Elevation Worship

Archive for the ‘Interns’ Category

Faithfulness = Multiplication

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I am extremely honored and blessed with the opportunity to intern at Elevation Church. I’ve followed the church from the outside for several years and have been cheering them on as they step out and believe God to do the impossible so many times. I’ve found that the heart and spirit of this church is astounding, encouraging, and contagious. The vision God has given Pastor Steven is daunting and huge; but so is our God, so I’m all for that. One of the things I’ve been so impressed with Elevation Church is that everything is intentional and pointed towards serving the vision of the house. I’ve never seen or heard of a church that is so united in the pursuit to reach people far from God. I still can’t believe I’m here!

An incredible aspect of this internship is the amount of time and energy leaders in the church have put into investing in us. One of my favorite times is every thursday morning with Larry Brey, the University campus pastor and one of the original eight founding families. One week we studied Matthew 25, the Parable of the Talents. He asked us to define the word “faithful”. Several of us answered that it means: trustworthy, dependable, constant, believing, etc. All of those are true to an extent, but Larry helped us see that according to this text it means to multiply, increase, and maximize. In the parable, the master gave one man five talents, another two talents, and another one talent. The two men given five talents and two talents multiplied what they had been given. The master was pleased and invited them into the joy that comes from simple obedience. But the man who had been given one talent, buried it and didn’t maximize what had been given. Because of this, the master called him a wicked and lazy servant. God takes disobedience seriously. Maybe this seems like a bit of a harsh response from the master, but Larry helped us see that the gifts God gives us aren’t meant for our leisure, but for His glory. He wants to literally change the world through us and for His glory.

Often the truth is that when we get things, we think they belong to us. It’s so easy to fall into the mindset of forgetfulness. Maybe we’ve been leading worship so long and it seems so natural that we forget what it felt like when we first began to cultivate that gift. This leads to the sinful desire to make much of it on our own strength. I heard Pastor Steven recently say, “God can do more in one moment of favor than we can do by ourselves through a lifetime of labor.” This is such a redeeming and hopeful truth. The gifts and talents given to me aren’t up to me to determine what will come of it, but up to God. If God has entrusted it to us, He wants the glory and we get the joy of acting in obedience. One of the most glorious statements we could ever hear is found in Matthew 25:23, “Well done good and faithful servant, you’ve been faithful…now enter into the joy of your master.”

One of my favorite quotes from Pastor Steven is, “The last thing you want your life to become is a cautionary tale of what could have been.” So, what are things that you know you are not maximizing? What are the things you know that you’ve been disobedient in? Are you trying to multiply your efforts or are you surrendered to His strength and ability?

-Alex

Confidence In Christ

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Since day one of this internship, God has poured so many things into me from of our awesome leaders here at Elevation Church. Every session, class, project, or teaching never fails to be a life altering experience. Here in the last couple of weeks God has been dealing with me about one of the greatest weaknesses I’ve had for most of my life and is challenging me to step out of the old and into new found faith in Him.

I have come across so many musicians and vocalists that say that they know they have a calling of God on their life, but a lack of confidence in themselves holds them back. For years, I personally allowed the lack of confidence I had in myself and who I was in Christ hold me back from doing things I knew God wanted me to step out and do, and the fear from the root of that would paralyze my ability to accept opportunities that God had for me. This week at Elevation Pastor Craig Groeschel has been teaching from his new series, Soul Detox. In this first part of this series he speaks about taking negative thoughts and things that are not of God captive, taking authority, and removing them from who we are and what we believe. I have been doing some personal soul detoxing and I really feel that removing the negative influences around you and in your mind is the key to breaking through into who God has truly called you to be. This word from Pastor Craig came right on time for me! My supervisor, London Gatch, has been teaching me and investing into me more and more about leading worship. She knows that this is the call God has put on my life and she is helping me bring that to its greatest potential. Here recently she has presented me with a few new opportunities and challenges that normally fear and insecurity would keep me from pursuing. That’s how I KNEW this was God telling me it’s time to step out onto the water. She has been pushing me and stretching me and refusing to let me detour from walking in the call on my life. This new plan of action of eliminating fear factors and being surrounded by amazing leaders who believe in me has made me braver than ever, and has prepared me for this part of my walk with God.

2 Cor. 3:4-5 says, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” I recite these scriptures every time I feel fear trying to hold me back or when I am taking those negative thoughts captive. Every day now, I can feel that my confidence in Christ is being built up because I am no longer relying on myself. I used to sometimes wonder how Wade Joye and the Worship Leader Team did it. But from being around them and learning from them, I now know that their confidence and fearlessness in what they do comes from the foundation of their calling being built upon the confidence and validity found in their identity in Christ. They know who they are and they know what they have been called to do and they don’t take it lightly. They KNOW that the same God that they sing about week in and week out is the same God who radically intervened and changed the course of humanity through His Son Jesus! Pastor Steven is able to get up every week and preach a word that changes our lives- not just because he is an amazing communicator, but also and mainly because he BELIEVES in what he is saying to us. He is totally confident in what God has given him and that confidence in God’s truthful words pierces out hearts and changes our perspectives.

