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EORO Stories

EORO

2015-16 at ACC is the year of EACH ONE REACH ONE. We are moving toward each person reaching one person for Christ. And so we are praying specifically for the people God has placed in our sphere of influence (family, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, etc.). We are also looking for opportunities to share our faith story with them and perhaps even invite them to church!

 

As we engage in this outreach, many stories are being written. Some are stories of “success” – some not so much. Regardless, as we answer the call of Christ to be active witnesses it might surprise us to discover that WE are changed. Here is one person’s story:

 

 

“Thought I would share my experiences thus far.  Early in the fall I reached out to a couple I’ve known for 20 years and invited them to church and to chat about faith.  They respectfully declined so I have been praying and looking for further opportunities with them.  So we shall see how that one develops.  They are very far from the Lord and in desperate need, and have no idea how that He is what is missing.”

 

“In addition, God has used this venture to kick me in the butt in a way I had not anticipated.  Shortly after our first meeting I was praying about whom to place on my list of 3.  My thoughts drifted to the couple I mentioned and how I first met them and who introduced us to one another.  And then God hit me between the eyes and forced the realization that the person I most need to be praying for is my ex-wife, the person who introduced me to the couple originally.  I have had zero contact with her for over a decade now, and yet continue to struggle with feelings of anger and resentment.  However, while I know nothing about her current life or spiritual well-being, God has implanted the conviction (if not yet an honest desire) to pray for her spiritual health daily.  I have to admit that it is a very difficult battle for me and that my follow-thru is inconsistent at best, but I am trying.  I believe God is using Each One Reach One to reach me in new ways, and to help heal some of my brokenness while I reach out to others.  I would appreciate your prayers as I attempt to follow God’s lead.”  

 

Cool stuff! Who knows how God might continue to develop this story?? But to view others as deeply loved of God who need to hear about and believe in Christ ends up changing us!

 

Peace,

Dave

 

It Never Gets Old

To be a loving community where ordinary people experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

That’s our mission as a church, and nowhere is it more clear and evident than in hearing stories of how Jesus has changed the lives of men and women in our community!  Hearing these stories and celebrating this life change through baptism never gets old.  In fact, as we often say, these are some of our favorite Sundays at ACC.

On June 28 we celebrated the life change of two people in our church through baptism.  Watch the video below of their stories!

Peace,

~Scott

Blast from the Past: Seven Crucial Minutes

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Continuing my series on favorite posts of the past 8 years, this was originally posted on April 22, 2008. It still holds true…

SEVEN CRUCIAL MINUTES

Research has discovered that most people who visit a new church basically decide within the first 7 minutes whether or not they will come back again; the first seven minutes! That means before they hear any music, before they hear any preaching – before the worship service even gets started!

So, what are they basing their decision on?

You might call it the vibe they pick up, the almost subconscious impressions they receive, like a gut feeling…

  • As they drove up, were the building and grounds neat and well kept?
  • Could they easily figure out which door to enter through?
  • As they entered, were they warmly and sincerely welcomed?
  • Did the lobby smell good like coffee or funky like mildewing carpet?
  • Did other people seem glad to be there?
  • Was the children’s area where they just dropped off their child fun and clean with friendly, reassuring staff?
  • Did anything suggest that we were expecting any first time guests?
  • Did anyone strike up a conversation with them? Did anyone seem to care or even notice that they were there?

All this in the first 7 minutes.

How is ACC doing with those first 7 minutes? I believe each new person that walks through our doors is a gift from God. God has given us the awesome opportunity to show them the life-changing power of Jesus Christ through lives of full devotion in authentic community. Therefore we have a lot of responsibility to make those 7 minutes as positive and welcoming and stress-free as possible.

It reminds me of the old cliché, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Peace,
Dave

 

Blast from the Past: Sixty Years of Cussing

dick garnett

I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now. My first post on our ACC blog was in March of 2008.

