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.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Starting Point

Growing up, I was one of those kids in church every time the doors were open. I went to Sunday School and learned about David and Goliath and Jonah and the whale, and even memorized a silly little song about Father Abraham that I still remember today!

Some of you reading this are thinking, "I know exactly what you are talking about!" and others of you are thinking, "I'm glad I didn't have to endure that!"

When I look back now, I appreciate many things I learned about the Bible. But I wish I had known what to do with my questions. In the church where I grew up, we really didn't ask questions. We were encouraged to simply trust and believe. At times this left me wondering, "What am I supposed to do with my questions?"

Maybe you have been experiencing Access Church for a while now and you are like I was. Maybe your questions are more "how to" questions, such as, "How do I make sense of the Bible?" Or, maybe they're like the questions we've all had to deal with—those tensions we experience when we begin to approach things from a spiritual perspective.

Questions like:

  • Does God really exist?
  • Why should I trust what the Bible says?
  • If God is good, why does he allow bad things to happen?
  • Don't all religions, in the end, lead to God?
At Access Church, many of us have faced or will face questions like these when we are considering a relationship with God. In fact, we believe that God wants us to ask questions. That is why we created an environment called Starting Point.

Starting Point is a 10-week conversational environment where people can explore faith and experience community with a dozen or so other people who are also seeking answers. It's a place to consider the questions that keep us from a growing relationship with God. It's for the curious, the skeptical, and those who just want to connect with other like-minded people. In Starting Point, questions are not only encouraged—they form the basis of our conversations.

If you would like to find out more, we invite you to attend one of our orientations this Sunday, September 16th, immediately after each worship service. No commitment is necessary! However, you will have the opportunity to register for one of our upcoming Starting Point groups. The orientations are held at the top of the stairs and will only last about 15 minutes.

Bring your questions, ans let's start a conversation!


Friday, August 31, 2007

Open Seats at Optimal Times

This weekend is a pretty exciting weekend in the growth of Access Church. We're taking two very important steps at once: moving to morning services, and adding a second service. This is really cool for these reasons:
  1. Studies show that those trying church for the first time are most likely to attend a service on Sunday morning.
  2. We need to have available seating for our guests, and two services insures that everyone can have a seat, with room to grow.
We believe the best way to help people develop a relationship with God is to genuinely invest in them and to invite them to church. We work hard to make our worship services engaging for all people—believers and skeptics alike. This fall we hope to have lots of seats available (we'll offer a third service if necessary) on Sunday mornings. This isn't because we want to become a large church, but because we want to always have room for your friends. And their friends. And their friends.

So, we'll see you at our new service times of 9:30 and 11:15am!

There is one other important note for this Sunday. There will be no UpStreet this weekend. This follows North Point's example of giving our UpStreet volunteers Labor Day weekend off as we gear up for the fall program. Waumba (birth through Pre-K) will be offered at both 9:30 and 11:15am. Beginning September 16, UpStreet will be offered at 11:15am only.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Moving to Mornings!

Wow! Can you believe it??

Access Church has had its last evening service! Our upcoming services will be in the morning on September 2, with Andy Stanley delivering a great message called, "Opened Hands."

Services are still at UNF in the Fine Arts Center, at 9:30am and 11:15am. Waumba Land (birth through pre-K) will be offered at both hours, and UpStreet (K-Grade 5) will be offered at 11:15am only.

We're so stoked to see you all there, especially having missed being with you on August 19. We've just arrived in Atlanta after two weeks in the mountains, and can't wait to get back to Jacksonville later this week.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

GroupLife Preview Reminder - July 29th @ 6:00pm

Just a quick reminder, area GroupLife Previews will be at 6:00pm this Sunday, July 29th.

Beaches - Brad & Joye Scott
SouthSide - Ben & Audrey Habeck
Singles - Kim Diamon

We will be watching and discussing part 2 of a 5 part series called "The Sinai Code". If you weren't able to make it to last week's group, it's not a problem... We'd love to have you this week. Keep in mind, there is no commitment! It's just a preview of what small groups will be like for Access Church starting this fall. Then again, it's not just a preview, it's a great way to get to know some other people in your area of town. We had over 30 people meeting in Group Life Previews around town last week.

Don't miss out, there's only 3 Group Life Previews left - after this week!

* August 12 (The Sinai Code - Part 3)
* August 26 (The Sinai Code - Part 4)
* September 9 (The Sinai Code - Part 5)

Check out our google map for directions.

No Commitment
No Guilt

No Expectations

Just a fun way to get a taste of what GroupLife is all about!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Get in a Group!

We are such big believers in groups! In fact, if there is one word we would use to describe Access Church, it's "relational."