So to all who are called to serve in the kingdom of God through worship or music, we must serve confidently in what we do. Confident in the One who has called us and redeemed us! The world needs to see believers who are completely confident through the Spirit of Christ Jesus stand for His Kingdom. We cannot do things for Christ effectively if we cannot do them confidently. When we sing songs of worship, we sing them with power because we KNOW that we KNOW that what we are declaring about our Savior is true. Detox your soul, read and speak out what the word of God says about you, and step out on faith and confidence in Christ alone.

Brittany

Not About Me

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

My paint plastered hands raked a worn brush across a wall as I smiled and thought on how incredible it is to be serving. All around me, the Elevation intern group was hard at work cleaning, painting, and moving furniture around The Summit apartments. In this moment, it hit me how much my perspective had shifted since the first day here this summer. I have come to realize how much life is not about me.

As an intern, I get a unique insight into the work put into the weekend worship experience while also being taught from some of Elevation’s lead Pastors. Last week, Worship Pastor Wade Joye shared with the worship team a few verses from Deuteronomy 8. Verse 18 says, “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…” Wade reminded us that it’s not our strength or skill that produced any of the remarkable works the worship team has done. All things good come from the Lord and we cannot rely on our own abilities to obtain it if we want to make an impact for His Kingdom. I learned here that a continual posture of prayer and humility is the only position that makes us usable to write a song or point anyone far from the Lord to Christ.

Needless to say, my view of humility has been stretched and altered. It is not something we attain when we gain more understanding of ourselves, but rather when we give ourselves away. Campus Pastor Larry Brey challenged the interns to write out our weaknesses and to be intentional to share them with someone. Just like in worship, if we do not keep our confidence in the Giver we will find our assurance in our own gifts and talents. As a group, we have been incredibly active serving around the Charlotte community and working here at Elevation Church. Being vulnerable about my weaknesses while constantly being the hands and feet of Jesus has moved my heart into a complete reliance on God for strength. All leading me in full circle back to Deuteronomy 8.

God is the power plug for success and I am merely an outlet. Whether I am singing a song of worship or in action painting an apartment building, it is through His might that I am able to be a light. Jesus can shine the brightest when the concern for my own light is the weakest of my desires. So far, being an Elevation intern has taught me that life is not about me; it’s all about the Lord.

Kaley

Intern Insights

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Yesterday we, along with all of our fellow interns, had the opportunity to learn from Chris Brown and Wade Joye.  We would love to take the time to share with you our thoughts about the incredible insight we attained from these two worship leaders and we hope that what we gained this will inspire your worship as well!

Hey! I’m Brittany Wilder, I am a proud Elevator and intern at Elevation Church!  What Wade Joye and Chris Brown imparted into the intern team about the essentials of worship and the heart of this house was so good that I just had to share part of it with you guys!

It was such an awesome opportunity to hear from Wade and Chris about worship. One of the strongest points I took away from it was “Approaching God with Thanksgiving and Praise.” We all know what Ps.100 says! “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise…”  When you are in worship ministry, it is easy to let leading people into worship become more of a obligation than a privilege. When you reach this point, you’re not as capable of worshiping God in a refreshing and powerful way. Wade taught us that one of the things we can do that can help us to keep an uplifted spirit in worship and to bring a consistent offering of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord is to develop a worship vocabulary. Speaking daily about the greatness of God and how worthy He is of worship will keep us in a constant state of gratitude and thanksgiving. There is power in confession. Don’t just think of His goodness but rather make it a testament. Speak it. SHOUT IT even! If your heart is just not there yet, then start to prophetically declare the joy of the Lord. Reflect on the things He has done and allow your heart and mind to truly grab ahold of His goodness! Base your worship off of where you want to be and your hope being found in Christ Jesus.

 

I’m Alex Duncan, a senior at the University of Florida, and am excited to be a part of all that God is doing at Elevation!

Wade and Chris really encouraged and helped clarify how essential it is to have a grateful heart when approaching the Lord. Gratitude is always present in a true worshipper’s heart. If we’re singing a lyric that says God makes all things new, it’s a strong assurance for us to look back on our lives and remember the times that God had taken a broken, seemingly wasted situation and redeemed it.

One exercise they gave us to help create a heart of gratefulness was to audibly speak of the ways God has been faithful. Try and think back on your life: “If the Lord had not been on my side, I wouldn’t have…” This will begin to develop an attitude of gratefulness and will then lead to a heart that is bursting with praise and adoration for the Lord. Our prayer is that Psalm 51:15 will become true of us, “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

 

Hello everyone! I’m Kaley Rivera, a rising senior at Appalachian State University.  This summer I have the incredible honor of being a worship intern for Elevation Church.  There was a handle that Chris and Wade shared in their teaching I really gripped hold of and I wanted to pass off so you can grasp on as well.

