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 14, 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?