“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” – Isaiah 55:12
I’ve been in Williamsburg for two weeks now. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here forever and other times I just wish I could hop in the care and drive to Cabo Fish Taco. (Shrimp tacos and guacamole pasta salad for the win!) I’ve had a lot of time this week to reflect on my time in Blacksburg and particularly my time at Northstar.
My first Sunday in Blacksburg, I attended Northstar Church as a freshman, completely new to Blacksburg. I filled out a Howdy Card and returned week after week for a whole semester. I went through the motions of being a “visitor.” [Fun Fact: Northstar is the only church in Blacksburg that I have ever attended.] But something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like I really knew anyone and I didn’t feel like I was really fulfilling my purpose. God began to work in my heart and I realized at the end of my first semester, that God hadn’t called me to simply fill a seat on Sunday mornings.
I had a choice to make: I could sit on the sideline and watch as God moved through His church OR I could stop making excuses and JOIN in the movement of God through His church.
Don’t get me wrong, I could have made excuses like I only am here for a short amount of time, I don’t have a ride, I don’t have any talents, I won’t be liked by anyone, I’m not as “spiritual” as them. But all of those excuses focused on one person: myself. I believe in the Bible God clearly calls us to be invested in a local body of believers–not for our glory, but for HIS.
I hear juniors and seniors say all the time that they only have two years left and there is no point in getting involved. Oh how I wish that people would change their perspective. Instead of saying, “Well, I only have two years…” start saying “I STILL have two years to pour into and invest in the life of the local church I call home.”
All that to say, I’m SOOO grateful that I chose to join the movement of God at Northstar. I started by serving in Northstar Kids one Sunday a month. I then moved into leadership, preparing curriculum and leading in the preschool classroom. In December of 2014, God saw it fit for me to invest even more in the life of Northstar by joining the staff as a Children’s Ministry assistant. God used this girl who had no idea what it looked like to work in vocational ministry, who grew up in a non-Christian home, whose voice sounds like a dying cat, who felt like she couldn’t be used by God to make a movement in a local church.
He gave me a place where my gifts and passions met my purpose–a place where I felt alive.
If I had not been open to the place where God had called me to invest, I would have missed the opportunity to see my gifts and passions to meet my purpose. I would have missed learning a lot about myself. I would have missed the assignment God had called me to. I would have missed being part of a community of believers who truly want to grow in their faith.
Northstar is a church that believes in the next generation. It is a place that offers opportunities for students to grow and serve. It is a place where YOU can come alive in your faith. Northstar is a place where complacency is not an option.
So college students, yes, Northstar will challenge the families of Northstar to reach out to you, BUT it is YOUR responsibility to reach out to Northstar just as much. If you just go to service on Sunday mornings and leave without making a point to get involved, you won’t meet people. If you don’t meet people, Northstar won’t feel like home. And if you leave Blacksburg and Northstar doesn’t feel like home, then you haven’t done it right.