The time that I was able to spend at the Preaching and Teaching conference was great. I was so glad that I was able to spend some time with a great friend named Arron Chambers. He is the lead pastor at The Journey Church in Greeley, CO and is also the author of one of my favorite books called “Eats with Sinners“. Arron has a great passion and great ability to communicate to people the importance of spending time with people who are far from Jesus. I get excited every time I hear him give his talk about it. In fact the main reason that I get excited about it is because he is always saying that we need to listen to the voice of Jesus talk about meeting and caring for people who are far from a relationship with Jesus.
That is the last thing that I shared with the college students that were a part of the talk that I gave at Ozark Christian College. If we as church leaders and church planters are to “Quit to continue and continue to Quit” then are last thing is to “quit listening to other voices then the voice of Jesus.”
There are so many people who are going to be telling you as a church planter and church leader what is important for you to be doing. That there is the need for a woman’s ministry, that there is a need for a men’s ministry, and that there is a need for the under water basket weaving for Jesus ministry. (Not real, but if you have this ministry stop. People might drowned.)
We need to as leaders and church planters to focus on what God is telling us. Here again is a place where I believe that Saul can give us some insight in what not to do in 1 Samuel 15:24:
24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. ” (My emphasis)
Saul as a leader was more worried about what the people wanted that what God had commanded. There are certain times that as a follower of Jesus, leader in a church, or church planter that we just need to quit listening to everyone else and focus on what Jesus is calling us too.
For me that means that we need to make sure that we are seeking to reach people who are far away from Jesus. At Elevation we put it this way; “Engage jacked up people so that they can become followers of Jesus.” This is something that we are always going to do in our church. Why? Because that is what God has called us to do as church in Aurora, CO and that is not up for debate. Not because I want to be a jerk but because at the end of my life I want to be able to stand before Jesus and know that I listened to his voice and his voice alone. ”Quit to continue and continue to quit.” Let’s be quitters and not get caught quitting.
What is a voice that you need to stop listening too?
I don’t know how many times that as a pastor or a pastor to students that I have heard people make this statement:
“God is calling me too, (fill in the blank) and I was hoping that you would pray with me about it.”
Most of the time my answer to them is “NO, I won’t pray with you about it.” Which really usually brings faces of shock and the question of “WHY?” Here is my response to that. “Because if God has called you to do it, then DO IT! Don’t pray about if you should do it. DO IT!” Again when it comes to the area of “Church Planters being Quitters” I believe that is where church planters have seen that God has called them to do something so they have quit waiting to move. I love the verse where Jonathan and his armor bearer have taken a step of faith and are now about to step into the battle. As I read 1 Samuel 14:6 I was able to see the area of church planting and the need to move:
6 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” (Emphasis mine)
The more and more that I read through the bible and the more and more I talk with church planters and church leaders I believe that God has called us to live in the “Perhaps“. We are as followers of Jesus first and foremost to rely on God and see the obstacles more as opportunities to see Him show up and do something amazing.
When we were preparing to launch Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO. I kept putting off the date that we were going to launch. I was worried about money, I was worried about people, I was worried about the place, and I was worried if I was ready. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to have dinner with Pastor Perry Noble. (Twitter is awesome when you are able to find out people are in your area and you beg for dinner.) We were sitting there eating and he began to ask questions about what we were doing then he asked when we were going to launch. The question that I had been dealing with. When I gave him my answer of not being sure he made a statement that rocked me. “If God has called you to do this then do it, if it is God’s will then he will flip the bill.” It was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. To me it was the Jonathan moment where I need to hear that we need to live in the “Perhaps” of following God.
Where are you hearing God call you to move? Is it a life style move, is it a vocational move, or is it a spiritual move?
One of the things that every church planter is told is to know the demographics of their community. I think that is great it gives you an idea of the people that are there if you don’t live in the community. But the problem with that is some people just stop there and that is as far as they get about knowing the community. Like over the last couple of months I have had church planter after church planter let me know that they are going to be planting in certain area of Denver. They look at the demographics and they see money, they see certain people, and they see demographics. But what they don’t see is that this is an area where every school has a church plant already in it. But that is not in the demographics.
