Helen Keller was once asked what would be worse than being blind. Her reply was, “To have sight and no vision.”
Several weeks ago, we announced one of the first major steps in turning the Northstar Vision into reality. In order for our church to not just survive, but thrive we must have a vision. Proverbs says that without vision the people perish. Northstar is a church with a great commission Christ centered vision and because of that I believe we must act on our vision if we are to be and do all that God wants us to do in Panama City and beyond. I also believe our vision points to the future. And rightly so, because I believe the church that will impact the world today is the church whose dreams are bigger than its memories. I hear it all the time from people attending or working at Northstar Church. “I thank God for the past and for what God has done here at Northstar, but God has exciting things for our future.”
“Northstar Church exists to help the whole world find and follow Jesus” is our vision.
While that is our vision, the mission of the church is the specific steps that God is showing us to best achieve our vision. The opening of Northstar at Rutherford High school is a specific step in the vision. Let me say that our mission is basically the same as what all Bible believing Christ following churches should be pursuing: make disciples of Christ the best way possible. Our mission is to help people become fully functioning followers of Christ in our church, community, and beyond. My responsibility as the pastor is to lead our church in fulfilling our mission. To lead our church to know Christ and make Him known. So the Northstar Vision is a series of steps we will do and become to fulfill that.
In order to help the whole world find and follow Jesus, we must be a missionary church. What do missionaries do? They typically go to where the people are. They speak the language of those they seek to serve. They use culturally appropriate means of communicating the gospel. The only way a church is going to be relevant is to get out of its comfort zone and connect with unchurched people. Starting new satellite churches, as well as church plants, is among the most effective means for Northstar to become a true missionary church. We are in the midst of a great mission field, whether several miles away in Springfield/Callaway/Parker or 7,900 miles in Kui, Kenya. We can never afford to sit back and be glad of what we already have, when there is still so much ground to capture. So we are committed to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to people all over the world, literally changing the world one person at a time.
We are only weeks away from opening Northstar at Rutherford High School that will serve the Springfield/Callaway/Parker communities. This step is stretching our faith to do things that do not always make sense at face value or that may not agree with what you can see or feel. But we have surrendered our thoughts to God’s thoughts and allowed Him to speak into the future of Northstar Church. At the same time we are in constant prayer to discern His will in everything we do.
We are opening Northstar at Rutherford now because I believe that it is time to bridge the gap between vision and reality, to let go of lesser ambitions, and reach beyond. To see our vision reach into the future and take hold of the title deed of what God has promised. We’re not here to build a program. Programs start big and die quickly. We’re here to build a movement, we are here to reach those far from the heart of God, one person at a time.
Jesus said in Matt 16:18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The picture Jesus gives us is a strong progressive, visionary church that is plundering hell and populating Heaven. A church that is taking enemy ground. A church that is unstoppable. Can we be that church?
One word of caution as I conclude. The Northstar Vision is not limited to a one-time event. This is only the beginning, so stayed tuned for future announcements.