As God continued to bless North Point Ministries in Alpharetta, Georgia, the leadership began to sense God leading them to extend their influence to other communities. This began with the establishment of campuses in the greater Atlanta area and grew to include the idea of strategic partnerships. During this same time, people from the Athens area were regularly contacting North Point to request help in starting a similar style of church in this community. They were praying for a relevant place to invite their non-Christian friends.
In the spring of 2004, Sean Seay—North Point’s Director of Equipping at the time—felt led to investigate the Athens area. For the previous 6 years, Sean and his wife Bonnie had prayed about the idea of planting a church. After spending time in Athens exploring the feasibility of a ministry modeled on North Point, they became convinced of God’s leadership in this direction. With North Point’s blessing, they began recruiting staff members and identified four families committed to the mission.
By the fall of 2004, Athens Church held informational meetings and strategic service trainings to build leadership for the launch. The first service was held on January 23, 2005. With God’s clear leadership thus far, we are excited to see what He decides to do through Athens Church to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Click here to watch a dynamic media piece summarizing the first 10 years at Athens Church.
What are your beliefs?
About the Scriptures
We believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error.
We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ is the second member of the Trinity (the Son of God) who became flesh to reveal God to man and to become the Savior of the lost world.
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own effort alone.
We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation occurs only when people place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin.
About the Christian Life
We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself. By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Spirit of God, every believer should mature and be conformed to the image of Christ.
About the Church
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head. The members of the church are those who have trusted by faith the finished work of Christ. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by loving Him and by making Him known to the lost world.
What are your mission, vision, and values?
Our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our vision is to create a church that unchurched people love to attend.
As an organization, we are choosing to value each of these areas, which are best measured by asking these questions, as we pursue our mission:
God has spoken to us through the Bible and we recognize it as the final authority for our lives. Are your priorities consistent with Scripture?
INTIMACY WITH GOD
God desires an intimate relationship with each of us. Is your relationship with God growing?
Every environment should be designed to effectively connect with its target audience. Are your environments appealing, engaging, and helpful?
RELATIONAL EVANGELISM God’s message of forgiveness through Christ is most effectively conveyed within the context of personal relationships. In whom are you investing?
AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY Accountability, belonging, care, and spiritual growth happen best with relationally-connected believers. Are you in a community group?
STRATEGIC SERVICE Our spiritual gifts have maximum impact when exercised in support of our strategy. Where are you serving?
INTENTIONAL APPRENTICING We are responsible to pass along to others the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that have been entrusted to us. Who are you apprenticing?
I heard that Athens Church is a non-denominational church. What does non-denominational mean?
In organizing this church, our foremost desire was to be an attractive, relevant environment for those who do not regularly attend church. For the most part, our feeling is that denominational titles mean more to people already involved in church than it does to others in our culture. For this reason, we have chosen not to affiliate ourselves with any particular denomination.
Why doesn't Athens Church have Adult Sunday School?
The mission of Athens Church is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We feel this growth is best sustained in a small group environment. There are several reasons why we have chosen Community Groups as our primary relational structure. First, we’ve found that meeting in a home is a safe, predictable environment where it’s more difficult for participants to slip through the cracks. True accountability can be reached with a consistent group of people in a community group. Second, not having adult Sunday School allows attenders to participate in strategic service on Sundays. Lastly, people are able to benefit from the encouragement and accountability of a small group while still participating in our invest-and-invite evangelism strategy. For more information about Community Groups, please contact our Director of Community, Andy Lowry.
Is this a video church?
As a strategic partner of North Point Ministries, we will oftentimes use the message content from North Point and its Teaching Pastors, such as Andy Stanley, Jeff Henderson, Clay Scroggins, and others. Other times, the Athens Church staff will present Sunday content. All other aspects of our Sunday worship service will be “live.”
Is this a college church?
Athens Church welcomes people from all walks of life, and our heart for the college student is no different. We believe the best thing we can do for the college students of Athens is to create a local church full of strong families and individuals who are passionately pursuing God. Presently, we are inviting college students—along with all our attenders—to engage fully with our mission by inviting people to attend on a Sunday with them, through strategic service, contributing toward our mission, and joining a Community Group. For more information on how we serve our student population, click here.
What is the leadership structure?
The phrase we use to describe the function of government at Athens Church is that we are guarded by the Elders, guided by the staff, and gifted through the membership. However, in more specific terms, the Athens Church government is built around 3 teams of people.
Staff Leadership Team
THE STEWARDSHIP TEAM oversees all the financial and personnel matters. The lead pastor is accountable to the Stewardship Team in all these matters, and along with the church administrator, attends the teams meetings but without voting privileges. Stewardship Team members serve three-year terms and successive members are chosen by the existing Stewardship Team and approved by the Elders. The current Stewardship team members are:
THE STAFF LEADERSHIP TEAM consists of staff members selected by the lead pastor. The purpose of this group is to determine programming, give vision to the various ministries of the church, and to oversee the day-to-day operations. The current Staff Leadership Team is:
Sean Seay (Lead Pastor)
ELDERS function primarily as discerners and shepherds, and serve as the guardians of the church. Their role is to evaluate everything going on in the church in light of three things: our mission, our resources, and our doctrinal statement. The Board of Elders consists of men who serve three-year terms. Successive elders who meet the qualifications of Elders/Overseers outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-11 and Titus 1:5-9 are nominated by church members and approved by a committee consisting of four Elders and four MTRs. The current elders are:
God has been incredibly gracious to Athens Church in His financial provision for us. The startup funds came from North Point Ministries, individuals with a vision for how God wants to use this church in this city, and attenders of Athens Church. However, North Point has now completed its financial obligation, so today we need to be fully supported by those committed to the mission of Athens Church. Please know that every dollar you contribute is an investment in the work of God, and we will do our very best to steward it well. If God is leading you to take a step in this area, click here to get started.