We need to know our communities not just DEMO the communities. Unfortunately that is what we are seeing in Colorado as church plant after church plant comes in plants a church. Then disappears after two years and the money runs out. Even the unchurched people in our communities are taking notice of the churches that come and go. I heard two weeks ago from someone in the community, “Why would I get involved in a church start here. They come and go.”
So as I talked with another leader about church planting in Colorado the comment was made that church planters need to come in and get a job. That for the very first six months a church planter they should have a job while they are preparing their prospectus for the church that will be in the community. That the church planter needs to know the community not just read demographics. Maybe if that were to happen we would have more church plants asking about places where it is not cool to start a church. Maybe if that were to happen the church plants that start through out America would be reaching the people that need to be reached with the radical grace of Jesus Christ.
What are some other ways that we can know our community other then just demographics?
The moments that you get to experience in the life of a church start are amazing. Especially as a church start that is reaching people that don’t go to church. I had a conversation with a lady today that is thinking about when to get baptized and if she will have recovered from her surgery in time for one this month. I then had a conversation with a guy that came for the first time and was amazed that the pastor the church was wearing jeans and a Tap Out t-shirt. He let me know that he was worried that his shirt would keep him from being allowed at church. It was a rock band t-shirt, I just laughed and said I like that band too. So here are some of things that I thought about:
- We had two people say “Yes” to Jesus.
- We were blessed to have 17 people “Join The Team” at Elevation. First time having dinner while we had the huddle it was awesome.
- Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies make even big guys smile. (Thanks Michelle for making them.)
- In a church start that is portable there are still things that we forget to bring with us to church. (This Sunday’s programs. OOPS!)
- That enabling people to belong before they believe is a huge thing. We have had two guys this month alone that have been serving that said “Yes to Jesus”.
- That no matter what you do there are always going to be things that will need to be tweeked and changed a little.
- The people on the team enable the team to be the best that you can be.
- The series that we are doing “Make War” has caused us to really see that we are in a spiritual war. That we are excited to see that God is using us in this war.
- That I miss seeing my son in the church on Sunday’s. Had through that in since he has been off to school for two Sundays now.
I have to say that even though that it is Sunday night and I am a little tired, I CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT SUNDAY!
What are you excited about when it comes to being at the church you attend?
Over the last couple of years as we have walked through planting a church in Aurora, CO. I have had to deal with many areas of growth. Developing leaders, doing long range planning, and knowing what to do when to do it. (Still working on that one.) But most of all I have had to deal with my insecurity.
I had a person that I have in my life that is able to speak into those areas of my life and a couple of weeks ago he just said, “Scott you are a very insecure person.” At first it really kind of ticked me off. But the more I have thought about it the more it has really been a freeing moment for me. I am insecure.
I am insecure about:
- my marriage
- my parenting
- my ability
- my leadership
- my . . . .
But the one thing that I gain strength from as the insecure person is my true security coming from my identity in Jesus. I am a follower of the risen Savior Jesus. I am a jacked up, insecure person, that only can live life because of the radical grace of Jesus Christ.
John 1:12 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Sounds simple doesn’t it. Well it is! Every day since that conversation I have woke up with the this statement. “I am a child of the risen and conquering Savior, my life only comes from Him. I am secure because of what he has done, not me!” Take some time to say this statement each day and see what it does for you.
Hi, my name is Scott Bloyer and I am secure with being insecure. Who is with me?
After Sunday mornings as the lead pastor at Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO I always am excited. This Sunday is no different! I was able to watch and see things that only some people in a church start get to dream about:
- 6 people put their faith and trust in Jesus Chirst.
- We had over 40 people serving in different places through out the church.
- We had 6 first time guest and 6 second time guests hang out with us.
- We had 31 people make commitments to memorize verses in the bible.
- We had fun as our worship team played, WAR. (Flashback to Roller skating.)
- We had another back pack come in for Save Our Youth partners totally 79. The goal was 61.
Each day and each week I thank God that I get to be involved with Elevation. I am so thankful that I get to work with the team that I get to work with everyday. There are guys that God has put in my life that have allowed me to really start to lead at the church the way that God has called me to lead. I am so excited as we head into this fall and all that God has for us.
