Or at least that’s how Steven referred to it when greeting attenders last week. You see, Steven said he was tired of hearing that Elevation was a one-man show, so he decided to have all the volunteers take the week off…
First, let me stop here for a moment. This is disingenuous to begin with. Steven knows that no one is accusing him of showing up early, greeting visitors, setting up equipment, and increasing the potential of breaking a sweat. The “one-man show” critique is aimed at the fact that all the “vision” for the church is birthed in Steven’s head. In fact, he said himself that if you go against his vision, you are fighting God.
Anyway, no volunteers showed up and apparently it was a nightmare. Here is what the executive pastor had to say, via Steven’s Blog:
The worship leader carried a powered speaker out on stage and delivered an acoustic set without a band…. The only sign we had up was “Elevation Church is meeting today”. We intentionally printed crooked black and white programs with the song lyrics and scriptures. Pastor carried a rickety music stand on stage to preach from with no fancy bumper or video playing in the background.
He goes on to call it “the most unimpressive worship experience ever.”
This clearly begs the question, who are you trying to impress?
- I can understand if you want to impress God, but do you really think God gets bummed out because the programs weren’t printed in color?
- It seems more that Elevation’s goal is to impress (entertain) people. Particularly sinners. If that’s the case, then perhaps, yes, the un-believers in attendance were slightly disappointed at the lack of loud music and over-produced video clips. Then again, I’m sure not all un-believers are fans of loud music and MTV style video editing.
This is really the crux of my argument with Elevation, Newspring, and the hundreds of other churches like them that join the bandwagon everyday. Elevation is saying they had a terrible week…worst ever…because there weren’t elaborate programs, a band, flashy videos, and a proper podium for Steven to preach from. Every other week, regardless of criticism, they always shout, “look at all the people that were saved!”. Were people saved this week? If so, even if it was just one soul, how is that the worst week ever?
If people weren’t saved…why not? What if there was an energy crisis? Would Elevation still be a viable ministry, or can God only use them when all their gadgets are up and functioning?
The priorities here are so far out of line, it is actually scary. For the record: There is nothing wrong with color bulletins, bands, videos, or podiums. When these things are used as tools of worship, they can be very effective. However, when your worship actually depends on these things, that should be a wake-up call that something is wrong.
Here’s the sad thing about the whole deal: I watched the service. If they were truly trying to deliver an experience far worse than other Elevation services…they failed miserably. It seemed like every other Elevation service to me:
- One Bible verse, and a great deal of effort to make it fit the situation.
- a few jabs at critics.
- a few jabs at other churches.
- 90% of the talk centered on Elevation.
And most of all… A whole lot of…
The one man show.