Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Proximity to Pain

Do you read Seth Godin? If you are in business (for profit or not), you should read Godin.

The other day he posted a very simple piece titled, "Proximity to Pain."
The closer you are to the point of need, the more you can charge.

Pizza at the airport costs five times more than pizza on the way to the airport.

Tax audit services in the middle of an SEC investigation cost triple what they cost before one.

Scalped tickets cost more than ones bought in advance, by mail.

Emergency towing in a strange town costs more too.

The single easiest way to increase your fees is to get closer to the pain. It's interesting to note that no large-scale advertising ventures are closer to the pain than the Yellow Pages or Google. Both of which are insanely successful.
Do you see any parallels to our faith? To the role of the Church in the world?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Don't Be Late

Beginning this Sunday, June 1, Access Church will be meeting at 9:00 & 10:30am.

That's right, at your request, we're moving our services earlier in the day. Church in the morning and still time to hit the beach or the lake in the afternoon!

Waumba Land will be open for pre-schoolers at both 9:00 & 10:30am. UpStreet (K—Grade 5) and xtreme (Grades 6-12) will meet during the 10:30am hour only.

And as a little incentive, Starbucks Coffee will be served for those attending at 9:00am.

Don't miss it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

So Very Proud

You can tell the difference, can't you?

You see someone at the store, or the restaurant, or the playground, and they seem kind of annoyed with the whole parenting thing. Like, they want to have kids, they just don't want to have them 24-hours-a-day!

Then you see another parent, and you think, "She/He absolutely loves being a parent. Loves their kids. Loves the whole experience." And it's not something they work at, it's just the way God made them. They really love kids.

Well, I really love being a pastor. Love this baby church called Access. Love the people who give so much of themselves to demonstrate God's great love. And today made me really proud of this group who decided that it's not enough to go to church—they wanted to be the church as well.

Here's a little clip of our day:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Strong Foundations

This weekend Stephanie and I are taking the kids down south to spend some time with extended family. We're even going to spend a day out on the swamp buggy on some family property near Hobe Sound.

It's good to remember where you're from.

In the next couple of weeks, we're going to talk about some big plans for the future of Access Church.

But before we look too far ahead, we're also going to spend some time reflecting on the history of Access Church. It's good to remember how far God has brought us.

Just one year ago, there were less than 10 families supporting Access Church financially. Today there are more than 40 couples and singles giving on a regular basis.

Just one year ago, there were less than 20 people meeting in Access Community Groups. Today there are almost 100.

Just one year ago, there were 51 volunteers serving at Access Church. Today more than 80 of you have chosen to give of your precious time.

One way to express this growth would be to compare April 2007 and April 2008.
  • Volunteerism? Up 15%
  • Attendance? Up 47%
  • Giving? Up 298%
  • Groups? Up 400%
These are significant numbers for us because they indicate that more and more are buying in to the mission that is behind Access Church. More and more understand that we are here to reach the city of Jacksonville, not keep a bunch of church-folk happy.

This is building a strong foundation for a church that, I believe, is poised to significantly impact this city.

Thank you for all you are doing to position this church for great things! Our giving in April was the best it's ever been. Each month we get closer to becoming financially independent. Each month we have more volunteers to help us go faster, further. Each month you support us with your prayers and invite those who don't like church to come and experience God in a new way.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We're Meeting This Sunday

Yeah, I know, you didn't think we had church on the fourth Sunday of the month. Well, we don't. Yet. But we can still be the church!

As a part of the landscape of the Jacksonville community, we want to be more than just another gathering. We want to move out from these walls and into the streets and serve the needs of our community. We have created the Intersect Project as our vehicle to serve Jacksonville.

JT Townsend was paralyzed while playing high school football in Jacksonville on October 4, 2005. He and his family will be moving into a home that is fully accessible to JT with his disabilities. To make this move possible, they need to make repairs to their current home and put it on the market.

This Sunday, May 25, we will be partnering with the Townsend family to paint, landscape, install flooring and appliances, and perform general repairs. Our hope is to share the love of Jesus Christ in a tangible way and help them sell their home.

