Monthly Archives: May 2016

Happy Birthday to my daughter, Kennedy, this weekend!  Such an amazing young lady that is growing into a beautiful woman of God!  She was born on Memorial Day, which is a fitting tribute to honor the fact that so many people have given their lives for our freedom to raise our children in God-honoring families in a free country.  Although Memorial Day is about those who we have lost, it is also worth honoring those of you who are serving and putting your lives on the line for all of us.  We honor those who are gone and those who are going!

It was a rough weekend overall as one of our members, Jim Johnson, died very unexpectedly on Saturday.  His entire family attends our church and are dealing with the details this week as they cope with their loss.  If you can help with meals, click HERE to sign up.  We appreciate all of you who are able to jump in when a family, that you may or may not know, is suffering.  That really is the beauty of the church.  Johnson Family – We are lifting you up in prayer and surrounding you with our love!

We also have a couple of families dealing with some health issues as well, so overall it was a heavy weekend as we held up some of our families going through rough times.  I am grateful for a faithful God who is near to the brokenhearted!

On a lighter note, our Growth Groups are closing for the summer, but we had GREAT groups!  We tried a new strategy under Chris Harold’s leadership and it was very successful.  Begin to pray about making Growth Groups a priority for your family this fall when we open them again.  They are every other week, so it’s not a difficult commitment to make, but a very valuable one!

Young Adults!!!  Your Growth Group isn’t closing for the summer!  You can sign up online at and they will let you know when and where to go.  It has been a really good group and is growing faithfully!

We just started a series that I am excited about called Out of Control.  It’s a series on stepping out in faith, which can feel very out of control!  Join us over the next couple of months to see what God has to say for you!

Mark your calendars for our big move out of our Battle Ground campus.  We are planning an outdoor service with baptisms and a BBQ on July 3, with a massive move following!  It’s going to be a CRAZY, FUN morning, so plan to join us!

It is a mixed lot of rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn when we are a part of God’s family.  It is the beautiful mess being a part of a church, and so very worth it.  We love you, North Creek!  Here we go!


Sunday was the final sermon in our series about parenting.  It was a very important look at our character, integrity and how they can be passed along to our family.  If you missed any of our sermons, you can catch them online at

Our men had a phenomenal time at the Men’s Conference last weekend.  They enjoyed the games, the food, and the speakers, as well as the time together.  Plan to join our men next May if you couldn’t make it this year!

Are you still giving to 12for12 for our missions giving?  Our missionaries depend on our faithful giving to continue their work around the world.  You can give online or on Sunday mornings.  If you’d like to jump in to giving to our missionaries, we are asking for a $12 commitment a month for 12 months.

We are gearing up for camp this year for our children and youth.  If you need camp info, email for Kid’s Camp or for Youth Camp.  We want to help EVERY child get to camp, so don’t let money be a determining factor for you.  We have work and scholarship opportunities for our young people to help themselves.  We always have students who just need some of the money simply handed to them due to extenuating circumstances, so if you are able to give a scholarship, please do.  We use that money to make sure no kid is left behind.  North Creek puts a HIGH value on camp and the impact it can have on people’s future.

How’s your Bible reading?  There is no way to develop your faith successfully without a consistent plan for reading the Bible.  Here’s my challenge for you:  Read one chapter a day every day with a plan.  You can create a plan at

Would you come 15 minutes early to church?  That’s our valuable time to be together as a church and connect.  We LOVE to see you and spend time checking in with you.

Are you ready to get involved in one of our ministries?  The fastest way to make friends and feel like a part is to volunteer on a Sunday morning.  You can fill out a volunteer form on our website and we’ll get you plugged in.

We will be kicking off our new series this week on the book of Hebrews.  It is a rich book, filled with faith, and is sure to teach you some amazing things over the next month and a half.  Be sure to read through Hebrews so you are ready for God to speak to you!

I’m praying for you!  I know this world throws some curve balls, but God is faithful to help us through those circumstances.  The old kid’s song is true:  He’s got the whole world in His hands…including you!  Invite a friend to church to experience that love with you!

We love you, North Creek!

SO grateful to an amazing staff of leaders and volunteers that allowed Mark and I to go to our daughter’s gymnastics state championship on Sunday morning!  I cannot tell you what a gift it is to be able to leave without any worry about North Creek getting quality ministry.

It was a particularly interesting Sunday as our Service Coordinator, Rachael, and I were both gone.  Rachael’s parents are having some medical issues, so she is visiting them in California for a bit.  Add her family to your prayer list!  Thank you to Melissa McGraw and Kris Gray for jumping in and getting everything done well in our absence!!!