I thought it would fun for the next month or so to highlight some of my favorite posts of the last 8 years. Today I feature a post from March 3, 2008. I love it . Please read it. Dick passed away this past January and I thank God for having him as a friend. He was a great guy!

The post was titled: SIXTY YEARS OF CUSSING.

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Sixty years of cussing; in the Navy, on the job as a pipe fitter – cussing was just what everybody did. He could turn the air blue with his language! Dick did have his limits though. He tried hard to not cuss in front of women, NEVER in front of his mother and he avoided using the Lord’s name in vain.

 

Dick also has an anger problem. In his own words, he would “fight at the drop of a hat.” He could get upset easily and literally see red! One day a man followed him home after a minor traffic altercation they were involved in. Seeing the guy pull up in front of his home Dick greeted him at the curb with a gardening tool in his hands. The man left promptly – once Dick explained to the guy that if he stepped a foot onto his property he’d bury him with it!

 

While sitting down watching the Bulls game with Dick Sunday afternoon he shared with me just how much the passage of scripture we had looked at that morning in church had affected him – Colossians 3:1-17. The words of Paul jumped out at him: “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Col.3:8). The light bulb turned on as he realized there were things in his life that were wrong, that needed to change! He also told me how much God has been working in his life since he began attending ACC about 1 ½ years ago. As he eyes welled up with tears he expressed gratitude to God for the people and ministry of ACC. It was a very awe inspiring and encouraging conversation.

 

Dick is almost 71 years old. He is teachable, learning, growing, changing, confessing, testifying and desiring to be more like Jesus! He is currently learning to trust God and draw strength from him in the midst of some serious health issues. When I asked him for permission to share his story with you he said, “Sure, I’m not embarrassed. These things are fact. I can’t change the past but I can change the future. Maybe someone will be encouraged by my story.” He knows the change might not come easy but it’s what he needs to do. He knows God will help him.

 

Dick is experiencing “the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.”

 

How cool is that?

 

Peace,

Dave

 

 

MS Summer Camp 2015

I’m writing this post from Nashville, TN as we finish up the remaining few days of our HS Mission Trip. It’s been an awesome trip! I’ve seen God do some amazing things in our students. If you haven’t seen our Facebook and Twitter posts, take a minute and check them out.

This Sunday, 6/21, we leave for camp with our middle school students. We’re headed to Williams Bay, Wisconsin to spend the week on beautiful Geneva Lake. Each day will be filled with wild and crazy games, time at the beach, dynamic times of worship, powerful teaching, and small group discussion. Camp is a ton of fun, but is often a major catalyst for spiritual growth. Perhaps many of you can remember a camp experience and how it impacted your spiritual life.

I’d like to invite you to be praying for our trip to camp next week. Please pray for a fun and safe week. More importantly, please pray for hearts to be impacted for the Gospel…that students would engage with God in worship throughout the day and that HE would change them from the inside out. Our hope is that this week is a catalyst for long-term spiritual growth for our students.

I’ll be posting on our Facebook and Twitter pages for  this trip as well. I hope you’ll follow along.

Grace,

Chris

WHAT IS DAVE ALL EXCITED ABOUT???

Christianity Explored Logo

 

Christianity Explored is a fascinating, highly interactive seven-week course that examines the life of Christ from the gospel of Mark. Whatever end of the spiritual spectrum you might be on  – from a skeptical agnostic to a highly devoted follower of Christ – the material is very thought-provoking and generates some fantastic discussions.

Each week begins by sharing an excellent meal together. (Thank you Carol Rech!) Each week you sit at the same table with the same people and the same leader. As you wrap up your meal you begin a discussion by reading certain passages in Mark. You then transition to some excellent teaching on DVD by Rico Tiece, the developer of the course. Then after the teaching you interact with what you just heard. Wow – we had some great conversations! It makes for an awesome evening.

In this inaugural run of Christianity Explored at ACC we had 44 participants. Here is what a few of them had to say:

 

“I really enjoyed the group discussions and the opportunity to get to know people better.”

