“Many of you know about the hard season it has been to walk and to get to this moment,” Collier said during the offertory. Thanking personal friends who were in attendance at Story Church’s inaugural service, he added, “I just want to let you know how much that means—without crying.”
“My intention was never to leave the Hillsong world. It was something that was a real dream for us, and so I cried really hard on the way out. But how many people know that sometimes the things God asks us to do are hard? It doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without tears, but we surrender to His will anyway,” Collier went on to say. “It was a struggle. But here we are, and I just believe that today is evidence—you’re in this room today as a reminder to me and our team and to my wife that God is faithful.”
Referencing the uncertainty associated with becoming an independent church, Collier expressed that Hillsong Atlanta had not broken even on its budget, and a portion of their operating costs had been covered by the Hillsong global budget.
“And so now we are believing God that as we stand on our own, that you as a family will help us build this church through your generosity,” Collier said. Adding that every donation would be spent wisely and properly, Collier said, “We have a board of directors and a system. Can I say this? I can be fired.”
During his sermon, Collier said, “I want to celebrate Jesus today. I want to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. I want to talk about the significance of what it means. I want to talk about the implications of the resurrection.”
“There is a life that God wants you to live by way of the resurrection, and which you have access to, that is, for many of you, beyond what you’ve experienced,” Collier said. “How do you know if that’s you? If you’ve ever said, ‘I know there’s got to be more to this.’ If you’ve ever said, ‘I know that I’m not living at the highest capacity…God I know there’s more for me. What am I missing?’”
“Through Christ, we can be made righteous. Our sins can be forgiven. Our imperfection can be covered. And we can once again be with God,” Collier went on to preach. “God gives us access to a greater story.”
“Because of the resurrection of Christ, you can step into it,” Collier said.