Let me now what you see God doing in the church that you attend.
While the city of Aurora was reeling from the shooting at the Century 16 Theaters on Friday. Saturday some students from Marachek Middle School and who are partnered with Save Our Youth came to our offices to get back packs for school. These students each have an adult mentor that is focusing on enabling them to see a brighter future.
Through out the summer the team members of Elevation have been putting together the back packs. We started with the goal of sixty back packs. Wanting to make sure that we were able to take care of all the students that make up the Aurora Public Schools students in Save Our Youth. What happened was Elevation really stepped up and we ended up with seventy-one backpacks as well as seven extra bags worth of school supplies.
Even though we had spent the last day and a half with families that were experiencing great hurt and loss. That evening we were able to see some smiles on faces that might not have been smiling when it came to the first day of school. The people of Elevation was used by God to make a difference in our community. I am so fortunate to be the pastor at Elevation and to see the people understand the value of being a church for the community not just in the community.
Thanks to all of the Community Groups and the Team members that donated to these smiles at Elevation. I can not wait to see what happens next when it comes to caring for our community.
What are some of the ways that you can be used to be for your community?
I just wanted you to know how terri-cited I am for this weekend. That is our family word that we made up, it is terrified and excited at the same time. I am terrified that we will have tons of people I am excited that we will have tons of people. So as I have been praying and fasting this week like many of you are doing. Through the prayer and fasting I have realized that I am more hungry (fasting term) then ever to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change our community. That I see Elevation being a place where people that are not sure about church can come and find out about the radical grace of Jesus. So here are the “Top 5 Things That You Need To Know” for this Weekend!
#5 – Gathering Times to Invite
We want to remind you that our gatherings this week are going to be 8:30 – 10:00 – 11:30AM. If you can make it to the 8:30 gathering that would be a huge help because we do anticipate that the two later gatherings are going to be the most crowded. But make sure that you invite someone to come with you. This is your chance to have someone be a part of the party.
#4 – Volunteering this Weekend
I want to make sure that I thank each and everyone of you that is stepping up to serve or have already been serving. You make every Sunday possible for us to have gatherings that create relational environments for both kids and adults. So make sure that when you come to serve that you PARK in the back lot of the school building. We want to make sure that guests have the best spots. We also ask that you enter through the back of the school where the trailer and truck are parked through Volunteer Central. That is a place where you can get your name-tag, a pep talk, and something to snack on. We want to make sure you are ready to great, treat, direct, and seat the people that are going to be at Elevation.
#3 – Follow the Volunteers Lead
I know that this is not something that you need to be told, but I am going to say it any way. Make sure that as a regular attender and a team member that you do what the volunteers as you to do. So if that means sit in the front, sit in the front. If that means move over in the row, move over in the row. If that means fill out the connection card, fill out the connection card. If that means give up your seat, give up your seat. We want to make sure again that we are setting the tempo for the rest of the people that attend. So make sure that you follow a long as you are lead too.
#2 – Be prepared for the “Hook-up” Offering
On Sunday we are going to be taking a special offering for us to be able to do a couple of things. We are going to purchase the trailer that we are currently using for us to get everything to the school. We also are going to be re-decorating the trailer with Elevation stuff on it. That means taking off the old decorations and the new spray paint. (Painted at night in the parking lot.) Then finally we are going to be buying Bibles for several pastors and leaders that are in need of them in Kenya. We will be doing this through our partnership with Miracle House and then seeing them given out when our three team members go to Kenya this coming June. So be in prayer of what you will give or goal is $6,500.
#1 – Pray during the Gospel
This Sunday we know that more people then ever will show up and give church a try. So that means that we will have the opportunity to see more and more people say “Yes” to Jesus then ever before. So as the gospel is being presented make sure that you are not moving around because that is the time we especially don’t want any distractions. But then make sure that you are praying for the people around you. Pray for the people that are sitting in front or in back or to your side that you have never met before. You may not know what they have been going through and this is the day that the Holy Spirit is moving on their heart in such a way that they are going to say “Yes” to Jesus. SO PRAY!
