Archives For Inspiration

We had a great weekend as we kicked off a new series this weekend called “Let’s Talk”.  This series is based in relationships with a focus on communication.  Such good stuff whether you are married or single!  Join us for the next several weeks as we dig in to the Word of God in this area.

We are feeling great as we head into our 6th week of a massive transition for our church.  Our systems are going smoothly, our volunteers have been outstanding, and we are seeing new growth each week.  We are loving being mobile and taking a respite from the daily responsibility of owning a building.  We look forward to the future, but are enjoying the present as well!

We would love some new volunteers in a couple of key areas as well.  If you’d like to serve on our security team once a month, we’d appreciate several more people.  Basically, security is just people who walk around our key areas to make sure all is well.  We’d also love those of you who love working with kids to consider jumping in once a month in one of our kids areas.  If you’d like to serve, you can fill out a volunteer application at www.coffeechurch.com.

We are enjoying how many people are coming early to have coffee and get to know some new friends. Our foyer is filling up by 9:30 am, which has given us some great opportunities to talk, pray, and create community.  Join us early on Sundays!

Also, we are praying in our auditorium during worship practice from 8:30 to 9:00 am.  It has been such an amazing moment to connect with Jesus and prepare our hearts for what is ahead.  Everybody is welcome, even your kids!

Thank you to everybody who has jumped in with our 12for12 missionary giving.  Just from our current commitments of $12 a month per family, we have currently TRIPLED our monthly missionary giving, which is AWESOME!  Thank you for your generosity.

Also, we appreciate your faithful monthly giving to North Creek.  Tithing is a HUGE part of our obedience to Jesus.  If we aren’t willing to let Him lead our finances, that is a stronghold we need to address in our hearts to fully live out the life Jesus has for us.

We prayed two weeks ago for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  We had several people lean into that prayer and some of them received that gift.  We encourage you to continue to seek all that God has for you in every area that the Bible teaches!

Our growth group had a Mexican potluck on Sunday that was INCREDIBLE!  I ate my weight in delicious food.  Just thought that was good advertisement for you to join a growth group in January.

Good things are going on at North Creek!  Invite a friend, jump in somewhere, and enjoy some great community!

I love this church!  I love Jesus!  I love what He has in store for a people who will submit to Him!  Let’s do this!

Nine Years for North Creek!

stacynewell —  September 24, 2015 — 1 Comment

Today is our 9th anniversary since the day we launched North Creek Church.

I can remember sitting in a conference in my early 20’s feeling so sorry for pastors who “had to” start churches. It looked like an awful lot of toiling and sweat.  It is, by the way.  Now, here I sit, nine years in to a startup church and I feel so blessed to have been a part of something so spectacular!  Strange how the tables so often turn in our lives.

In honor of year nine, here are nine things I’m grateful for along the journey:

  1. I’m grateful for changed  lives.  I love the stories of Jesus changing people and if you have the time, I can tell them to you through laughs and tears.  I love to tell them because each life is living proof that God is still working in our world.  As I walk through the halls on Sunday, the stories flood through me like a river as I lay eyes on each beautiful face.
  2. I’m grateful for the people who have committed for the long haul.  There is so much richness in my life due to the fact that we have chosen to plant our feet in one church with other people who choose to do the same.  You’ll never find the perfect church.  You’ll never find one that is easy to be at all the time.  You’ll never find one that is free of ups and downs.  But if you will commit to people for the journey, you will find satisfaction that you never knew existed.
  3. I’m grateful for the growth in my own life.  I’m a better person because God has used this church plant to refine me in some excruciatingly humble ways as well as some moments of His glory that were even more humbling to be a part of.  I am so different now than nine years ago, it is difficult to comprehend.
  4. I’m grateful for our “Church Plant Kids”.  We had the privilege of starting this church on the backs of a small fleet of children.  Now those same toddlers and kids are teenagers and adults.  They are incredible….really incredible kids with solid morals and good heads on their shoulders.  I give the credit to Jesus and to the partnership in ministry they have had with us.  Church and Jesus have always been a wild adventure for them to partake in…not a boring spectator sport to stop in at.  Honestly, going mobile at this season is an opportunity for some of you.  If I had young kids, I’d seriously sign up for the set up team, drag their cute diapered butts to church at the crack of dawn, and let them serve alongside some great men and women.
  5. I’m grateful for a flexible church.  North Creek gets some award for riding this roller coaster with grace and joy.  We’ve been in a school, we moved to a bar, we bought a building, we merged with a church, we’ve been multisite, we adopted a  [rocking awesome] Deaf Church, our youth ministry meets in another church, and now we are selling everything and moving back into a school….next adventure is yet to be determined!  But each step was with great purpose to pursue what God has birthed in our hearts.  A church that sees only the mission of Christ and not the address is a church that is unstoppable.
  6. I’m grateful for faithful givers.  It takes guts to give away 10%+ of your income every month to a church plant.  After all, most church plants don’t make it past the first couple of years.  Yet, we have a multitude of people who faithfully trust God with their resources every month and it allows us to keep moving forward.  I am grateful for the faithful who believed in us early on and still believe today.
  7. I’m grateful for prayer warriors.  Mountains move when the righteous pray.  We lean heavily into the prayer warriors and they have our ears.  Listening to the critics will birth in you confusion, but listening to the intercessors will confirm in your heart what God is speaking to you.  The maturity of our church is dependent on how many people will commit to seeking God in prayer.
  8. I’m grateful for our Leadership Team.  We have said often that we would not do this alone.  Our team is our greatest joy as we link arm in arm and face the challenges that go with leading a church.  What a fun journey to take with such a talented and strong-willed team!  I frequently say that my job is to chase cats as they all dream and go forth in a beautiful mixture of independence and unity.  We are blessed.  So blessed.
  9. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit.  The gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a mighty one.  I am so thankful for His power in our weakness and His wisdom in our humanity.  There is no way to charge forward into the future without His presence.

