Our vision is “to help the whole world find and follow Jesus,” which is merely a restatement of Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations. What this looks like and how we interpret that goal at Northstar Church is our vision. And while our vision takes only one sentence to write, it will require the supernatural assistance of God to accomplish: A church of 25,000 people, in 25 locations comprised of 2,500 Northstar Groups. We are on our way. We have helped start 2 new locations – one in East Bay and one on the beach. Through these new 2 new locations alone, we have seen many people discover a life-changing relationship with Jesus.
Marty, 25,000 people? We recognize there are men and women in our community that do not know Jesus and it is our passion and purpose to introduce them to Him. We want to reach the un-churched, un-interested, or those feeling disenfranchised. We consider those outside the church in all that we do. We know reaching those far from the heart of God will not be easy. Jesus was revolutionary in his ability to build relational bridges across the typical dividing lines. We want to do the same. We believe we can help people who are new to the area and people that have been here all their lives. We can help people who are poor and people who are rich. We want to be a place where PhDs and GEDs can learn from one another. We can help people from different political viewpoints, different cultures, and different generations.
All people matter to God, so all people matter to us. We want to be a church that is impacting an ever-expanding community of people. We will do whatever it takes to connect people to Christ and help them accept His gift of salvation.
We do not believe, however, in growing large at the expense of truth or the expense of a healthy church. Our goal is not gathering lots of people into a room on Sunday morning. We do not want to be a church that is very effective at helping people find Jesus, but don’t really focus on helping people grow once they’ve accepted Jesus as their Savior. Our goal is to win people to Jesus and provide them with church locations where they can grow in their walk with God. We believe God is looking not only at the breadth of our ministry, but also the depth.
Now about the 25 locations? We believe the most beneficial thing for every community is a church that can proclaim and live out the gospel of Jesus. We believe there is no organization on the planet that can compete with the church, and we believe it will survive as long as time itself. So, we are committed to opening satellite locations in strategic locations in our city, region and around the world. Churches developed in this manner can and will reproduce again and again. Each new location allows us to be a part of the mission to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
And what about those 2,500 Northstar Groups? I believe that successfully following Jesus is a group project because spiritual growth happens best with other people. Both the scriptures and our experience tell us that you can’t follow Jesus alone. So, we are committed to growing “smaller” at the same time that we grow “bigger.” We do this by developing Northstar Groups. These groups gather regularly in homes throughout the area to study the Bible together, learn from one another, pray for one another, and encourage one another. It takes time and relational investment, but God does amazing things through authentic people who are seeking Him together. But those meetings are just the starting place, and Northstar friendships extend throughout life. Proverbs 27:10 says, “better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.” As a church, our vision depends on how effectively these groups help people to become authentic followers of Jesus.
This is who we are and what we’re about at Northstar Church. Our target is to change Panama City, and the world – one life at a time. If you’re a member or regular attender of Northstar, this is the vision we want you to buy into and become a part of. This is the exciting privilege that God has given us on the Emerald Coast. We invite you to come and join us in rocking this city for and the world for Jesus Christ.