Monday, June 29, 2009

Foyer, Living Room, and Kitchen

We've used this terminology since the very beginning at Access Church, and I've blogged about it before here.

But perhaps it's best if you just watch this 10-minute video from Andy and let him explain:

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Principle of the Path

Right now we're in the middle of a phenomenal series from Andy Stanley. It's called, "Destinations," and in case you missed the first two messages, you can catch up here.

The messages are incredibly relevant, and are developed around the idea of choosing the right paths in life. The series has affected so many people that Andy decided to release it in book form as well. The book came out just a few weeks ago, and you can buy a copy of "The Principle of the Path," at our resource table on Sunday mornings, or you can order your copy from Amazon right now.

Grab a copy for yourself or a friend today!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Route 66 - Destinations Opener

We're in the middle of a super-fun and practical series at Access Church right now called, "Destinations." It's chock-full of amazingly powerful truths right out of the Bible. Really. Life-changing stuff.

But that doesn't mean that we can't start things off with a little fun, does it?

Here's a clip of our series opener. Stay tuned to the very end of the video for a fun stage entrance!

(The audio goes a little funky right at the end. That was a problem with the audio to the video camera, not the audio in the room. The audio in the room sounded just dandy, thanks to our amazing band and audio engineers!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

North Point Online

North Point Online Promo from John on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Financial Update

You can't turn on the TV these days or strike up a front-yard conversation with a neighbor without spending some time discussing the economy. The current state of our nation's finances is affecting us on every level—in our personal and business finances, and at church, also.

In the midst of these tough times, I have been so proud of the way Accessibles have responded! You have continued to give generously, even when times are tough. In the midst of uncertainty, you have shown that you are certain of one thing: God owns it all. As a result, you have been open-handed and generous. Thank you!

First: As of May 31, 2009, we have fallen only $4,022 short of our budget. And, thanks to the discipline of the staff, we're about $15,091 ahead of budget on the expense side. So, we're $11,069 ahead of budget (net). Woo-hoo!

Second, there's more good news! Accessibles give about 80% of what's needed to currently sustain Access. The other 20% comes from people who love what you're doing and why you're doing it, but they don't attend Access. We call these people "Visionary Givers." Some live in Jacksonville, some don't. Together, those Visionary Givers have come alongside you and added $37,200 to your gifts to keep us in the black. Awesome!

Third—it gets better. Each month, more and more people decide to join in and give back to God a priority percentage from what He's given them. As a result, we've almost doubled the number of singles and families that give to Access Church in just the past 9 months!! In March of 2007, Access was supported by just 8 families. Now, we average 81 singles and families that give each month.

Thank you! Because of your gifts, we are able to accomplish our mission.

If you'd like to jump on board, or know someone outside of Access who might like to become a Visionary Giver, you can click here to begin giving online.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Labor Day Retreat

The Singles Labor Day Retreat is an amazing way for singles to have a blast at the beach in beautiful Destin, Florida, while connecting with each other and being challenged spiritually. It's a weekend of amazing friendships, awesome worship, inspiring teaching, and thought-provoking discussions. It's attended each year by more than 1,000 singles from the southeast.

This year's retreat is September 4–7 and will focus on the topic of "dateability." There are few things in our lives more exciting, more confusing, and more complex than dating. We often have more questions about dating than we have answers. Questions like:
  • Does God care about who you date? What about how you date?
  • How does your past affect your present realities and future dreams?
  • What about sex?
  • Will I always be single?
  • How do I know if they are right for me?
  • How do I know if I'm right for someone else?
There will be multiple communicators from the North Point staff to help navigate this topic.

Worship throughout the weekend will be led by The North Point Band.

Whether you prefer to connect during one of the late-night environments, during a sports tournament, or while hanging out on the beach, there are plenty of opportunities to connect throughout the weekend.

And, at only $300, there's not a better way to spend your Labor Day weekend!

What to do now?
  1. Sign up for more info by sending an email.
  2. Attend a short information meeting July 19 right after our 10:30am service.
  3. Learn more about costs and register online over here.
  4. Stop by the Info Table in the lobby on Sunday morning and ask questions.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Volunteer Dinner - Great Fun!

As most of you know, asking me about Access Church is like asking a grandmother to show you pictures of her grandchildren. I am so excited about what God is doing in our midst I can go on and on with stories of lives being changed and people re-prioritizing their everyday decisions to put God first.

Many of those people have signed on in the last two years to give their most precious resource (their time) to the mission of Access Church. Last night we had a dinner to celebrate, honor, and cast vision for this incredible group of people.

There was some frivolity, to be sure (note Jeff Hilley to the right, playing the game, "What's That Funk?" in honor of our dedicated Waumba Land leaders). More than 80 of our 120 volunteers were able to be there, and you know what—we really enjoy each other!

