Monthly Archives: February 2010

Church highlights from the last day of February…

Great attendance today!

I watched three incredible kindergarteners help lead worship today in the Great Adventurer’s. One of the girls is fairly new. My daughter and her have become fast friends. It was neat to watch them singing their hearts out together. Friends make a big difference in how much kids like church. I think that one of the most important things in helping your kids like church is to show up often. That’s how they make friends and get connected. It’s hard at first, but the dividends are well worth it.

We’ve officially decided to paint our building in time for the Easter services, which happen just five weeks from now. We’ll be starting next Saturday and hammering it out on the backs of volunteers. I am VERY excited to see our ugly building get a facelift. It’s time!

We are working diligently to get some of our newer families plugged in to the life of the church. It’s such an honor to have new families consider North Creek as their home and we want people to feel like they are a part as soon as possible. We have room for everybody!

Mark preached on forgiveness and that spurred on a lot of important conversations in many lives. One thing I like about where we’re at in ministry, is that it’s OK to have questions, talk about it together, dive into the Word together, and help one another through it. None of us has arrived and some of these topics are daunting at best.

We are also in the process of planning and plowing forward for our second campus. We need to raise $30,000 on top of sustaining a $150,000 budget this year. Totally do-able! We’ve got things to do and places to go!

On another note that is not church related…the Olympics are over. Short Track is by far my favorite sport! Watching Apolo Ono is just awesome!

It’s gonna be a busy week, but one we are looking forward to. Mark and I are going to a conference for a little re-charging and then we’ll hit the church painting task ahead! Bring your paint clothes and jump on in!

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a church that encompassed growing Christians as well as providing an environment where “rookies” can come and feel like they haven’t stepped into a foreign country. That is the greatest challenge that we face and I feel like we are succeeding.

It’s unnerving to step foot inside a church for the first time. I didn’t grow up in a Christian family and I vividly remember my beginning steps on this journey with Christ. There are a million questions and a million uncertainties. What’s going to “happen” to me? Can I get out if I need to? Is this some religious cult that is going to ask for my firstborn child? What is the person next to me doing and should I be doing that???? Is everybody going to know that I don’t fit in here?

At North Creek I think we have created an amazing environment for people who don’t know much about church. And we haven’t done that by watering down the stories of the Bible. They are real, life changing, and presentable as is. That being said, just taking a little extra time to give a new guest some framework can make all of the difference between feeling lost and learning.

I also think that sacred cows need to be slaughtered and replaced with culturally relevant ways of informing our guests about who we are. In other words, just because “we’ve always done it this way” doesn’t mean that we always need to do it that way. For example, we don’t have bulletin boards or pamphlets to communicate with people in our church. Twenty years ago that would have been unheard of. What resource will people have to understand our doctrine if we don’t have an information center with a rotating pamphlet holder? It was a necessity.

Now we have our doctrines online and a link to the Bible. You can email us, be our friend on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and watch all of our messages online from the comfort of your home before you ever make the leap to attend.

We also provide Starting Point for people who have questions about God. It’s a ten week discussion-based class that allows people a fast-track to understanding why we believe what we believe. What a gift for those who want to jump in that way! In a matter of weeks, we sum up our culture to people who are fresh on the starting block.

So, if you’ve never been to church before, come. It’s surprisingly comfortable, and other than the general awkwardness of getting orientated to a new environment, you’ll leave feeling relieved. Wear your jeans, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy the service. No pain necessary.

Here’s my weekly Highlights from my favorite place!

Zander was dedicated yesterday at the 10:30 am service. Baby dedication is not a Bible thing, but rather a way for us to pray over a new life and the parents who need to raise this little person. It’s a great reminder for all of us that we need to help guide and direct the young lives at our church. It takes all of us to love our kids! Congrats Pete and Rachel on the beautiful family you are creating!

Mark spoke on our emotional and spiritual Scars…such a heavy topic, but definitely one that we need to dive into. People get stuck when they get offended and can’t work through it. They can emotionally be frozen in time until they work through some of those issues in their hearts. Let’s be a church that forgives and grows!

