NEWS, Uncategorized

Night of Worship September 16

A note from Kevin Bunnell, service programming director:

I’ve had the privilege of spending a lot of my time this past week on preparations for our Night of Worship on September 16. Several times a year, we gather as a church family to celebrate who God is and what He’s doing in our lives as well as in this local church that we call home. We’re gonna do that September 16 at 7:00pm.

I am pretty excited when Nights of Worship are on the horizon. The chance to sing a few extra songs, hear the vision of Access cast by Rich, and pause in the midst of our busy lives to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice through communion is easily excitable to me, but as this fall approached, it seemed different.

NOW-Sept16 For the last eight years, I’ve heard stories of how God is changing the hearts of those in Jacksonville who are coming to understand a relationship with Jesus for the first time, or coming back to church to rediscover what the relationship really looks like. Eight years have been filled with many stories, but over the last 18 months, we as a staff have really been feeling God move. From seeing families changed after attending Starting Point to hearing how Community Groups are showing up to care for each other to hearing how kids hate leaving on Sundays and beg or drag their parents to church the next week so they can attend UpStreet, we know God is up to something.

This was affirmed again in the spring. Our staff was fervently praying that God would entrust us with 50 additional volunteers to join us as we approached this fall. This number seemed daunting to me. The percentage of you who already serve is so high, we knew God would HAVE to show up in order to meet that goal. He did. He nudged 80 people to fill out a card, and many of you have jumped in with both feet. To be honest, it kind of put me in a panic. Why does God think we need this many people? What is He going to do? Am I really ready for all this? God, are you sure?

Some time over the summer, my questions and feelings shifted. Somewhere in there I moved from panic to excitement. God is moving. He is already doing something unbelievable. In fact, He’s doing lots of unbelievable things. You’ll hear one of these stories at Night of Worship.

I had the privilege of spending some time this past week with one Access family whose entire direction has been changed due to what God has been doing in their lives through the influence of our church. Their incredible story is a picture of how God can step in, even in the worst of circumstances, when nothing that is happening in life makes any sense, and be a God of love and grace. It’s a story that will probably resonate with a place you have been on your spiritual journey. Not only will this family share their story at Night of Worship, we’re going to celebrate their bold step of baptism as a family.

We’ve also got a lot of great music planned. We’ve even got a brand new song that I am SO excited to sing with you. (I’d love to share it with you right now, but it’s so new, it’s not even on iTunes yet.) See, I think music is a big deal. I realize that it’s one form of many that we use to worship God, but I truly do believe that the songs we sing affect the lives we live. And so we’ve got some great songs that will help us be intentional about expressing our hearts to God and will remind us of His love and promises.

Nights of Worship are always a big deal, but I really think God has something special for all of us September 16. I would LOVE to have you join me that night. Please let us know you’re coming, and invite your friends to come with you via our Facebook event page.