Carrie Hood is an actor and producer for 252 Basics video products. Here, she tells the story of her church starting their FX. To keep up with the church, follow Village Church in Hayesville, NC on Facebook.
Want to share what God is doing in your church? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About two years ago, my family moved from downtown Atlanta to the northeast Georgia mountains. We left city life and headed north, way north, past the suburbs, past the burbs outside the suburbs and then… past whatever is past that. We ended up in Hiawassee, Georgia, a town literally sitting in the middle of the Appalachian mountains about a half mile from the North Carolina state line. It was a big change for us. We went from city life to mountain life, from hustle and bustle to wide open space, from years spent at a very large multi-campus church to now calling a small, start-up, non-denominational church in the mountains our home.
At Village Church in Hayesville, NC, we have about 120 people attending our church on Sunday mornings. We are barely two years old. You probably wouldn’t think that a fairly new start-up church sitting in a small, rural town in the middle of the mountains with limited resources would think it wise to even contemplate starting our own Family Experience, right? (I mean, we don’t even have a Walmart in our town. How do we survive?) So it would be crazy talk to think of starting a children’s ministry event like FX, right?
Well, I like crazy talk. And sometimes, I think God does too—The kind of crazy talk that has us talking about things that might not be possible on our own but that are entirely possible through Him. So at Village Church, we started talking about what might be possible instead of impossible, about what we COULD do instead of what we couldn’t do.
We already knew why we wanted to start FX. For us, it was undeniable the win involved: we would have an opportunity for families to have a shared experience at church, something we could invite any family in the community to and know they would leave having shared something with their kids they might never have experienced before. The rest of the questions, like how, where, when, etc, were merely puzzles to solve, not roadblocks to stop us. We kept going back to the why. And the why kept us moving forward.
And so we did it, we pulled it off. We started our very first FX in November 2014 (with only three months to plan it… told you it was crazy.) And it was awesome and amazing and exciting! Sure, it wasn’t perfect. But all I remember are the smiles. The fun. The families. All gathered together to experience something God is doing in our church. God was in the details.
We did it. Our little church did it. We took detours and re-routed where needed, as we still do. If there is a prop I know will be too hard to find or too expensive, I replace it with something we do have. If we don’t have a certain character that is written in the script, I change it to one we have and make it work. If the widget isn’t feasible for us to purchase, then we come up with our own that we can make. The bottom line is we keep moving forward because the why is worth it.
So I just want to encourage you to think about what you CAN do versus what you can’t. And remember the why. It will keep you going. It will keep you solving puzzles. I know if we can start a Family Experience at our little church in the middle of the mountains, then you can do it too. I truly believe any church can.
So start talking about what you can do… even if it’s crazy talk.