Mike shared with me that they had a great small group night on Friday at Katie and Kevin’s…love it!

Rachael, our preschool director, was sick with the flu today, so I took over her job. She needs to be paid better! I was running all morning. The most hilarious part of that is that she has a huge team that makes the system function well and I was still exhausted!!! She’s an incredible leader and never allowed to be sick again! We can’t function without her leadership.

We had a volunteer training last night, but the first one of the year is always more like a recap of where we’ve been and where we’re going. It was FUN! Our staff is brilliant. There are no weak links in the bunch. It’s just one amazing person after the other and I’m blessed to work with them and call them my friends. North Creek Church has a great future ahead and I look forward to the journey.

Alissa lead worship yesterday. Such a beautiful voice! We picked up one of the worship team members at his house at 7:15 am yesterday. He’s a teenager. You have to really love God to call your pastor for a ride to church at the crack of dawn when you’re still in high school. He’s a quality young man!

It’s going to be a good week. Lots going on and lots to accomplish, but today I think I’ll enjoy a little of this beautiful sunshine. I hope that you are blessed!

I loved this blog by Pastor Steven Furtick. He planted a church the same year that we started North Creek, so we’ll be on the same yearbook page in Heaven…hope you enjoy this blog.

They’re Both in the Bible
February 1st, 2010

One thing that is becoming more apparent to me in this rapid read through the New Testament is the breadth of perspective the Bible contains. When you hunt through the Scriptures for specific passages to support your theological or philosophical position, it’s easy to come away with some pretty exaggerated extremes. But when you read through the Bible at a lightning fast pace, you begin to appreciate the depth of the wisdom of God instead of skimming the surface of selected texts, or exaggerated viewpoints.

For example, if you only study certain parts of the New Testament, you could find ample support for the position that since we are saved through grace alone, our own works mean nothing. And that’s true in the context of our salvation and right standing before God.

However, if you only study other parts of the Bible, you could come to the conclusion that if there are no works to accompany our profession of salvation, we aren’t truly saved. And that’s true too-in the context of our response to the grace of Jesus.

I guess what I’m trying to say is-when you really read the Bible, and consider some of the theological extremes that divide people in the body of Christ, you discover that they’re both in the Bible.

The sovereignty of God…
and the free will of man.
They’re both in the Bible.

God’s promise to prosper and bless His children…
and the certainty of hardship and suffering in the life of a believer.
They’re both in the Bible.

The mandate to preach the Gospel…
and the responsibility to care for the poor.
They’re both in the Bible.

The body of Christ would be so much more united and the people of God would be so much better equipped for life if we’d read the whole Word of God with humble hearts and open minds.

There have been some seasons of ministry where my inbox was my enemy. Right now is not one of those seasons. Everytime I go to my inbox someone else is emailing us something incredible that is happening in their world.

It’s motivating to me because I LOVE growth. I’m addicted to growth. I love to grow and I love to hear how other people are growing. It’s like watching the Olympics of Christianity right now. People are pushing themselves to win. And they are winning.

Here’s the latest email to share with you. I hope that it encourages you as well.

I want to share how our 90 day challenge is making a difference in my life. The more I read, I do feel that God is speaking into my life. Telling me that it is okay to let go and put my trust in Him. There are still areas of my life that I need to do better in, and He knows them. As each day passes, I can’t wait to get into my reading again, to learn more about Him on a more intimate level.

Since I can see that my son talks about Jesus and God, I NEED to be a good model for him. I can feel myself becoming stronger spiritually through this challenge.

I also want to point out from Stacy’s message, when she mentioned that she and Mark are wanting to rely and trust in God more in the area of finances, that I feel this is an area for me as well. I have been out of work since August and only through his Holy Spirit have we managed to get through our own “re-org”.

Thank you Pastor Mark for putting this challenge before us! This has been AWESOME for me!