Sunday, June 1, 2008

Today I Experienced Elevation Church!

When I say experienced, I mean I experienced it. My wife Stacie and I spent the whole drive back from Charlotte to Columbia remembering it like a good movie. The South Bay staff (a.k.a. “the Dream Team”) and I arrived at Elevation this morning at 5:00am to be a part of “Backstage Elevation.” We got to experience a team of crazy committed volunteers who arrive at dark thirty with an optimistic attitude anticipating what God is going to do that day! Around 5:30 we were greeted by Larry Brey (Assimilation Pastor) who shared the Elevation story, vision, gave us an incredible tour of the whole experience and set up process, and graciously answered our questions. About 7:30am we skipped away for a quick bite to eat and yes a Starbucks! We rushed back to meet our wives at 8:30am as the Worship Experience started. My wife had already checked our 21 month old son Caedmon into child care with no mishaps (a rarity in new churches)! As we rolled into the parking lot we were directed with dozens of sharp signs, and a smiling crew in the parking lot who smoothly lighted the way to the nearest parking spot. As we walked back up to the building for the second time today we were greeted by layers of smiling folks telling us it was going to be a great worship experience and assuring us how glad they were we decided to come to Elevation. As we were ushered into auditorium I could feel a loud roar of worship that enveloped me as I got closer to the stage. I had already experienced Elevation by the time I got to my seat. The music was second to none, the transitions were seamless (pastors notice these things), and the message was clear. Pastor Steven Furtick preached a tough message on the “Altar of Repentance” from the story of Achan in the book of Joshua. He knocked it out of the park! I was amazed with the clarity at which he addressed issues of sin in our lives, yet at the same time gave such hope and inspiration towards living up. The teaching was biblically solid and very helpful for people at all points in the journey. I am encouraged by what God is doing through Elevation and have a lot of respect for their team and their pastor. As we move forward with starting a church in the San Francisco Bay Area it was great for our staff team to experience Elevation and be inspired by the possibilities of what God can do in such a short period of time!! Thanks Elevation, praise God! (ps, I just read on Pastor Steven’s blog 127 people decided to follow Christ for the very first time today, glad I got to be a part of it!) Praying for you guys, keep up the good work!