For a church planter, each anniversary is a milestone that brings back a flood of emotions. As we celebrate 8 years since the day we launched North Creek, I am filled with smiles, tears, and joy in my heart! There is nothing like starting something from scratch, with so much trepidation, and then watching it work.
I thought I would share EIGHT of my thoughts with you today to go with the theme:
1. Our team is second to none. We have the rare gift of having most of our original church planting staff still with us after all this time. Along the way we have added incredible people who give their time, talents, and devotion to leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. All together there are 20 people who make up our leadership team between all three churches, with 55% of them being women. It is a unique mix on all fronts and we could not be more blessed by each of them!
2. One hundred and thirty seven. That’s the number of people who have been baptized at North Creek. That’s the number that counts to us.
3. We birthed a church plant, merged with an existing church to become a multisite church, and in the process we also have one of the largest deaf churches in the state of Washington. I cannot even tell you how many things in that sentence I thought I would never say. Sometimes God brings sweet surprises along the way!
4. The last eight years have contained my greatest highs and my lowest lows. I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am that God asked us to walk this path. That being said, anything worth doing isn’t easy. The lows have been breath-stealing, heart-wrenching, gut-aching lows that I never knew before. And I am grateful for those emotions as well. You will never know the depth of the love of Christ until you have walked through the valley of despair. Joy and suffering often share your heart.
5. My husband is the real deal. Watching him navigate this church over the last eight years with a humility that I admire has been one of my favorite things. The mantel of this church’s leadership ultimately falls on his shoulders and we are blessed beyond measure for the character and integrity that he carries with him.
6. We did this for the pastor’s kids. If you go back about 10 years, this whole thing started because a group of us wanted our kids to experience a life of faith. And that they have! I stand in awe as I watch them grow into such amazing people. The oldest of the bunch just turned 20 and lived her whole teenage years as a church planter…and she’s incredible. The youngest of the original group was my daughter Kennedy, who was born the month we started North Creek. She loves Jesus and has a heart of worship. We now have 22 children represented on our leadership team and two more on the way. One of the greatest joys of my life is watching the older ones love and mentor the younger ones! Asking your kids to sacrifice for Jesus will never return void.
7. Our people are unmatched in their hearts to serve! We have nearly 200 volunteers between our three churches that make North Creek great. Although we always want to add more volunteers in order to add more campuses in the future, we stand in awe of the fact that our church is ENGAGED in the body of Christ. We look around every Sunday at the faces of North Creek and know that God is doing a mighty work in hearts and lives!
8. Jesus. He is faithful. He is good. He is worth living and dying for… Church planting was supposed to be about telling other people about His love, but I stand amazed at how much I’ve learned along the way about His love. If you haven’t given that love a chance in your heart, I pray you will. There’s just nothing like it in the world!
So, another year has come and gone on this adventure. My only hope for you is that whatever God asked you to do, you’ll do it! No matter how scary, how intimidating, how difficult that may be…it is within obedience that you will find joy. Happy Eight!