• I drove into the parking lot at Providence and as I was walking down to the entrance, noted 4 tents with the names “Growth”, “Giving”, “Groups”, and “Gifts”.  These are the core essentials of Elevation and each will be a focus in the 80s series.  However, what was in these tents is what amused me most.  There were inflatable guitars decorating them and under one of the tents, you could actually play “Guitar Hero”.  That’s pretty sweet.
  • Walking inside, I looked in the lobby area right outside the auditorium.  Probably around a dozen older tvs of varying sizes that were spray painted neon green, neon pink, neon yellow, etc.  All of which had some video from the 80s playing.  Nice.
  • New Pre-K-Kindergarten production begins.  Minor glitches here and there, but in the overal scheme of things, what mattered was what the kids heard and were able to recall from the production.  It was pretty much incredible.  They were attentive, the actors we had for our first week did a fantastic job, and in my service, they were SO into it!  I’m very excited about all this is going to bring to the E-Kidz area.  And I have to say, we got some GOOD production folks!!  Best part of this: one of the kids told me, “I’m having a great time.” as I was walking him to the restroom.
  • 1st-5th took over the cafeteria area.  Crazy awesome.  Great screen too!
  • I went into the service.  During the countdown for 5 minutes to the start of the service, they showed a video of Super Mario Brothers and some music videos interspersed.  Pretty much amazing.
  • Service starts with Elijah Furtick, the pastor’s 2 year old son, welcoming everyone via video and telling them to “Stand up and rock ‘n roll”.  It was adorable.  You can watch it via a link on Holly Furtick’s blog (pastor’s wife). 
  • Then…the music began and both Chris Brown AND Wade Joye are leading.  Talk about an incredibly amazing use of musical talents.  Superpowers, my friends.  I’m telling you…  It needs to be experienced.  There was so much energy and power in that room!  I loved it.  Absolutely incredible.
  • Chris Brown sings Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  No, not some devil glorifying reason behind it…  As Pastor Steven explained, it was Kurt Cobain who changed the face of music in the early 90’s.  He made it about the music and intensity.  Considering our point today on “All I Need to Know About Elevation I Learned from 80’s Rock (and a little of the 90’s) was GROWTH, it is the similar way that Elevation makes it all about Jesus and using intensity to do things with excellence and passion.  Sure it may look to some like we do things over the top and big, but we’re trying to be culturally relevant to do what the mission statement says – So that people far from God can be filled with life in Christ.  And it is all undeniably and passionately about Jesus.  God deserves our best.  Oh yeah…and the band also changed…long sleeves and flannel…just like Kurt.  haha.
  • Pastor wears a Def Leppard shirt.
  • Quote of the sermon: “If you don’t like going to church with a lot of people, you’re not going to like heaven.”
  • Big Announcement: New satellite campus at Butler High School opening September 23!!!  Best part of about this: Last year we were denied Butler by the principal.  This year, Larry Brey smiles his way in, meets a woman in the office who it just so happens gave her life to Christ LAST WEEK at Elevation and had been wondering how she could use her new faith to help Elevation out.  HELLO…  Lo and behold, new principal too.  We’re in.  All combined now, we will have 5 services and just over 1400 seats to fill which is EXACTLY what they were looking to put in the warehouse we were denied recently.  God provides during transitional phases.
  • Total attendance last week: 2408 or so.
  • Total attendance THIS week (our fall launch): 2812!!  An increase of more than 400 in just ONE week!!  I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore, but if that day ever comes, it won’t be a good one.  This happens almost every semester in the year – a huge jump in attendance.  Over Easter it happened, over the summer.  Crazy.
  • Journey plays as you exit the auditorium.
  • Final note: If you haven’t watched the trailer I put a link to in a previous entry, DO IT.  Even just for the sake of a laugh and flashback.  You could also watch today’s sermon online.  Just go to the church website in the sidebar on the blog.
  • Other final note: School starts tomorrow!!  I’m looking forward to it.  New systems in place, a classroom, ideas.  I’m excited.
  • The other note: I talked to my Jackie who is back from Hungary and “for all other intensive purposes…engaged”.  I miss her!!  Hopefully a visit is looming in our near future.

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