Shane Platten first came to Access Church because he was hired to play bass in the the adult worship service. “At that point I was a know-it-all Christian,” he said. “I have to say, I was arrogant about it, too, even though I wasn’t living it.” His wife, Annessa, didn’t go to Access with Shane at first. She had grown up in church but hadn’t engaged in awhile. “I had just come off of being a single mom for eight years,” she said. “I knew with church there were always hoops to jump through, and I didn’t feel like I was up to the expectations.”
Right away, the value placed on excellence was evident to Shane as a musician. “I liked the excellence,” he said, “but it was the atmosphere of caring that Darin and Kevin created for the band that really made Access different.”
Shane wanted Annessa to experience this, too.“Before, Shane was checked out about faith, but I started to see something change in him, so I came,” Annessa said. At first, she stayed with the musicians during the service, enjoying the welcome she felt there. Eventually she decided to come into the service. “I sat in the back and took it in, and it was okay. It didn’t seem to be about jumping through hoops. These people just seemed genuinely glad to have us there.”
When the Plattens went through a hard time in their marriage and separated, they experienced the difference authentic community can make. “I have been around church my whole life, and I knew the things that Jesus taught,” said Shane. “Jesus said love the person next to you. That person was me, and these people did what Jesus said.”
The Plattens found themselves drawn toward getting more connected. Annessa joined the Production Team, and Access became more than a Sunday morning gig for Shane. “These people around us were the same behind the scenes as they were in front of them,” he said.
They wanted their daughter, Cecilia (now 8 ) in a community where the love and truth of Jesus would become ingrained in her as she grew. “With these people around her, I knew it would happen,” said Annessa.
Last fall, when the Plattens first learned they were expecting a baby, Shane told Rich they were hesitant to tell everyone at that point in the pregnancy. “Rich said they were here for us in all of it, to celebrate the good and cry together in the sad, whatever came.” Five months later, the Plattens were devastated when they miscarried their baby, Noah. “There was Kevin at 3am with coffee. There was our church family. These people—our people—were there for us.” When Cecelia was baptized this spring, the same people were there to celebrate with them again.
Authenticity is incredibly attractive in faith and in community. Finding that at Access, the Plattens were drawn to engage. Along the way they found “these people” becoming “our people.” And because of that, they re-engaged with Jesus. That is the goal of authentic community at Access. “When you’re around it and when you’re on the receiving end, you want to live and love like Jesus did,” Shane said.
If you’re interested in joining a Community Group at Access Church, now is the perfect time! You can get into a group at our GroupLink event coming up Sunday, August, 26, at 4:30pm. Check out our adults page to learn more and to register.Posted July 12, 2018