Elevation Worship

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Reflections From Hillsong Conference

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Hi, I’m Mallory and I’m a Project Manager for Elevation Worship. This past week, a group of Elevation Church staff- including myself- had the privilege of traveling across the world to Sydney, Australia for Hillsong Conference. Our very own Pastor Steven Furtick was a speaker at the conference, and we were beyond honored to support him as he spoke on a truly global platform. We’ll be unpacking all that we learned for months, but for now I wanted to share one powerful truth specifically about worship while it’s fresh.

Worship is a weapon. I don’t mean that in a figurative, “ah that’s a nice concept” kind of way. I mean quite literally, when we praise God in song, the enemy cowers. He has to. If God inhabits the praises of His people, there is no place for the enemy. At Hillsong Conference, Pastor Louie Giglio reminded us that we have a great adversary on this planet. He wants the worst for us and lies to us to try to wreck God’s best for our lives. (Well, thanks for the uplifting blog, Mallory.) Oh, hold on. There’s good news! We’re armed. The way we combat our enemy is worship.

When Jehoshaphat went into battle, he didn’t hand Gerard Butler a spear and send him to the front of the line. He didn’t ask Mel Gibson to lead the way. No, instead he said, (paraphrased) “Where’s my choir? Come on, get me some singers.” The Bible says their battle cry was “Give thanks to the Lord. His love endures forever.”

Wow. What if we approached worship that way? What if we replied to the devil’s lies with “Let me just sing you a song.” If you check the score at the end of Jehoshaphat’s battle, you’ll notice it was a shut out. Not because his guys put any points on the board. It actually ended up like a 1st grade soccer game- the other team scored on their own goal. The Moabites and Ammonites ended up fighting each other, so Jehoshaphat rose victorious without having to raise a sword. That’s what God wants to do for you. He wants to fight for you. In combat, He’ll do the heavy lifting, and you offer an assault of praise. Pastor Giglio put it this way: ” When you start singing to the devil, he doesn’t sing along. He moves along.”

Friends, your song is a spear. Your beats are like bullets. And your declarations are dangerous to the devil. Take heart, and know that you are not without defense.

 

Mallory

Called, Not Qualified

Monday, June 25th, 2012

People often ask, “What’s it like being a worship leader at Elevation Church?” Big question. But honestly, of all the things that really stick out in my mind, it’s this:  It’s following a calling.  I’m no scholar, but from what I see in the Bible, God calls people to Himself.  He then leads them to a place so they can live out their calling, pursue God, and use their gifts for His Kingdom.

I came to Elevation Church as an intern in 2010. Early on in my internship, I realized that I’m not qualified enough to be here.  Even though I may not have an impressive worship leader resume, I can tell you emphatically that God has prepared every step and paved the road for me to be here.  What God has given me is far better than qualifications. It’s a calling.

Qualifications only get you so far. A calling will completely and forever change the direction of your heart.  Qualifications are based on where you’ve been. A calling is based on where you’re going.  Qualifications depend upon you. A calling depends upon the One calling you.  Qualifications are based on your performance. A calling is based on God equipping you to carry it out.  Qualifications might get you a job. But a calling will see you through a divinely given task that only you are made to do.

God isn’t impressed with my qualifications. He’s impressed by a consecrated heart.  If God picked me because of my resume, that would go against His very nature.  That would mean He would need my help to accomplish what He needed to do through me.  God didn’t come to earth, live a perfect life, die on cross for my sins, and raise again to ultimately share His authority.  He came to take over.  He came to take over my life, to use it for His glory and for the good of the Kingdom.

God didn’t use anyone in scripture because they had an impressive resume.  Qualifications don’t matter in God’s economy, and I’m not sure about you, but for me, that’s great news.

That’s not to say that God doesn’t use our gifts and talents.  He does. He gave them to us.  He is the author of life and the giver of gifts.  He’s selective in having people use their particular gifts according to what they’ve been given.  But, there is a huge difference between me using my gifts on my own and me surrendering my gifts to Him so they could be used to benefit His Kingdom.  Gifts become anointed and callings find purpose in the House of God.

Do you feel unqualified?  That’s probably right where God wants you.  Actually, taking it even further, I think God is looking for those who are so under-qualified that they desperately need a higher power working on their behalf, making their weaknesses strong.  It’s almost like God looks to and fro throughout the earth looking for a person so available that He doesn’t have to share His authority and so weak that He doesn’t have to share His power.

Only in the hands of my Savior am I just who I need to be in the place He has me.  He didn’t place me here based on my resume. He led me here so I could be a part of this house and use my gifts. And in so doing, follow my calling.

