The Access Story

AccessChurch_logo_180px_higWe believe that, just as Jesus was irresistible, the local church should be irresistible. People should wake up on Sunday morning and want to go to church. Our desire is to create a church that would be people’s number-one option on Sunday, first, because of what we do, and ultimately because of what we believe.

This vision began to take shape in 2003 with a group of people in Jacksonville who had a heart for their friends who didn’t have a growing relationship with God. This group of people wanted so badly to invite their friends to church, but hadn’t been able to find the right kind of environment their friends would connect with.

This group decided to partner with North Point Community Church, who recommended Rich and Stephanie Barrett lead this strategic partnership. The Barretts visited Jacksonville in the spring of 2006 and met with the core team that God had already assembled. They were impressed by the team’s clear desire to start a church, not for themselves, but for their friends who wouldn’t feel comfortable in most churches.… Read the rest

Posted June 24, 2015

Kick Excuses to the Curb

It’s easy to make excuses during new situations. In fact, if we’re honest, excuses keep us from attending church all the time. “I had a bad church experience,” “I don’t want to go alone,” “I don’t know what to expect,” “My children might not like it,” “Sunday is my only day off. “ Unfortunately, those excuses also keep us from making connections and building a community of people to experience life with.unnamed

“I didn’t want to take my children to a formal church like the one I grew up in,” Laurel Beard said. “This was keeping me from plugging into a church.”

Laurel heard about Access Church from her brother. “My brother and I have similar style and taste, so I decided to join him at Access and give it a try.” Laurel immediately liked the casual and comfortable atmosphere. She loved the way technology was used to enhance the experience. Andy Stanley’s video messages were relevant and applicable.

Laurel decided attending “Starting Point” with her husband would be a great next step for them.… Read the rest

Posted

My Bad Church Experience

Church. What does that word bring to your mind? Maybe thoughts of polyester suits or dresses with big collars float to the surface. Maybe your senses are reminded of pot roast and potatoes or molded Jello consumed on Sunday afternoons. Unfortunately, thinking about church can also bring back My Bad - Key Artpainful memories. Have you felt excluded, judged, or misunderstood? Do you simply not want to be included in a group of people who have hurt you in the past? Or does the idea of church remind you of things you aren’t proud of or choices you thought you had made peace with?

Wherever you’re coming from, we would love to offer an invitation. We’ll provide a safe place for you to sit anonymously and hear what God has to say about church. If you take a chance and carefully remove the walls you’ve built around your heart, you may begin to see that your bad church experiences were not an example of true authentic church.… Read the rest

Posted June 3, 2015

Introducing Lance Haney – college community group leader

A roommate tried for a year and a half to get Lance Haney to try church as an adult. An invitation to a cookout is what finally won him over. “There was nothing intimidating about going to a cookout,” Lance said. But that cookout led to friendships and a true desire to attend church. A few months after the initial visit, Lance gave his life to Christ.

photoIn the same way a flower will not grow without sunshine and water, a new Christ follower will struggle to grow without a community. We were never meant to “do life” alone. We need the encouragement and support of individuals walking the same path. Lance found community in a single-adult group, where he could safely ask questions without judgment.

Lance learned what it meant to serve within a church and began working with youth three years after choosing Christ. This environment is where he grew from the man who was hesitant to even try church, into the man that stood on the beach several years later, listening as God called him out of the corporate world and into full-time ministry.… Read the rest

Posted May 26, 2015

The Living Room (College-Age Environment)

Living Room | Logo - white backgroundHave you ever been on a boat in the middle of the lake on a beautiful sunny day? What has to happen before everyone dives in to enjoy the cool refreshing water? The boat MUST be anchored! Otherwise the boat will drift away and the relaxing swim will become a hard race to catch the wayward boat.

Unfortunately this happens in life too. Here at Access we’ve noticed a worldwide trend among high school graduates: Approximately 80% drop out of church during their college years! We know this is the time in your life when you need to grow and explore. But if you don’t anchor your life to something strong, you’ll drift. Our answer to this problem is to offer a safe, truthful, and fun anchor for our college-aged adults. It’s called The Living Room.