Thank you for your support and thank you for being the followers of Jesus that know that this weekend is still a weekend that is changing the world. Who knows it may be your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker, a student at your school, that is going to say “Yes” to Jesus.
P.S. Remember that this is the week that we give people the opportunity to win a party. Limo service, dinner out, and tickets to an event it will be a fun night and we will pick a winner at the end of the month.
Over this last Sunday at Elevation we were excited to announce to our church team our partnership with “Save Our Youth”. ‘Save Our Youth” is an organization that helps kids that are at risk and partners them with mentors that are willing to walk through life with these kids. In most mentoring organizations the average relationship between a student and their mentor is 18 months. But with “Save Our Youth” it is a much different picture, their average relationship is 3 years. We believe that this is an opportunity that we have to make a difference in our community but most of the lives of students and their families. Take a moment and watch this video about what one man did in a little boys life.
Take some time to think and pray about how you can make a difference in a kids life.
Here is a prayer that Pastor Ryan Duncan shared at the end of the second gathering at Elevation Christian Church. What a great day to be a Bronco Fan! We Believe!
Please make sure that you go and share this video with everyone else. What a great way to talk about the way we have a great time clebrating what God does and can do!
Here are five things that you can do to start your year off right when it comes to being a team member at Elevation Christian Church. Each one of them will help us accomplish our mission statement: “Develop relational environments where people can become followers of Jesus.”
#5 Set-up Online Giving
As you prepare and plan for this coming year when it comes to your finances get your online giving set-up. I pray that each and everyone of you has set some financial goals that are based in what God wants for you and your family. So make your tithe to the church one of the first things that is taken care of this month. You can get it started in CCB through your login and if you don’t have a login just go to the Community tab on the website and you can ask for one.
#4 Join a Community Group
In the coming weeks we are going to be talking about the importance of having a community of people around you as you walk through life. So why not this weekend make it a priority to get signed up for a community group at the Guest Services booth. It is as easy as picking what night works best for you and your family then getting your name on the Community Group card at the booth. Then the leader will get in touch with you and make sure you are ready to do life with others.
#3 Learn to Laugh
I know that you might think that this is a strange thing to put in this list. But I believe that if we were to live life more in the joy of being a child of God then we wouldn’t be as stressed out. So learn to laugh at the things that are going on in your life and know that there is a Father that loves you in a huge way and is there with you each step. Plus, they say that laughing actually extends your life that means my wife is going to live a long time. (Insert Laugh)
#2 Get to know someone NEW
We are so excited to share with you that on Christmas Eve that we had our largest attended service ever. So that will mean that we will see more and more new people attending our services over the next couple of weeks. Make sure that you take the time to stop and talk to someone new invite them to get a cup of coffee and some cookies in the E-Lounge during the gatherings. Who knows you might even get in a Community Group together.
#1 Learn that WE ARE . . . means something to us all
This month WE ARE going through a series called WE ARE. It is a series that is going to get us focused again on what is important to Elevation. It is a series that is going to push us each to take next steps when it comes to our walks with Jesus Christ. So I am asking you to take the time to see what WE ARE means to you and what God is calling you to do next. Because WE ARE a movement of Jesus Christ and WE ARE not going to sit back and wait anymore.
Here is the first message in the series WE ARE . . . for Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO. Please take the time to check us out and come and find out more about who we are as a church and a movement of God.
Just wanted to be able to share with you the tickets that we had made for Christmas Eve Gatherings at Elevation Christian Church. I know that this is a chance for you to invite people. We are going to have a great time with weekend at 4:30PM and 6:00PM. www.elevationcc.com
3 – Take a Spiritual Next Step:
Each one of us needs to take next steps with Jesus. That may mean getting baptized this Sunday at Utah Pool. When you do this, you will be going public with your relationship with Jesus. You will also be sharing it with everyone at the Baptism Celebration this Sunday at 5:30PM. This may mean, for you, serving somewhere at Elevation. The month of December is a great time to start. We will need more people to serve during our Christmas Eve services because we will see a large group of new people coming and we want them to have a great experience here at Elevation and you can be a part of that by serving. You can serve in the Worship Arts Team by contacting Tim Hanebrink, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim is looking to have a group of carolers for our Christmas Eve services. You can serve on the Ekidz Team by contacting Nancy Bloyer, email@example.com. Nancy is going to be having shepherds walking through the Ekidz rooms and we would love for you to be a part of this as well. You can serve in the First Impressions Team by contacting Ryan Duncan. Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryan will need more volunteers so that our first time guests experience is enjoyable. So, we need you to take a next step!
