Do you believe in freezing them?

    B: I buy hop pellets. I have stored them in the fridge but typically end up buying more anyway. Fresh hops dropped on top of a cold Aviator at the brewery…Yum!

    J: Very nice! Bayne, some of our Journey folks have seen your Solutionary video and know some of your story. But a short video cannot do justice to your story. Please give us a little background about your upbringing, your family, and how you eventually became a Christ-follower?

    B: When I was 5, my mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. My father, although a good man, never attended church and believed living a good life is good enough. My sister never dedicated her life as a Jehovah’s Witness and now has strong faith as a Christian.

    I spent 30 years as a Jehovah’s Witness, but I was never really “all in.” I never felt a personal connection with Jesus. The beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses focus on learning and biblical education and have very little to do with praising God.

    By 2009, I felt very unsettled about the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I had a stirring in my heart, but I didn’t know what it meant. A client and friend, whom I had been trying to preach to, asked me some very thought-provoking questions about my beliefs. My answers to her were vague because I simply did not know how to respond to her questions. Little did I know, those questions spurred in me a strong desire to explore outside of the Jehovah’s Witness organization. She called me one morning and invited me to Journey. I was hesitant because Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught never to venture out like that. But something drew me in and I can only describe it as God’s hand helping me along.

    Journey was fascinating to me. The worship. The message. The people. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had a newfound joy in worship. Although I had given my life to Jesus many years before (as a 15-year-old), I knew that I needed to rededicate my life to Him—that I must accept Him and die to my sins daily.

    God’s love has washed me! I clearly see His direction and know He is much bigger than I ever imagined. Living a life of love instead of judgment has been very liberating. I strive to give all glory to God and to truly live a life of love, for God is Love.

    J: Man, you have a powerful testimony! I know your story has encouraged and challenged so many people. Bayne, many of us meet Jehovah’s Witnesses around our city, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to say to them. What would you say is the best approach to sharing the Gospel with a Jehovah’s Witness? For the average Christian, what do we need to know about Jehovah’s Witnesses that would help us engage with them more respectfully and legitimately?

    B: JWs teach that their organization is the only earthly organization that God (Jehovah) uses on this earth. Anyone not associated with JWs are considered worldly and part of a false religion. This belief makes it very difficult for JWs to listen openly to other ideas. The fear of losing friends and family paralyzes most JWs, especially lifetime JWs. They would not entertain stepping outside the organization for any reason.

    They do believe that Jesus is God’s son, that He died for our sins and that accepting Him is the only way to be forgiven, but they do not believe that Jesus is equal to God or that He is God. They believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s active force and is not a separate entity. But they also believe that you are not eligible to receive the Holy Spirit unless you are praying, attending JW meetings, preaching, reading the Bible daily, and studying their publications.

    I do not suggest that you approach a JW with the immediate mission of changing their beliefs. They do not respond well to this approach. Instead, attempt to fellowship and befriend them first. Again, this may be difficult since they will consider you worldly and a member of a false religion. But if Christians can befriend them, associate with them, and serve them, perhaps God will reveal their fears and the doubts they have about their teachings and open the door for deeper discussion about Jesus.

    J: That is great advice, Bayne. That’s really the heart of disciple-making. We are not trying to make religious converts. We are trying to make disciples, and disciple-making is beautifully relational. Last question: Tell us what God has been teaching you lately.

    B: Well, I am still learning to listen to the voice of God in my life. The biggest lesson that I am learning is patience. I want to know God’s plan for my life now, but He reveals His plan in His timing. I am learning to let go of the illusion of control and give it all to God. I am praying that He will one day lead my sons to Him—the true meaning of Him—and that He will allow me to have a relationship with them once again.

    J: Bayne, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I appreciate your heart to serve Jesus and to make Him famous in this city.

    B: It’s my pleasure.

  • Lessons From Solutionary Training Center

    A couple of lessons about the urgency of sharing the Gospel and not missing moments to share your faith.

    This video shares just a couple of lessons learned from the Solutionary Training Center, expressing the urgency of sharing the Gospel and not missing moments to share your faith.

    Solutionary Training Center meets on Mondays at 7:00pm at Journey Church. It is free to attend and open to anyone who wants to learn how they can have a greater impact for Jesus where they live, work, study, play, and shop. To get more information, email Paul Crouthamel ().

