This Is How We Change The World – The First 5 Years of Elevation Church

I won’t take too much time sharing much more about what the first 5 years of Elevation.  I’ll let you experience that for yourself.  Go to The Elevation Experience to check out the documentary they are showing this weekend to get an idea of what God has done and continues to do here in Charlotte.  It is shown every hour, on the hour.  You won’t regret it. Watch it here.

I will, however, take some time to share my personal top 11 moments I’ve experienced while being a part of Elevation in it’s first 5 years.  These are in no particular order.

My Top 11 Moments at Elevation in the First 5 Years

1. My first Sunday at Elevation in May of 2006.

The church was about 3 months old at the time and was meeting in the Levine Senior Center.  I’ll never forget this Sunday because it was during the Funhouse series and I remember being parked by someone, greeted personally by many, and just felt so comfortable. This set off a chain of events that led me to meeting so many great people I am blessed to call my friends here in Charlotte.  It is so great to get to volunteer with them, have great times eating out on Sunday afternoons, being in small group together…

2. TAB Team Meetings in the summer of 2006.

I distinctly remember getting an email asking me to come to a meeting with Pastor Steven along with other volunteers.  We had no idea why we were there and Pastor Steven talked about how the church was growing, we were moving back into Providence High School for Sunday mornings and as volunteer leaders he needed us to be “all in” on what God was doing.  We all got an actual bullet to take home to remind us that we were setting the standard and ready to take a bullet (Get it?  TAB team?!) for the ministry and Pastor Steven.  That was all at once humbling, an honor and a blessing.

3. Elevation Egg Drop 2007 at Porter Ridge High School.

I wasn’t there for the very FIRST egg drop nor did we actually “drop” eggs in 2007 due to some high winds, but it was such a fun experience.  I’ll never forget it. I think that was the day I got my first Elevation tshirt and I have to say, it’s still probably my favorite.

4. July 2007 Movement Meeting with Pastor Steven/Prayer on the Matthews Loading Docks.

It was such an honor to have the privilege of attending these meetings where Pastor Steven would cast vision into the volunteer leaders of the church.  This particular meeting was supposed to be an exciting night when they were going to announce we would have our first permanent location in a shopping plaza near the Levine Senior Center.  As it happened, a business in the plaza decided at the last minute they didn’t want a church meeting in the location and the day of that meeting, they called the church offices to say the deal was off.  I can’t imagine the burden Pastor Steven was feeling having to tell all of us we weren’t going to get the Matthews location.  Despite the setback, however, his faith was audacious and impressive.  We got onto buses we were originally going to use to tour the facility and went to the loading docks on the side of the building to pray.  We got on our knees and prayed and prayed and prayed.  It was a huge moment.  I’ll never forget it.  Less than a year later, that certain business had failed and closed all chains across the country and we opened the Matthews campus.

5, Worship Nights of the First Few Years

I remember the first worship night I attended for volunteers.  It was electric and I knew something special was going on here.  I also remember recording the first cd, The Sound.  That was a blast getting to sit in the auditorium at Providence.  I remember walking out briefly and coming back in to see all the seats taken.  What a sight.

6. Awakening and 1000 Baptisms in 2 Weeks in August 2008

I just can express how amazing it was to see this happen.  God was touching hearts and calling people to make a public profession of faith.  I had the privilege of helping set things up for the spontaneous baptisms.  Taking care of the details and doing whatever possible to get rid of any kind of potential excuse for people NOT doing it then.  I loved seeing parents come back and asking to have their kids come out to see them being baptized.  I got to do that for several families and it was such a pleasure and an honor to find their children in eKidz and tell them about the exciting step their parents were taking.

7. Quest, Quest, Quest

I was volunteering in eKidz by my second Sunday at Elevation.  My third Sunday I tried out Quest with the prek through kindergarteners.  I have not left since.  It has been such a journey and a learning process.  I started out as a volunteer serving with Brandi Rabon, Erin Hummel and Shannon Yates (now Eichorn).  Just getting to serve with them and get to know them was huge for me.  I love those ladies.  I moved up to being a volunteer leader and served at various worship experience times over the next couple of years.  I got to see us move from one curriculum to another and step up our game.  What a privilege to have a part in that.  In August 2008 I felt God telling me I needed to step aside from eKidz for a season because I was getting so caught up in certain details.  That was humbling.  I got to be a part of the launch of the Uptown campus and serve on the connections team for a few months…  But, as you can guess, it didn’t last for long and I was back in eKidz in Quest serving as a Quest Coordinator over several of the services and volunteers in a different capacity.  I get to focus more on development and seeing that we are carrying out our standard of excellence across the board.  I love it.  Most recently in the last year, I’ve seen us raise the bar, become better at investing in our volunteers and starting up with a new curriculum that has had such huge impact on the kids already.  I’m pumped to see where we go next.

