One of the things that I have come to realize is that when it comes to being a generous person its not about what we do it is about who we are. For me I was raised in home where being generous to people around you was just who you were. It wasn’t something you had to think about, or guess about, you just did it. So when I got married I just started doing what I thought was the natural thing to do. Well my wife had grown up differently then me and it was a point of great conversation for us. (That’s called an argument.) So we both had to come to a mutual understanding of what we were going to do when it came to being generous. Which honestly was a really good thing for both of us to come to as a couple. I would really say it was a great chance for me to grow as a husband, father, and as person that works in the faith community. (church)
You see because of that difference between my wife and I it enabled me to see how and why people struggle when it comes to being generous in and with their faith community. For us at Elevation we talk a lot about being generous in fact we want to be known for our “Insane Generosity” to the community around us. But for a community of faith (church) to be generous that means the people of the church need to be generous with what they give to that church. If you are a part of a faith community then you will have heard this is about offerings and about tithing. (We are not going to argue Old Testament vs New Testament giving.) So we want people to see that for us to be generous as a church community then the people need to be a part of that through their generosity through their tithes and offerings.
But most people honestly struggle here because of the different ways that they were raised. Some were raised that all you had was yours and that you take care of your own. Some were raised without anything so you had to keep whatever you had to be able to make it. Others were raised where you were just generous enough to make sure you looked good. While as others were raised with the idea that helping someone in need is just what you did that you were generous.
So it is my hope that I can encourage people to live out a generous life. Whether it is by caring for your neighbor. (Hopefully you know who they are.) By providing some food for another student at your school. (Had one of my kids do this.) Or through the tithes and offerings you share with your community of faith. (My wife does this for us now.) Because as you begin to do this you will be amazed that the words of the New Testament begin to be lived out your life in an amazing way.
Acts 20:35b “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
How are you living out a life of insane generosity in your life? How are you being generous with your faith community so that they can be generous with the community around it?
So yesterday at Elevation we had a baptism celebration at Elevation. It is one of the things that we do that amazes me that I get to be a part of. As a church family and team over the last four and a half years we have celebrated 194 people getting baptized. The baptisms are amazing as we see husbands, wives, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and friends baptize the people that they know have taken the step of saying yes to a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing more amazing then watching a little boys face as he looks up at his dad after he comes out of the water. I get emotional when I see a spouse that is getting the chance to baptize the person that they are staying with for the rest of their life and eternity.
But then you get to hear the stories of how and why they said yes to a relationship with Jesus. You get to hear about the struggle, the mess, and many times the hurt that lead them to realize their need for Jesus. But then you also get to hear the stories of how families lead in the area of faith, about how students knew that it was what the knew they needed to do, and amazing stories of a life of faith and growth. No story is ever the same and no baptism is every the same because of what is happening in that persons life.
What I am excited to think about though is the stories that I have yet to hear. I am excited about the faces, the families, and the friends that we get to take pictures of baptizing those that are making their life with Jesus public. Who knows maybe you are one of the stories that we are going to get to share.
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”.
Today Michelle and I are driving our oldest Danielle to her first year of college. She will be attending the University of Nothern Colorado looking to get a degree in Elementary Education. She also will be moving away from home and her family for the first time. It is one of those moments as a parent that you realize that all the times that other parents said, “Life moves way fast.” Were totally right. But I have to be honest as Danielle’s dad I am so excited and so proud of who she is and how she has become such and awesome woman of faith. I know that at some moment today I am going to look at her and remember the times that we played on the swing set in Montana. The day that she laid in bed with her Mom and said “Yes” to Jesus. That I will remember the little girl that liked to play dress up. That I will see the little soccer player. That I will remember the first time she went to a school dance. That I will remember the day I was proud to baptize her. That I will remember the days that she sat on my lap and cried her eyes out. That I will remember the times we shared her Christian crack addiction at Starbucks. But all of these memories will not wiegh me down. They will encourage the perspective that I already have about being a parent and the goal that I set a long time ago as Jesus laid it on my heart. That my job as a dad is that my kids “Leave Well.” Danielle is leaving well and I do not expect anything less. I am so proud and excited to see what the near future holds for her at UNC.
Danielle if you read this; I want you to know that I am one proud dad and that I am only a phone call, text, Skype, away. Oh yeah, continue to remind the guys around you that I still have the bow and they will not hear it coming. LOVE 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!
After spending a week at Super Summer Montana, all I can say is WOW! We were so blessed by all of the churches that were there. The staff of the camp and the students that attended.
It was most of all awesome to see 46 students cross the line of faith for the first time. What an incredible week to watch the great “I AM” show up and do His thing.
Thank you for the time we were able to spend as a family and the encouragement that we took with us for the start of Elevation Christian Church.
The Bloyer Family