Current Messages

Everything has a beginning. Every person, every idea, every journey starts somewhere. Whether it’s one small step in a new direction or a major event, from that point forward nothing is ever the same.

It’s not always comfortable. It’s not always easy. But it’s a start.

  • Something Happened
    Andy Stanley, 08.24.14
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    Description
    Everything that exists had a starting point . . . including you. You may have started on purpose. You may have started by accident (from your parent’s perspective). You may even have started through the magic of medical science. Whatever the circumstances, you had a starting point and it began before you were aware of it.

    Physical life is one of many starting points. Your formal education had a starting point. Your career had a starting point. Your romantic life had a starting point. Your experience as a parent had a starting point.

    Faith has a starting point as well.

  • Coming To Terms
    Andy Stanley, 08.31.14
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    During childhood, you may have been handed a faith framework through which you began to view the world. For a lot of us, that childhood framework didn't survive the rigors of adulthood. It's not enough to say, "The Bible says . . . ," in the face of real-life tragedy. Adults often need a new starting point.

    But the starting point for Christian faith isn't, "The Bible says . . . ." It's better than that. It's Jesus.

  • Sea Of Glass
    Andy Stanley, 09.07.14
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    The three largest faith traditions—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity—claim the same starting point: a man named Abraham. All three agree that sin made a mess of the world and God started his clean up operation with Abraham. God made a series of promises and Abraham’s response to those promises didn’t just have implications for his personal starting point or the starting points of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It had implications for your starting point as well.

  • Role Of Rules
    Andy Stanley, 09.14.14
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    Practically speaking, rules are often the centerpiece of religious life. Many people think the Ten Commandments are rules that make a relationship with God possible. If you follow the rules, God will be happy. If you don’t, he won’t. But what if a relationship with God doesn’t depend on our obedience? When it comes to your relationship with God, what is the role of rules?

  • Nothing But
    Andy Stanley, 09.21.14
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    Description
    Guilt is powerful. Shame can be crippling. We all have things in our pasts that haunt us. We have sin. It only takes a word, a picture, or a name to bring it all back. We know we can do better from this point forward, but how are we supposed to fix the past? We can say we’re sorry. We can ask for forgiveness. But some of the things we’ve done hang over our lives like a cloud.

    What can wash away our sins?

  • Amazing
    Andy Stanley, 09.28.14
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    Description
    At some point in your faith journey, you will settle into a bargaining posture with God. “God, if you will . . . , I promise I will . . . .” We all do it. That’s just part of religion—every religion. In fact, it’s so much a part of human nature that even some atheists and agnostics do it when they find themselves in desperate circumstances. But is that really how God wants us to relate to him? The problem with a bargaining posture is we never keep up our end of the bargain, do we?

  • Don't Stop
    Andy Stanley, 10.05.14
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    Description
    The ability to believe is the most powerful force at mankind’s disposal. Everything that has been done, for good or bad, was done because someone believed it could be or should be done. Every problem that has been solved was solved because someone believed it could be or should be solved.

    We constantly look for evidence to support what we believe is true. In the case of religious belief, that means if you believe deeply enough any religious system becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If that’s true, isn’t it possible that Christianity is just an example of groupthink on a massive scale?

  • Invitation
    Andy Stanley, 10.12.14
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    Description
    Jesus predicted that he would start a gathering, a movement . . . what we call church. And that church would spread all over the earth and outlast the Roman Empire. It would change the world. His prediction must have sounded outlandish to even his closest followers. But here we are, two thousand years later, and the Roman Empire exists only in history books, while Jesus’ gathering is still going strong. The church is the hope of the world because the church is the vehicle by which God is bringing the solution to mankind’s greatest problems: sin, sorrow, and death.


Have you ever had a bad church experience?

Did it drive you away or just drive you crazy?

You are not alone.

  • The Mess Under the Carpet
    Jeff Henderson, 06.22.14
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    Our pasts tend to follow us around. That's why a lot of people avoid church. They feel judged, alienated, or slighted because of some mess in their pasts. Some people even feel like their pasts disqualify them from having a relationship with God. That's ironic because the man who wrote most of the New Testament had quite a messy past. He was the most unlikely candidate for following Jesus, yet he became one of Jesus' most famous followers. If there's hope for him, there's hope for all of us.

  • Boring Church
    Chris Brown, 06.29.14
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    For a lot of people, their experiences going to church aren't objectionable. They are dull. Church is all about a safe and predictable routine. Nothing that is said or done appears to have any connection to their daily lives. It's about religion.

    That kind of church makes it seem like God is safe, predictable, and has no connection to our daily lives. That's dangerous because God is a relationship to be enjoyed, not a religion to be endured.

  • In & Out
    Patrick Mitchell, 07.13.14
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    We all want to belong. We all want a circle of people that knows us and accepts us for who we are. We all want to be good enough. We all want to be picked. When we're rejected it hurts, because it touches our deepest insecurities.

    A lot people have been rejected by church. They wanted to join, but they were left on the outside. They were told they weren't good enough. Is that what the church is supposed to be—an exclusive club you have to earn your way into? The early followers of Jesus said it isn't. They painted a picture of the church as an inclusive movement.