There were some important reminders as well. Here are a few for those that couldn't make it:

  • You haven't signed up for a job. You've joined a team that is on a mission!
  • Excellence matters. The mission we're called to is more important than anything we've ever done and it's worth our very best.
  • You are not "volunteers" (doing a job), you are "leaders" (on a mission).
  • As leaders, we have a responsibility to replace ourselves.
  • There is another generation who can't wait to take our place in making church relevant for their friends. Are we pouring into their cups?
  • Are we leading well by communicating well with one another and covering responsibilities? Have you logged into Planning Center recently? Did you know has an incredibly useful iPhone interface?
  • The one word we want people to use to describe our church is, "relational."
  • Everything we do is about encouraging and equipping people to pursue three vital relationships: intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.
  • We believe the best way to do this is by creating targeted environments. We refer to these as Foyer, Living Room, and Kitchen environments. Learn more here.

Finally, we mentioned some resources you might find valuable as a leader at Access Church. Here are some links:

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry

Practically Speaking - 7 free mp3 recordings of Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner discussing the practices that drive our organization.

Thank you, Access Leaders, for all you do!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Sunday: Destinations

Think about the last time you were traveling and got lost. You had your destination in mind. You had every intention of getting there. But you took the wrong path, and you didn't end up where you wanted to be. A disconnect often occurs between the path you choose and where you want to end up.

This is the principle of the path, and this Sunday at Access Church, we'll discover how it impacts every area of our lives. We hope you'll join us. Here's a sample:

Monday, June 08, 2009


Are you good with directions, or bad?

Either way, you've probably learned one important truth when it comes to driving. If you're on the wrong road, you'll never get where you need to go. It doesn't matter how bad you want to get there...the road just doesn't go there.

We all have places we want to end up in life. Yet the paths we choose often lead us away from our intended destinations. One poor decision can send us down the wrong road, crushing our dreams and wasting years of our lives. As time passes, we look back wondering how we got off course, and how we can recover from broken dreams.

Beginning Sunday at Access Church, Andy Stanley will examine the disconnect between our dreams and the paths we take to reach them—that our direction, not our intentions, determines our destination. We'll see you there!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Volunteer Dinner - June 16

All volunteers: Join us June 16 at the UNF University Center!

If you're a new volunteer, or planning to sign up this week, you are just in time for one of my favorite events of the year! It's a great night to have some laughs and meet each other, as well as focus our attention on this incredible mission God has called us to!

This is a required event for all volunteers!

Okay, I'm not sure what the punishment will be if you miss, but it's likely your peers will mock you in the halls for months to come. You may even find they have "volunteered" you for some extra assignments. Haven't you ever wondered how we decide who empties the diaper pails?

Each strategic service team will have time to get to know each other better, and compete against other teams in some fun competition. Oh, and there's great food. Please do everything possible to be present!

June 16, 7:00pm. Dinner will be provided, and babysitting will be reimbursed.

Keep in mind the University Center is not the same as the Fine Arts Center. The University Center is on the opposite side of the campus, near the Kernan exit of Butler Blvd.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

JR & Lisa Ekern

We met J.R. & Lisa Ekern the first day we moved to Jacksonville. In fact, they had us over for dinner that evening and our families went trick-or-treating together that night. So, of course, when we had the "On Location" Sunday back in March, we included them in our neighborhood cookout.

A day or two later, Lisa told Stephanie they would like to visit Access Church. Sure enough, the whole family showed up on Palm Sunday. Even more surprising, they broke with family tradition and came to Access (along with some other neighbors) on Easter Sunday!

J.R. stopped me as I was walking the dog the next week, enthusiastic about the environments you create, and telling me about others he was inviting to Access.

The next Sunday they came back, with guests, stayed for fx: Family Experience, and went home with a virtue pack.

Lisa came over to visit the next week, saying, "We have had more conversations about God in our home in the past two weeks than we have in our entire lives! And our 9-year-old daughter actually understands how to apply the virtues. It's all so practical!"

Two weeks later J.R. approached me and asked if we could talk about "church stuff" while up at the neighborhood pool.

We talked for about an hour, and he shared that while they had come to Access because they'd heard it was fun for kids, they found themselves growing as well! He said, "We've always been around church. Never once has it occurred to me to invite friends to church. Now I can't help myself! I'm talking about Access all the time!"

"How can I be a part of this? I can't just sit on the sidelines and watch."

Two weeks ago Lisa began serving in Waumba Land, and last week J.R. began serving on Host Team.

Way to go, Access volunteers! You just defined "irresistible environments!" As a result, this family tree has been changed, for generations to come!