First of all, my apologies for dropping the ball on these posts – it’s been nuts with many things happening all at once and all in my areas of ministry. So, I’m posting TWICE to make up for it 🙂
Okay, back to the Leadership Summit! The speaker that I loved the most was Steven Furtick, pastor of our local mega-church, Elevation Church, Charlotte, NC. I was jazzed when I saw him on the list because I’d always been curious about him, his church, how in the world he got 30,000 people to show up for Easter worship last year, etc. And, once that man (more like “boy” – this guy can’t be 28 years old!) opened his mouth I knew . . . he was simply amazing. Every word he spoke was a word spoken to me. Every bit of excitement he exuded made me want to jump out of my chair and scream “AMEN!” The boy was on fire!
His mini-sermon was interesting because he invoked a story from Scripture that you don’t hear a lot about – it was a story about Elisha, the prophet from 2 Kings that Furtick referred to as “awesome.” Elisha was kind of a neat guy and did some crazy things, but one thing he always had was faith in God. During a drought he had faith it would end – dig some ditches to catch the rain, he said. People though he was nuts. But, the ditches were dug . . . then came the rain! God does provide!
One thing that resonated with his words was when he shared his story of how they came to found this local mega church and what they had to sacrifice along the way. How amazing to quit your job and move to a town you are not from because you feel God is leading you to reach people for Christ. One of his big struggles is one I/we struggle with here at HUMC – comparing ourselves to other churches around us who are growing and prospering. He called that “comparing our backstage events to everyone elses highlight reels.” We can’t compare ourselves to Elevation church or any other church. We just need to find our vision and follow it . . . and be AUDACIOUS about it! We need to have faith that God will lead us where we are meant to go. If we dig the ditches, God WILL send the rain!!!