As I mentioned in the last two posts, Northstar reached a boiling point in attendance and needed to plan out an affordable way to grow. After studying the various options, we decided that the multi-site campus model was the most practical and fiscally responsible next step. Opening a campus closer to where some of our members live just makes sense. But, as in every strategy, it is important that you “start with the end in mind” and everything works seamlessly long-term.
We had certain criteria (budget and square footage we needed and certain areas of town we were looking at) that we believe needed a church like Northstar. We were able to mesh both in our first satellite location – East Bay at Rutherford High. It has become more and more evident that this campus is already fulfilling the purpose that we set out. We wanted to build a place that would reach people who may not otherwise come and experience our church, and that has been accomplished.
Sunday services at East Bay feature everything you would expect from Northstar: music, a message, etc. The only difference is that the sermon is being simulcast to the Rutherford High School location. We are seeing a growing sense of community among the people that attend Easy Bay. And most importantly, there are 4 baptisms this Sunday. More than any other fact or statistics, that is why we open new locations.
Some people might ask, why start a Beach Campus when East Bay is only 17 weeks into weekly services? Why not let that progress and start a second location later on. The answer is really predicated on what we have learned. The launch process is an incredible experience! It gives people who have never served the opportunity to be a beginning part to what God wants to do in these communities. The other thing we have learned is that becoming part of a community, any community, takes time. Time to learn what really are the needs in these communities. Time to serve those needs. Time to earn trust.
That is why the attenders of East Bay spend their time, as perhaps we all should, making relationships with the lost, inviting the unchurched to church, and serving their community from anything from giving candy canes at a Christmas parade to counseling marriages. With those lessons in mind, why would we wait? If time is of the essence, and the people, the place, and the purpose align, waiting is the last thing on God’s and our agenda.