2 – Give to the IMPACT Offering:
This year all of us at Elevation will be coming together to make an IMPACT offering. This offering will be above and beyond our normal 10% tithe. We have set a goal for twenty thousand dollars and we are on the way there. We want you to sit down with your family and friends and see how you can make this Christmas about others. Make this Christmas special by giving to something that is going to change people’s lives. When you give this year, you will be giving to each area within Elevation. Your gift will help to enhance our EKIDZ experience. It will also improve your experience on Sunday mornings in our worship services. Some of the funds will also be given to first impressions to enhance the experience of our first time guests here are Elevation. Finally, when you give, we will be giving 5,000.00 to the Miracle House in Kenya. Make and IMPACT today, you can go to our ONLINE giving and give there or you can mark on your envelope this Sunday “IMPACT” or any of the other Sundays this month.
1 – Remember that Jesus came for the Hurting:
You have a chance to make December special by inviting people that you know to come hear about Jesus at our Elevation Christmas Eve Gatherings. This year you can use our Elevation Christmas tickets to invite friends and family. My wife Michelle is making cookie plates for the people on our block and taping the tickets to the plate for our Christmas Eve gatherings. You can pick up the tickets and our new building cards, which are available at our Guest Services table. Remember that we have two services. The first starts at 4:30PM and the second starts at 6:00PM. Each service can seat 250 people. Make this December special by allowing the people you know to find out why they call Jesus the “Prince of Peace”.
So just like the rest of the world I have been sitting by and watching as the power company tries to contain the nuclear waste that is coming from the power plant in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami. It has been amazing to hear of the stories of different workers that are taking the time to work at the plant while they could lose their life. But I have to be honest it made me think of churches and followers of Jesus. While I have been praying for the people of Japan and watching the workers do their best it was at the gym this week that it all became clear. An older woman walked by me this week wearing a shirt that said, “At my age exercise is damage control”. I thought it was really funny that she was wearing it but then it made me think. It is exactly what the workers are doing in Japan it is all just damage control. The nuclear plant and all the people that are close to it are already starting to see and feel the damage to the plant.
I then thought of this when it comes to people that are followers of Jesus. There are some followers of Jesus that go to church and go through the religous do’s and don’ts just for DAMAGE CONTROL. They don’t see the need to follow after Jesus day after day. To being a follower of Jesus a lifestyle but more of damage control. I pray that this week that those who are following after Jesus see that we are called to be the ones that are in the midst of life in struggle or in good times are always pointing to Jesus the Risen Savior of the world.
As we continue in our series “Where’s my Bailout” this weekend I have to say that I found a great article on handling your finances in a crazy economy. I would encourage you to take some time and read what Nelson Searcy says about certain areas of finance.
Spending is a habit – Does money burn a hole in your pocket? Does buyer’s remorse set in after you have spent your money? If this sounds familiar, how can you manage your spending so you can buy the things you need now and also save for the things you need in the future.
In order to change spending habits, people must first understand how habits are shaped and the ways spending behavior can be changed. In essence, they must identify spending leaks that give immediate satisfaction but do not help reach financial goals and, instead, substitute desirable spending behavior that may not be immediately gratifying but will allow financial goals to be reached.
How to change the habit, Luke 16:11 says, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” People need to learn to handle the smallest thing God has put under their authority—their money. Larry believes that if the following guidelines are followed it will help control spending.
