Open the Doors…See All the People

Remember that little rhyme thing from Sunday School?  “This is the church, this is the steeple, open the doors, see all the people.”

Today was an excellent day at church.  My mom got to come to church with me again and enjoy it.  The kids weren’t too crazy and we got through almost everything.  Video preacher (aka Steven Furtick in some parts) was awesome.  He should visit again.  haha.  A bunch of us got together to drive down to NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC to show some love and support to video pastor…  He was down there filling in for Perry Noble for their services today.  He did almost a marathon of preaching.  Four services.  It was a great drive down.  I got to talk to some people and get to know them even better.  We got so Papa John’s at Sara B’s place because her mom was so awesome.  Then, of course we arrived at NewSpring. 

There were so many more of us than I think we originally thought.  Some people that I didn’t even know were going or would be there were in fact, there.  We looked around at what they had set up for their own “VBS on Steriods”.  It’s the same curriculum we are using, so we searched out ideas.  It was pretty amazing.  Some of us checked out the kids area too.  Very well set up with lots of rooms and incredibly smart check-in/check-out areas.  We took up like a long row and a half, maybe more.  And of course we caused a ruckus.  Yes, I said ruckus.  I do live in the south now, friends.  We clapped and hollered all through it.  Nothing out of the ordinary for Elevators.  Pastor Steven totally brought it, as usual.  Coming from what I knew church to be (and I’m not really talking about my dad when I mention this), it is totally refreshing and incredible to see how much passion, intellect, leadership, and guts Pastor Steven has when he preaches.  He yells, hoots and hollers all over the place and it is just amazing.  It’s awesome.  I really can’t describe it.  You have to be there to get it in some ways.  I think my inability to describe it goes back to show you how much God has His hand on Pastor Steven and our church.  He just posted a new blog about his day and I’m glad he knows we’re behind him 100% and we didn’t just come down for a joyride, but to show him that support and respect.  It feels good knowing he felt it.  Mission: accomplished.

No, I’m not done talking about my church.  Get over it.  You want me to shut up about it, come see it for yourself and maybe you’ll get it.  haha.  As we were coming up to NewSpring in the car we were obviously thinking about how we are meeting in the high school and what it will be like when we do eventually have a permanent building.  I am not one for liking change all that much with certain things, mostly small things that I feel like I should have more control over.  When we moved from the Levine Center to Providence, that was different for me…and everyone else too.  I have to remember that.  It doesn’t just affect me.  And thinking about a move to a permanent building.  Sometimes the idea boggles my mind.  Elevation in a permanent location?  Most of my life I’ve associated a certain type of building with church.  I know I shouldn’t and the church is the people, but the world I grew up in, church had a distinct type of feel. 

Church plants generally don’t have a permanent location from the get-go.  This was all new to me when I started going to Elevation a little over a year ago.  The wonderful thing about it though is that not having that requires the ingenious minds of a lot of people working together to make it work.  You build community without walls.  Friendship beyond the pews.  It’s almost like you’re plunging into something deeper than you normally would at a church that has been around for years.  I feel like that’s what Elevation has been and done.  I don’t see Elevation as a place I go on Sunday mornings.  I see people and they make the church, both those that go regularly and those that are first time guests.  They make church what it is, not the building.  Hence, I can’t help but wonder what a building for Elevation would look like…  I can’t even try to imagine it because I don’t see a building when I think of Elevation.  I see faces of people I know and kids I work with every Sunday.  This is not to say a building is bad, but simply to say that no matter where we exist, whether that is Providence High or some leased building or a permanent location, the outside I could care less about, but the people…  I couldn’t care MORE for them.  When it comes to design and set up ideas for kids stuff, however, I’ve certainly got thoughts.  Whatever comes and whenever it comes, I know that culture will still remain.  After all, Pastor Steven doesn’t care if the wall is pink or blue (per his latest sermon)…so why bicker over it when there are people to think about?

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