Here’s to another nine years.  It’s impossible to imagine all that God can do through the next season of North Creek.  Greater things are yet to come!  Thanks for coming with us!

Pictures from nine years ago.  I’m sure I missed some people, but hopefully you’ll recognize some familiar faces!

 

 

 

It’s Just What We Do.

stacynewell —  September 12, 2015 — 1 Comment

I was recently praying as Kari Jobe was singing on youtube in the background.  My nine year old, Kennedy, walked in and immediately was captured by the music.  She began to sing and mimic Kari’s “full body worship experience.”  I sat silently watching the future standing before me for several minutes.  Kennedy raised her arms, sang out every word with wild abandon at the top of her lungs, and praised her King as an uninhibited child would.

Finally I spoke, “Are you going to lead people in worship someday just like Kari?”

“Yes, Mom, I am.”

“Did Jesus tell you that?”

“No, Mom.  He doesn’t need to tell me to do that. It’s worship.  It’s just what we do.”

She turned and ran off singing her song to our risen Lord.

Tears flowed down my cheeks.  She knows what many forget.

So, my prayer for you, at whatever church your feet may fall into tomorrow, is this: I pray you would remember.  I pray you would worship with that childlike abandon.  I pray you would sing out at the top of your lungs, and lift your hands to a King who saved you.  I pray you would let God take over your worries, your plans, and your agenda for those precious moments that are set aside for Him.

Him.  The creator of the universe.  The releaser of prisoners and the birther of dreams.  Our healer, our comforter, our Savior, our King.  He is the Alpha, the Omega, the One and Only God.  The author and perfector of your faith.  The Holy One with the power to move mountains and unleash the rain from the sky.  May THAT God rain His anointing on you as you worship.

My prayer is that your heart leaps out of bed in the morning, you run to church with great expectation, and you leave filled by the only Source that will ever satisfy.

That’s the kind of Christianity that changes you.  Changes our community.  Changes our world…. A Christianity that boldly gives praise to the One who deserves it.

See you in the morning.

 

 

The countdown to the merge is ON!  We have just two more weeks in our buildings until we come together as ONE CHURCH at Prairie High School on September 27.  My heart is full of expectation and anticipation as the Holy Spirit whispers to my soul about all that He can and will do with His Church.

If you would like to help with packing, we will be at the Hazel Dell Campus on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We’ll also be there on Friday for a while, so if that works better, shoot me an email and we’ll coordinate times.  stacy@coffeechurch.com.  We will also be working all next week to get ready for moving day on Sept. 20.

A pastor friend of our recently asked to be caught up on what we were doing and stared at us very wide-eyed as we told him we were selling all of our property and merging our campuses.  Sometimes I forget how enormous this all is, because God has been SO good and as we listen to Him, He makes our path straight.

I’ve got two challenges for you in the next 20 days… 1) Read your Bible.  I suggest one chapter in the book of Acts from now until the end of the book.  2) Turn on some worship music and pray for 15 minutes.  Allow God to speak to you!

One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed about prayer lately is that I stopped coming with needs and making it a list of requests.  I just worship Him and as I do, He is ministering to my heart.  Then, as He brings your faces to my mind, I pray for you in the Spirit.  It is amazing how He unfolds His perfect timing before me.

As I’ve been praying, there are two areas of our church that I feel like God wants to break in us.  #1 – Worship.  I think He has a whole new level of worship for us to experience together.  I think He is on the edge of setting us free from our inhibitions and fear.  What would your worship look like at the throne of Jesus in Heaven?  #2 – Tithing.  As I pray, my spirit is burdened because so many people are held in bondage to their money.  He scripted a plan and when you walk in that, you will find freedom that you never imagined.  Church!  I am praying that you walk in bold obedience and see what God does in you!