 

Jane

Commiting To The Local Church

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

First off let me say how excited Sonya and I are to be a part of this movement of God in our city! We are extremely humbled that God would allow us to be involved in the story of Elevation. I step back about a year and a half and see how God ordered our steps. I believe that as a family we had postured ourselves to say, “Yes” to whatever God wanted for us, wherever He would lead, whatever sacrifices it would take. It didn’t take long and we were challenged to make the most pivotal decision that we’ve ever made. We felt a strong calling to this House, and I felt God leading me away from my job so that we could be a part of the vision here, simply by volunteering and worshiping at Elevation, and sitting under the teaching of Pastor Steven. My wife had already started volunteering, and I could see the transformation in her life by just being plugged into the local church. I knew that I had heard from God and it was time to move. I didn’t know how God would provide? I just knew He would. I just needed to trust in His promises, and know that He is faithful.

So with my wife’s support, I took a leap of faith, with no promises of ever being on stage. But that didn’t matter; I was going to plug in wherever I could be used for His glory. Because it’s God’s desire that we stay connected with his local body, and give ourselves sacrificially to his work.  And time and time again, the Lord provided for my family and gave me the desire of my heart to lead people to worship through music. I believe some key factors were in our obedience to follow his leading quickly, and setting our minds to be “All In” with the vision of Elevation Church. And now, our family is not the same! We have a whole new perspective of the local church and there is nothing we wouldn’t do to see the vision of this House fulfilled in our city and in the world! Our family is honored to be here, and excited what’s to come!

Here’s a Scripture and a blog post from Pastor Steven that was tremendously influential during this time:
Acts 8:26-39
http://www.stevenfurtick.com/motivation/it-only-takes-one/

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.

Turning Natural to Supernatural

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

We just finished our Get Back series this past weekend where Pastor Steven taught on how to recover your spiritual momentum. In my opinion, it was some of the best teaching our church has ever received. One of the foundational concepts in this message that really spoke to me was utilizing the natural to position yourself for supernatural breakthrough.

In 2 Kings 3, the kings of Israel, Judah and Edom brought Elisha to prophecy to them in the midst of war and their armies having no water. When Elisha enters the scene in the midst of this dire situation, the first thing he calls for is a harpist. Think about if you were the king who had brought Elisha in and instead of giving you a message from God he asked for mood music?

But after the harpist began to play, the word of the Lord came to Elisha in a powerful way. Pastor Steven’s point was this – there are natural means in each of our lives that position our hearts to hear from God. Maybe it is music for you. For some of you it might be spending time in nature. We should all ask the question -what is the thing that recharges and refreshes your soul? And when you know the answer, make sure that it is a regular part of your life.

As a worship leader, I am reminded of the power of music to open people’s hearts and emotions to hear from the Lord. Yes, worship is much more than music, but when we lead people in musical worship, I believe God uses the natural of our music to bring about supernatural change when the truths that we are singing about begin to open people’s hearts to Jesus.

So worship leaders, my bring excellence to your harp playing, because God uses it in a mighty way to prepare the hearts of His people.

-Wade

Gratitude Is Not Silent

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

We’re all probably familiar with the truth from Psalm 22: “God inhabits the praises of his people.” If you’ve ever felt a little aimless when you’ve approached God in worship. If you’ve ever had a hard time getting in a proper frame of mind or posture of worship, then here’s the quickest way to get into the presence of God: Begin to recount the goodness of God, and declare out loud how grateful you are for Him.

Pastor Steven is a strong teacher and leader in the field of gratitude. And worship leaders, this is key for you to grasp and have rooted in your heart as a leader of God’s people. Gratitude is never invisible or silent. If something is in your heart, it will come out. If thanksgiving is really in my heart, it will be on my lips constantly. Being truly thankful is a key component for a worship leader’s heart. Wherever you are today, whatever situation you’re in, whatever the state of your church, or financial situation – find a reason to be grateful for it. I just got back from Haiti, where there’s destruction everywhere your eye looks, but I still found a grateful people there. But I still find myself getting caught up in my “first world” problems, and losing perspective. And perspective is what it’s all about. Pastor Steven says, “Gratitude is not based on how good my situation is, but on how good I perceive my situation to be.”

So worship leaders, lead the way. Be people who can find a blessing and create a blessing in almost any and every situation. Be on a scavenger hunt today for the blessing of God in your life. And make it a habit. Don’t step out your door without being grateful for waking up in a warm home. Don’t step onto the stage without thanking God for the blessing of being able to do what you love. And eventually, it’ll consume who you are. And naturally, you’ll be leading others more effectively. Because you’ll not only be teaching, but demonstrating what it looks like to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”