  • Volunteer Stories: Scott Hardesty

    Scott is a worship volunteer who has played drums and served since the early days of Journey Church.

    Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Scott Hardesty, a worship volunteer who has played drums and served since the early days of Journey Church.


    Josh: Scott, tell us what you do for a living?

    Scott: I am a financial analyst for Bell & Howell, a manufacturing company located in Durham NC.

    J: That’s awesome. That means you’re smart. I need to hang out with you more! So, tell us about what inspired you to start playing music. How did it originate for you?

    S: Sure. Well, when I was 5 years old, I got a mini set of drums for Christmas.  Around that time, one of my cousins had a record by the rock band KISS that she didn’t want and she gave it to me.  I instantly loved the record and began trying to imitate what I was hearing on my tiny drum set.  Soon after I was buying other records and learning to play along with them as well.

    J: KISS. Nice! I should have known. Well, tell us about the gear you typically use when you travel, or what you have at home.

    S: I own a set of Mapex Mars Pro series drums that I bought back in 2000. The decision to buy them was simple – I went into a music store & tried out every drum set they had (in my price range!) and picked the one I thought sounded the best.  I use Zildjian cymbals, most of which I have had for several years, including a 18” China cymbal that I’ve owned since 1989!

    J: Awesome! So, you mean you actually played them before you bought them? What a novel idea! 🙂 Seriously though, it seems these days people buy before hearing. Bad idea. Okay, so I can probably guess from your previous answer, but what are some of your greatest musical influences?

    S: Haha! As I mentioned earlier, listening to KISS was what made me want to play drums so I consider them, and their drummer Peter Criss, my biggest influence.  In the 1980’s I discovered the band Rush and their drummer Neil Peart blew my mind. His playing completely changed the way I approached the drums.  In the early 1990’s a friend of mine played a recording of the song “Metropolis” by Dream Theater, it was the most complex, difficult, and amazing song I had ever heard.  I became a big fan of the band and their drummer Mike Portnoy, and he is still one of my favorites today.

    J: Wow! Ole Mike Portnoy. Crazy good player. Interestingly enough, he recently said that he wasn’t as keen on drum solos anymore. Sounds blasphemous to me! 🙂 Okay, so you’re in a band called Joe Hero–that’s no secret. You guys are legends around North Carolina. Tell us a little about that. It really is a missional thing for you isn’t it?

    S: Yea, it really is. I started the band Joe Hero back in 2005 with a couple of college friends that I had been in previous bands with.  We were a 3-piece and released a couple of CD’s of original music.  The three of us were Christians but it was important to us to play in venues that were atypical for Christians to play in, so we played in mostly bars and clubs.  In 2011 we thought it would be fun to try something different, as well as possibly open a few doors for the band, so we added another guitarist and starting playing shows as a Foo Fighters tribute band, which we still do today.  I definitely think of Joe Hero as a ministry.  It is my prayer that we represent Christ well wherever we go. I feel like our impact is not as much with the audience but with the soundman, the booking agent and/or club owner, other bands, bartenders, etc.  For the most part, those are the people we interact with the most and tend to develop relationships with.

    J: So cool! What a great ministry that is. Anything you want to tell us about your travels through the years or other opportunities you’ve had?

    S: Well, I’ve been in numerous bands and played a lot of live events and studio recordings over the years, but one of the coolest things I’ve ever done was play in a ministry called ARC back in 1995-96, which was based out of Michigan.  For a year we toured the eastern U.S. playing anti-drug and alcohol assemblies in middle schools and high schools during the day. At nights and on weekends we would play Christian concerts.  It was a pretty grueling touring schedule but we saw a lot of people get saved, and best of all it was in ARC that I met my wife Haley!  She was from Florida and was a singer in the band.

    J: I love stories like that. Ironically, that’s how Tasha and I met too. Not with ARC, I mean,… because you would have seen us I think. I just mean that we met in a praise and worship band in college. Worship has a way of binding hearts together with such a strong bond.

    S: Very cool, I didn’t know that you guys met that way.

    J: Scott, can you tell me what you’re learning lately? What has God been speaking to you about?

    S: Currently I feel like God is teaching me to be at peace and be secure in Him, and trust Him with big and small details of my life.  Romans 8:1 and Matthew 6:25-34 have been important verses in my life!

    J: Good stuff! Well, bro, thanks for your time. And thanks for sharing your life with us at Journey and using your gifts for Jesus!

    S: Thanks!