Our sermon series for launch Sunday is called Everything Changes.  We know that overnight the very face of North Creek will change.  From the average attenders point of view, it will be in a new location, triple in size, and function with completely different systems.  However, that’s not all we want to change.  We want lives to change.  We want the captives to be set free, the depressed to be unleashed, and power where there was once weakness.  We want the disobedient to repent and the disillusioned to have eternal clarity.  We want the presence of Jesus to be our purpose and be a people that rises up in His authority.

Begin to declare victory where there was once defeat because a Living God wants to unleash His power on your life!  Let’s do this.

 

 

 

This week Mark and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d write a blog to those of you who aren’t married about some tips to help choose well in the most important decision of your life.  If you’re struggling in your current marriage, you should not read any further as we are prone to being consumed with discontentment and the need to compare.  The reality is that the marriage you are in is the one you should be working on!   There is no sense in looking back on what you “should have done”.

Also, good to note….marriage is from God for a man and a woman according to Scripture.  My lens is through the eyes of a Jesus centered marriage…the basics of a commitment to faith, prayer, and the Word of God are foundational and implied.  So, here’s my thoughts on some good things to watch out for in a potential spouse:

 

1. Purity first.

Sexual sins harm and destroy marriages with violent force.  After so many years in ministry, I can tell you this:  many warning signs of those prone to sexual deviancy were very visible during dating relationships.  Look for a person who wants to wait for sex until married, has high standards for their computer use, speaks appropriately of the opposite gender, has a history of purity, and who treats your body with respect.  I’m not mincing words here: if you have a concern over some of the sexual comments, activities, or habits of someone, don’t enter into a dating relationship or marriage under any circumstances.  Pornography addictions, affairs, and illicit activities are areas we dive into as pastors all too frequently with people and it is a pain that you will be wise to avoid if at all possible.  If you are honestly evaluating your own life right now and seeing these tendencies, it is time to get help!  It is possible to rely on Jesus, be surrounded with the right counseling/accountability and find victory in these areas.  Until then (which will be a long process), you aren’t in a place to date and get married.

 

2.  Financially disciplined.

The most argued about topic in marriage is money.  Marry a person who tithes 10% of their income to Jesus or expect there to be issues.  Malachi 3:6-12 talks about how God will take care of you if you are faithful:

“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

Mark and I have never made a lot of money with both of us in full time ministry and church planting, but in 18 years we have paid every bill and never argued about finances.  If your spouse doesn’t have the foundational belief of giving and the discipline to follow that up with sacrificial action, you are setting yourself up to be outside of the blessings of God.  That statement should make you shudder.  You will be wise to make generosity a standard for who you marry…and for yourself.

Also there are a multitude of other financial questions to address: does the person you’re interested in pay bills on time?  Do you hide financial information from you?  Do they have the history of interviewing well, keeping jobs, and getting good reports?  Do they save money or spend it with little regard for responsibility?  How much debt do they have and why?  If they have nice things, but have a mountain of debt, you’re headed for a problem.  Be wise in whom you connect your financial future to!

 

3.  Stability is sexy.  OK, maybe not when you’re 20, but when you have kids, jobs, bills, and mortgages…someone who does what they say they are going to do, shows up, and is emotionally level is VERY sexy.  There’s a saying that the good guys always finish last.  It’s true…their marriages finish last…when you’re old.  So look for a person who is faithful, dependable, loyal, secure in who they are, prone to joy, not controlling, and not addicted to substances.  (Again, if you’re struggling in these areas, get help!)

 

We often buy into the fairy tale idea of being emotionally swept off our feet with love.  I definitely think that’s a part of the equation!  However, we do have control over our decisions and if there was ever a decision to weigh out pragmatically…it’s marriage.  I used WAY more of my head to date Mark than my heart.  In fact our first date was like an interview between the both of us about how and why we believed about a TON of issues.  It was almost embarrassing to discuss some pretty intimate topics, but we had no time to waste.  I was not going to let my heart take me somewhere that I knew wasn’t going to lead me to the right place.  I also relied on Godly people around Mark and I to have input.  We went to church together, did ministry together, and allowed people into our world publically and privately.

If I had red flags on my key issues, I would have walked away (and Mark as well).  I know this because I did it with several men that my heart pushed me towards.  And I was right.

 

Marriage is a risky business even when you have high standards.  Many of my friends over the years have realized secrets, discovered lies, and been blindsided by some awful realities.  It happens in life, but the key is to avoid what you can avoid and allow Jesus to redeem the rest.  He’s given you Biblical standards, offered you wisdom, and provided you with counsel.  It is your responsibility to use that to make the best decision you can with the precious life you’ve been given!