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Re-Post

The following is one of Steve Furtick’s blog posts, enjoy:

Daydreams and Sweatshops

I was recently reading Robert McKee’s book on the process of storytelling and came across a sentence that really challenged me. He was discussing the hard work of the creative endeavor and constructing fictional environments and he said:
Worlds are not daydreams but sweatshops.

It got me thinking on a different but similar vein about how we often misunderstand the concept of having a vision from God. For our lives, our ministries, and really for everything in general.

I think when most people think or talk about getting a vision from God, it’s more along the lines of a daydream. We associate receiving a vision from God with being passive. We think that God speaks to you with candles lit and music playing.

He often does. But that’s not where the vision comes to life. It’s simply the moment of conception. The vision really comes to life when the candles go out and the music stops. It’s when you have to get down to the hard work of actually making it happen. Visions don’t come to life in daydreams but in sweatshops.

If you’re a church planter, it’s in the hours you spend setting up your portable location just to be able to preach for forty minutes.
If God has called you to be a doctor, it’s in the years of school and interning that you have to endure to get those two simple letters, M.D., attached to your name.
If you’re a writer or filmmaker, it’s in the days and months of brainstorming, executing, and editing that it takes to make your project a reality.

Being a visionary or receiving a vision isn’t defined simply by what you can think of. My five-year old can think of a lot of things that have no chance of becoming real. Being a visionary has to do with what you can bring to life. God is the Creator not because He imagined or envisioned creation. But because He acted and brought it into existence.

Why should it be any different for the creation that was made in His image?

Launch Team Update

This past Sunday was a marathon day for the Launch Team.

We had the opportunity to attend a church in our area that meets in a movie theatre. It was extremely helpful to experience what they are doing; which really got the team thinking hard and dreaming big.

We were also given the opportunity to go to the Cardinal’s game that afternoon. We had great seats and were blessed to be in the shade for the entire game, while everyone around us was sitting on the face of the sun. We had a great time and met some amazing new people. Thanks, St. Luke’s UMC and Jim for the tickets! You guys ROCK!

Then, that night, we had a really engaged Launch Team Meeting. I love that every week we have continued to have new people. And what I love most is when people on the Launch Team invite them. God is moving and people are catching the vision. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the coming days.

One final thing…we are going to have our FIRST monthly worship gathering on August 21, 2011 at 9:30am. We are going to meet at the Great Escape Movie Theatre in the Gravois Bluffs shopping center. We are ridiculously excited to be at this point!

If you would like more information please contact us at info@elevationstlouis.com

-Daniel

Preaching this Weekend

Part of planting a church, is finding organizations or churches around your area who are willing to support what the Lord is doing through new movements…

This Sunday (6/26/11), I have been blessed with the chance to preach at St. Luke’s UMC in South County.

There are two services: 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

The address is 2761 Telegraph Rd.

I will be preaching on how four men stopped at nothing, one man gained everything, and the world stood in awe at the power of Jesus.

Come out, invite a friend, hear the good news, and never be the same! (Please, re-post this everywhere)

Thanks so very much!

Daniel

Launch Team

Sunday night was our first Launch Team meeting for Elevation Church. It was a great night with an amazing group of people. Each of them is excited about reaching out and making a difference in this community.

It’s an honor to be a part of this new movement of the Lord.

GOD is on the MOVE!

If you are reading this and you live in St Louis, I would love for you to consider being a part of this new movement.

Maybe you are already experiencing a call to be part of this new church plant.

If so, take the step of faith…

CALL US!

E-MAIL US!!!

Send SMOKE SIGNALS if you have to!!!!!!

I would love to speak with you about being a part of this movement.

Our next Launch Team meeting is June 12, 2011 @ 6:00pm. Come check us out!

-Daniel

Why?

“It’s easier to give birth to a baby, than to resurrect the dead.”

Someone once said this in relationship to the church and the need for church planting.

Many people ask, “why do we need to plant churches when there are so many churches already?” The answer is that the church population continues to decline and yet the overall population continues to increase.

The need for church planting is critical. It is the single most effective way to evangelize. It is through starting new churches that we begin to make an impact on the church decline and begin to reach new generations.

Read over the following statistics:

• 84% of people live in urban areas or near urban areas.
• 70% of United Methodist Churches are in rural areas.

Some Questions:

• Where should we be spending our time and money planting churches?
• Does population matter? Why?
• Should we leave rural areas or come up with different models? Why?
• How many new successful churches do we need to plant to stop the decline?
• How could you support the starting of Elevation Church in St. Louis, MO?
www.elevationstlouis.com

-Daniel

Almost Famous

The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church did an article on Elevation Church.  Check it out!

http://www.moumethodist.org/console/files/oFiles_Library_XZXLCZ/April1FullVersion_4SB2HYCL.pdf

I want to give props to Rachel Beise for the contribution of her photos.  Way to go!  Also, thanks to Dustin Keele for making our website look amazing!

-Daniel

BTW–If you would like to contribute to this new church start please go to www.elevationstlouis.com/give and make a one time gift or set up a recurring gift to help support this young church and ultimately change lives and impact the city.  All donations are tax-deductible.

A Prayer

A friend sent me this prayer as we start this new work in St. Louis, MO:

God of history and of our hearts,
Help Daniel and the new Elevation faith community to be a beginning for others,
to be a singer to the songless,
a storyteller to the aimless,
a befriender of the friendless;
To become a beginning of hope for the despairing,
of assurance for the doubting,
of reconciliation for the divided;
To become a beginning of freedom for the oppressed,
of comfort for the sorrowing,
of friendship for the forgotten;
To become a beginning of beauty for the forlorn,
of sweetness for the soured,
of gentleness for the angry,
of wholeness for the broken,
of peace for the frightened and violent of the earth.

Help Daniel and the new Elevation faith community to believe in beginnings,
to make a beginning,
to be a beginning,
So that he and they and we may not just grow old,
but grow new
each day of this wild, amazing life
You call us to live
with the passion of Jesus Christ. Amen!

I thought this was a great prayer and a very thoughtful gift. If you read this blog or this prayer, would you partner with Elevation and me and pray this prayer on our behalf for the next week. I am asking you to commit the next seven days to lifting this new movement up to the Father. Take the challenge and see what God does!

-Daniel

Participate

As we venture into this new opportunity, we would like to give all who know us a chance to participate.  Listed below are multiple ways for you to partner with us:

*PRAY

Prayer is the engine that will drive all that Elevation Church is now and will be in the future.

We need people committed to praying for this new church and for our team.

If you feel led to be a part of our prayer team, email us at dtaylor@elevationstlouis.com; in the subject line write PRAYER TEAM and we will add you to our list of prayer warriors.

*REFER

Referrals allow us to contact people who may be interested in helping at Elevation Church or even participate through prayer, giving or even referring others.

They also put us in contact with those who may not currently have a church home or faith in Christ.

Just go to our website and under the “connect” link, click “re:fer”.

*GIVE

Resources are crucial to the launch of a new church.

Through our website, we have set up a link that provides an easy way for you to give. You can donate money, stocks and bonds, items, and whatever else the Lord is putting on your heart.

Remember that all of these donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in partnering with us visit our new website where you will find all you need to get involved.

Our website is www.elevationstlouis.com

Also, if you have other creative ideas that would allow people to participate and partner with Elevation Church, please email us at info@elevationstlouis.com.

We are so thankful for the prayers, referrals, gifts and support that have already been poured upon us, and we continue to charge forward knowing that the Lord’s hand is in this new adventure.

-Daniel