Elevation Church “Spontaneous Baptisms”

This past week Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC  started a series called “Follow.” Before I get into this post I just want to say I have benefited from the ministries of Elevation Church via Elevation Worship and the preaching/teaching of their lead pastor Steven Furtick. The more I listen to Steven Furticks preaching the more I see a man who has a passion for God’s Word and a passion to see people come to Jesus. He truly is a role model and a Christian leader I look up to. His church is doing awesome things in the city of Charlotte and this past week as they started their new series they did “spontaneous baptisms.” Basically, the challenge is to follow Christ and Steven Furtick asked people to decided to follow Jesus and on the spot get baptized. I absolutely love this! Before I go on watch this video that was on Steven Furticks blog showing what took place this past week. Be encouraged as you see people decided to follow Jesus!

There are two things I love about this video and about the “spontaneous baptisms” they are doing at Elevation Church. First, it is sad that baptism has fallen on hard times in our culture. Baptism is sadly not preached and taught as much as it should be. If you read in the Bible you will see that baptism is an outward act displaying an inward reality. It is a way to show others Christ has saved you and you are now identifying with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection and will follow Him the rest of your life. I am encouraged to see Elevation Church clearly teaching baptism Biblically and making it a huge deal because it should be! Secondly, I like the fact they are doing “spontaneous” baptisms. It seems that most churches today have baptism classes and things you have to go through before you get baptized. I am not against that, but is that really following the model the Bible gives us. In the book of Acts we see that when someone accepted Christ they were immediately baptized. In Acts 8:35-38 we see that Phillip shared the Gospel with Ethiopian eunuch and the man asked “what prevents me from being baptized?” Phillip responded and said that he had to be saved first. Then the next verse records Phillip baptizing the man. We do not see a class or a few sessions taking place here, we see someone getting baptized as soon as they accept Jesus. I am not against baptism classes, honestly I would probably do them, but I do think we need to remember all that needs to be done before someone is baptized is them accepting Jesus.

My goal in this blog is not to stir up controversy about baptism. It is an important doctrine that needs to be protected and uplifted in our church today. I regret that I waited so long after my salvation to get baptized, but we need to encourage people to take the “first step of obedience” as soon as they are saved. I hope you are encouraged by the video and what Elevation Church is doing for God’s kingdom. You can read more about the baptisms and series on Steven Furticks blog here.

Steven Furtick and Elevation have put together a kit that gives your church everything they need to do “spontaneous baptisms.” You can find that here.

Your Love Never Fails

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the song “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship that God was using to minister to my heart at the time. You can read that post here. God has been using another song to minister to my heart right now and figured I would post a video of it and maybe God will use it to minister to you as well. The song that God has been using is called “Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture. I first heard the song at Skyview Ranch because it would play on the speakers outside as campers came on Monday mornings, but recently heard it again as the worship band did it here at COD for a youth event called Ignition. You can read all about that awesome event here. This song is so awesome because I think it expresses the way many of us feel as Christians sometimes. We make mistakes, we sin, we rebel against God’s Word, but we must remember that even in those times God loves us! That truth is expressed throughout the song and every time I hear this song Romans 8:38-39 comes to mind. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The bridge of the song is powerful as it reminds us of the promise given to us in Romans 8:28 where it says, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Watch the video below where Jesus Culture does this song live and allow God to minister to you through it.

Here are the lyrics:

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

Verse 2:
The wind is strong and the water’s deep
But I’m not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I’d reach the other side
But Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good

All Scripture from English Standard Version

Give Me Faith

Yesterday I was browsing around on iTunes and purchased the song “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship. If you don’t know about Elevation Worship they are the music side of Steven Furticks Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. I posted a blog by Steven Furtick a few days ago. You can go read it here. The moment I heard this song I loved it, but the more I have listened to it I no longer love it, but feel it. Music has a way of expressing our feelings and there are times in our life where we may not be able to put into words what we are feeling. I love knowing that we have the Holy Spirit during these times to help us pray and cry out to God (Romans 8:26), but I’m also glad God gave us the gift of music to express our feelings. I get chills every time I listen to this song because I feel it in my bones. I’m thankful God lead me to this song and how He is ministering to my soul through it. Below is a video of Elevation Worship doing this song. For the first few minutes they sing just the chorus so don’t stop the video watch the whole things and allow God to minister to you through this amazing song. You can find more videos of their worship music on their YouTube channel.

Here are the lyrics:

All I am
I surrender

Chorus 1
Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good and Your love is great
I’m broken inside I give You my life

Verse 1
I need You to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need You to open my eyes
To see that You’re shaping my life

Verse 2
I need You to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need You pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me

Misc 2
I may be weak
But Your Spirit’s strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God You never will (REPEAT)

Here is the story behind the song: