Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Andy Stanley to Pray for President Obama

Tomorrow at the National Cathedral there will be an interfaith prayer service to launch Barack Obama's first full day as president. Men and women of various faiths will participate in the service.

Andy Stanley, our teaching pastor, has been asked to offer a prayer during the service for our new president. While Andy has never publicly supported any specific candidate, he has always asked us to pray for our leadership (as the Apostle Paul also asked). Now he has an opportunity to lead our nation in praying for our president, in front of our president. It's an honor!

Click here to watch the live webcast of the National Prayer Service on Wednesday at 9:00am.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Does Andy Stanley Feel About Groups?

Have you ever wondered how strongly our staff feels about Community Groups?

Andy Stanley tells this story..."In 1993, Sandra and I joined Bill and Terry Willits, along with three other couples, to form a small group. At the time, I was working for my dad at a Baptist church. There was no small group ministry in the church. Like most Baptist churches, adult education happened within the context of Sunday school, and as a staff member working with high school students, I was not able to attend an adult Sunday school class. Sandra and I felt that something was missing.

We had lots of friends. We both had older people in our lives to whom we looked for advice and accountability. We weren't having marriage problems. Everything was great. But, we were keenly aware that nobody was tracking with us as a couple. We weren't praying together with any other couples. We weren't sharing our lives with other couples going through our same season of life. And for some reason I still don't completely understand, we decided this was something we needed.

I shared our frustration with Bill. He and Terry had some of the same concerns about their own experience as a couple. So, we decided to form a small group. We each invited other couples to join us. Then one week before we were to begin, I met a family at church that was new to the area and needed a place to plug in. What I didn't know at the time was that the husband was not a believer.

What's important to understand at this point is that our group was not part of a church program; this was not a means to any preconceived end. We were just a handful of couples who sensed a need for community. We didn't use the term community back then. But looking back, that's exactly what we were missing. We all sensed a need to bring a layer of structure and intentionality to our otherwise random and unstructured friendships. We needed a predictable environment. We needed to "do life" together with other couples.

During the year we were together, several remarkable things happened. We celebrated the birth of a child, while at the same time locking arms with another couple in the group as they struggled with the pain of infertility. One man lost his job. Another couple almost lost their marriage. And toward the end of that year, we wept together as the gentleman I mentioned earlier shared that he had finally crossed the line of faith.

Those twelve months marked us. Sandra and I have been in a small group ever since. Our lives have gotten much busier. The demands of ministry have become heavier. Our three children require more time than ever before. But being in a small group is a non-negotiable for us.

We are about to begin our eleventh group. We have two couples from our former group and three couples we met through our boys' involvement with baseball. Most of these new couples have been attending North Point Community Church for less than a year and cover the gamut in terms of spiritual maturity. Sandra and I can't wait to get started."

Click here to register for GroupLink and get directions. It's this Sunday, from 4:30 to 6:30pm!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Few GroupLink Questions

What happens at GroupLink?
You will be greeted by a facilitator who will direct you to a part of the room based on your stage of life. Dessert and coffee will be served while you meet others with whom you could potentially be in a group.

After meeting with the other people in your stage of life and perhaps even your area of town, we will form groups. With your new community group, you will watch a short video and spend some time getting to know each other.

Is childcare provided at GroupLink?
Childcare is not provided, but we do reimburse (at a predetermined rate) for babysitters needed in order to attend the GroupLink event. Childcare reimbursement forms are provided at GroupLink.

What is the difference between GroupLink and a Community Group?
You go to GroupLink, a two-hour event, to join a community group. Community groups are small groups of six married couples or eight individuals of the same gender that meet weekly in someone’s home for fellowship, Bible study, and prayer.

When is GroupLink?
Our next GroupLink will be held January 18, at 4:30pm.

How do I register for GroupLink and get directions?
Just click this link!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Louie Giglio Launching Passion City Church

Louie Giglio has been a part of the North Point movement for the last decade-and-a-half, and his friendship with Andy Stanley goes back to middle school.

So this is a pretty exciting "family" moment—Louie has unveiled Passion City Church! Here's a link to their (way cool) web site.

You can catch a glimpse of Louie's heart in this video interview with Jeff Henderson of Buckhead Church.

Go Louie, Go! Reach thousands more for Christ!

GroupLink—This Sunday!

Success at Access Church is defined by how effectively our ministries move people from our large environments into community groups.

At Access, the community group is the best place for sustained life change to occur. In a community group, people study God’s Word together and discuss the issues and challenges of life. It’s also where they pray, care for one another, and are missed if they don’t show up.

Practically speaking, there will never be a way for the staff or elders to personally connect with everyone who attends our church. That’s why we place such a high premium on group life. It’s how we minister effectively at Access. To find out more about community groups we encourage you to join us at our next GroupLink, January 18, 4:30pm.

Click here to register and get directions.

Monday, January 12, 2009


If you are a sports fan, live with a sports fan, or have ever heard of sports, you know it's time for the NFL playoffs. This is the time of year when people who don't watch football all through the fall tune in for the post-season games, or at the very least, the SuperBowl. Excitement builds, crowds gather, and a certain expectancy hangs in the air.

Now bear with me, but I think there are some parallels to what's happening at Access Church right now. We had a training camp, two years ago, when six couples and one single woman met and prayed that God would do something amazing in Jacksonville. They began to give, they volunteered their time to create irresistible environments, and they invited their friends to see what God was doing.

Then the regular season kicked in. 22 months of working the playbook. Praying, giving, serving, and inviting. Slowly but surely, the team got better. More people jumped on board to help. Those who aren't even sure they believe what we teach began to invite their friends, serve with their time, and give of their money! God began to change one life after another. It was a great season.

Then, BAM!—we suddenly find ourselves playing at a whole 'nuther level! It's post-season at Access Church. The crowds are getting bigger and more excited, there's a real sense of excitement in the air, and the team is playing with intensity.

If you've been to Access Church in the last couple of weeks, you've felt it! You might have even sent us an email like this one:
The service yesterday was so awesome! We are always talking on Saturday about how we can’t wait for church tomorrow. I have to honestly say in my whole Christian life, I have never felt like this. I thank God everyday for this church, the staff and the people at the church. Thank you, thank you.
If you haven't been to Access in a while, it might be time to swing by and see what's going on. God is at work!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bold Move

Okay, so it's a New Year. You're feeling bold. Optimistic. Hopeful. The new year represents all kinds of chances to start fresh and with new confidence. The gym is full, Krispy Kreme is empty.

Access Church is feeling bold, also. It's not every day that a 22-month-old congregation moves into a 1,300-seat worship venue! We're hoping to change people's minds about church, and in this new theater we plan to create an environment that honors God while at the same time blowing away the old, stale, perceptions of church!

With room to grow, it's important to fill these seats with the right people—people you have invested in, have a genuine love for, and who haven't yet connected with God and his grace. Don't just inform them about Access—invite them.

Who will it be?

Make a bold move. Set a date, and save a seat!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Grateful in a New Year

Access Church has moved into a new era in the life of our church! Yesterday was our first Sunday in a new venue. So many of you were there to start the new year right, and we absolutely loved worshipping with you! Thanks for inviting friends and for spreading the word about what God is doing at Access!

It is amazing to us that we could worship in this space. At a time when the budget has never been tighter, this might have seemed impossible from a human perspective. But God intervened, the university has been very kind, and we are able to gather here every Sunday at 10:30am.

For those of you who weren't able to be with us on Sunday, here's a quick 2-minute clip from our service review tape. Don't miss next week!