- Establish self-discipline. Put all spending under God’s control. In so doing, individuals become managers of God’s finances and all spending should then be from the vantage point of whether He would be pleased with the purchase. With God’s guidance, any bad habit can be broken. People need to learn to recognize the drive that places them in a spending situation and then when they shop they can avoid the spending pitfalls produced by that drive by having a purpose for the shopping, a time limit, and a written plan. They need to make a list before they go shopping and then stick to it. In addition, they should limit the number of trips to the store or mall and never shop when hungry or depressed.
- How far money goes usually depends on how much people want something. As such, they need to be in control of the money, under God’s direction, instead of having the money control them by limiting what they do. Once spending has been brought under control, there should be a determination of how much needs to be spent each month in every area of an implemented budget; and, since the basic idea behind budgeting is to save money up front for both known and unknown expenses, there must be a commitment to stick to the budget. Larry believes that if people are having difficulty with income equaling outgo, they must cut some of their outgo. As such, they need to look at their budgets realistically and see where they can start trimming. A budget is a money plan. With it, people can organize and control their financial resources, set and realize goals, and decide in advance how money will work for the good of the family. Therefore, because every purchase should be considered in light of the established budget, buying any non-budgeted items on impulse should be avoided, especially if those non-budgeted items will need to be purchased with a credit card.
- People need to be accountable to other persons for a specified period of time for everything they spend. Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” If there is accountability, people will be more inclined to be more cautious in their spending habits—more of a look now, buy later attitude. So, shop around before buying and learn to say no. Keep a record of spending and purchases and share these with the accountability partner.
- Establish a want-to-buy list. Whenever people feel they need to buy something that is not budgeted, they should put it on the list, but then wait seven days and find two additional prices for the same item, to be sure they are getting a good buy. If they still want the item after a week has passed, they will have thought about it and probably will be getting the best buy on the item. However, they still should not charge it. Finally, people can have only one item on the list at a time, so if they find new “wants” during the week, they will have to decide between the two.
Conclusion A good way to reduce debt is to develop discipline in spending habits. That may include taking away any security that might be used in case of emergencies: credit cards or other avenues of borrowing. By committing not to go further in debt, people begin to reverse the process that produced the debt. Larry often recommends cutting up the credit cards and not taking out any bank or family loans. Then, they can develop a balanced budget that will control spending and will allow them to stay within the parameters of their financial means.
I am so excited that this weekend we are having some very special and awesome people share their story during our services at Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO. You are not going to want to miss hearing all that has happend in their life and thier marriage over the last year. So with that we are finishing up our series called “I Want A New Marriage” and we want to do something special. We want to make sure that we are not just a church that talks a good game but really puts our money where are mouth is when it comes to enabling people to experience life change. So this weekend during our services we are going to give away a “NIGHT OUT” we have purchased meals and a movie tickets for two lucky people that come this weekend. The meals are for Chili’s, On The Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s. The movie theatres are Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres, and Edwards Theatres.
We have been talking about making sure that we are loving and caring for the people in our lives. We know that right now for people it can be a huge financial burden just to be able to afford to go out. Well now that is not going to be an issue because we have taken care of that for you. Who knows maybe we could talk Ryan Graham into being your driver. (That is a joke, not happening) Make sure that you get to one of our services this weekend at 9:00 & 10:30AM at Dalton Elementary School in Aurora, CO. If you are a really nice friend you might even invite them to come with you so that they have a chance at winning as well.
On Monday, January 31st I had the honor and privilege to walk around the Aurora Children’s Hospital some of the best and brightest MMA fighters and their trainers. We had Brendan Schaub, Nate Marguart, Justin Wren, Jennifer Berg, Julio Gallegos, Ricky Vasquez, Alvin Robinson, Jason Lee, Luke Cadillo, Duane Ludwig and then there was Trevor Wittman his wife Christina Wittman, Ron Kruck, Jonathan Chaimberg, and many other amazing guys. A big part of the day was to help Fight Ribbon continue to share their message of hope for cancer patients and Brent Thompson and Scott Wells came prepared with t-shirts and wristbands that we were able to hand out to everyone we ran into during the day.
