“As children we assume that greatness is within our grasp. Whatever inspires us, we begin to dream that one day we will be the best. It is only as we lose our childlike innocence that we begin to settle for far less. A part of growing up seems to be acquiescing to mediocrity. It’s easy to say that we’re just becoming realistic, that it’s just a part of growing up. But, in fact, it’s the death of our souls. When we stop dreaming, we start dying.” – Erwin Raphael McManus, Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church.
When I read what Erwin has to say about destiny, it causes me to pause, to reflect back on how well my dreams and actions have intersected with God’s purpose for my life. Have I maintained that passion, that childish enthusiasm, or am I losing that inspiration, that ability to dream? I have always been an optimist. I have always believed God can do the impossible if our purposes are aligned with His.
For the last sixteen years, God’s hand on Northstar Church has been unmistakable. It seems that every month God was glorified in creative, exciting and different ways. Lives have been changed. Families have discovered hope. Relationships have been reconciled. Hearts have been mended.
I believe God has strengthened our church for “such a time as this.” Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
Northstar has a vision and we are running with that vision. The vision is simple, to help the world find and follow Jesus. We undertook the Bold Love campaign to fund our vision. Since so many of you are responsible for the success of Bold Love, I thought now would be a good time to give you an update on our progress. Here is where we stand.
To date, we have opened two satellite locations and have begun preliminary discussions on possible additional sites. We opened the beach campus on February 3rd of this year. The primary funding for the beach campus was $250,000, which included mostly technology, but also facility, staff and marketing costs for a two-year period. The goal was for the Beach Campus to become a healthy, self-sufficient, and growing church within those two years. The Beach Campus averages 331 people each Sunday and is self-sufficient today. In fact, we are $60,000 ahead of budget. Our East Lake Campus is also self sufficient.
While we give God all the glory for our quick success, I would like to recognize our campus pastors who have the hearts to jump in and do what it takes. Behind the scenes they do outreach, pastoral care, problem-solving, and when necessary, unclog toilets. We believe with each new campus we are standing at the edge of something bigger than us and God will use our campus pastors to further our outreach and impact. We believe the campus pastors will help navigate us into our future as well as help us grow to the next level.
I hope each member or regular attender of Northstar gets a chance to participate in the opening of a new campus. Imagine being on the team of a Northstar campus about to meet in a new location. Excitement seems to permeate them. There is a strong buzz in the neighborhood. Word of mouth has spread by people who have previously experienced and truly understand our church’s passion for people. As opening Sunday approaches you are praying and confident that God will bless the ministry, even though it hasn’t actually happened yet at the new location. You view your launch not so much as the beginning of an outreach, but as a continuation of God reaching others in the community.
In case you have not heard me say this, each Northstar campus will have a separate address, but be connected in every way (staff, communications, programs, finances, vision, goals and plans) to the main campus. The new campuses have a campus pastor but remains under the headship of the Lead Pastor of the main campus.
Let me anticipate your next question. There are a variety of locations under consideration for future satellites. We are praying and asking God about each one. We know God will build His church His way and in His time, so I’d ask you to continue to pray with us to act in His will and His timetable.
The Bold Love monies were earmarked for a variety of projects such as opening up satellite locations, paying down debt and making some technological improvements to our campuses. I urge you to remain faithful if you have already committed to Bold Love and if you have not, make one today by clicking here (http://northstar.cc/give/).
I am so thankful for all the members and regular attenders that are helping make our vision a reality. And I’m thankful that we serve a God that doesn’t give up on us, that has chosen-as crazy as it sounds-to work through us, His people, to bring about His plan for the world. That is truly humbling and inspiring.