On February 11 of this year, we observed our annual State of the Church Sunday. If you’ll recall, we had two failed attempts due to inclement weather before we were able to meet. SotC Sunday is one of my favorite moments at Northstar.
It gives me an opportunity to geek out a bit with a Keynote presentation (this year’s presentation topped out at 29 slides!). During the presentation, I am also able to identify our “theme” for the year.
- 2011 – Thankful & Expectant
- 2012 & 2013 – Love Deeply: Relational Richness
- 2014 – Overflow: Service & Humility
- 2015 – Invest
- 2016 & 2017 – Tell Your Story
Our theme for this year is Seek Say Serve. It’s helpful to review each component.
We want to be a church that is truly seeking the kingdom of God. We want to see God’s love and values reflected in how we live our lives. We want to consistently reflect Jesus to one another and to our community and world. In addition, we seek intimacy with God through a love relationship with Jesus. The Christian life is more than attending religious events, small groups and serving others. It begins and is nourished by intimacy with God. Finally, we want to be a church that seeks the lost. We want to be others-centered. The church exists for those who aren’t part of it yet. We want to intentionally share Jesus with joy and without fear.
“Seeking the lost” means that we must say something. The name and message of Jesus must come out our mouths. The name and message of Jesus must be revealed on our social media accounts. We speak of what we love and value. If we don’t communicate the name and message of Jesus, we cannot expect those who aren’t Christians to become Christians. There must first be “testimony” and then there must be “invitation.” We must share and then respectfully invite people to consider believing in Jesus Christ. We do this with both our life (the way we live – our manner, our attitude, our actions) and with our lips. We must SAY.
“And how can they believe without hearing about him?” (Romans 10:14)
One of Northstar’s core values is serving others. It’s a practical way to demonstrate the heart of God. We serve one another, and we also serve our community. Our small group ministry is built around four priorities: love, learn, serve and reach. If our faith only leads us to “talk” about eternal life, it is not very convincing. We must show that our faith transforms us into servants. It was and is the way of Jesus.
We made stickers of this “Seek Say Serve” emphasis to give out this year. I’ve got one on my laptop case. They also pop up in some interesting places around town. I want to encourage you to get one and put it somewhere that will encourage you to remember these centering principles as we seek to “be the church” this year.