Building use policy

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One thing that is new to us as a church is that after nearly seven years of being a portable church in temporary facilities, we now have a full-time 24-7 venue to call home.  We are grateful both for the generous donation of the facility, and the financial and sweat equity donations of actionchurch folks for it’s renovation. One thing that comes along with having a church building, is a building-use policy.  Ours is a little different than most (and my apologies to the leaders and folks who have already heard this talk too many times :-), but I think it would be helpful for EVERYONE to understand the how and why of our philosophy. -Don

Church Buildings are a lot like Pick up trucks…

it’s great to own one…but as soon as you do…you find out there are LOTS of folks who would like to use it. (and…eventually you have to decide who CAN and who CAN’T borrow it.)  We are beyond grateful to even have a permanent building, but as a church we have to make the same decisions.  Our very FIRST decision was to NOT RENT our facility.  It was a gift given to us…and we will LOAN IT FREE OF CHARGE to others, just have we have done with ALL other actionchurch property given to us over the years.  That is not to say that anyone who asks is handed the key to our venue, just as you would not flip the keys of your pickup truck to anyone and everyone who asks.  Here’s a few things you should know-

We’ll need to know and trust you.   We’re a growing church…so everyone won’t personally know everyone…but just like you wouldn’t loan your truck to a complete stranger…we’ll want to know who we are trusting with the people of actionchurch’s facility.   And, just like a pickup, if you borrow it…you’re responsible for it’s care…no matter who you have at your party or event.

Return it like you got it.  We don’t have a paid staff to clean and repair our facility…so just like your dad’s Silverado, you need to return it clean and in good repair…dishes washed and trash taken out…lights off and heat or air-conditioning turned back down etc.  We’ll give you detailed instructions to make it simple, and unlike your dad, we don’t expect you to fill the tank before your return it.  :-)

Church services are first priority.   The number one purpose of our facility is to hold church services, small group meetings, and any other gathering we can think of that will make Jesus famous in our community.  If your event conflicts, or potentially makes it more difficult to do the normal “business” of the church, it’s probably going to be a “no”.  And, because our sound, lighting, and video equipment that we use for Sunday services are complex and easily damaged, we’re going to make sure they are working and adjusted for Sunday mornings by keeping them off limits.   I once had someone ask to borrow my work van (filled with all my tools, paint, and supplies) during work hours to move some furniture…Believe it or not, I had to say “NO.”   The same principle applies to the church building.

Not every event will be approved.  Just like owning a pickup truck, being blessed with a great facility means that there will more requests than can be met.  There will be scheduling conflicts.  There will also be events and activities that we quite frankly don’t think are a good “fit” for our facility…things that we don’t think are wise…things that we don’t chose to support.  This will NEVER be about trying to keep you from renting or borrowing someone else’s “pickup” for anything you chose to do..but we do reserve the right to not loan you ours.

Bottom line, we’re thrilled to have our great-big-beautiful-to-us-but-a-little-rusty-on-the-surface 11,000 square foot “pickup truck”.  It’s a huge blessing to us, we are grateful to everyone who made it possible, and we want to serve others and share it with as many of you as possible…  If you have any questions or would like to request a date for your event,  please contact Matt Burr at info@actionchurch.com.

 

 

On moving mountains…

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For weeks now we have been encouraging you to be a part of Relay for Life 2015. Other than the miracle of the recent renovation of our new church home – Relay – is by far the biggest, most all-consuming event we undertake as a church. It is a massive organizational feat that requires us to leverage everything that we have and everything that we are as a church. RFL is about you, and God….and a whole lot of sweat.

It takes many thousands of dollars to feed over 900 people. It takes hundreds of volunteers to staff the kids area, the shave ice stand, the coffee bar…..and to walk around in circles (sometimes even on the track) for 24 hours. We have to move mountains of donations and truck loads of equipment. And we do it year in and year out because we want to show our love to the people in our community who are dealing with the horrible disease known as cancer.

But – what I’ve learned over my time at Relay is that it isn’t necessarily about the big successes – like peering under the tent to witness 500 people seated comfortably in a lavish setting being served a scrumptious full course meal….it’s about the hugs that you get from the people in the purple shirts as they wait in line to be seated.

