NORTHGATE Blog

Time for Spring Cleaning

I don't know about you, but this radical change in weather has brought a smile to my face.  Spring is always an optimistic season for me.  The plants and trees are starting to bloom and the feeling of something "new" is in the air.  That's the "good news"….

This is also the season of spring cleaning.  That annual tradition of ripping apart the home and garage and cleaning away all the dust, dirt, and grime that has accumulated from the winter season.  While the end result of all of this work is amazing, the process of cleaning up is hard to start and even harder to complete.  I know that each time I look at this project, I get easily distracted by the desire to move quickly and get on with my day.  There are all sorts of other things that "need" my attention.   You know, really important things like checking my social feeds to make sure I haven't missed anything or maybe streaming an entire season of my latest new favorite series.  But with all that said, there's nothing more satisfying than looking at the results of the clean-up that has been completed.  What was once old and dirty now looks new.

Occasionally, as followers of Jesus, we too can enter into a season where we fall away and let the dust and dirt of the world enter into our lives.  Maybe we have become so busy with activities and work that we do not spend time reading the Bible or praying.  Or maybe there have been events that have taken place that have caused us to turn away.

The good news is that we have the opportunity to perform some "spring cleaning" in our lives as well.  The invitation from Jesus is clear.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"  You see, something new is inside of us that makes us new.  All we have to do is turn back to Jesus and re-engage with him to take away the dust and dirt to uncover the new you!  1 John 1:9 says - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

My prayer for you today is that you will take time this spring and do a little spring cleaning on yourself.  Establish a regular routine of engaging Jesus in prayer and study his word in the Bible and you too can have the opportunity to rediscover that "new" feeling that is so obvious this time of year.

 

Helping Kids Through Difficulty

I confess, I think I had become desensitized to the life stressors kids and families face today.  Divorce, death, depression, health diagnoses, adoption, foster care, bullying…the list could go on. They have become so common place that we don’t think twice about it.  However, those things are anything but common place to those experiencing it.  Especially children and youth, who because of their developmental level, process stress very differently than adults.  Not only that, but kids, even within the same family, can process and react to stress very differently from each other.  My concern is that our kids today are developing a “world view” of despair, isolation and “waiting for the other shoe to drop” rather than a “world view” of hope, love and connectedness that Jesus offers. 

We at Northgate don’t think it needs to be that way.  For a few years now, we have been praying, asking God how we can support hurting kids/kids with various “special needs” and their families.  As a result, beginning on Mondays in the fall, Northgate Church is launching a new program called Confident Kids.

Below is from ConfidentKids.com

Growing up in America today is not easy. Simply surviving can be complicated for children growing up with fractured families, drugs and alcohol in their homes and communities, family and neighborhood violence, foster care – and so much more! Yet few places within our society, and even fewer within our churches, are reaching out to help children deal with the complexities of these high-stress life situations.

Confident Kids is a Bible based support group program offering a life skills curriculum that helps families deal with the stresses of living in today's world. Through games, skits and small group discussions, children learn important life skills while experiencing a safe place to talk about their life experiences. In a concurrent group, parents/caregivers learn to apply these same skills at home, while experiencing a safe place to share their stories, as well. In both groups, participants grow as they discover they are not alone. 

Confident Kids is designed to bring hope, healing and the message of God’s love to hurting kids and struggling parents within our community by providing a safe, supportive Christ centered community.  

Northgate’s Confident Kids program will have a place for everyone in the family, from childcare for infants and toddlers to support groups for kids and youth ages 4 to 18 as well as a group for parents/caregivers.   No one needs to be left home on Monday nights this fall.  A meal will be provided as well.  

Even more important than providing strategies for dealing with life’s stressors, we hope that Northgate’s Confident Kids program will connect kids and families…to each other, to others going through something similar, to loving, well trained volunteers who are cheering them on and to Jesus who came so that we could live differently.   

Registration for participation in Confident Kids will open in August.  For more information on opportunities to serve on the Confident Kids team visit http://ngatechurch.org/kids-1/  

From Northgate’s Vision

Compassion-loving
We envision a Christ-centered, radically-loving, excessively-compassionate church who serves rather than be served, who gives rather than takes, and who blesses rather than curses.

Wendy Walton

Kids’ Ministry Director

Last weekend, we launched our 2018 giving emphasis: HIDDEN POTENTIAL. Together, we discovered that you and I have hidden potential that God calls us to uncover each and every day. In the same way, our building has hidden potential. When fully unleashed, we’ll enhance our building environment, wow our guests, and help people all the more become who God purposed them  to be. 

The goal is ambitious. That’s okay. As I said this past weekend, when God calls us to do something:

We don’t have to be afraid.                                                         
We need to remember that it’s not about us. It’s about God.

We never do it alone.

So, let’s review the specifics of this campaign.

THE GOAL?
Together, let’s raise $100,000 over and above our current tithes and offerings.

THE NEED?
Some current obstacles have been identified:

1.    Auditorium seating
More aisles are needed in our stadium section. People like to sit on aisles. Guests come in and can’t find a seat! That needs to change.

2.    Lobby experience
Northgate has a bright lobby. A little too bright! Our guests can’t see us and we can’t see them! Let’s revamp the lobby, darken the windows a little, and create a more welcoming atmosphere.

3.    Youth
Due North youth ministry is hopping! Let’s make Northgate a destination location for tweens and teens! Games, engaging activities, and hands on fun!

4.    A center screen
If you’ve attended Northgate on Christmas or Easter, you’ve seen it. An already solid worship environment gets dialed up with the presence of another screen. Let’s put it in the center and get our worship on!

These unique and fun opportunities will enhance the overall experience at Northgate and make our guests feel all the more welcome.

THE HOW?
The truth is we all have the potential to see this vision become a reality. Will you help us makes it happen?

The Bible is clear on what we should give. So, I challenge you to put God first in your finances in 2018 by giving at least 10% of your income to the church and give above and beyond to HIDDEN POTENTIAL.

“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. 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. —Malachi 3

An easy way to establish the regular habit of tithing and to give over and above to HIDDEN POTENTIAL is to take advantage of electronic giving.  It’s easy to set up. Just go to http://ngatechurch.org/give and follow the instructions.

THE WIN?
Northgate Church is passionate about helping people become who God purposed them to be. Just imagine what will happen when we unleash this HIDDEN POTENTIAL. More and more people finding their purpose! Thank you in advance!

UPDATE! As of March 18, Northgaters have given or pledged $126,220 to HIDDEN POTENTIAL! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Northgate!

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