The announcement on opening Northstar at Rutherford High School two weeks ago created a buzz. It was contagious. A wave of excitement and anticipation seemed to take over. As I looked out into the congregation, I felt inspired. I stood there thinking, God has called us to the Springfield/Callaway/Parker community to serve people by going to them instead of focusing on getting them to come to us. We have the challenge of starting a second Northstar Church, and with God’s blessings we will do this. And while we had many successes at Northstar in 2011, there is no telling what God has planned for us in 2012.
But we may be putting the cart before the horse if we sit back and expect God to make the Rutherford satellite successful. People are expecting God to do miraculous things and that belief is reflected in their comments.
“If you build it they will come.”
“When people attend our worship service at Rutherford, they will be impressed. With the music. The teaching. They will walk away amazed, “
“I know…the question is how long will it be before Rutherford is as large as Northstar?”
“ I’m just wondering when we are going to plan a satellite for the Rutherford location.”
My immediate reaction is “whoa.” We need to rein back a little on thinking too grandly. Yes, I believe God can and will do the impossible. And yes, I too like to live in the future. And yes, I also see what could be. And like many people who prefer to be doing, taking time to properly prepare can be challenging for me. But I have learned the hard way that it’s better to go slow and do it well. Build quality. Build the kind of church that God can use to bring our vision into reality. Everybody in the ministry wants to get bigger, better and stronger. But it’s not about that. It is about winning people to Christ and making disciples of them. The result of fulfilling God’s mission, is that we grow bigger, better, and stronger. Our focus is always on the vision and purpose that God has given us, and then daily he adds to the church.
My experience at Northstar has taught me that vision and hard work go hand in hand. There’s no such thing as an instant church. It’s an illusion. It takes patience, it takes time and of course it takes God. I believe that every church planter has had this moment when they have decided to move ahead and now they realize that while God will do His part, how effectively will we do ours.
I am reminded of what Saint Augustine once said. “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Because it does. And the opening of our new satellite is no exception.
There are different ways to start a church, but every method, every model, requires one indispensable element; people. People to begin public worship, lead small groups, run sound, play guitar, set up, tear down and love kids in the children’s ministry. Until you are involved in the process you don’t realize how many people it actually takes to start a church. Equally important to the quantity of people is the quality of people. We need a core group of dedicated and hard working people to take a bold step of faith.
Northstar at Rutherford needs a core group of dedicated people who can replicate the vision we have at Northstar. People that will give freely give of their time, talents, and treasure, and who have a heart for those who are far from the heart of God. Soon that core group will replicate itself with people following their lead by empowering people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. My question to you is: Are you one of those people?
If you are one of those people I encourage you to let us know. Northstar at Rutherford has plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. This may be a satellite, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there is less to do. We have practical and functional needs. We have opportunities for you to serve this exciting new stage in the life of Northstar Church.
We will be meeting on Monday night February 27th, 2012 at 6:30 pm. This meeting will be in the auditorium here at Northstar. If you would like to be apart of the launch team, or just learn more about what we are going to do, please make plans to join us!! Hope to see you there.