Tim and Fia Cronin
“We just felt like something was missing!” This was the sentiment expressed by Tim and Fia Cronin. The outgoing and vibrant couple moved to Julington Creek in June. In addition to a truckload of belongings and two beautiful daughters, they brought past experiences with very traditional churches. Before the move, Fia was intentional about seeking out a church they could call home. The challenge she faced was defining the “thing” she felt was missing in their previous churches.
As they were making preparations for their new life in Florida, a good friend suggested that Fia read “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley. As Fia poured through the concept of a church built on a different model, she found what she was looking for. Suddenly their longing had a name. It was CONNECTION. They wanted more than just to show up on the weekend and disappear again for another week. They wanted genuine and transparent relationships. They wanted more than just Sunday.
After searching online, Fia found Access Church. Excitement grew as she listened to messages and researched the children’s programming. Once the family was settled in their new location, Tim suggested that they visit the church Fia couldn’t stop talking about.
They say that first impressions are everything. In this situation, the first impression of Access lived up to everything the Cronins had hoped for. Fia had previously emailed Kelli in UpStreet (the K-5th portion of the children’s ministry). On their first visit, Kelli greeted the Cronin girls by name and took them on a tour. “For children who were new in town, having someone know them was exactly what they needed!” Fia said.
What kept them at Access after the first impression? Tim believes the biblical teaching with practical applications has helped him become a better leader in his home. “This is the first time I’ve left church with something I feel I can use right now,” Tim expressed.
The teaching has sparked incredible conversations between Tim and Fia. The adult messages and UpStreet lessons carry over into family conversations. Their children are learning important character traits such as honesty and integrity. “We are growing as a family,” Fia said.
When the need for discipline arises, Fia and Tim don’t have to lecture their girls. They use lessons the children have learned in UpStreet to redirect them. “The message ‘you before me’ has become very handy in our parenting,” Fia commented.
Loneliness can often be a side effect of moving to a new location. Fia and Tim have had the opportunity to build friendships at Access. Access has many opportunities for people to use their strengths and talents to serve God, and the couple has made several acquaintances through exploring ways to get involved in strategic service. Tim and Fia are joining a Community Group this fall and hope to deepen friendships as they learn more about God and the people they are doing life with.
This couple has obviously found a home for their family to grow spiritually. But is it a place they would feel comfortable inviting others to experience? The answer is an emphatic, “YES!!!” “We have already brought friends and family to Access Church who are not currently attending any church,” they said. “This is a place where people who have been previously hurt by religion are able to get a different perception of Jesus.”
A fresh look at Jesus may be exactly what someone out there needs. After all, the Cronins can’t be the only people out there who have felt like “something was missing.”