I have been asked several times, “Why did North Point choose Jacksonville?”
The answer is simple: We didn’t. Jacksonville chose North Point.
It’s a really cool story of how God is working. The short version is that there is an awesome group of people here in Jacksonville who have a real heart for their friends who don’t have a growing relationship with God. They want so badly to invite their friends to church, but haven’t been able to find the right kind of environment that they feel their friends will connect with. That’s not to say that there aren’t good churches here. It’s to say that these folks, who know their friends best, aren’t satisfied when they think about the available environments.
These Jacksonville locals, many of whom didn’t know each other, began to contact North Point nearly two years ago. The requests became more frequent and, at some point, North Point had to pay attention. It didn’t hurt that some of these people had lived in Atlanta for at least a while, had attended North Point or Buckhead Church, and were known around NPCC as servants, leaders, and dedicated God-followers.
Around the same time, my wife and I had agreed to lead the next North Point strategic partnership—we just didn’t know where it should be. We had no idea how clear God was going to make that. We visited Jacksonville twice in the spring of 2006 and met with the core team that God had already assembled here. We were impressed by their clear desire to start a church, not for themselves, but for their friends who wouldn’t feel comfortable in most churches.
So, there you go. No room full of maps and demographics. No census statistics. Just a group of people passionate on behalf of their friends—friends whose worship God deserves.
The coolest part is that the story isn’t over! About once a week I get an email that says,
“My husband and I just moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta, where we attended NPCC…”
“My brother and his wife are in Jacksonville and are very excited…”
“My son is stationed at Mayport and they have not attended church for many years. They love North Point when they come here to visit…”
“My husband is being transferred to Florida, and we’ve decided to live in Jacksonville to be a part of this new strategic partnership…”
God is doing something very amazing!