Moving Ahead by Going Back to the Basics
The story is that Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, gathered his championship team on the first day of training camp for the new season by holding up a football and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Then the new football year began.
A new year offers us the hope of a new beginning. This is true of individuals and churches. The best new beginnings start with things that are most basic. As we begin 2017 at North, we want to focus on executing the basics of our vision and mission.
At North Church, our vision is to see Jesus preeminent in everything (Colossians 1:18). Or said another way, we want Jesus to be first in everything we are and everything we do everywhere we go. This goal is our prayer and our pursuit.
Our mission defines how we go about seeing our dream become a reality. At North Church, our mission is to grow together as disciples and go together to make disciples of our neighbors and the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We desire to grow together and go together. Here’s how this practically plays out each week at North Church.
We grow together as disciples in two primary ways. We come together to worship Jesus in our Sunday Gatherings. We also meet together on other days of the week across our city in Small Groups.
Yesterday, we switched from three morning services to two and began holding our Sunday gatherings at 9 and 11 AM. Although we know that our facility space is limited and this may result in some crowding, we are eager to do this as it will allow us to stay together longer in worship and stay together longer before and after services. We plan to expand the expressions in our gatherings to include more prayer, more reflection, more bible reading and more stories of Jesus’ greatness in addition to the preaching of God’s Word and practice of communion and baptism.
To see Jesus first in everything we are and everything we do everywhere we go requires that we meet together more often than one day a week. This is where small groups play a vital role in our growth together. We have small groups available for all ages and stages of spiritual maturity.
Adults are encouraged to belong to Gospel Communities meeting in homes, condos, apartments, restaurants, breweries and workplaces throughout our region. Participants study the bible together, pray, share their lives and serve our city. Also, we have Women’s Training and Men’s Training Groups that meet seasonally to grow towards maturity through in-depth and interactive bible study so that they may together be better equipped to lead others at North Church.
Students in middle school and high school are invited to be involved in Icon. Just like the adults at North, our students meet weekly on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 until 8:00 to study the bible, pray and serve both in large and small groups. They too are growing together as disciples and going together to make disciples.
Children ages 18 months through 5th grade gather for Niños on Sundays while parents attend one of our weekly gatherings. Our children sing songs of worship, learn about Jesus through the bible and pray for one another. No one at North Church is too young to see Jesus preeminent in everything. And we have learned that some of our very best disciples are also our very youngest.
Disciples grow together and go together to make more disciples. At North Church, we go together in two big ways. We go together in Serving the City and in Sending the Saints. Here is what this looks like in everyday life.
At North Church, we love to serve our city. Albuquerque is both very beautiful and very broken. We mirror the love that Jesus has for us as we freely offer help to those who can’t help themselves. So we partner with existing ministries and agencies in our city in serving the underserved. You will have many new opportunities in 2017 to serve our city. Pray for us all to have clarity and conviction.
We also love to send North members to start new churches across the street and around the world. We call this effort“sending the saints”. You will soon hear much more about our plan to send a team from North Church to Burgos, Spain to start a church. And in the future, we want to send teams to start new churches in our city and state. You will either be sent or sending at North. Again, please be praying about which role is for you.
Moving Ahead by Going Back
As those called to serve you by leading you, the elders of North Church believe that 2017 will be about moving ahead by going back to basics. We want to double down on our efforts to see our vision realized by being faithful to our mission. This means we want to see Sunday Gatherings and Small Groups grow in impact. It also means we want to see our efforts to Serve the City and Send the Saints build in involvement. Please pray for North Church and participate as we grow together as disciples and go together in making disciples of our neighbors and the nations.