Elevation

elevation

After my layover chat with the Mormons I realized I never write in detail about my church. I love it yet I’ve never wrote about it. It is so unique, authentic and loving that I believe our story should be told.

The story of Elevation has to start with the pastor, Chuckk (yes, spell check it has 2 k’s). I believe his openness to share his past, personality, and love is the reason everyone involved with the church feels safe to share and be themselves. It is a beautiful thing when a group of people can be authentically themselves as they journey towards a personal relationship with God the creator.

When there are no wall or barriers to break through you can then start to learn and grow with people on the same journey as you.

Chuckk’s wife, Andrea, of course needs to be spoken about. She is there every week setting up environment and loving people. She is encouraging and a strong Christian woman. She has become my mentor and one of the ladies who I look up to. She leads by example and makes sure everyone feels welcomed into our church.

I could go on about ever single person that is important to the church but that would fill a book and I am not up for that right now. I would most likely forget to mention the middle school leader or the grumpy guitarist. I’ll just leave talking about each awesome person for another post. Or maybe it would be another series.

I really want to focus on what makes Elevation, Elevation.  The people are what is important and what gives Elevation the unique feeling but that is not the only thing. People where I start when I think about Elevation.

We believe that Church is not about the building or even the weekly service. The Church is the people who make up the community of believers we hang out with. And most do hang out either after service, during the week, or at random events. It seems like lately there are a bunch of events that people are going to and inviting other members. Elevation also organizes events, because we know that there is only so much that can be learned from Chuckk and it takes community to really grow and help others grow.

We do have service each week which is important. This is where we can worship and learn about God from a smart dude who very obviously knows God and has a deep relationship with him.

We also get to express our love for God through music which, Jeremy leads. He is also a pretty great dude. I mean he was willing to leave his home in Colorado to move to an un-churched area for the worship leader position that can only pay him as a part-time position. If that isn’t trusting God I’m not positive what is. HE also has a wonderful talent for finding great musicians.

The skill of musical people and other creative people are part of the culture of Elevation. This is also one reason I fit into this church. We are weird creative people who love God.

The mission statement of Elevation is, “Elevation exists to worship God, reach the unconvinced and together grow to be more like Jesus.” The 7 guiding values are, “Scripture-centric Teaching, Cultural Relevance, Missional Living, Engaging Worship, Authentic Community, Transformed Lives, and Focused Simplicity”

Oh yeah and we must be cool because we meet at a night club/ bar. You see we believe the actual locations doesn’t matter. We just need a space to meet in regularly. Plus, more people may feel alright going to a night club and not a cathedral or other church building.

For more information about my amazing Church you can go to Elevation’s website.

Let me know if you have any questions about Elevation or church in general; and all feedback is welcomed.

Meeting Mormons

I met 3 Mormon missionaries during my layover in LA, while I was going to Virginia on my family vacation. They were going home after being on a mission for 2 years in LA. I wasn’t going to talk to them. I figured that since… well they are Mormons and that seems like a large ritualistic church with unfamiliar believes.

Still I did talk to them and it was a good conversation. We talked about how Jesus is Lord and savior, the importance of the Bible and relationship verses  religious rules.

We even talked about what is done during their missions and what I’ve done when I went on a mission trip.

At first it seemed like we were trying to convert each  other and explain how our way of doing it was better. LEaving though I realized that as long as our hearts are pointing towards a growing relationship with God, focus on learning the Bible and believe we cannot save ourselves (it takes the creator to fix his broken creation) then isn’t that the same? I know there are differences and I know they have an entirely other book that they use, but talking with them it seemed like a weird addition.

They did give me a copy of the Book of Mormon and I am going to at least look through it. If I find anything that pulls me away from my relationship with Jesus then I will put the book down and write about it.

Don’t worry though Jesus and God’s love comes first.

I am curious to learn what they believe and how it differs from only believing and reading the Bible.

After they boarded their flight I had a bunch of other questions for them. I might as well ask them here right?

1.)Sister Scott mentioned that she was raised and taught by her church and prayed for a relationship with God. It appeared to me that it seemed like a struggle of conformity and not a desire for relationship. My question to the 3 I meant is: Have you met or know of anyone who felt like God was pursuing them?

2.)This actually ties into question 1. While on the mission trip did you see any fruits, such as someone converting/ choosing a life focused on Jesus, a growing sense of peace, patience, love, kindness, or self-control?

3.)Going off the mission trip question. How does your life at home differ from being on the mission field? Do you act/ behave the same and still focus on the mission to grow your relationship with Jesus and become like him?

4.) Is a 2 year mission trip a mandate for a system within the Mormon church or just appears to be? Also, is the placement forced or if you feel led to a certain area of the world can you set up a mission trip there?

5.) Finally, Why was it sister Scott and elder Hash (I think that was one of the names)? Shouldn’t both genders be elders or men be brothers?

Please, know that I am asking out of curiosity and because the questions came to me after our conversation. That being said I hope you read the questions and write-up as a loving pondering from a human that does not know Mormonism, but  does loves the God of the Bible.

UPDATE: Okay, so I didn’t even publish this, but instead of re-writing everything I will put this note down here. I had given the missionaries my card, because sister Scott and the elders seemed pretty cool. I was thinking that we would have an open conversation or at least an email. My card also has my website on it, so hey maybe one of them would read it or look at least. Instead I guess she gave it to someone at her church. My curiosity was smashed by that. That made it seem like I was actually just a number to her. I did not give her permission to give my number away and that erased the good conversation about relationships. It also makes the Mormon church look like a machine rather than a place where relationships are important.

I am still curious about my questions though, so if any one knows any answers please let me know. If not, oh well.

Tomorrow’s post will be about how I do church and my church, that I love and never feel like a number.