“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)
I am so thankful for Northstar. Since first coming in 2013 I have experienced such joy, edification, encouragement, and healing as the Lord has used the people of Northstar to minister to my soul. Coming from an incredibly unhealthy church background, I have been so grateful for how God has used my time in this community of people to heal my heart and grow in a relationship with the Lord based on love and the grace that he has shown to me.
Being called into serving on the staff team at Northstar is something I didn’t feel adequate for, though I had felt the Lord calling me into a life of full-time ministry for years. Through disobedience and doubt, I had delayed taking steps into what God had been calling me to do. However, as clear direction from the Lord and others led me into this position I have experienced such fulfillment and joy as I see how God has used Northstar in our community and in the lives of the members and attenders.
I have enjoyed so much about serving Northstar, and I will try to briefly outline three of the main reasons.
Love for God, Love for Others
I love serving Northstar because we consistently prioritize being “rooted and grounded in love.” (Eph. 3:17) The foundation for everything we do is the love relationship that we have with Jesus Christ, and that is the reason we are able to love each other so well. It is apparent that we are a family! Through good times, bad times, joy, conflict, and everything else that we experience, the love that we have for each other may be tested but beckons us back to being rooted in the love that Christ has for us (1 John 4:19). The kind of unity we have at Northstar can only be borne out of a bond of Christlike love (Col. 3:14), and that reality makes it a joy to serve the church.
Service at Northstar is a Partnership
One of our foundational mantras is that we want to “Be The Church,” so serving Northstar isn’t so much leading and dragging other people along, but sharing in responsibilities, struggles, failures and vision. I can be confident that the people of Northstar are taking seriously their call to be a light in their circles, however wide or small. Sometimes without any prodding or direction from the leadership of Northstar, the church mobilizes itself and that is an amazing and humbling thing to see. I’m so encouraged to hear of someone at Northstar doing something I had no idea about! Whether it’s serving someone in need, organizing an event, having spiritual conversations, this list goes on and on. And not just outside, but within Northstar I am so encouraged by the people that regularly serve in one of our many volunteer positions. I feel I can truly be free to come alongside and encourage people that are already passionately serving the Lord in their own lives instead of having to drag them along.
This one might be the most spiritual of all. Besides the joy that comes from serving the Lord, and seeing others grow in their walk, serving Northstar is just fun. I just enjoy what I get to do! Our culture here often means that we all pitch in to complete a task or setup for something, and some of the best times I have had while on staff have come from those experiences. We just have an enjoyable environment to work, live, and grow together! I enjoy how we are not a church that only sees each other on Sunday mornings, but are actually friends and spend time together outside of Sunday services. I enjoy the staff and people of Northstar, and I am thankful for a place that not only fosters spiritual growth, but fun, enriching friendships.
I am truly thankful for the opportunity to serve Northstar. I am thankful for the members, attenders, the staff team, and ultimately to the Lord who has orchestrated all of this – including my involvement. I love you all and I thank you for the love and care that I have been shown while here, and I look forward to continuing to serve the church. I am encouraged by this passage in 1 Peter 4, and I want to share it with you in closing.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:8-11)