Today is a very reflective day in the life of the Newells. It was four years ago that North Creek Church began and it is SO good to have reached this milestone! Four years ago last night I stayed up the entire night. I was nursing a fussy baby and printing bulletins up until the very last minute. I can remember being wide awake at 2:00 am praying that God’s favor would be in this adventure. My twilight prayers seem to have been answered time and time again.
Honestly, looking back, I have no idea how our team of people accomplished all that was to be done in such a short amount of time. We went against all odds and went through the entire process of church planting from the last week of June to our launch in the last week of September. (Experts don’t recommend that and neither do we!) In those three months, we found a location, determined our identity, became an official non-profit, advertised to 5000 homes, acquired a trailer full of equipment ranging from kid’s stuff to sound stuff, signed a bunch of contracts, set up our accounting, and built a staff of people…did I mention I had a newborn? The entire team of 39 people (mostly kids!) were quite literally bleeding by the end of it. It was a monumental and miraculous feat. It showed me that if you have unity and Jesus, you have all that you need to succeed.
Now here we are. And four years in the life of a church plant is a key marker for long-term survivability. There are a few statistics out there that I’ve had my eye on for all of these years as my own personal “reality checks”. Here are three that are key: #1 – The average four year old church plant’s attendance is 85. We are just shy of 200, which is just totally God! #2 – 68% of church plants make it to year four. That means 32% of church planters get their heart broken by this point. We are humbled to be going strong. #3 – The average four year old church plant will grow by 15% that year. If we don’t grow at all the rest of the year, we will hold tight to 17% growth this year. I don’t know about you, but I also intend to continue to grow! There’s a world that needs Jesus, so we have no other option!
What I gleen from it all is this…So far, so God. There is just simply no other way to say it. By all worldly standards, we should have failed by now and we didn’t. We didn’t have enough money, enough people, enough wisdom or enough leadership ability. We were short on all counts and God seemed to continuously fill in where we fell short.
So, wonderful church, Happy Anniversary! Here’s to many more years…