Join us for the kick-off of The Living Room on May 17, 12:00-2:00pm. We’ll have a FREE lunch and lawn games at Access Church.

Do I have to be an active college student to join?… Read the rest

Posted May 13, 2015

KidStuf!

YOU’RE INVITED!
How often do our children get an invitation to a birthday party? Usually we check our calendar and write the important event on the corresponding day. We love allowing our children to attend parties because we know they will have a great time and it will build relationships.

Here at Access, we have an invitation for you to attend a party WITH your kids! So grab a look at our invite, sign up, and put it on your calendar. We look forward to seeing you!

KidStuf Orange Letters White Background

WHAT: KIDSTUF! A 45-minute, fun, digital, multimedia, interactive experience designed for families!

WHERE: Access Church

WHEN: May 8 at 7:00pm – RSVP here!

WHY: In a fast-paced world, it’s a gift to have 45 minutes with our children to reinforce God’s Big Ideas! During KidStuf we’ll talk about “PEACE: Finding a way to work it out.” Then Kidstuf and UpStreet will team up to continue learning about what God has to say about peace all month long on Sunday mornings.… Read the rest

Posted April 30, 2015

Because He Lives

 

The pivotal truth about Easter is that Jesus rose from the dead, he was seen and he is alive! On Easter Sunday we closed our service with the song “Because He Lives.” This song encapsulates the significance of Easter and the chorus offers us three incredible phrases of encouragement as we live our daily lives.

“Because He Lives… I can face tomorrow”

Despite what you are facing in your life and what the future may hold we gain strength for tomorrow knowing that He lives.

“…all fear is gone”

We do not have to live our lives in fear because of the certainty of Christ’s victory and defeat of death and evil once and for all.

“Life is worth the living, just because He lives”

Not only can we face life, but it is worth the living because Christ is alive and that gives hope, security, and purpose for the future.

We hope you are encouraged today by these powerful truths!… Read the rest

Posted April 23, 2015

The Hohmanns: A search for connection

hohmannpicBilly and Trish have a story that is common to so many couples. When you begin a life together, you not only combine finances and habitats; faith becomes an important topic as well. When both parties are raised with different ideas about church, worship, music, and serving, it can leave them with more questions than answers. Even when the differences are subtle, finding a church “home” can be a challenge. Billy and Trish each had clear ideas of what they didn’t want, but struggled to find common ground on what they did want. Finally Trish encouraged Billy to attend a church led by a pastor that she knew from her youth. Even though it was a significant drive from their home, Trish enjoyed the messages, and Billy got involved in serving. But over time, the majority of the family lost their passion for attending. Often Billy would find himself sitting in church alone. While he didn’t have all the answers, he knew one thing very clearly: THIS was not the way he hoped church and family would collide.… Read the rest

Posted April 15, 2015

“Follow” Series with Andy Stanley

The Christian life may look or feel like a game of “Jesus Says”: Jesus says pray. Jesus says give. Jesus says go to church. But Jesus’ invitation to his first-century audience was to relationship. And it began with a simple request — follow me! In this 8-part series, Andy Stanley takes us on a journey through the Gospels as he traces Jesus’ teachings on what it means to follow.

We’re kicking off “Follow” April 12. Check out the video below for a preview!

Follow Series Begins April 12 from Access Church on Vimeo.… Read the rest

Posted April 7, 2015

Easter With Us

Easter_CurrentSeriesBannerHolidays seem to have a way of bringing people together. We all have a deep desire to experience life with other people. We invite you, your friends, and your family to share Easter with us at Access Church.

We’re kicking off our Easter services with a little Swedish House Mafia and maybe even some U2. There will be great music along with some stories of life change.

Then our lead pastor, Rich Barrett, will speak live, presenting “Brought to You By.” Rich will show us Christians don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead because the Bible says so. They believe it because people who knew Jesus said they saw him alive after his crucifixion—men like Matthew, John, Peter, and James. These men gave their lives and their livelihoods for what they said they saw! We’ll look at what this means for our lives today.

Besides all this, we’ve got amazing environments for the whole family! Visit AccessChurch.com/Easter to see what’s available for your crew!… Read the rest

Posted April 1, 2015

It Matters! Sign Up to Serve!

