Sunday, June 01, 2008

A History of Access Church

We had a great morning at Access today! We talked about our DNA, and where we are headed. But first we had to remember how we got here. If you've ever wanted a fairly succinct version of the Access story, look no further...

In the spring of 2005, a few Jacksonville natives began to discuss the possibility of starting a new kind of church—not for church people, but for those far from God.

By the fall of 2005, a group of six couples and one single woman had formed. They were not church planters. They were not pastors. With no idea where to start, they began to pray. They began to ask God what He might do if they leveraged their time, their resources, and their relationships for His glory.

Ready for the next step, they contacted North Point Community Church and began to ask questions. As the enormity of the task before them became clear, they realized achieving their goal would take tremendous financial resources.

With a desire to see their loved ones enter into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, they began to give money to a church with no name and no staff—a church that would not even be designed for them.

For a year, this group continued to meet, pray, and give to the project. Meanwhile, a staff was being developed at North Point, and a launch date was set. On March 4, 2007, Access Church would launch its first service.

Excited about the prospect of a church designed for people that don’t really like church, more than 50 volunteers signed on to teach children in UpStreet, love pre-schoolers in Waumba Land, and create excellent, engaging environments for adults.

Confidence grew that the environments would be ready for the people of Jacksonville to experience. But, how would they learn about this new church? And what would motivate them to come?

Each volunteer began to think about people in their lives who had never clearly understood how real God could be in their lives.

Each volunteer extended a personal invitation to a co-worker, friend, or family member. Some invited a handful of people. Others invited dozens.

When launch day came, what began as a prayer came to life as those who had prayed, given, served, and invited were able to host hundreds of guests and introduce them to new kinds of environments for developing intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.

The prologue had been written. It was time for the story to begin.


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