We had our Internet Safety class on Sunday that went exceptionally well.  We had over 50 people engage in protecting themselves and their families. Thank you so much to Cheryl Bledsoe for sharing your wisdom with us!

Chris preached the next part of our Dear Parent series.  If you have missed any of these messages, I encourage you to catch them online at  Such valuable information for us as we lead our families!

We are currently looking for a building!  It’s exciting to be at that point, but there isn’t much out there to look at.  Would you be praying that God would open the perfect door for us?  Can’t wait for the future to be the present!!!  Good things are ahead for North Creek!

Would you also pray for the POWER of Jesus to impact people’s hearts and lives?  Our nation is in chaos.  More than ever before, we need to be in His Word, standing firm on the mandates of Jesus, and believing that Jesus will RENEW people’s lives.  When we, as Christians, stop believing that God can change people, we have nothing left.  Did you hear that?  GOD CHANGES US.  We don’t have to be the same, bound by the same sins, stuck in the same patterns.  We can be set free and live the life that God wants us to live!

I’m praying for you!  And we are so glad to be pastors at this church.  It is an honor and a privilege to be at the heart of God’s will with you incredible people!  Let’s go change the world!





At North Creek Church our pastoral staff currently has 8 key paid leadership positions (some part time, some full time) filled by 50% male and 50% female leaders.  I’m certain that North Creek is on the far end of the spectrum because women in church leadership is still a controversial subject in the 21st century.  Today I’ll take some time and let you in on how our leadership team is built and how it works.

Here is our breakdown of positions:

  1. Lead Pastor – Male (My husband)
  2. Associate Pastor – Female (Myself – I actually don’t have a title.  No one has figured out what I do in the last ten years, but it’s a mixture of keeping the ship moving while creating enormous chaos with my latest great idea. The guys have a few opinions of the words “great idea”…)
  3. Youth Pastor – Female
  4. Catalyst Pastor – Female (oversees 140+ volunteers and makes Sundays run like clockwork)
  5. Executive Pastor – Male
  6. Worship Pastor – Male
  7. Children’s Pastor – Female
  8. Deaf Church Lead Pastor – Male (His wife plays a key pastoral position that I could easily add to this list as well, but at the moment is unpaid.)

(One thing to note is that our leadership team has incredible longevity.  I listed the order above by how long we’ve worked with each person.  The first five have been at North Creek for over 10 years, while the bottom three have been with us about 5 years.  That, as well, is nearly unheard of in church leadership roles. Perhaps I’ll write a blog later about how to develop a team that sticks. Once I figure out how we did that…)

Here are some behind the scenes thoughts we had as we developed our team:

august 2015 031First, we didn’t set out to hire women.

If you are thinking, “I’ve got to go find a qualified woman to develop some diversity in our church”, you are starting off on the wrong foot.  All of our leadership team came from within our church, and quite simply, we hired the person who was the most qualified and already doing the work.  If you look around every time you need to hire and can only find one gender who is strong and capable, you probably have to address red flags in your church culture and preaching.

Here’s our hiring process in one sentence:  Chris became one of our key preachers/executive pastor because he is an excellent communicator and leader.  Andrea became our children’s pastor because she is extremely gifted in communicating the Gospel and growing children.  Kris became our youth pastor because she simply could not stop leading teenagers to Jesus.  Rachael became our organizer because she is the perfect mixture of control and grace.  Jim became our Deaf Church pastor because he understands and loves the deaf culture…and he knows sign language…talk about job security!  Matt became our worship leader because he wrangles a team of very talented, artsy, creative types….a lot like chasing cats…  And so on…  We picked exceptional leaders and didn’t worry about “balancing our staff with gender diversity”.  Simply put…nobody wants to be hired because of their gender.  They want to be added to the team because someone recognized their intrinsic gifts and worth.

krisSecond, we developed a team culture that is a secure place for both men and women to interact with absolute integrity.

Our core team culture includes that we never meet alone with the opposite gender and that we don’t entertain conversations about our relationship struggles with the opposite gender.  Why?  Because we’ve watched great men and women fall to temptation and we will never assume that we are above being led astray either.  I’m sure that all of our marriages have had mountains and valleys while we’ve known each other.  We’ve probably all been vulnerable at different points.  The enemy has tried to get us all when we are weak…

This may be an uncomfortable reality to address in church staff, but if you address health on the front side, you are more likely to have health on the back side.  I watch our staff as a whole keep our conversations where our spouses would feel honored, our physical contact to an appropriate level, and our meetings are open door.  This may sound extreme, but it has never been a problem.  It has never hindered ministry.  We have never had to say, “Man, people won’t know about Jesus unless we have this private, closed door meeting without accountability.”  The men and women on our team are some of the closest friends I’ve seen, but it is actually the boundaries that allows our healthy friendship to even happen at all.  It breeds trust among each other and keeps our team above reproach.

august 2015 073Third, we believe that if you want to get the best out of parents (men and women) in church leadership, empower them to do their jobs and then let them have freedom in their schedule.

