Elevated Church: Looking to Go Viral
by Kay Schultz
One day, our shepherd, Pastor Eric, began to move us sheep into something new. We could feel it. We could smell it. New moves, new language, new atmosphere, new directions.
Some of us didn’t like it and found a different flock. Some of us got excited and seemed to know what Pastor Eric was talking about. And the rest of us followed our shepherd because that’s what we do when we have a good shepherd.
Over the last two years, one change has followed another, and to the best of my recollection, here’s what happened:
First was a name change. Identity is critical to “branding” any organization. We needed an updated name, logo and look on our signs, printed materials and even our tee shirts and mugs!
Then the lights in the sanctuary were darkened during Praise & Worship. And, a fog machine was added. This is where we lost a few more folks claiming choking, gagging and/or allergic reactions. So, the fog machine was put on hold.
New sounds were emanating from the Worship Team. We acquired new sound systems, sound boards, tracks and a sound team. New lighting followed. Up went spotlights, colored lights, lights in the ceiling, lights on the floor, dancing lights and flashing lights. And, of course, new lighting control boards and a lighting team to run it all. At that point, is was like – what’s a sheep supposed to think? But there was even more to come!
We couldn’t believe it when Pastor Eric wanted a couple of our white, white walls painted black. That is, until he wanted the whole inside of the sanctuary, including the ceiling, painted black! A backgound for “streaming,” he said. For whaaaat???
It wasn’t until Pastor took me up to the broadcast room that I really began to catch the vision! And who was in that room? The broadcast team, of course. I felt as though I was visiting a CNN or Fox studio.
Praise Cathedral has become Elevated Church, and Elevated Church has become elevatedchurch.com, a functioning digitized entity of the Lord. It is now a spiritual weapon in the capable hands of designated teams, and a loving welcome wagon to those in need.
Oh yes, there were doomsdayers, naysayers and doubters, but the Elevated Church engine had started chugging up the giant hill of technology called social media. Elevated Church was alive, exciting and well, and then IT happened . . . the CORONAVIRUS Covid-19.
Little did we know that Pastor’s foray into the digital amphitheater was so ordained for this moment in time. Our nation is now shut down and our physical church building is shut down. But as God would have it, we are online – now for the whole world to see. God’s purposes may be hidden for a time. God’s directions may seem crazy, unwise, unaffordable and even cause the visionary to take a beating! But God always validates His obedient ones, especially those called to a leadership position. Revelation of that very purpose is the validation.
Leaders cast a vision, set direction and begin the process of getting God’s assignment done. Leaders map out where they are headed and inspire others to follow. Our Pastor has done just that. He listened for God’s voice, heard the assignment and obeyed God’s directions to get ready for what was ahead . . .
. . . just as God spoke directions to Moses to deliver the Israelites with frogs, flies and locusts (Gen. 8-10)
. . . just as Jehoshaphat listened to God to have the people fast and pray and position themselves for battle – only to stand still (II Chron 20)
. . . just as Noah was told to build an ark in spite of never having seen a world-wide flood (Gen. 6-8)
. . . just as Esther accepted an assignment to save her people by risking her own life (Esther 8-9)
. . . real leaders are in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment and the right people. Real leaders listen to the Holy Spirit and obey His directives.
With Pastor Eric’s leadership, Elevated Church is now a rising star having a digital presence on the world-wide web. That web is called the “net.” And, even Jesus was into nets. In scripture we often find Jesus directing where and when to cast nets.
Elevated Church’s net has been cast. I can’t wait to see the catch!