Maggie Goodhart could teach us all a few things about being new in town. She moved to Jacksonville two years ago from Atlanta and started building relationships like it was her job! She knew that to get connected, she would need to make the first move and choose a church to attend. While researching partnership churches of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, she came across Access Church. On her first Sunday in town, Maggie walked through the doors and into the hearts of the church that she now calls “family.” That very same day, she signed up for a Community Group comprised of other young single women. In serendipitous fashion, the group was planning to have lunch together that day and invited Maggie to join them.
Maggie was eager to get involved in service at Access, so as she shared lunch with her small group, she asked one of the women where she could get plugged in. One of the women talked with her about Waumba Land (for children ages birth-five). This area of ministry needed volunteers, and it seemed like a great fit for Maggie since she loved children and had spent countless hours babysitting. Maggie’s first assignment was to fill the role of a small-group leader. She led a small group of children and taught them about God’s love and plan for them. After a year her leadership skills had been discovered, and she was given the role of “coach.” As a coach, she became the point person for the teachers. She filled sudden openings, made sure the rooms were stocked with supplies, and supported the teachers in all capacities.
With the nurturing she received from her predecessor, Sarah Graves, it was a natural move for Maggie to take the helm of Waumba Land Director as Sarah moves on to another endeavor. As director, Maggie will oversee all aspects of Waumba Land, but her overarching goal is to make sure the volunteers who serve the youngest population of Access Church are appreciated. “I want the volunteer small-group leaders to know how grateful we are to have them at Access sharing their love of God with these children,” she said. “They are the voices that remind the little ones that God loves them. I want to be able to pour into the small-group leaders so they can pour into their students.”
Perhaps Maggie has such a vivacious view of church life because she learned the value of a great support system six months after moving to Jacksonville and joining Access Church. Maggie was unfortunately involved in an auto accident that opened her eyes to the family she was developing within her church. “Every need was immediately met,” she said. “God provided the right people to help me through an emotionally and physically traumatic situation.” The people of Access barely knew her, but they showed up for her in an amazing way. It cemented in Maggie’s mind that, at Access Church, “They don’t have to know you to love you.” For people hungry for relationships, family, and support, those are the most promising words you could hear.Posted August 11, 2015