We actually believe that Sunday services are just the first step to our ultimate goal—being part of a small group with other couples or singles.

Why are we so passionate about this? Well, to quote author & psychologist Larry Crabb, "Lasting life change is the result of truth applied in the context of relationship." So, it's one thing to sit in church and listen to a message that helps us better understand the Bible, but it's a much bigger step to develop relationships with people who are challenging us to apply that message in our daily lives.

Access Church will launch a major campaign to involve everyone in the church in small groups this October. Many of us can't wait! But some of us have never been in a small group, and it sounds a bit intimidating.

So, here's a risk-free trial offer, good for a limited time!

For the next several weeks we are offering two groups for couples and one for singles. Each group will meet on our off-Sundays at 6:00pm. Each group will meet five times. Each group will cover the same material, based on Andy Stanley's series, "The Sinai Code."

Choose a group near you. Commit to it for five sessions, and attend every week that you're in town. Meet some people, study the Bible, and maybe even contribute to the discussion (not necessary).

At the end of the five sessions, you'll have a better idea of what our groups look like and hopefully you'll look forward to our fall launch of community groups as much as the rest of us!

Click here for a Google Map with directions to the group nearest you! Go ahead, click now. The first meeting is this Sunday evening (July 22) at 6:00pm! No registration is neccessary. Just show up!

Groups will meet for about 90 minutes. Childcare reimbursement is provided.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer Groups

Are you curious about how you can get to know other people at Access Church, but reluctant to commit to anything?

Over the next couple of months, Access Church will be hosting Group Life Previews in select homes throughout the Jacksonville area. These previews will give you a taste of what community groups at Access are all about. It's an opportunity to gather with 12-20 Access attenders from your part of town and discuss some great stuff about how God wants us to live.

There's no long-term commitment. Each group will meet just five times. It's a great way to check out the environment as you consider signing up for a long-term group in November.

And, here's something really cool for parents to consider: In wrestling with the best way to foster community in our church, we really feel that groups work best meeting in homes. However, that provides a challenge for parents. What to do with the kids? We want you to feel comfortable leaving your children at home with someone you know and trust, so that you can relax and enjoy your time with your group. We've decided to reimburse your expenses for babysitting! Click here to download our childcare reimbursement instructions and form.

Locations are still being finalized, but meeting dates will be:
  • July 22
  • July 29
  • August 12
  • August 26
  • September 9
All groups will begin at 6:00pm and last about 90 minutes. We look forward to seeing you there!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jump Start

Our environment for elementary-aged kids is called UpStreet, and it provides a great opportunity for kids to sing fun and worshipful songs, develop a relationship with a small-group leader, and hear stories from the Bible each week.

For a lot of kids, UpStreet also raises some questions: Who was Jesus? Why did he have to die? Is heaven for real? How do I know that God loves me?

We really believe that our mission as a church is not just to answer those questions for kids, but to teach moms & dads how to answer those questions for their kids. One great way we do that is through a step we call Jump Start.

Our first Jump Start will be July 15. It's an opportunity for parents to sit with their kids while we explain the answers to the most foundational questions a child might ask about God, Jesus, and the Bible. We'll talk about why Jesus came to earth, why he died and rose again, and why we're so excited about this truth!

If you'd like to sit with your child as we discuss these issues, please join us for Jump Start at 5:00pm on July 15th. We'll meet in the lower foyer, talk through these issues, and give you and your children an opportunity to respond to the message. It'll be great for your kids, and you might even have a few questions answered yourself!


Friday, June 29, 2007


Hey kids, if you just finished Kindergarten through Grade 5, you'll want to join us for sure at KidVenture, August 3.

Of course, this would only be if you want to get wet, have a ton of fun with your UpStreet friends, and hang out with your small group leader for a couple of hours.

KidVenture will be held at Adventure Landing Waterpark on Beach Boulevard from 6:00-8:00pm. Cost is $5 per student. More information is available at UpStreet.

See you there!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Coffee Connection

Join us following the service Sunday for a Coffee Connection. These short, informal gatherings are designed as the first step to getting involved with a Community Group.

At Coffee Connection, we'll have several tables, each labeled by the following areas: Westside, Southside, Northside, Beachside, and Singles. It's a chance to have some dessert and meet someone who lives near you.

You'll also have the opportunity to sign up for GroupLife Preview, which is a taste of what our small groups can be like. These medium-sized groups will meet in July and August on our "off-weeks" and help you connect with some great people in your area. From there, the step to joining a long-term group in the fall should be a cinch.

See you in the upstairs foyer, right after the service!


