As a high-tech marketer, I want to know what makes high-achieving organizations tick, especially those that see consistent, exponential growth.
As a Rise Against Hunger volunteer last weekend at Elevation Church, where I’ve attended and served since 2008, I saw how applying three core values deliver big results in communities where it has campuses.
I slipped on a hairnet and gloves to weigh meal packages immediately after one of three worship experiences at Millbrook High School, where Elevation Raleigh has met for two years.
The Rise Against Hunger event was part of an annual blitz of thousands of hours of community service called Love Week. Altogether this year, Elevation Church’s campuses are hosting more than 1,700 Love Week 2017 events, nearly triple the number in 2013.
Hundreds of volunteers at Elevation Church campuses in four cities in North Carolina and Virginia — including Raleigh — packaged more than 308,050 meals with Rise Against Hunger.
Behind me, standing at cafeteria tables, parents filled meal bags alongside their children. In front of me, a row of youthful, skinny jean-clad worship leaders sealed the bags and handed them off to be stacked, counted and boxed for shipment to people in need around the globe.
In Raleigh alone, we assembled more than 30,000 meals in three hours. As part of a small group that helped start the Raleigh campus, I relished the joyous chaos around me at Millbrook.
Can Rise Against Hunger eradicate world hunger by 2030, as planned? I believe so — and it will require living out carefully chosen core values. Charlotte-based Elevation Church shows how relentlessly applied core values multiply impact.
Here are three of the church’s 10 values viewed through the lens of doing outreach with organizations like Rise Against Hunger:
- We think inside the box: Embracing limitations fosters innovation that drives results.This core value is why Elevation Church comes alongside already-effective efforts in communities for maximum impact, rather than create programs in-house.The idea occurred to Pastor Steven Furtick, as he traveled home from a conference in Raleigh, that more could be accomplished through partnering. Why replicate when, with donations and elbow grease, you can extend the reach of excellent partners? Since 2010, when Love Week debuted, Elevation Church has completed thousands of volunteer hours and provided donations totaling millions in communities where it has campuses and around the world.
- We believe big and start small: Having faith inspires perseverance to continue after a small beginning.In 2013, as part of Love Week, eight of us in Raleigh sorted vegetables at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Our tithes, augmented by Elevation Outreach in Charlotte, enabled us to hand a generous check to the food bank. We set and achieved bigger goals each year thereafter through 2016. For Love Week 2017, our burgeoning Raleigh campus hosted more than 80 events. For 2018, we’ve upped our Rise Against Hunger goal to double this year’s results to 60,000+ meals. Audacious? Sure, but hardly a stretch for a church of 27,000+ that started with just eight families 11 years ago.
- We are contributors, not consumers: Being the church means walking the talk, not just showing up Sundays for the worship experience.This core value is about putting faith into action. Church staff work long hours to make it easy for large numbers of Elevators to serve. It’s not unusual for entire families to devote their summer vacations to Love Week.
On Sunday, Raleigh campus volunteers included the Brattli family— mom Amy, dad John and daughters, ages 9 and 13 — who drove eight hours from New Jersey to be a part of Love Week.“You can feel the love at this campus,” Amy said, just before they piled back into their van for the trip home. “You can tell that the attitude here is, ‘I get to do this!’”