Words Fall Short

Words fall short.

There really is no way to adequately articulate the full measure of emotion I experienced this past weekend, at both presentations of Christmas at Johns Creek.

On one level, I was worshipfully transported to other worlds.
Apparently, I am not alone.

One of the most sincere encounters I had was with a guest immediately after Sunday’s performance. She was my elder by many years, perhaps in her late 80’s or older. When Glenn dismissed the crowd, she remained. Steadying herself by the pew back before her, she simply stood. Weeping. I moved toward her, and she (slowly) toward me. Reaching out, I silently placed both of my hands on her arms. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she quivered out these words:

“For two hours…I’ve been in heaven.”

I believe she had.
Who knows what company she kept for those two hours,
and with what friends and loved ones long gone?

One thing is for sure. For this precious woman, the promise of Hebrews 12 had never been more real. At least for two hours on Sunday afternoon, she was “…surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.”

She was transported.
And so was I.

That moment only begins to scratch the surface.
Just 15 minutes prior to writing this blog, I was confronted by a woman and her daughter at Starbucks who described how moved they were by the worship experience. They are Catholic, and make it a point every year at Christmas to attend Christmas at Johns Creek and the Christmas Eve Service at JCBC.

We have a treasure in the worship ministry of Johns Creek Baptist Church.
I marvel when I consider the time and energy and passion that goes into productions such as these. Set design and construction. Drama casting, blocking, practicing. Musical scoring, memorizing, rehearsing, perfecting. Technical directing. Lighting. Audio-equalizing. And then, there is the throng of hosts to manage ticket traffic and hospitality.

There is nothing quite like an impassioned and empowered laity.
All who were responsible (in any major or minor way) for such a phenomenal weekend have blessed the Lord’s church in magnificent ways.
And I am so very grateful.

But here’s the real grace.
We, at JCBC benefit from that kind of musical excellence and leadership every week.

I said it Sunday, and it bears repeating here.
We are spoiled rotten!
And I love it!!

But, all of the remarkably multi-faceted moving parts would not be possible were it not for the leadership of one individual, our Worship Pastor, Glenn Crosthwait.
His relentless devotion to glorifying God in all things results in a level of excellence that inspires the very best.

Glenn, to you and all who serve and lead in our worship ministry, we say thank you for another mystifying weekend of worship.

Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.

Shaun Pastor
Senior Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Jan Blankenship
    December 14, 2016 1:44 pm

    Very well stated!! We are incredibly blessed with our Music Ministry under the direction of Glenn Crosthwait and I am so proud to be a part of it. I was very overwhelmed myself to the point that it was difficult to see the words through my own tears. It is thrilling to be part of a program of this magnitude! God blessed all of us in both services and you could “feel” the Holy Spirit’s presence.

  • Marsha Janofsky
    December 14, 2016 1:52 pm

    So totally agree Shaun! It was such a powerful experience. I love the way the gal said she was in heaven. I had to try VERY HARD not to break down and sob myself. Just overcome with emotion! Already looking forward to next year 🙂

  • Amen! Last year I had 24 tickets requested from friends/colleagues. This year I had 40+. Can’t wait to see what next year’s would be. It is going to be great for sure!! How blessed we are to have such an amazing leadership.

  • Well, I couldn’t say it any better than that. One of the reasons we chose to join JCBC is the music program. Every week we are blessed with music presented by the choir, orchestra, and individuals including the piano and organ, that create a perfect worship environment for everyone present.

    But the Christmas program each year elevates the perfect to the sublime. We were fortunate to have with us for this year’s program, my brother, our son and his family and my daughter and her husband, the entire Shipp clan (almost).

    We are so thankful for Glenn, Linda, Beth, and everyone who played any roll, large or small, in presenting “Christmas at Johns Creek”. This program is a big part of Christmas at the Shipp house.

    Blessings, Dennis Shipp

  • In case you missed it, or just want to see it again, here are links to the online videos:

    iPraise Choir pre-concert video is here:

    Main Christmas at Johns Creek program is here:

    Merry Christmas!

    Fred Kelley

  • Sharon McKinney
    December 20, 2016 8:13 pm

    My friend and co-worker, Gerrie Barnes, who is a also a member of the choir, had invited me to attend this special Christmas event, and my husband and 2 friends joined me. Well, what an absolutely gorgeous concert and event this was on Sunday, December 18. We were in awe with this most professional performance of all who were involved. And, just like the elderly, 80 year old guest whom Shaun King met at the end of the performance, I was in emotional tears throughout the entire performance. From the sweetness of the voices in the children’s choir, to the powerful voices in the adult choir, and with all the lovely Christmas songs with their deep meaning, I couldn’t help but sob, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion. And then there was the lighting, the sets, props, the attire of those in the concert, the instruments, and conductor, and the special message from Shaun, were all absolutely beautiful. I’ve been telling family and friends about Johns Creek Baptist Church, and this concert all week. Thank you for welcoming me, and my husband and friends into your church. We’ll plan on visiting again. Merry Christmas, Sharon McKinney


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