Being a teaching pastor who preaches most every Sunday, I rarely have the opportunity to attend worship experiences at other churches without stealing time from my family. About seven years ago, however, I decided to attend a worship experience at Elevation Church. I was living in Denver, NC and Elevation announced they were having an impromptu Good Friday worship experience in the middle of the day at their Matthews campus.
Being my day off, I hopped in the car and drove down from Lake Norman to finally experience this new church about whom I had heard so much. The music and the message that afternoon led me to experience God through worship in an entirely new way. I was hooked. I’ve been a big fan of Elevation Church and the movement of God that it continues to be today ever since.
This week I had the opportunity to attend their Inside Elevation event and see how this growing organization operates on a deeper level. As we learned more about the culture they have developed over the past decade, I had a reaction to the experience that I was not expecting.
It was painful.
As a staff member from one of their two Roanoke, VA campuses was giving us a tour, I found myself holding back tears. The pain came from a place of agreement with the culture of Elevation Church. With each explanation, I learned of systems and processes that are so similar to those that I would love to see created in my own setting. Every decision is made with intention in order to serve a crystal clear mission and vision; to which everyone in the organization is committed. What a beautiful site to behold.
I choose to be inspired and encouraged by what Elevation is able to accomplish. Their ability to thrive, even in the face of adversity, cannot be denied. I’m convinced that the leadership of Elevation Church has learned from the failures and successes of other ministries over the years and put processes in place to protect their platform.
During the first main stage session titled “Win from Within;” which Pastor Steven admitted he stole from a Gatorade commercial and not the Bible, we were charged with naming those areas in which we are called to win. I was very convicted by this charge and when my team had the chance to discuss this question, I started with an apology.
As we continued to discern where we want to win, one area to which I am making a commitment is that of quality control. One of the greatest motivations for an endeavor like 801South is to create a culture where no one is satisfied with anything less than their best effort. I’m committed to developing a culture in which the excellence laying dormant within people will be called out and I’m convinced that it matters to people…especially to the people who we are trying to reach with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
I’m thinking of the young woman who came to me in tears following a worship experience recently and explained that God had spoken to her through the experience.
I’m thinking of the family who can’t seem to communicate with each other without fighting, because they are a bundle of personal agendas struggling through the day and no one has told them that they would be happier if instead they worked to bring honor to each other in how they acted and spoke to one another.
God is so good and I refuse to believe that He would not honor and bless any movement led by a group of people committed to seeking Him through an organization committed to excellence.