“I learned a lot. I so enjoyed the people at my table. I love the program.”

“Such a good course. Great way to look at Mark, and to look at what Jesus said about himself.”

“I enjoyed the course. The content, dinners, and the way in which the course was designed was great. Feel this would be something you could invite a non-churched person to attend.”

“The course was absolutely fantastic. My goal was to understand Christianity more and I feel very confident that I understand what being a Christian means.”

“Great atmosphere for a new Christian like myself to read a gospel guided and be able to ask questions. It was a good way for me to start reading Scripture more thoughtfully and thoroughly.”

Plan this fall to experience Christianity Explored at ACC. You won’t regret it!

Peace,

Dave

We All Need Heroes

We’re in the middle of a superhero themed series at Pit Stop (middle school ministry). Last night’s lesson was titled We All Need Heroes. All people groups throughout history have had heroes. It’s natural (I would even say necessary) for us as humans to have people to look up to. People who give us hope and who we aspire to be like.

The scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is our ultimate hero (our Hero with a capital H). Hebrews 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. I love this verse. Jesus is our champion…our Hero…who has secured our salvation. He gives us hope and sets an example for us in life and faith.

We also need little h – heroes…regular, everyday people that we look up to. We often refer to them as mentors, role models, etc. The relationship of the Apostle Paul and Timothy is a great example of this. Paul writes…Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. (II Timothy 2:1-2). Paul was a spiritual mentor to Timothy and we see that his influence continued even though distance separated them. In this verse we see Paul teaching Timothy, who will teach others, who will in turn teach others. It’s a chain of mentoring.

Let me encourage you to consider who your “spiritual heroes” are. Is it a Christian author or speaker that you particularly enjoy? Maybe an elderly individual that you’ve watched maintain a vibrant faith into their later years? Maybe a peer that you admire for their insight and unshakable faith? Maybe it’s even someone younger than you who shows wisdom beyond their years? We all need heroes.

Grace,

Chris

Humility Test

I had to share this – the best piece of advice I’ve ever gleaned from my Twitter feed:

Would you like to test your humility?

Every time you’re tempted to say “I know” instead say “You’re right”.

I resonate with this so much. Powerful. Profound. Simple. True.

I’m going to try it.

Peace,

Dave

Stewardship Defined

Our new capital campaign has me thinking a lot about stewardship. It’s not a word we use often, but it’s a principle that permeates so much of the Christian life. Here’s a quick definition…

Stewardship-Definition

Proper stewardship recognizes that God owns everything (Psalm 24:1) and I’m just managing the things He’s entrusted to me. We often think of this in terms of finances/possessions, but it’s about more than that. I find it helpful to think of stewardship in 3 categories:

  1. Time. We’ve each been entrusted with a certain amount of time here on earth. The question to ask is “how am I using my time to honor God?”
  2. Talents. You might call them gifts, abilities, etc. God has wired us uniquely. It’s up to each of us to seek out how we’re wired and how we can contribute to the work God is doing here on earth.
  3. Treasure. Finances (and possessions). Whether we have a lot or a little, the idea is to honor God with our money. This certainly means giving, but it can also mean careful spending, avoiding waste and excess, etc.

This kind of thinking is counter-cultural. It places God on the throne of my life as I seek to honor him with all that I am and do. I pray you’ll take time to consider how you are doing at managing the things God has entrusted to your care.

Grace,

Chris

P.S. You can find out more about our Committed Together capital campaign here.

A Powerful Story

This past Sunday one of our newest elders, Patrick Dawson, led us into our time of celebrating communion. He did a great job and it was a good reminder that we should intentionally prepare ourselves to receive communion – not just taking it flippantly or thoughtlessly.

Last summer Patrick shared his testimony of God’s design in his life. It was powerful. And well produced (kudos Scott Williams!). So much so, that I thought it was worth posting again. Enjoy.

Peace,

Dave