  • How Dare We!
    Andy Stanley, 07.20.14
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    The church isn't an exclusive club. It can't keep people out whom Jesus invited in . . . and he invited everyone. But if the message of the church is for everyone, why is church culture so often an obstacle to people?

  • Stick Around
    Chris Brown, 07.27.14
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    We all come to church with expectations. Many of us have had a bad church experience because our expectations were not met. It's one thing when church lets us down, but what about when Jesus fails to meet our expectations? What happens when you turn over your life to him and things don't turn out the way you expected?

  • You Asked Jesus What?
    Patrick Mitchell, 08.03.14
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    We've all had questions about the Bible, faith, God, Jesus, or church. Each of us has at least one "God" question rattling around in the back of our minds. For many of us, bringing our God question to church created a bad church experience. We were not trying to cause a problem. We just had a question. But that question about God wasn't welcome in the house of God.

  • The Thrill of the Catch
    Chris Brown, 08.10.14
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    Whether we're talking about sales, fishing, dating, or people behaving badly, we love the "thrill of the catch." It's why TMZ and Dateline NBC exist. There is a critical, judgmental, knee-jerk response buried deep inside all of us. It has a tendency to rise up when we "catch" someone else who has messed-up. That response has contributed to a Bad Church Experience for many of us.

  • One-Another One Another
    Andy Stanley, 08.17.14
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    When Jesus talked about his church, he didn’t predict a place. He predicted a people—a gathering with one thing in common: the belief that Jesus is the chosen and sent one of God. When the church behaves like a place, it makes for a bad church experience. When it behaves like a gathering—a movement—it changes people’s lives and it changes the world.


Regardless of what you believe,

Regardless of how you behave,

Jesus invites you to…Follow

  • Jesus Says
    Andy Stanley, 04.27.14
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    Jesus says to pray. Jesus says not to look over there. Jesus says to be nice. Jesus says to get up early and read your Bible. Lots of people think Christianity is all about doing what Jesus says. But what if doing what Jesus says isn't what Jesus says to do at all? Regardless of what you believe. Regardless of how you behave. Jesus invites you to follow him.

  • Next Steps
    Andy Stanley, 05.04.14
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    Religion says, Change and you can join us. Jesus says, Join us and you will change. There's a huge difference. Jesus doesn't expect you to be perfect. He just wants you to follow him. Being a sinner doesn't disqualify you from following him. Being an unbeliever doesn't disqualify you from following him. In fact, following almost always begins with a sinner taking one small step.

  • Fearless
    Andy Stanley, 05.11.14
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    We want to follow Jesus, but where is he leading? What is the payoff for following him? Is it being a better person? Is it life in heaven after we die? Is it a pain-free life? If you follow Jesus, you will be a better person. If you follow him, you will go to heaven. If you follow him, you won't have a pain-free life. But that's okay, because Jesus offers much more—a faith so strong it frees us from fear.

  • Follow Wear
    Andy Stanley, 05.18.14
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    Everyone is invited to follow Jesus. Being a sinner doesn't disqualify you. Being a doubter doesn't disqualify you. The goal of following Jesus is a faith that overcomes our fear of the future or our current circumstances. It's a faith that gives us peace.

    But what do people who follow Jesus look like? What do they wear?

  • The Fine Print
    Andy Stanley, 05.25.14
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    During his time on earth, Jesus invited misbehavers and unbelievers to follow him. We are all invited to follow him. You are invited to follow him, but there's something you need to know about following Jesus. It will cost you something eventually.

    It may cost you money, career advancement, or even relationships. That's because Jesus offers us the choice of denying ourselves now or losing ourselves later. But you'll find that when you pay the price for following Jesus, you'll be glad you did.

  • What I Want to Want
    Andy Stanley, 06.01.14
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    Most of us don't become Christians with the intent of following Jesus. We become Christians because we are told obedience pays and disobedience doesn't. We become Christians hoping that spirituality will fill the holes in our souls. We become Christians hoping God will fix us. Eventually, our agendas clash with Jesus' agenda, and we have to decide whether we'll abandon him or follow.

  • Leading Great
    Andy Stanley, 06.08.14
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    We don't usually associate leadership with the church. Leadership is about what could and should be. We assume the church is about what has been. But Jesus was the greatest leader who ever lived. He modeled a unique approach to leadership that defies our expectations and changed the world.

    Jesus leveraged his authority for the benefit of those under his authority. Following Jesus means that when we find ourselves in positions of authority, we do the same

  • Unfollow
    Andy Stanley, 06.15.14
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    Jesus invites everyone to follow him. Being a sinner is a prerequisite. Having doubts is a prerequisite. That's because we're all sinners and we all have doubts.

    Following Jesus results in overwhelming faith, but at times it can also be inconvenient, costly, and even embarrassing. It can cause us to miss opportunities, lose business, or stand out in the crowd when we'd rather fit in. Even Jesus' earliest followers wrestled with this tension. But one of his disciples asked a question that put everything in perspective: "To whom shall I go?"