And even though most of us work harder at Relay than we do at our regular jobs – it isn’t even really about the sweat and the toil as we move mini icebergs across the length of a football field – continuously for 24 hours – to make wet, sticky messes….it’s about the smile that you get from the little boy who just found out his mom has cancer when you hand him a free sno-cone.

And Relay – in the end – isn’t even about walking for 24 hours in the blazing heat (or pouring rain). It isn’t about your blisters or your sunburn….or your heat exhaustion – it’s about looking into someone’s eyes – it’s about a gentle touch on the shoulder – it’s about hearing someone’s story, feeling their pain, sharing their grief.

THAT’S the Relay for Life we want you to be a part of this year. THAT’S the Relay miracle – the God moment – that will change your life.

Love God. Love people. Take action.

 

Brought to you by…

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One question that I frequently answer, especially when we do a serving event like Relay for Life is simply “How do you do that”?    What I’ve learned is that what the questioner actually means by “How do you do that”?  is actually How do you pay for that?…How do you get church people to volunteer for that?…How do you get approval from all the necessary committees in your church to do something like that?  :-)   (Seriously…sometimes they ask that!)

It’s a valid question when you consider that a small church of only a few hundred people is blessed to be able to provide some pretty significant service to people dealing with cancer in our community each year.  This year at Relay for Life (June 21-22) we will provide:  a sit-down full-service dinner to 400 cancer survivors and caretakers, and just a few sleepless hours later we’ll provide a hot breakfast for EVERYONE at the event. We’ll also provide free shaved ice during the event to keep people cooled down and properly infused with sugar, and a free coffee stand during the night to make sure they are warmed and filled with the proper levels of caffiene needed for a twenty-four hour event.  actionchurch volunteers will also staff a children’s area stocked with bounce houses and games provided by our church and somewhere in the midst (I almost forgot) we’re also providing free popcorn to make sure that everyone has something stuck between their teeth during a twenty four event with very little time for flossing. All told, this single event will take well over 100 volunteers and many thousands of dollars in food …along with countless thousands of dollars in  equipment and supplies.

So, how do we do it?  How do we raise the money?  How do we gather the supplies and food WITHOUT asking for donations from outside businesses and organizations?   It’s simple actually.  It’s the same reason that there are piles of free-for-the-taking Maple donuts on a table EVERY Sunday morning.  It’s the same reason when you come to church at Frank Theaters there are greeters at the front door, smiling volunteers ready to teach your children, signs ready to direct you, and thousands of pounds of audio and video equipment ready to make learning from scripture understandable and visually captivating.  It’s the reason everything you’ve EVER experienced at an actionchurch service is possible…

It was all brought to you by…here’s the secret source…countless people who gave their money, their talents, and their energy to make ALL of this possible. NAMELESS people without whom NONE of this would be possible!

I just wanted to take a few moments to thank ALL of you…NAMELESS people who are making quite a name for JESUS  in York County and beyond!   Thanks for loving God, loving people, and tirelessly and generously taking action!

I still don’t know…

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It seems entirely appropriate that Steve Warrington snapped this pic during our month long birthday celebration. I can’t count how many times I’ve said those words over the last six years of actionchurch. The truth is, as a leader I rarely have had the information or the skill-set necessary to make even semi-informed decisions. The thing that I HAVE learned over the last six years is to gather the wisest, brightest, most God-focused, people into leadership positions…learn from them…but most of all, learn to closely follow the God who knows all, sees all, and is NEVER surprised!

Here’s a blog post I wrote just weeks before our first service:

“It’s only two weeks ’til actionchurch launches weekly gatherings at Fat Daddy’s. (2.10.08) I have been thinking about the last sixteen months of “planning and planting”. There was so much stuff I had no clue about.

I didn’t know…that an off-hand comment I made in anger would become the name of our church. “I am so freakin’ sick of people just learning about the Bible and never Doing any of it that if I ever had a church I would call it action church”!

I didn’t know…how to “start” a church like the “church for outsiders” we had in mind.

I didn’t know…anyone who had the skills and wanted to help us with this project.

I didn’t know…how to create a website or blog.

