Sunday, February 25, 2007

Invest & Invite

We've all been waiting a long time for this week. Some of us have been praying, planning, and working for two years to see this come about!

Without doubt, the question I have gotten most in the last month is, "How many people do you expect on March 4?"

And my answer is, "It depends...on you."

We have been working hard to create irresistible environments for children and adults on March 4. We've been creating an infrastructure that will allow us to be both excellent and portable. We've been building the right team of staff and volunteers. Now we're ready to fill the room. And that is something that only you can do.

Please don't think, "Let's wait and see how the first one goes." We need to fill the room this first Sunday to give us good momentum moving forward. In fact, we'd love to fill the room to beyond overflowing!

We need to create energy, buzz, and dialogue in the community. And that will happen because you make strategic and repeated invitations this week.

Here's a suggestion. I'm going to call it "3x3x3." You can call it "3 Cubed." I don't care. Just remember the idea.

Invite three people that you really care about and have invested in. Invite them three times. People rarely respond to the first invitation. Invite them today. Again on Wednesday. And again on Saturday. Finally, invite them to try it three times. They need to give this church thing a chance. They need to get used to our music, Andy's humor, and the kids environments. So, ask them to give it three shots.

There you go. 3x3x3. Let's see how it works.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Katherine Mangel

Katherine Mangel didn’t grow up in church, but when she was 16 years old, she began the journey of getting to know Christ and engaging in a relationship with Him through the high school ministry of Young Life. For the next six years, she attended many churches, but never got plugged into one. “The churches I went to as a young adult proved to be more traditional and formal,” she said. “I had a tough time grasping the meaning of living for God and partaking of community with other believers.”

In 2002, Katherine graduated from the University of Georgia and left Atlanta, but returned a year later to start graduate school at Georgia State. Her first Sunday back in town, her best friend from college invited her to Buckhead Church, a satellite campus of North Point Community Church. “I moved back to Atlanta on a Saturday and went to Buckhead Church the next day,” she said. “ I gained so much from that first service, that I rarely missed a Sunday after that for the next two years.”

Buckhead Church was different from any other church Katherine had attended. “It was so relational, welcoming, and friendly,” she said. “The people were real and transparent, and I was able to get plugged in there right away.”

Besides the people, Katherine also loved the speaking at Buckhead Church. “Andy Stanley and Louie Giglio are great communicators,” she said. “I can always relate to what they say. They challenge me, they speak on my level, and they’re great at being relevant.”

Katherine settled into Buckhead Church, joined a small group, and started volunteering on the host team and in the kids’ ministries.

In the spring of 2005, Katherine applied to six nursing schools, including the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In July 2005, she found out that she had been accepted to UNF and, within a two-week time frame, she decided to attend the school, told friends and family of her decision, and made the move to Jacksonville.

About a week after she moved, Katherine received a call from Michael and Zoie Morales, friends she had known in Atlanta and at Buckhead Church. Michael and Zoie had also recently moved to Jacksonville and were considering starting a North Point strategic partnership church there. They wanted Katherine’s help. “Starting a church seemed like such a daunting task,” she said. “I was extremely excited about the idea, but I was unsure how it would unfold.”

Michael worked on getting other people together in Jacksonville who were interested in starting a church, and the group that would later become Access Church met for the first time in December 2005. “There were five couples plus me,” Katherine said. “I was the only single person and also the youngest, so it was really challenging and humbling to become a part of the group.”

North Point has had an impact on Katherine’s life, and she wants to work through Access Church to bring that impact to others. “All of us truly do want to make an impact in Jacksonville,” she said. “We are dedicated to the non-believer, and that’s why we’re so on-fire for this new church.”

Katherine plans to marry Zach Mitchell, pictured here, in April of 2007.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Scott Family

Lifelong residents of Atlanta, the Scotts began visiting Buckhead Church in 2002. Their kids loved it, and always wanted to go to church there on Sunday. But in the spring of 2004, after feeling drawn to move for almost five years, they moved their family to Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville. In Ponte Vedra, they immediately got into a church, but longed for the Buckhead experience they had become accustomed to in Atlanta.

Two years later, they called a friend in Atlanta who had helped start Buckhead Church, and were put him in touch with North Point’s director of strategic partnerships, David McDaniel. “We told David that we were really in need of some Andy Stanley-style preaching down here,” they said. “We asked him what we could do to get a North Point church in Jacksonville.”

David gave them the contact information of Michael and Zoie Morales, who had already started gathering names of families interested in starting a strategic partnership in Jacksonville. They called Michael, and soon were meeting with a small group of men who were talking about starting a church. “I thought the other guys had known each other, but we were all strangers at that time wanting to work toward the same goal,” he said. “It was definitely a God deal.”

From that meeting, the group grew and planned and became Access Church in September 2006. “The progression toward becoming a church was so steady,” they said. “Just like in business, growing too quickly or lagging behind can be bad. Access was a continual progression. It was like clockwork.”

Access Church’s dedication to reaching unchurched people excites the entire Scott family. “In the beach area where we live, there’s a unique collection of people from all over the place, and many of them are not going to church anywhere,” they said. “We see Access as a new opportunity to bring those people into church. So many are in need of a quality place to worship and hear the truth. That is the heart of Access Church.”

The Scotts are also happy that they will have Andy Stanley’s teaching available for their beach friends and neighbors to hear. “We love Andy’s style,” they said. “He sits on a stool in a golf shirt and preaches the Word in a kind and gentle way that draws people. It’s non-threatening, and it’s not pretentious.”

They believes that Access will be a great success. “We have high expectations,” they said. “Just like in business, if you have a quality product and there’s a demand for it, it will work.”

Together, they can’t wait to see what God will do through Access Church. “It’s God’s work, and we’ll just let God do His thing."


Friday, February 02, 2007

MarriedLife Live

If you've never been to North Point, February 10-11 would be a good weekend to check it out. You could go to MarriedLife Live on Saturday, or Sunday evening and combine that with church on Sunday morning. It'd be a great weekend! Check it out and let me know how it goes!