Everyone has been posting lately about their personal top 3 moments in Elevation’s history. What has meant the most to them? What has stuck out in their lives?
So, instead of a Friday Five or a Saturday Cinco… Here’s my top 3 in honor of Elevation’s 3rd birthday…
Top 3 (with 1 to grow on…)
(I couldn’t pick just 3!!)
1. Awakening series – This was nothing short of phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve ever felt or seen God move in such a mighty way. It was amazing to be part of helping that series come to life and bring about life change. I worked in Quest but also volunteered in the last couple services to help with the spontaneous baptisms. It was an honor and a humbling experience to be one of the first faces people saw as they made this decision to publicly profess their faith. Setting up the bags with everything they would need, directing them to where they need to be, taking names, and having the privilege of watching hundreds of people be baptized… It was an incredible feeling. I’ll never forget going to find a little girl in EKidz so she could watch her family be baptized and then she too made the decision to join them. Without a doubt, the most touching and incredible had to have been seeing Tony, an incredible guy with a great heart and attitude who just happens to be a quadriplegic, get baptized.
2. Egg Drop – At just about a year from when I started attending Elevation, they held their 2nd Elevation Egg Drop. It took place at Porter Ridge High School on Easter weekend when they launched Elevation’s initial second campus (which eventually moved to Butler). It was freezing cold, but a great experience. Huge crowds of people, a bit too much wind for a helicopter to drop eggs, but it was so great to see a church doing something for the community and not asking for anything in return. I remember helping with the prizes and giving out Nintendo Wiis and other fun things to kids who found special tokens in their eggs. There was much fun helping out the characters we had walking around too… Big Bird, Dora, Diego. Fun stuff.
3. Volunteer Worship Experiences – I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful these are. Having the incredible triple threat of Mack, Wade, and Chris on stage leading the hard core volunteer base in worship is beyond description. Hearing Pastor Steven cast his vision and speak motivation and encouragement to us can pump a person up like nothing else. If there is one thing I have noted that Elevation does well, it is setting an atmosphere of honor up in all areas. Honor towards the leadership of the church for the lead team and church staff, but the incredible honor and thanks that spreads through the volunteer base as well. It’s an honor to get to serve and to have them give us the opportunity to worship together without distraction, without anything to be doing (childcare provided!), it’s a humbling thing. It’s one of the great blessings that come with being a volunteer. The greatest blessings come in hearing about and SEEING lives changed. The worship nights, the investment the church makes in it’s volunteers by giving them time to worship as one is important in keeping the vision alive. Those are the nights that forever stick out in my mind as important milestones. I remember the first volunteer only worship experience I went to back in 2006. I remember the 1st and 2nd anniversary volunteer worship experiences. I remember Meet Me @ McGlohon back in early July 2008. Absolutely incredible. Those nights remind us that dominating and reaching a city for Christ is what drive us each week. Great memories.
4. TAB Team Meeting – In August 2006, I believe, I got a letter in the mail asking me to be at a meeting at the Levine Senior Center. I’d started coming to Elevation in June and was already volunteering in with the preschoolers by my second Sunday. I was enjoying it. I wasn’t sure what to think about that letter and for a time considered not going. However, I’m glad I did… That night Pastor Steven spoke some of his vision for the church as it was in it’s early stages. He spoke about needing a strong team behind him, people to have his back. He needed people that would Take A Bullet for the vision, for the cause, for Christ for the sake of seeing lives changed. There would be detractors and to do what needed to be (and still needs to be) done, we all had to step up. Before we left that night, we were all given a bullet. Crazy, huh? I left a church meeting with a bullet in my hand. Could be called cheesy, but what a great illustration and reminder. Those meetings became quarterly “leadership” meetings with Pastor Steven for the volunteers to continue encouraging us, motivating us and teaching us. Those meetings, similar to the volunteer worship experiences, are milestones in my mind. Getting fired up, being stretched, having Pastor Steven and the staff care so much that they’d give us books to read (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, anyone?)… It was an honor to be at that TAB meeting and the other meetings that followed. I still have that bullet sitting on top of my media shelf along with ANOTHER bullet the church gave out in a meeting last year, I believe. It was such an honor to have been asked to that meeting, to be considered that involved when I’d only been coming to the church for two months. It blew me away and I feel so blessed to have started going to Elevation when I did, to have gotten in on the ground level and to have seen it grow and become what it is today and know that it is not over yet. As it is famously said almost every Sunday at Elevation – “the best is yet to come”. So, my thanks and appreciation go out to the staff of the church and Pastor Steven because at that time, I never would have thought I’d be important enough to have at that meeting… Thanks for calling it out in me and for always seeking to push people to their potential in Christ. I’m still ready to take a bullet. TAB team is alive and well.
*It is highly probable that honorable mentions for my top moments in Elevation’s history will pop up throughout the next week.