Holding Joy and Grief Together

A few weeks ago, we hopped on a plane to meet up with the CPC Worship Band for a week of recording.

To be honest, it really hit me again that first night in the quiet of my hotel room how grieved I was to not get to see your faces, hug your necks, and be in your presence in Orlando this coming January.

During a prayer time the next day with the band and our production team, I knew it was important that we all named the truth out loud: we were excited and thankful to be preparing for CPC21 Online, but we were also sad because we didn’t want it to be this way.

Together, we made space that week to let joy and grief be something we held in both hands.

Joy and grief are not mutually exclusive of one another. They can co-exist, and it takes conviction and honesty to hold them together on our journeys as disciples of Jesus.

The apostle Paul unpacks this beautifully in 2 Corinthians 4 when he says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…..So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

We are not a people that lives in denial of our earthly circumstances, and we do not ignore pain (our own pain, or the pain of our fellow man); yet, through it all, our eyes are to remain fixed on the eternal glory of God and His Kingdom. It is an invitation to journey honestly and with purpose while letting Him be the Prince of Peace.

That whole week with the band and our production team, none of us were in denial about what we REALLY had wanted for CPC21. We imagined your faces, the way you would run to the front rows of that huge ballroom when the doors would open, and the way it would feel like your worship could make the roof come off the building…

Though we allowed ourselves to acknowledge what we were missing, we also purposed in our hearts about where we would set our gaze each day.

Our eyes remained fixed on HIM and what HE was doing among us… and you know what?

We saw Him show up in POWERFUL ways and He gave us glimpses of what is coming… our anticipation and excitement for what is coming multiplied exponentially that week.

My friends, as 2020 draws to a close and we embark on a new year together, I pray that you will feel the freedom to hold joy and grief together as you fix your eyes on the eternal glory of our King.

I also hope that you will join me and other leaders from around the world in January for CPC21 Online.


What is being prepared for you and your churches has the potential to ignite passionate vision for the discipleship of children and families all around the world.

This is not a series of webinars… this is a uniquely designed online experience that will transform your year. We’ve invested a LOT into ensuring that this is worthy of you and your team’s time.

When CPC21 Online is over, you’ll be refreshed, invigorated, focused, and connected to what you need for the leadership journey ahead of you in 2021.

Friends, we can hold a tissue in one hand and confetti in the other. We can be sad we aren’t in Orlando, and we can be excited about what it means to get to gather online in a completely new way.

The difference-maker is where our gaze is fixed… and nothing helps me enter the year with the proper focus on Him and His calling like CPC does.

Our team will have the confetti ready to celebrate all God will do, and we hope you’ll be a part of it!


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