Friday, June 01, 2007


Someone mentioned to me the other day that when they think of a new church, they think of a dozen people gathered in someone's living room, with the kids playing down in the basement. They were really surprised to learn of the environments we have for kids! They said, "What's UpStreet?" One of my kids gushed, "It's only the best thing... ever!"

The truth is, about a year ago Access Church was just that—a dozen faithful people meeting in someone's living room. Praying. Giving. Daring to tell God that they wanted to be used by Him however he saw fit. What an amazing year it has been! We can no longer fit in anyone's living room, and there is, well, "the best thing ever" for our elementary kids on Sunday evenings—UpStreet!

It's a pretty cool environment we've created just for those in Kindergarten through Grade 5. We want elementary students to know three things: that they need to make the wise choice, that they can trust God no matter what, and that they should treat others the way they want to be treated.

UpStreet is an engaging time for students to learn how to study the Bible, to worship through singing, and to build quality friendships with other kids and adult leaders. It consists of both a large-group energetic worship experience and small-group time. And there's a really cool guy named "Zach-Attack" who's about to make a comeback!

Have your kids check it out this Sunday!


Friday, May 18, 2007

Foyer, Living Room, Kitchen.

At Access Church, we believe that environments are very important. In fact, we would presume that significant spiritual growth in your life has probably been the result of truth being introduced to you in the right environment. The right people, the right setting, the right message. We have found it useful to employ the metaphor of a home as we explain three key aspects to our church life.

The place in your home that serves as the welcome area for guests and new friends. It is the first step, and it’s often your only chance to make your guests feel comfortable enough to return. That’s exactly how we’ve designed our entry environments at Access. Our Sunday-evening worship services are foyer environments. We want our guests to come back, so we do everything with them in mind. This environment serves as the perfect place to introduce newcomers to the life of Access.

Living Room
Once your guests arrive and are welcomed into your home, you invite them into the living room. Everyone finds a comfortable place to sit, and the interaction begins. At Access, our living room environments are designed to help you connect with people like yourself. Through fellowships like GroupLife Preview (starting June 3), strategic service teams, and other events, you will begin to develop relationships with others in a smaller and more interactive environment.

Think about it. What is the most popular room in your home? Where do you end up when guests or family come over? The kitchen. This is where lasting friendships are made. And that’s the kind of environment we are striving for in our community groups. Community groups are where people meet regularly for Bible study and prayer and commit to accountability, friendship, and support. They are the safe places to open your heart, share your life, and ask the tough questions. There are small group opportunities for both adults and children. Community groups are the places where ministry happens at Access. We're launching dozens of new community groups in the fall; perhaps one in your own home!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Starting Point Orientation

I have heard a number of people ask the question, "What's next?" or say, "So, I come to Access every other Sunday and listen to a great message and experience great worship, but how is this going to get deeper?"

Well, success at Access Church is defined by how effectively our ministries move people from our large environments into small groups. We believe that the small group is the best place for sustained life change to occur—it's our "kitchen" environment. To work toward that goal, over the next few months we'll launch a number of new environments to begin assimilating people into Community Groups.

Starting Point is one of those environments. It's a 10-week small group environment for those seeking or starting a relationship with God. It includes a small-group discussion where you can ask any question or voice any opinion about God, the Bible, or faith, without being forced to change or to believe anything. It's for people who are investigating Jesus and the Bible, for those who are new to a relationship with Jesus Christ, or for those who have some church experience, but have been away for a while.

On May 20th, immediately following our 6:00pm service, we'll hold our first Starting Point orientation. At the orientation, you will hear all about Starting Point. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions and to sign up for a group, and you'll find out where to purchase your materials. There is no commitment when you come to the orientation and we will only meet for about 15 minutes.

If you want more information, visit, stop by our information table, or email

We look forward to seeing you on May 20th.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Waumba Land

A few people have asked, when I've invited them to Access Church, if we have a "nursery" up and running yet.

"Do we ever!!" is usually my unbridled response. You see, I have a three-year-old, and I'm such a big fan of what our volunteers have created for pre-schoolers. You really ought to check it out this Sunday. It's so much more than a nursery!

Waumba Land is actually a small group environment for preschoolers. "Waumba" is the Swahilian word for Creator, and so the environment of Waumba Land emphasizes the Genesis story of creation. The rooms are designed to emphasize various nature themes: forests, oceans, heaven, jungles, etc.

The curriculum in Waumba is very intentional. We want pre-schoolers to know that God made them, God loves them, and Jesus wants to be their friend forever. They get to learn this in small groups while their parents are enjoying the adult worship environment.

Every pre-schooler should come and check out this environment on Sunday evening at UNF. And bring your parents!


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Some photos of Sunday are available here. If you have others to send, please email them to me!