Quite frankly, ministry requires enough sacrifice.  The pace is often relentless, the task is often overwhelming, and the emotional baggage is heavy on many days.  On top of that, we can’t pay them enough to miss out on school plays, soccer games, and dance recitals for their amazing kids.  So we have very few boundaries on required staff times.  And the magic that we watch day in and day out is that they all do far more than they should.  They are pastors at heart, motivated by Jesus himself, and they work with a diligence and honor that trumps the need to demand set office hours.  This may be even more true for the women.  The fact of the matter is that most women are still the main childcare providers for the families.  But if Jesus has called them to a pastor, trust me…they also have the time and energy to pour their lives into ministry…IF someone will work with their kid’s schedules.  I’ve watched the mothers on our team navigate being wonderful moms and high capacity pastors with grace and excellence.  They know God has a call and a place for them, but they also want to be on the forefront of raising their kids.  I know that need intimately, and while not all jobs can accommodate that for working women, ministry very often can.  So we do.  And it has never failed us.


So, there is a taste of what’s behind the scenes of North Creek and our DNA.  It’s not perfect by any means.  Sometimes our gender differences rub each other the wrong way.  And I guarantee that our team probably cries more than most teams. (Mostly the men…)  All that aside, I wouldn’t change it for the world!  It goes much deeper and wider than this 1000 words, but I can tell you that I love what it produces in the church as a whole.  We have STRONG women and STRONG men in our church who are comfortable in whatever role God is calling them to step into.


Disclaimer to all Women in Ministry

**I am very aware that most women stepping into ministry are highly discouraged by what they are finding out there in our church culture.  Perhaps this blog will encourage you to know that there are churches who are simply paving the way by creating diverse teams from a very normal foundation of merit and passion.  As a licensed female pastor, I am cheering you on, raising up a generation who thinks highly of you, and storming the gates of Hell right alongside of you in my heels and lipstick.  Let’s do this!

windowslivewriterthinkyoureinternetsafetysavvythinkagain-bc5binternet-safety-43On Sunday, May 15 at 8:45 am at Prairie High School we will be hosting a North Creek U class on Internet Safety taught by Cheryl Bledsoe.  Cheryl has a broad and diverse background in everything from social media, to abuse, to emergency preparedness…and MUCH MORE…and is a sought after speaker on a number of those topics.

I wanted to take a moment and share with you how important this class is for all of us parents.  To be quite honest, sometimes when Cheryl talks to me about the reality of the human situation that she encounters in her particular line of work and past jobs, I want her to stop talking.  I have a visceral reaction in my brain because I desperately want to believe that the world is a safe place for my kids.  Any broad base of knowledge that is contrary to that mentality is scary for me. I don’t want to live in fear, so my next line of defense is just not to know.

But here is what’s true: I can’t run away because my kids need me to be on the forefront for them.  That’s my job.  I need to be smart, educated, fearless, and fierce when it comes to the access they have to this world. I don’t get to shrug my shoulders and hope it’s OK.

And neither do you.

We need to fight for a generation that has way to much access to pornography, because porn will destroy their view of God’s plan for sex.  We need to fight for a generation of young people who are sex trafficked right out of their innocence, because they can’t possibly understand the ramifications of evil.  We need to fight for a generation who can be cyber-bullied, sexually used, and mentally manipulated, because if we are diligent we can change the future for a multitude of young people.

We are not helpless, hopeless, or unable to parent a technological generation that is running behind us.  We can do this!  God wants us to be wise, equipped, and ready to charge into our kid’s lives and help them understand how to be Godly young people on the internet.

So, join me in taking a step towards educating ourselves.  While Cheryl can’t possibly solve the world’s problems in 45 minutes, it will be a starting point for so many of us who are staring down the barrel of raising kids who are attached to cords.  You can sign up today at under the North Creek U link.  If you are planning on attending, signing up sooner than later is much appreciated so we can plan accordingly.

By the way, if you don’t have kids, come anyway.  We ALL need to understand internet safety!  See you there!