8. Healer, Easter 2009

What a weekend this was.  I was blown away by attendance. We’d had the auditorium at Providence filled and overflow kept growing.  I remember being by our check-in door at Quest watching them move the pipe and drape by overflow further and further back.  They kept having to look for chairs.  I’m not kidding when I say I believe overflow went from one side of the atrium near the windows all the way past the middle of the atrium.  What a sight.  That was another moment for me.  Emotional.  Wow.

9. Give. Me. Faith. August/September 2009

An amazing series.  An amazing song by the team of Elevation WorshipThe song says it all. I just don’t even have words to describe how awesome this was.

10. Easter 2010 at Time Warner Cable Arena

I remember when Pastor Steven first started talking about 10K in 2010.  It happened alright.  On Easter Sunday 2010.  It was amazing to see an arena like that filled with the praises of God.

11. Sun Stand Still 2007 AND 2010 series

I remember when Pastor Steven first did a series entitled “Sun Stand Still”.  It was very powerful.  I distinctly remember writing notes about audacity, accuracy and action when it comes to prayers.  For some reason it hit me hard.  The 2010 series was huge with the release of Pastor Steven’s book of the same name and the 24 hours of preaching he did.  That was amazing.

and one to grow on…for the coming year…

12. Dominate and the Leader Commitment Night in 2007/Kingdom Come in 2009

Who raises money for a church building when they don’t even have a location yet?  That would be Elevation…  I won’t soon forget how powerful Dominate weekend was under the white tent at Providence on the football field.  Nor will I soon forget the night they had the leaders go first.  It was humbling to have things presented to us this way – the leaders go first so that everyone else has a pathway to follow.  The week prior to the commitment night I had some big car issues, had a surgery bill to pay for, insurance not wanting to pay it’s part and all the while I had a dollar amount in my mind as to what I was going to give.  The day of the commitment night, I got a call from the doctor’s office saying my bill was cut in half (praise God!), got an extra paycheck in the mail for meeting ABC goals at school (praise God), and the extra paycheck more than covered the cost of the car repairs (praise God!).  WOW.  Talk about an experience to remind you of who is in control.  I’m a worrier so this was huge for me.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what I’d be giving at that night.  But God wasn’t finished yet – as we were getting ready to give our first and our best to Him (mind you this is all above and beyond tithe), I felt moved to up my giving amount and I was SO EXCITED to do so.  A powerful, powerful night.

Kingdom Come in 2009 was much the same.  Another amazing experience.

Honorable Mentions:

*Cassie becoming a volunteer leader in Quest – Such a huge blessing to know her and see her grow.  So proud of her.

*Anything involving eKidz volunteers and especially those in Quest – I love love love our eTeam leader meetings and lead team meetings.  What a blessing to be poured into, pushed toward excellence and great leadership and to have the chance to be that for others.

*Love Week in 2010 – 10500 hours given in a week to love on Charlotte.  We’re gearing up for Love Week 2011 the end of this month!  Pushing for 25000 hours in one week with the help of 25 other churches in the Charlotte area!

*Andy Stanley Leadership Night in 2010 – Wow.  Andy Stanley. He’s the REAL deal.   A blessing to hear from him.

*Elevation’s 4 Year Anniversary – A powerful word from Pastor Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv that we needed to hear about remaining faithful and keeping our focus.  Also had Israel Houghton in the house.  Amazing.

*Unleash at Newspring in 2008 – Had the privilege of going with several other hundred volunteers to this conference at Perry Noble’s church in South Carolina.  I love that our church intentionally invests in it’s volunteers.

*Roadtrips to NewSpring – Whether it was just to visit or be an encouragement to Pastor Steven when he’s spoken there, but’s been great to visit another great church in the Southeast.

*Elevation Ladies’ Night with Christine Caine in January 2011 – Already a highlight of my year.  I don’t think I’ve yet written about that night.  She is an amazing woman of God and had a powerful story and word to share.

*Volunteering in the church offices in the early days – I remember going in on certain afternoons after school to the church offices when they were in Lake Park to help Heather Bishop get things ready for eKidz or help Larry Brey get worship guides or mailers together for Sunday.  Everything had such a standard of excellence even when it came to something as minute as an address label.

*Favorite Series’ of the Past 5 years: Miracle (December 2006), Bringing Sexy Back (Feb/March 2007), Entourage (August 2007), 80s Rock (August/Sept 2007), Sun Stand Still (October 2007), Dominate (November 2007), Old Time Religion (May 2008), Awakening (August 2008), Visionary Love/Dream Sex (September/October 2008), Purple People Leader (February 2009), Healer (April 2009), Give Me Faith (August/September 2009), The Joy Genome (October/November 2009), Kingdom Come (November/December 2009), Storytellers (February/March 2010), e! (May 2010), The Invitation (August/September 2010), Sun Stand Still (September 2010), The Highest (December 2010)

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