Futures – Jimmy Eat World (During this song, we told the story of Mother Theresa’s life and the impact she had on the world as a result of her taking an initial step to follow God’s call on her life at the age of 12. We wrote on about 30 strips of canvas that were flipped during the song in order to tell the story. We wanted to communicate that significant impact comes from taking small steps in the beginning.)
God blew my mind yesterday with all that He did at our three Christmas Eve services. Pastor Steven wrote about it on his blog here. Over 400 people indicated that they had received Christ, and there were over 6000 people in attendance at Belk Theater!
I am exhausted today, but in the best kind of way. This is why we do what we do at Elevation. I love hearing the stories of volunteers who saw their friends or relatives accept Christ after getting them to church on the one day they would consider going. it makes every bit of effort and planning worth it.
I was so proud of our church and service programming team yesterday for what they pulled off. It was an amazing service that I hope to have some pics of soon. Wes Watson may post the opening video and other elements on his blog, so keep checking. He does have a short video of the service up already so check it out.
Here is the setlist!
All Creation Sing (Joy To The World) - Steve Fee (we had some sweet bells on this one)
Sing, Sing, Sing - Chris Tomlin
O Come Let Us Adore Him - original arrangement with children's choir
Little Drummer Boy - original arrangement (I can't explain what we did. You will need to wait for pics. It was awesome)
I wanted to let everyone know that we need your prayers today. Liana had a routine brain scan follow-up yesterday, and the results didn't look good. There was a large black section that was a lot bigger than her last scan 6 weeks ago. One thing this could mean is that her ventricle has swollen with fluid. If that is the case, then she would need surgery and a possible shunt put in. There is an option that it is just the atrophy from her damaged cells, but we aren't sure yet.
She has a CT Scan today at 1:45 and then we will meet with a neurosurgeon to discuss our options. It has been a miracle so far that she hasn't needed a shunt, and we are praying that we get great news today. We still believe that Liana will be fine with no negative effects from her brain bleed. Please keep praying with us.
This Sunday we kicked off Christmas the right way with our new series, Do You Hear? This series examines how to hear from God, and week 1 really was awesome. Pastor Steven's message challenged me to stop talking to God so much and spend a whole lot more time listening to Him. This definitely hit home.
As far as worship goes, the energy at church was amazing. We debuted a new original song, We Unite, and pulled off a great creative arrangement of Do You Hear What I Hear? After singing the first line of each verse, we then showed video of both positive and negative statements on what people have heard about Jesus and the Christmas story. The third verse then wrapped everything by saying "that's what I heard, but the truth is" and then went to stories of lifechange. If you want to see it, go to Wes Watson's blog and check it out.
Here is the worship set for the day.
All Creation Sing (Joy To The World) - Steve Fee
Glorious One - Steve Fee
We Unite - Elevation Worship
Do You Hear What I Hear - arrangement by Elevation Worship
I know for the past few weeks and months, worship leaders and other creative types have been consumed with planning their Christmas series. A lot of effort has gone into developing new ways to communicate the timeless truth of Christmas - that while we were dead in our sin with no way to come to God, He came to us. This is also one of the key times of the year where people far from God are most likely to come to church, so we do our best to make sure that when they do, they see a clear presentation of Christ.
I am really excited about what we have planned for our new series, Do You Hear?, and can't wait to see all that God does through it. So my question is this. What's the most powerful worship element you have ever seen in a Christmas service? Is there a creative element coming up in your Christmas series that will give a fresh look at a story that almost everyone is familiar with? I'd love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment.
Last Sunday night we had a prayer event at the warehouse which will eventually be our new Matthews Campus and our first permanent facility. Hundreds of volunteers showed up for a time of prayer and worship as Pastor Steven cast the vision for what this place would mean for us.
The thing that got me so excited as I moved to different prayer station with our volunteers was to hear their excitement, not about a cool new building, but rather an expectancy for the thousands of lives that will be changed by Jesus at this campus. I love the heart of our volunteers. Their passion for Jesus. Their weekly sacrifice and service to the vision of Elevation so that we can reach a city with the gospel. And their perspective that this building is not the end goal, but is just a taste of what's to come.