Dear Church,

It’s crazy to believe that it’s been nine years since Kristal and I, and a handful of volunteers, started Elevate Life Church. First we gathered in our home, then Oakleaf High School and now in locations all over the Jacksonville area. I could not have imagined then how much this community of people would have changed our lives and our family. Back then, it was just me, Kristal and our dog – now we roll six deep (seven if you count the dog), and I get to watch the church that we’ve poured our lives into pour into the lives of our own kids. It’s been the most fulfilling work we’ve ever done.

As I think about the last nine years of prayer, worship, preaching and (lots of) work, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:18, ‘…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ It’s been amazing to watch God build a church, a faith-filled family with thousands of wonderful people, using the raw material of our collective surrender and obedience.

It makes me think about how Jesus builds His church and hoe each of us can be a part of what He is continuing to build at Elevate. 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that every single one of us is a ‘living stone’ – a breathing brick. God takes each brick and lays it together with others to build something sacred, ‘a spiritual house.’ Bricks are strong and resilient all by themselves, forged through fire, but a brick’s real strength is never seen until it becomes connected to other ones. A single brick doesn’t do much, but together it can build anything – a wall, a tower, a home, a church.

I look back at the impact of Elevate Life Church over the last nine years, and I know that it is only possible because we are building ON those who have come before us, WITH those who come beside us and FOR those who come behind us. I have so much gratitude for those who built a foundation for me – my parents, pastors, mentors, and teachers, and I thank God every day for the thousands of people who have come alongside us to build God’s house even higher – you have made me better!

I sense such great responsibility knowing that what we build today, through our sacrifice, will become the foundation of what our children and our children’s children will build upon in the decades to come. In light of every layer before us and behind us, let’s give ourselves to God more completely than ever, and let Him build His house through us until there is room for all to come in!

Thank you for being a part of what God has done so far at Elevate Life Church and welcome to those of you who are just now bringing your bricks and beginning to build with us. The best is yet to come!

– Tim & Kristal Staier

2019 Above + Beyond Magazine

Learn more about our five Legacy Lanes and what we are going to do this year in each lane.





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