Archive for June, 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.
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.
SOUL DETOX – Week 1
Blakeney – Chris, Brad
Matthews – London
Providence – Jane
Rock Hill – Wade
University – Marc, Andrea
Uptown – Mack
In Your Presence – Elevation Worship
Open Up Our Eyes – Elevation Worship
Lost Are Found – Hillsong
Nothing Is Wasted – Elevation Worship
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.
Wanted to fill you in on some of our current favorite albums. This is what we’ve been listening lately!
The Lumineers – “The Lumineers”
Worship: Jonathan David and Melissa Helser – “On The Shores”
Beach Boys – “That’s Why God Made The Radio”