Why I Love Serving Northstar: Neal Nelson

Neal Nelson Blog

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Why I Love Serving at Northstar

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:45 ESV)

An attitude of service is non-negotiable for a follower of Christ, the actions of service flow from a heart adjustment powered by the Spirit’s reminder of Jesus’ example. He served with His life and with His death; He was a servant.  But that does not mean service is easy for His followers. We [maybe just me:)] sometimes wrestle with selfishness, pride, and a variety of other factors that interfere with “His life in us” (Col. 1:27).  But by God’s grace and work sometimes serving flows effortlessly without hindrance. I have felt this during my time at Northstar and for the most part have enjoyed everything from 6:00 a.m. D28 meetings to Sunday morning set-up and tear down to 6:00 p.m. building team meetings.

Digging into why I have enjoyed serving at Northstar the last four years a few thoughts are quickly unsurfaced:

  • the focus on relationship with and mission of Jesus
  • the staff, leaderboard, and members/attenders who are joyful in their service
  • the freedom to take care of myself or family when needed

The why: Jesus

I am sure a Christ-centered focus predated Jeff’s leadership because the church was able to recognize that as one of his traits and invited him to be their shepherd.  For that I am grateful and knowing that ultimately Northstar wants to exalt Jesus, help its members grow in Him, and share Him with the world motivates me to serve in any way needed.  It also helps me connect even menial task to a greater cause.  That the church is challenged consistently to serve out of an overflow of their relationship with Jesus helps remind me I am not trying to please people but serve Christ by serving others.

Joyful Environment

The more I talk to other pastors and church staff folks the more I realize how fortunate I am to serve with the Northstar staff and be a part of a church of amazing believers.   I would like to think that I could still serve joyfully in any circumstance, but I have a fear that would not be the case.  We are all highly influenced by our work environment so being around others that work without complaining, laugh and joke while still working, and try to encourage one another is HUGE.


I have appreciated Jeff’s and others willingness to be ok with me (and anyone for that matter) sometimes needing (and sometimes just wanting) to take a break or taking care of family or important matters without being made to feel guilty.  I have been in other environments where an unhealthy view of serving lead many to burn out and avoid future opportunities to serve the Lord by serving others.  Of course, there is a difference between selfishness and self-care that needs to be understood and respected, but healthy boundaries are important to joyful service.

Again I am grateful for Northstar and hope I will not take the people God has given me the opportunity to serve and serve alongside for granted.  I hope 2019 is a year filled with all kinds of serving.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13 ESV)

Want to Read More in this Series?<< Why I Love Serving at Northstar: Matt SimpsonWhy I Love Serving at Northstar: Julie Jewell >>