It was mid-March and I was already jacked up about Easter Sunday. First, because Jesus is alive. Because of what we celebrate at Easter, everything in my life is different. And secondly, Isaiah 54: 2-3 says “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.” In other words, expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. We have learned time and time again that God is willing to do something bigger than us if we trust Him and step out in faith.
We prepared for Easter believing God for a record setting attendance. We believed God for a miraculous breakthrough in every life that enters Northstar Church. We believed God for marriages to be restored, hurts to be healed, relationships to be reconciled, worries to be turned into worship, fears to be turned into faith, and lost lives turned into followers of Jesus.
And we prepared in two locations this year rather than one.
The last month leading to Easter was wild to say the least. But, it was worth it. We had 3,185 people on both campuses and 463 at East Rutherford for the inaugural service. The online program was not working so we don’t know how many additional people would have been watching on line. In all the Northstar ministries, 57 people gave their lives to Christ. It was an incredible experience watching God work on so many lives. It was also incredible to see regular Northstar attenders giving up their seat to others coming through the doors. I don’t know that we could have fit another person in the auditorium. It was so packed. I was so proud of all of our volunteers. They stepped up in a huge way. All i can say is thank you. The band absolutely nailed it. I almost lost it on “Forever.” I don’t know how anybody could stand still. It was so moving.
We had so many people tell us how they needed to hear the message while others that rarely attend church commented on how well they like our worship approach. Several said they will be back next week. I almost started dancing I was so amped. That is why we do what we do.
I believe the whole church was covered by prayer. I don’t remember a Sunday that was that smooth. That is significant when you consider the first service at the new East Rutherford campus was the Easter service. You want to know the best part of Northstar Church at East Rutherford: we are just getting started.
Having said all that let me make a few additional personal observations if I may.
The energy in our services right now is off the charts. The “community” in our church is incredible. I love reading the tweets and Facebook updates from people attending Northstar. I love seeing people excited about church. Yes, we have significant challenges. I literally write checks every day that I or the staff can’t cash and God always comes through. We had other 3,000 people attend our Easter services. The numbers indicate that we had one of our biggest days as a church. That used to impress me, actually really impress me, but not anymore. I’ll be more impressed when we get the Easter crowd turned into people who will transform the world for Jesus.
What we are trying to do is to give people something they can’t get anywhere else. It isn’t just the music, preaching, kids programs, skits, videos, etc. While all those are important and need to be as good as we can make it, I’m tired of just “okay” labels being put on churches across America and the world. We want to give people as A.W. Tozer said, “a taste of the holy.” That is what they can’t get somewhere else. Maybe Easter was the service where Northstar came a little closer to a taste of the holy.
Now that Easter is over, I’m looking forward to going for a long run and calming down. As you probably sense, I am truly excited about what God is doing in our church. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I love it.
Going to be another crazy busy week so it’s time to end this blog article.