I didn’t know…how much money it would cost…or how to pay for it.

I didn’t know…who would be able to “capture”actionchurch in a logo and identity. 

I didn’t know…any bands or worship leaders to play music.

I didn’t know…how important finding the “right place” would be to our efforts.

I didn’t know…how close we came to Never being able to meet at Fat Daddy’s.

I didn’t know…that by the time of our launch the club would be completely remodeled and have seating for nearly twice the people.

I didn’t know…some people that I already knew and never expected would go to church…would help us start a church.

I didn’t know…people I had never met would “catch the vision” and be invaluable in creating actionchurch.

I could go on and on with the absolutely crucial information I didn’t know when this dream began. Our success definitely lies not in what I know…but in knowing “the ONE who has the answers to all our questions”! It truly is not what you know…but who you know!
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5″

Some things never Change…

 

LABELS: CHURCH PLANTING, VISION

Baptism FAQ

On Sunday 7/28 actionchurch will not be meeting at Frank Theaters.  Instead, we’ll be meeting at John Rudy park (11am) for a time of fun, food, and a short baptism service where we celebrate all those who are choosing to go public with their faith in Jesus.   Above is a picture from our very first baptism service at Fat Daddys Nightclub.  Below are the answers to questions that people frequently ask about baptism.

Q. Why would a church that doesn’t seem to care a lot about traditions do some thing like have a baptismal service?

A. Because Baptism is not a tradition…it’s part of being an obedient follower of Jesus. The bible says repent (turn from your old way of living..and join Jesus kingdom plan for life) and be baptized. (Go public with your decision to “choose sides”). (Acts 2:38-39)

Q. Will Baptism make me a member of actionchurch?

A. No. Baptism is entirely about going public with your decision to become a follower of Jesus.  Instead of having members, actionchurch is gathering participants…people who will Join us as we Love God, Love People, and Take action in York County.  Members have “rights”…participants have responsibilities and opportunities!  ANYONE can belong at actionchurch…but our goal is that EVERYONE would one day chose to follow Jesus and express it through public baptism!

Q. Will Baptism “guarantee me a spot in Heaven”?

A. Sorry, no. Baptism won’t “guarantee” you a spot in heaven any more than a wedding “guarantees” a lifetime of wedded bliss. Only your relationship (that you are celebrating in baptism) makes you part of eternity with Jesus…the good news is he promises to never “fail or abandon us” like people sometimes will. He is also legendary for his forgiveness of those of us who fail him.

Q. I was baptized as a baby.  Do I need to be baptized again as an adult?

A.  If you’ve chosen to be a committed follower of Jesus, the next step is to go public with your decision by being baptized.  Even though infant baptism is a tradition of many churches…if you can’t remember choosing to be baptized…now is the time.  (And PLEASE be grateful and respectful to your parents for their attempt to raise you as a Christian…that baptism was about them attempting to do something noble…but impossible.  No one can choose to follow Christ for ANYONE else.)

Q.  Do you baptize children at actionchurch?

A. Yes, children that understand and can articulate that they have turned from their sin and have made Jesus their Lord and Savior.  Luke 18:16-17  No, we do not baptize children at the request of parents.  (see above)   At times we will ask a very young child to wait to be baptized if there is any concern that they do not understand what following Christ through baptism means.

Q. How do you know that everyone who gets baptized is “serious” about following Jesus?

A. We don’t…In fact Jesus said here (Matthew 13:18-23) that some who initially get very excited about the good news of Jesus will not “finish”. He also said here (Matthew 13:24-40) that it is not our job to try to figure out who is “in or out” of the kingdom…

Q. Why do you fully immerse (Dunk) people when you baptize them?

A. Because that’s the way they did it in Jesus time…There is a lot of symbolism in being taken under the water (buried) and brought out of water (raised to new life)…but our main reason for being “old school” about baptism is because that was the way it was done then.

Q. Shouldn’t you be in a “church” to be baptized?

A. It was many hundreds of years after the time of Jesus before the first “Church” buildings appeared…so being baptized in church is a relatively new development.

If you have any further questions concerning the baptism service on Sunday 7/28 at John Rudy Park or Baptism in general please send them to info@actionchurch.com.