A little over 2 years ago at the beginning of 2011 me and my family attended our first service at Wiregrass Church.
This is my story of that last 2 years.
Leading up to that first service I had been invited by former coworkers to this place called Wiregrass Church. It was “different” and “better” than other churches. I more or less brushed it off as the same old thing I had heard before. You see I was not a religious person. Not that I had a problem with organized religion it just wasn’t for me. So I never mentioned it to my wife and we never went.
Skip forward a year or so and my wifes friend Gina invites us to their church. Its in a new building and the first service at the new location was coming up. My wife was really excited about it and I grudgingly agreed to go. At this point I didn’t realize it was the same church that my former coworkers and friends Jeremy and Greg had invited me to before. So sunday comes along and we go to the 9 o’clock service. Needless to say it was an amazing experience. I ran into a former classmate who’s son is now good friends with our son. A couple services later I also ran into Jeremy and his family and that’s when I realized it was the same church I had been told about years before. So after that first service we were all hooked. Me, my wife, and the kids all loved it. They say Wiregrass is the church where the kids bring their parents. I can honestly say we have seen that first hand.
Skip ahead a couple months of going almost every sunday and Melanie decided she wanted to start volunteering in Waumba Land, the Pre K environment at Wiregrass. So as she started in Waumba Land I tried to find a place for me to serve. I was very hesitant to work with the young kids and just wasn’t sure it was for me. After a few weeks I decided to give it a shot. It just made sense for me and Melanie to serve together since we are already such a good parenting team. Lets just say I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I loved it! Getting to know the kids and working with them is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Too put it bluntly it’s addicting. It’s exhausting at times, but I just loved coming every week and investing in the lives of these young children. Then I experienced something I didn’t expect. Sadness. You see at the end of the year all the kids move up to the next age group in Waumba Land. I began to realize all these 3 yr olds we had grown to love would be leaving us soon and in another room with new leaders. I honestly don’t know how elementary teachers do it. I only spend one hour a week with them and it was very sad seeing them go. I couldn’t imagine if it was 5 days a week. Tears were shed on more than one occasion. This past year we were fortunate enough to move from 3’s to 4/5 yr olds at the same time that the promotion occurred. This allowed us to stay with some of the same kids for almost 2 years now which has been a huge blessing.
While serving in Waumba Land is a huge part of the Wiregrass experience for me there is also of course the unique service and message style of Andy Stanley. I always enjoy the service on Sundays. We have an incredible band and they just kill it each and every week. I will readily admit that this is one of the biggest reasons I originally fell in love with Wiregrass. “Come for the music, Stay for the message” seems very appropriate here. As i’ve continued to come every week I have grown far more knowledgeable in christianity. And how to specifically apply its teachings in my everyday life. My previous experiences with church was always so abstract and hard to understand the message just never seemed relevant to me. Thats the great thing about Andy. He presents everything in a straightforward and easy to understand format. Some call it the self help church. I would say that’s a pretty good description for a lot of the messages.
Most importantly I can now say that I am a Christian and strive to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Being a part of the community that has formed around this church has been an incredible experience for our entire family so far and I really can’t wait to see where it takes us next.