What I saw was a group of guys and gals that were not only there willing and able to share hope with kids and their families but they were also human beings that were affected by the hurt and suffering that they encountered in every room. I am still amazed at the ignorance of some people that think these individuals are some hardened crazed bulldogs that just want to fight with everyone in the world. When in all reality they are husbands, fathers, wives, and friends that are trying to do a job as well as become a champion in their weight class. So they train and they train hard. But on this day they chose to leave their training to see kids that are sick and hurting. What most people will never see or have known is there were guys that had to leave rooms because they were broken with what they saw. That there were guys that shed tears for some of the kids they met because they saw the faces of their own children in the rooms. That they were so upset that these little kids were there sick with a disease that still doesn’t have a cure, cancer.
I was also proud that I was able to watch some of the people that attend Elevation walk along with these guys and make sure that they were able to focus on the kids that wanted to see the fighters. It was a great day and I can’t wait to see this happen more and more so that we can encourage kids to “Fight for Hope.”
I had the great opportunity to speak to the students at Colorado Christian University at their chapel. It was truly an amazing day listening to them sing and worship as well as being able to share with them about the biblical discipleship process that is in the bible. There were two things that God really continues to rock my world with when it comes to being a church that is about making disciples that make disciples.
That relationship is so important. I believe that as I read through the bible I see God constantly talking about our relationship with Him and our relationship with each other. In fact I love how in Romans 4:13 puts it “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not based on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.” (emphasis mine) We are not put into a right relationship with God not because of what we do but because of what He has done and because of His grace it is all about the faith that I put in Him. My goal is not to be a guy that follows the rules but one that is growing more and more in a relationship with my Heavenly Father. Relationship matters with God and it enables my other relationships to be what they can be because of Him.
The other thing that is just kicking me in the teeth is that I have a responsibility to LISTEN. That I have been called to listen to my Father and what he wants in my life.
Proverbs 1:23 (NLT) “Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise.”
I don’t know about you but I have allowed so much noise in my life. I am the guy that loves to twitter, check my facebook, receive email, and read blogs. I have over the last couple of weeks really made the effort to make my time with God exactly that time for me to hear from Him. The phone is left some where else the T.V. is not on and I try as much as I can with three kids to be alone. I want to hear from Him.
I also want to be a person that listens to the people that God has placed in my life. I want to be able to hear from the people that don’t know Jesus and be able to hear where they are at with Him. I want to be the disciple that is listening to the people around me so that I can guide them closer to Jesus. The bible says:
Proverbs 12:15 (NLT) “Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.”
We can hear in the words that people say what they feel about Jesus. We can hear where they have been hurt. We can hear what their hopes and dreams are but, we have to be willing to listen. I encourage you this weekend to take some time to listen to God and to listen to those around you. I promise you it will not be a waste of time. You might just hear something special.
Today is a new anniversary for our family. It has been one year today that we moved back to Colorado to be a part of Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, Colorado. We drove into Aurora around 9:30 at night to a some-what empty rental home. My kids were blessed with snow shovels in the garage from the family members that wanted to remind them of what kind of weather Colorado had. A small Christmas tree was in the room ok, on the counter and there were very special gifts left for us. It was a great time of celebration opening gifts while we all sat on the barren floor. It was also an amazing time of anticipation. Where we as a family were excited to see what Jesus had in store for us when it came to life and the start of Elevation.
It has been an amazing year with school work, sports, jobs, and Jesus reaching people with the gospel. There is no doubt that we can not wait to see what happens in this next year. Graduations, more school, more sports, and many more people saying yes to Jesus.
I personally want to thank everyone that has prayed, that has donated, that has moved, and has joined us on this journey to reach people with the love of Jesus Christ. There is no way that we could be where we are today without all of you.
It is almost a year now since my family and I left Northern California and moved back to Colorado to start Elevation Christian Church. There are tons of things that I wish I would have known before we started this adventure and there are tons of things that I am still learning every week. But the things that we have learned over the last year we would have never experienced if we would have never stepped out on faith.
We left last year in the middle of my daughters junior year, my sons sophomore year, and our youngest’s seventh grade year. Not the best time to move kids. But I have been able to watch God grow these kids in ways that I would have never imagined. It would have never happened if we had not stepped out in faith.