The final point that was shared with us yesterday was to “Learn to Press the Worship Button.”   There’s a section in a vast majority of songs where everything builds together to reach a climax and praise lends itself to be more unhindered and passionate.  Wade and Chris joked to say that this is when the guitarist hits a pedal and the response in worship grows.  Truthfully though, our worship button should always be on.  If we cultivate a private heart of worship we will find ourselves in a state of freedom in corporate worship. Press into the Lord and completely step out to worship in His power!

Waiting.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Hey everyone, Reggi here with an update on the internship.

It’s so important to finish strong. It’s been 3 weeks since I was in the middle of my internship, and I have 3 weeks left to go. My main focus now must be to finish strong. We have a tendency, at the end of things, to let our passion wane and our commitment decrease. Now I am trying to live out of a biblical principle I’ve known for a while: The way you finish one season is the way you begin another.

Year after year farmers hope for a better crop than the year before. This is because every time they harvest, they take the best seed from the crop to use for the next years sowing. The danger is that we get so focused on this current harvest that we often fail to set ourselves up for the next season- which is always sowing.

Everything that God does, He does through seed, time and harvest. All three seasons have challenges that come along with them. Sowing has hard physical labor; tilling, plowing, fertilizing, watering, But all of this is made tolerable because of the pending satisfaction of the harvest season. Harvest has difficulty as well. Often you have to weed out bad crop. It’s work collecting and managing your yield, but your excitement in the harvest outweighs your frustration from those difficulties.

But, by far, the most frustrating season for a believer, (or farmer), is the season of time. One of the most challenging questions every believer must answer- and it seems to be often for me- is, ‘What do I do with the waiting?’.

The reason that this question is so hard is that this difficulty was never meant for humans to deal with. We were never meant to deal with waiting. We understand collecting and harvesting- the bible say to ‘be fruitful’. We understand work- the bible say ‘multiply.’ But the waiting was never part of our original intent.

Imagine in the Garden of Eden- a perfect world removed of the dimension of time. As soon as you plucked a grape from a vine, another one immediately grew in it’s place. There was no process of wondering whether provisions would be made for you. There was only trust.

Now that we live in a fallen world, the longing for each believer is to get back to our original intent. Even though we now have to play by the rules or human condition- with all it’s limitations- we can live totally out of the spirit. We can live in faith-expectation that God is wholly good, and that He is our sole source of satisfaction.

What if we were fully convinced that provision would always be there? What faith steps would you be taking if you were persuaded that if you stepped out of the boat, you could walk on water? What mountains in your life would be removed if only you believed?

I said it before: The way you end one season is the way you begin another. What if we begin and end every season in faith? And then, even more, what if we endured every season in faith?

Now, faith is being sure of what you hope for…

In The Middle

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Hey. It’s Reggi updating you on the internship.

Six weeks down. Six more to go. I am squarely in the middle.

The bible has a lot to say about ‘middle’ things. In Genesis 14, Hagar found herself in the middle of Kadesh and Bered after she fled from Abraham’s camp. In Judges 7, Gideon and his 100 men reached the camp during the middle watch. And after leaving Pharaoh’s palace, Moses found himself positioned in the middle of the Egyptian army and the Red Sea.

As believers, we often find ourselves in the middle. But when we are there we must stay reminded that in that moment we can choose- like Moses- to be swallowed up by the enemy, or to press on until breakthrough occurs. We have a propensity, as humans, to look onward to the next thing, or to linger in the memories of what used to be for us. While both of those attitudes are appropriate in their season, being paralyzed by a goal or a memory removes the ability for us to see God moving mightily where we currently stand.

It is important when you are in the middle that you stay focused on becoming something. In Matthew 4, when Satan was tempting Jesus, he told the Son of God to tell a stone to become bread. Even though his request was entirely irreverent, Satan was actually speaking out of a clear biblical principle. The principle is simple: Everything that God has called you to be, he gives you the power to become. We become something by how we respond to the seasons and challenges that offer themselves up to us as tests. These decisions form who we are. You are how you react. What is it that you have been called to become? How would that person respond to the situation you currently face?

Remember that for Hagar as she was in the middle of Kadesh and Bered, there was a wellspring of water that provided hope, peace and nourishment. For Gideon, during the middle watch was his opportunity for victory. For Moses, the intensity of ‘the moment in the middle’ supplied him with the faith and audacity to see a mighty miracle of God. Paul and Silas praised God in the MID-night hour, and saw chains broken. And in the middle of two robbers, on a hill called Calvary, was crucified humanities hope of redemption.

Good things are found on middle ground. Don’t ever forget that God has you where He needs you. You are there so that He can create something in you that can sustain you once you finally get out of the middle.