A Slightly Caffeinated Conversation with J.R. Lee


This fall, I sat down with J.R. Lee, lead pastor of Freedom Church. This month, the church is celebrating their first year and J.R. has been providing leadership since the beginning. J.R. and his wife have two kids and one on the way. Coming to Acworth is like coming home, as he grew up in nearby Canton.

It was a beautiful blue, slightly blustery day when we hung out at Starbucks, drank a little coffee and caught up on what is happening at our two churches and what God is doing in his life.

Ken: What has been happening at Freedom Church since you began?
J.R.: It’s been a whirlwind of activity! Right now, it is about us increasing our capacity to impact the lives of people. Running several hundred people this quickly is great – but we have a long way to go!

Our goal each week is answering the question, “How can we free up more seats so that people far from God can experience life in Christ?” After looking at a number of options, Freedom moved to Barber Middle School beginning this past Sunday. This move greatly increases our capacity to impact our community. Even though our methods will vary, the vision of “seeing people far from God experience life in Christ” will not change. As a church, we will continue to be who God has called us to be.

Ken: What are some of the hopes you have for our community?
J.R.: The vision of Freedom is very simple; it is for people far from God to experience life in Christ. That’s the reason we are here – to see a revolutionary movement of God. Maybe it happens through Freedom or in conjunction with several other churches. Revolutionary movements of God demand revolutionary sacrifice but guarantee revolutionary rewards! I want to make it hard to go to hell from Acworth, GA!

Ken: What is God doing in your life?
J.R.: I am learning a lot about leadership. God is a God of capacity; therefore, I will do whatever it takes to increase my capacity in order to move forward. I refuse to be the “lid” on what God wants to do in this great community.

Learning to be the person who God called me to be is number one. I will not be content with where I am in the area of leadership, partnership or integrity – because it really impacts everyone in the community. I want to consistently move forward!

Originally published in Around Town Acworth, January 2009.

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