My wife has had to deal with conversations like, “I am not sure that we are going to be able to pay that this month.” Or, “The money is going to be there I just believe it.” All moms and wives know the pressure you feel to make sure your kids are taken care of and the bills are paid. I know that for her this has been an amazing growing opportunity to see God show up and provide. We would have never experienced this had we not stepped out on faith.
I have taken jobs and tried things that I never would have probably taken in the past. I have had the privilege to have conversations with guys and gals that I knew a long time ago about who Jesus is and what He has done and is doing in my life. I have had to learn how to lead in areas that I thought I was already prepared to lead, which I am not. I have learned that all of the Lead Pastors that I have served under were amazing men and that I was prepared by each one of them to do what I am doing today. But I would have never experienced this if I had not stepped out in faith.
I think this goes very well with this time of the year. There was a young girl that stepped out in faith a couple thousand years ago when an angel appeared to her and let her know that she was going to have a very special baby. This is how she responded, ” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant , and I am willing to accept whatever He wants.” Luke 1:39a What a way to respond to God when He called her to step out in faith.
The question that I have for you is, “What is Jesus calling you to do so that you step out in faith?” You will never be able to experience the amazing things that He has for you until you do. STEP OUT IN FAITH!
One of the things that I have really enjoyed over the last two months of being a part of a church start is the unexpected things that occur. This morning I woke up earlier then I needed to get up so I just laid there until the alarm went off. Got up and got ready, then hitched up the trailer and went to the school to get set up. We proceed to get things set up and I went out to set up some signs around the area. While on the road all of a sudden got violently ill. I mean I think there were probably people driving by thinking. “Man that guy is still dealing with last nights fun!” If that would have been true I could have understood what I was going through. Then it went away. So through much prayer and some mints for bad breath I finished out the morning. I then started thinking man was I horrible today. Well, here is what I want to start the Sunday thoughts with; “It is not about me.” It is about Jesus and His Holy Spirit showing up in spite of me. We had two people say yes to Jesus.
Here are some other thoughts:
- Our volunteers are doing an amazing job and making a difference in our community and in peoples lives.
- We had a family come and check out the church today because of the Thanksgiving Boxes we gave away two weeks ago.
- A teach at the elementary was overwhelmed with Jesus love because our Children’s Ministry director let her know that someone cared and was thinking of her.
- The Custodian at the school told me, “I may not be in the gym while you are teaching but in my office I can here it all.”
- The Lead Volunteer Team at Elevation is making some major steps in improving what we do and how we do it.
- 8 people were baptized today. I did not do one of them. To me that is a huge celebration, because Dads and Moms baptized their kids, Husbands baptized their wives, and Friends baptized friends, biblical community at its best.
- By the way did I say that our Volunteers are amazing.
Thank you to the people that are attending and becoming team members at Elevation. It is a great ride and I can’t wait to see what happens next week, next month, and next year. Jesus is alive and making a difference in you and through you.
Well, we had another great Sunday at Elevation. It was so great watching people show up in their different costumes. Our whole music team dressed as a 70′s band the leaders in the Children’s ministry dressed as well. Then during the service we had all of the children parade through the service and cheered them on we had a mom share that her son said this is the most fun he has had. What a great thing to hear from a family that doesn’t normally go to church.
- We had someone share about their previous struggles and wants to now share how Christ changed their life.
- We were encouraged by several family members that said that the series we did for men was great and they are seeing a difference in the men.
- We as a team are seeing more people get involved and get signed up for Community groups.
- I was encouraged by the men that had breakfast together at Village Inn. It was awesome.
- We saw 15 people say Yes to Jesus over the last month. It is so awesome to hear people say that they can’t wait to invite their friends to our next series called “No Perfect People Allowed”.
It is awesome that every step of the way we are able to see families enjoy the time that they spend together at Elevation. It was also awesome to have a great friend Dan Bethel with us, love how God uses such special people to encourage us along the way. (Sorry Joy you didn’t feel good) The anticipation that we have as a team for the next couple of months is so incredible, in fact after every Sunday I can’t wait to see what happens on the next. Jesus is changing lives and being lifted up in Aurora, Colorado. The people at Elevation are incredible and I feel blessed to be the pastor of this team.