Space on this Intersect Project Team is limited. You can register by contacting Adam. There is a $10 registration fee to help cover costs of supplies and lunch while serving. We'll start at 9:00am sharp on Sunday and work through lunch (or stay as long as you like!). Directions will be emailed to you once you've registered.

You might also want to invite a friend to join us as we see where God, our community, and our church intersect on May 25.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Family Exercise

Last night was Chase's final soccer practice of the season.

A favorite last-practice tradition is for the kids (6 & 7 years old) to scrimmage against the parents.

It was hilarious, actually, as the kids skillfully dribbled the ball right past much bigger and faster adults. We lost track of the score, but I think the kids beat us 8-7.

Getting the parents in the game was a brilliant move on the coach's part, for one important reason:

One hour of soccer practice each week isn't enough.

In order for kids to really develop their soccer skills, they need to be playing every day. They need to be playing with their siblings and neighbors and, ideally, their parents. When mom and dad get involved, a child's enjoyment and skill level both increase.

This same principle is at work when it comes to teaching our children about God. One hour of church isn't going to properly equip a child for all that life is going throw at them. They need for mom and dad to get involved in their spiritual life. They need to have daily conversations about spiritual things.

And, just like they need to see mom and dad having fun and laughing while playing soccer, they need to witness their parents enjoying a vibrant relationship with God.

We believe this so strongly at Access Church that we make "Virtue Packs" available for families to spend time together focusing on each month's virtue. This month our virtue is Joy, and virtue packs are available at the Resource Center. Each virtue pack includes an audio CD with a radio drama for the kids that teaches the virtue, and a roundtable of real-life parents discussing how to teach the virtue at home. There are also notecards you can use to encourage your children, and great discussion questions for talking about the virtue with your kids at various times through the day.

Don't just sit on the sidelines and hope your kids will learn to love the game. Get in there and play it with them! They'll learn a lot more, and you might even get a little exercise.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Never Too Late

If my dad were still alive, yesterday would have been his 93rd birthday.

That surprises a lot of people. When I first tell them, I can see them trying to do the math in their head. I'll save you the trouble: My dad was 53 years old when I was born. Yeah. "Surprise!"

The point is, it's never too late to do something great with your life. :-)

Moses was eighty years old when I AM told him to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery. He thought he'd blown his chance 40 years before. But God wanted to use an eighty-year-old guy for something amazing.

Some of us, as we age, begin to grow more and more fond of the past. We've got some great stories to tell. But what about the future? What might God have out in front of you? How might God want to use you for His glory?

Andy shared a quote last week at DRIVE that he heard while serving at Crown Financial, "When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near."

Put that in the context of a conference where some attendees were from a 250-year-old church. They came to DRIVE because they aren't focused on the past—they want to transition their church to have tremendous impact in the future!

How's your future? What might God do with your life if you let him?

And if you're a 53-year-old guy, well... Be careful out there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Few Quotes

This last session of DRIVE was pretty unreal. Andy scrapped his "Making Vision Stick" talk and just spoke from his heart. He was ON FIRE! Here are a few quotes I grabbed:

"To reach people no one else is reaching, we must do things no one else is doing" —Craig Groshel

300,000 unchurched people within a 10 mile radius of Buckhead Church (170,000 North Point, 35,000 Browns Bridge). I don't want this to ever stop bothering me. The more successful you are, the more you'll feel good about who IS coming instead of who is NOT coming.

"Become preoccupied with who you haven't reached as opposed to those you are trying to keep." —Reggie Joiner

"The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation." —Al Reis
This is why what some of you are doing is far more important than what we are doing. You have already figured out what the next generation of ministry will look like.
If you are 40-60 you shouldn't have to understand it to fund it.

"Be a student, not a critic."

"What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?" —Future Edge
_The revolution that video preaching has created, allowing leaders to be separate from communicators.
_Existing (but dying) churches that own real estate need to give it up to new churches that are reaching a new generation

"You have to have both hands up and a blindfold on if we're taking over" (Andy on converting existing churches to our model.)

