Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why I Love My Church

{Code Orange Christmas}

Oh, internet. What used to take weeks to circulate now takes mere minutes, thanks to you.

If you don't know, our pastor is building a large house. And a lot of people have a problem with it. A couple of Charlotte news sources have done stories on it, one of the big ones breaking last night. I'm not angry about it, but I'm a little sad because of the way the media puts a specific spin on their reports. It's to be expected. It did lead me to write out a little of why my husband and I choose and love our church. I wrote this in my personal livejournal (which I'm pretty sure no one reads, thankfully), but I wanted to share it. Like I said, I'm not angry or bitter or trying to be defensive. But I do love and honor my pastor for his work in preaching the Gospel of Jesus. I'm thankful for the influence he has had on my life, and I know that being of part of this church is a blessing from God.


i have records, pages, entire notebooks filled with the evidence of how God has worked in my life through elevation church.

it's a church made up of imperfect people. it will never be a perfect place. we'll never get it right all the time. we can only do the best with what we have and do whatever we can to honor God and give Him all the glory.

rob and i evaluate and talk about why we love and attend elevation on a pretty regular basis. we're smart people. we're not sheep, blindly following humans who are able to make mistakes and fail us. we trust God and what He is doing and we follow Him in a way that allows us to have an amazing community around us. we talk about it. we pray about it. we listen to the Holy Spirit. we analyze what we see. we discuss. we move forward. in 7 years, we have never come to the conclusion that this body of believers is bad for us, that pastor steven cannot be trusted or that he's selling us anything other than the word and truth of God, that we shouldn't be here anymore. if we thought for one second that pastor steven was full of himself and was only doing this for his glory and his praise, we would be out the door in a heartbeat, no questions. this church, these people do not follow a man named steven, we follow God. BUT pastor steven is possibly the best and most charismatic, powerful speaker i've ever had the privilege of hearing. he communicates the word of God with power, conviction, and passion. i believe he is anointed by God to preach and teach God's word and that he does it with the utmost excellence AND humility.

i love this church. through it, God has reshaped my life. from a broken, lonely, confused college student, to someone who is growing and learning who they are in Christ. 7 years ago, i was scared. i was a bad friend, i was cutting myself consistently, and i felt like i had no direction in my life. 7 years later, i'm changed. God has done some amazing things in my life. and i'm not saying those things couldn't have happened without elevation. but i'm so glad that i've had this body of Jesus-followers surrounding me, pushing me, encouraging me, and loving me.

i completely understand that the evangelical megachurch is not for everyone. there are people out there that have legitimate reasons to not want to attend a church like elevation. one of my best friends is pretty vocal against some of the core practices of a megachurch. we still love each other, and i don't get offended when i meet people that don't like elevation (except for the people who bash it but have never stepped foot in the doors or given it a chance. that's a bit unfair). i want people to meet Jesus and worship Him in a way that makes sense to them. if that's at a megachurch with multiple campuses and egroups, great. if that's at a small church with 50 members, awesome. whatever fits your life.

we love elevation. we tithe to elevation, not because we feel pressured, but because we know we are giving to God and giving to see more people reached by the Gospel. we volunteer our time and resources, and we've spent years pouring into the community and being poured into.

elevation isn't perfect, and neither are we. God's glory is all that matters, and His grace covers us when we fail. we don't agree with every single detail of what happens at elevation, but we trust that the heart behind it all is to serve and worship God. at the end of the day, we follow God and the Holy Spirit, and for the past seven years and in this moment, He is allowing us to be a part of this amazing movement. and until He tells us otherwise, this is where we will stay planted

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