Sunday we celebrated our amazing volunteers and all they do to create irresistible environments at Access Church.

ItMatters_smallFor the past several weeks, our staff has been praying that 50 new volunteers would join one of our Strategic Service Teams so we can be prepared for a great back-to-school season in August. This past Sunday, 78 people signed up to volunteer! God is preparing us for something big!

Maybe you’ve considered volunteering, but you just weren’t sure your small contribution could make a real difference. Jesus said, when it comes to his church, the world will believe when each part does its part. If we are one in purpose and mission, imagine how we can change our community, our nation, the entire world!

There’s still time to join these 78 new volunteers in jumping on a Strategic Service Team! There are all kinds of openings, and the roles range from weekly to monthly commitments. Some provide opportunities to serve on the weekend, and others are for those who’d rather serve during the week.… Read the rest

Posted March 31, 2015

Volunteer Celebration

The NCAA basketball games are in full swing. Occasionally we watch a player sustain an injury and subsequently leave the court. imagesThere is an immediate consequence for the team. Their flow is interrupted and other teammates are required to compensate. We all know that the team works better when all of the members are able to work together.

Volunteering and serving at Access work the same way. We’re able to be more effective when we’re all working together. We accomplish more for Christ, and we enjoy the camaraderie of serving together.

At Access we’re so grateful for the sacrifice and service of each team member. To celebrate our Strategic Service teams, we’d like to invite everyone to our Volunteer Celebration Sunday, March 29! Rich and Andy will present “Onebelievable,” and we’ll have a special gift for each volunteer. Then, we’d love to have EVERYONE stay after the 10:30am service for a cookout and bounce houses. Bring a chair and your appetite, and join us in extending our appreciation for our volunteers!… Read the rest

Posted March 27, 2015

Welcome Aaron Ellinger, Group Life Director

Aaron Ellinger is someone you’ll see often around Access Church. The native Midwesterner made Jacksonville his home five years ago when a job relocation helped him claim sunny Florida as his home. Aaron and kidsAaron is a single dad to three children, ages 17, 14, and 12. Aaron admits that his children played a large part in finding a church home. He said, “We visited several churches in Jacksonville. What set Access apart were the atmosphere and the opportunity for volunteering.” At the time, Aaron didn’t know much about North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. He didn’t know that Access was a strategic partner of North Point with a heartbeat to connect with the un-churched. He just knew that he loved the music, the messages, and the overall comfort of the church.

Aaron believes Access Church takes a great approach to volunteerism. “The point is to plug into an area that you enjoy,” he said. For Aaron, the perfect fit was working with children.… Read the rest

Posted March 23, 2015

MarriedLife

Does your calendar reflect scheduled date nights with your spouse? In the chaos of life, connecting with your husband or wife can easily take a backseat. Sometimes we assume that being in close proximity constitutes connection. This is not entirely true. ML-Couch-300x187Connection requires intentionally pulling away from distractions and focusing on your spouse.

MarriedLife is the perfect opportunity for a fun date-night experience packed with practical content! Couples will leave empowered and encouraged.

The next MarriedLife is happening Friday, March 27, at 7:30pm. We encourage you to register today and add this amazing event to your calendar. Sign up soon so you can have the added anticipation of a night out with your other half!

Register here!Read the rest

Posted March 20, 2015

Thank you, Doug & Janie!

Hurley-7Doug and Janie Hurley have been an integral part of Access Church since 2009 and part of our staff since 2010. Doug’s contributions have been invaluable, and his influence has extended far beyond his roles as Waumba Land Director and later, Group Life Director.

Doug and Janie have felt led to pursue full-time ministry. While at Access, Doug completed his seminary degree and became a licensed pastor. On April 1, Doug will begin full-time ministry at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. He will be taking the role of Director of Life Lessons Over Lunch, part of the Group Life division at North Point.

Sadly, Doug’s last day at Access will be March 31. Please join us in showing our appreciation for Doug and Janie, and praying for them and their three children, Annabelle, Vivian, and Beau, as they transition to Atlanta. Everyone on staff and at Access have come to love and enjoy the Hurleys. We are so grateful God loaned them to us for a season!… Read the rest

Posted March 12, 2015
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