You Belong Here
You belong here. Three words we all long for—whether in our childhood years when teams are picked on the playground or into adulthood as we start a new jobs and move cities. Joe and Lori Champion moved to the Austin area 18 years ago to plant Celebration Church, and while they were looking to find belonging in this new city, they were also focused on providing a place of belonging for all who entered the doors of their church. 54 people came to their first Sunday service on October 1st, 2000, and half of them were from their hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Those numbers weren’t disappointing because their focus wasn’t on size. They wanted to provide a family and home for people to be strengthened in their faith—a support system for people navigating life’s joys and disappointments, and a place where children could grow up, confident and equipped to change their world. Both Joe and Lori have their own stories of a local church supporting and surrounding them when parents were lost at a young age, and when Lori was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 23, while 7 months pregnant with their first child. Their church community prayed for and encouraged them when they didn’t have the faith to fight for themselves.
Fast forward 18 years and now Celebration Church has a few thousand attendees every weekend. Despite the growth their vision has not changed. In the early days of Celebration, they wrote their dreams in a document called, “The Church That We See.” That once distant vision is now a reality.
On August 26th, 2018, Celebration Church will launch a new campus at the AISD Performing Arts Center in Mueller. In Joe and Lori’s own words, here’s what you can expect:
The church we see is a warm and authentic community.
We aren’t people who have it all together, we are people who are better because we are together. We don’t believe that church is an event to check off, it’s a family that creates belonging. We graciously welcome and embrace people with any past, knowing that God wants a great future for all. We develop an even deeper community through weekly small groups.
The church we see looks like Heaven.
We love and celebrate diversity of culture, history, age, and socio-economic background. We believe the church should be the place that shows a divided world how God’s love brings a colorful masterpiece of beauty and unity.
The church we see is next generation focused.
Although we love having a multi-generational church family, we believe it’s our responsibility to invest in our kids. They aren’t the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today! Kids love our church, because they are taught in a high-energy, fun, safe, and age-appropriate environments where they can make new friends and learn to become leaders in their spheres of influence.
The church we see cannot be hidden.
In other words, we believe what happens from Monday through Saturday, outside of the four walls of church, is way more important than our Sunday gatherings. The most impactful example of Jesus was that he ministered healing to the broken, offered hope to the hopeless, lifted the poor, and valued the outcasts. We deliver hope, we don’t just talk about it. We believe hope does something. And we do a host of things, like facilitating church services in seven correctional facilities each week, serving the homeless, providing backpacks of school supplies to families in need, and working with and supporting various local, non-profit organizations. Our reach is also global! We partner with organizations around the world who combat human trafficking, provide for physical and spiritual needs in impoverished countries, as well as our own Celebration Church campuses in Italy and Mozambique, Africa where we feed and educate over 500 children per day and provide a church for thousands of people that God has not forgotten.
You Belong Here.
Three words you will see when you enter the doors of our new Mueller location. Celebration Church believes that if there is ever a place you should feel like you belong to, it is at church. No matter who you are or what you did last night. You Belong Here.