Pay attention to the people who are breaking the rules. Who has the biggest church in America? Oprah. 3 million people and no parking problems.

"If your staff got kicked out and the board brought in a new team, what would they do? Go do it!" —Andy Grove

What's in decline? Where are we having to manufacture energy?

What would fresh eyes see? What would they set out to do?

"When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near" —??
This one bothers Andy the most.

Don't let success or momentum overshadow your vision. Keep the vision out in front.

"There has to be something that breaks your heart, that reflects the broken heart of God." —Andy Stanley

And then... this is impossible to convey... you really had to be there. Andy stopped "communicating" and started preaching.

"We could give away free gas (referring to the political issues in the news) all summer long and it wouldn't stop one husband from leaving his family. What we have to offer is the most important answer for life's questions." —rough quote from Andy Stanley

Make your plans now for DRIVE '09!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

DRIVE Update - Day 1

The other day I mentioned that it's not our desire to be like North Point. We are North Point. It's our DNA. Just like you might have gotten your bright blue eyes from your dad, the kind of church that Access is becoming is a direct result of our lineage.

So today was a bit of a family reunion. A big one.

325 folks from 13 Strategic Partners. Another 2,025 church leaders from around the world. All here to focus our churches on being Jesus to our communities, reaching people instead of worrying about keeping them, and leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Personally, it was awesome to connect with so many people that helped give birth to Access—men & women that continue to speak wisdom into my life today. It was nice to spend some time with Drew, my best friend of more than 22 years. It was fun to hang out late tonight with a bunch of bloggers like Carlos and Pete.

But I can't begin to describe how significant our worship session was this evening. Communion was incredible—just because of what Jesus was saying to me through it. His love is amazing, and the fact that he knows us so completely and loves us so much is amazing. Do you really believe that God is crazy about you? That is love for you is a wild, untamed desire for relationship with you? Sometimes I think God just tolerates me in spite of my flaws, but in tonight's worship He reminded me that he loves me—and that's pretty amazing!

Here's a little taste:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Caution: Show Horses

This is only going to be funny for you Brian Regan fans. Everyone else should just look away.

Really, this is a very mature group of individuals.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Lesson from the Derby

Did you know that every horse that ran in today's Kentucky Derby was a descendant of Northern Dancer, a 1964 champion? Did you know that horses from his line have drawn as much as $10 Million at auction?

Why is that? Because DNA matters. Fast horses have fast offspring. My kids are great-looking because their mother rocks the planet. You get the idea.

This week, the Access staff will spend some time swimming in our gene pool. We're proud of our heritage.

We're very clear that we don't want to be like North Point. We are North Point. Our strategy, our mission, our DNA...it's the same.

I'll be posting from Atlanta, hopefully with pics & video of the sessions. Odds are good—it's going to be a great week!

Who Are You?

The other day Scott Magdalein visited our offices. We talked about life in Jacksonville, ministry (he leads worship over here), and blogging.

So, yesterday I checked the visitor log on this site for the first time in months. Turns out there are more of you regularly reading this blog than I thought.

So, fess up! Who are you? What brings you to this blog? Post in the comments, please!

Friday, May 02, 2008


Back in 1997, when Michael Dell was CEO of Dell, he famously told a group of IT big wigs, ""What would I do [if I were in charge of Apple]? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Oh, Michael. That's the kind of statement that waits in a corner for years, thinking, "I'm going to bite him in the backside... Hard."

The time has come. Apple opened on NASDAQ today at $180.31 . Compared to Dell's standing, Apple's market value of $159.95 billion is now four times Dell's $39.56 billion.

What have you said that you wish you could take back?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Canvas, Pt. 3

This week Louie Giglio will deliver part 3 of Canvas.

We live in a world created by God and designed to reflect His glory. Everything, including our lives, are tapestries created by him. He is working on the canvas of our lives so we can bring glory to Him. That is our sole purpose here on earth.

I've included a little teaser video below. Don't miss it! See you Sunday at 9:30 or 11:15am!