testify

So last night I was blessed to get to watch one of Elevation church’s (http://www.elevationchurch.org/) twelve night revival series called Code Orange. It’s funny because I had heard of Elevation church and how crazy big it was and how their lead pastor was around my age and I had always been a little skeptical. But last night I was drastically confronted with a movement of God. In just over five years this church has grown from eight families to over 10,000 in weekly attendance. Not only that, but they are fixated on the message of the gospel of Christ in order to transform a city for the Kingdom of God. In fact last night they dedicated half of their offering collected during their revival series to a place called the Dream Center in Hollywood CA that is an old hospital that has been transformed into an amazing outreach center (http://www.dreamcenter.org/about-us/). Needless to say, I no longer have any misgivings about Elevation and the work it is doing.

One of the cool things about the service last night was just hearing the testimony about what God has been doing in the life of that church. And the entire time you are seeing Pastor Steven humbled by God’s work. It was incredible. Now I know a lot of people might have seen this as nothing but a pep-rally, but in all honesty…what’s wrong with that? I mean shouldn’t we brag and boast a little bit about what God has done in order to anticipate the great things he is about to do. The problem is that often we don’t make room to hear these stories anymore. Especially in our local congregations. We let other churches have these exciting moments and then we become jealous because they are “all about show” and “excitement”.

But isn’t the kingdom of God supposed to be exciting. Isn’t a movement of God supposed to be earth shattering? In Acts 2:17-18 (as Peter reflects on Joel) it is put this way, ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy’.” One of the definitions of the Greek word used for prophesy in the text above is “to break forth in lofty discourse or praise for heaven’s actions”. All men and women will get excited about what God is doing and can’t help but shout forth praise.

When I was growing up in the church we used to have what we called testimony night. We would all come together and then hear from the white-haired members of our congregation about the goodness and greatness of God and how he has brought them through life thus far. What I never realized until later is that I was being handed a legacy about how to tell stories about God’s goodness and the importance of these stories. This was the lifeblood of the church.

So maybe we need testimony night again. Maybe we need a pep-rally for Jesus. Maybe we do need a reminder about the greatness of God and the work He is still doing. Maybe we could all learn a bit from Elevation and remind ourselves of God’s greatness.

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