1. to give power or authority to; authorize, esp. by legal or official means.
2. to enable or permit
Our Pastor started a new sermon series called "e". No...not for Elevation, but for "empowerment". It was a great sermon with key points that really opened your eyes and made you realize what the "church" is really here for.
Elevation is known for our mission statement, "So that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ". It is our mission to reach the city of Charlotte in so many ways. Elevation is also known for not doing anything mediocre. Everything is done with excellence, which is what the Bible calls us to do as a church. And part of doing things with excellence is not having an array, or rather, a "buffet" of things within our church. For example, that's why you don't see a Men's ministry, a women's ministry, a missions ministry, a singles ministry, a college ministry, a special needs ministry, a hearing impaired ministry, a senior adults ministry, and I could go on and on. Now before any of you have a cow, or stop reading, I am NOT saying these things are bad or wrong to have in the church. Here me out. Some churches do these things great and are reaching so many people through them, which is awesome!
People all the time ask the staff at Elevation, "why is there no men's ministry", "where is your single's ministry", etc. I think most people grew up in the tradition and mindset that there has to be a "pastor" leading these ministries...I know I did! The answer Elevation always gives to these types of questions is, "why don't YOU do it"? Why don't I do it?
Pastor preached from Ephesians 4:11-13 which basically says that all of us are given a gift from the Lord...our passion. And we are to use our gift/passion to reach the world, which creates great and perfect unity in Christ.
Man! Just let that marinate a little bit. Don't you feel convicted? I know I do! God's given me a great gift and as long as I keep it covered up, tucked away in box, protected from the world...it's useless and a great insult to my God. Just think...if we all discovered our passion, the passion God has instilled in you, and used it for the Glory of God, this world would be a different place!
Pastor stated in his sermon that "Pastors are God's gift to the church and the church is God's gift to the world". Pastors share the vision God has for us and we, as a church, are to take that vision and form strategies of how to implement the vision in our everyday lives.
He also said that rather focusing on entitlement ("pastors") we need to focus more on empowerment. We, as a church, need to feel empowered to take our passions and do something with them to reach this city. Even though the majority of us can't call ourselves "pastors", we DO have the authority and the power to take our gift and use it and let that be our ministry.
Elevation has had community groups meet all over Charlotte since the start of the church. These community groups meet each week to fellowship with other believers, discuss the sermon from the previous week, and to just do "life" with other fellow Christians. These community groups are taking a turn for the better this coming season. Instead of being called "community groups", they will be called "egroups". The "e" standing for empowerment.
As group leaders, we were told to discover our passion and let our group be centered around that. For example, Adam's passion is teaching and he loves taking the sermon Pastor preaches each week and dissecting it and discussing it with others. So...our "egroup" will probably focus on the series' we do in the church and discussing them with our group to provide application.
Pastor gave examples of other passions people may have. Everything from Missions, to students, to sports. Pastor Furtick is empowering us as a church to take our passions and use them to reach the city of Charlotte bringing everything back to our mission statement, "to see people far from God be filled with life in Christ". This is where all of our "ministries" will surface. Men's ministries, women's ministries, missions, sports ministries, etc. will all be brought to life.
Forgive me for such a long post, but I just wanted to share what was on my heart the past couple of days. Will you use your gift/passion God has given you to empower you to reach this city, or will you keep it safely tucked away? God has called His people to take risks for His glory...no worries, He's always on your side. I'll leave you with a quote from this past Sunday...
"We are placed here for a purpose, guided by a passion and empowered by the Spirit of God."
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