“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16.

Every year we take a pause from what you might expect from a weekly “sermon” to remind you of what we accomplished last year and what we are looking to accomplish in 2016. I will preach that message on Sunday, January 31.  If you are a member or regular attender, I encourage you to attend as we talk about the direction of our church.

Northstar exists for a purpose. Everything revolves around Jesus and bringing people to a saving knowledge of Him. We did not want to be a church who attracted or “collected up” people who were already going to church somewhere. We wanted to reach people who either had never heard the message of Jesus or been to church before or maybe have had a church experience, but have been turned off or injured by it. In 2016, we are going to try and “hit the accelerator” and move forward with the vision of “helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.”

In preparation for the vision message and for the coming year, I ask that you pray about the following:

Commit to pray for Northstar in 2016. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” We cannot simply make an inspiring plan and execute it. It must be Spirit-led because the Holy Spirit is the engine that moves the church forward. Please commit to pray every single day for our church. More specifically, will you pray for me? Not to be selfish, but I need your prayers.

Attend Classes: For Northstar to move forward, we need fewer attenders and more disciples. That means that we need you to get trained to do so. Sign up for our Growth Track Classes. And connect with others in a small group. We believe connections, or relationships, are vitally important and it’s impossible to live the Christian faith without them. 

Find a place to engage: We strive to be a church making an impression and leaving a mark. To do that, we endeavor to build a community where lives are positively impacted and changed for Christ’s sake. In order to be that kind of church, we need the help of those who share our passion for leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  Find a place to get engaged, find your place of service. In addition, get engaged outside the church. Whether it’s a neighbor, a co-worker or a family member, you have someone you can tell about Jesus. Invite them to attend church. Pray for them. You’ll be amazed at what God can do. Once you identify where God wants you to be, start praying for that area. If you don’t know, start asking God to show you where He wants you engaged.

Become a member: You need to be in a group that is loving others; you need to be serving. Those things happen easily when you are plugged into the church and acting on what God has asked you to do. 

I  believe the best days of Northstar are not the ones we see when we look back. I believe the best days are yet ahead and I look forward to the coming years with faith-filled anticipation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important to have a vision for the church?
  2. What is God’s role in making that vision a reality? What is your role in applying the vision?
  3. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8: What is our responsibility to know and serve one another persistently?
  4. Pray for the church and ask God to help you with your role in the vision of the church.