My Top Three Reasons I’m Glad to Be Back

Every summer, Northgaters “grace” me with a number of weeks off for study, reflection, rest, and time with family. I don’t take that for granted. It’s a luxury, not a privilege. God always uses that time to prepare me and our staff for the upcoming year. I get a break from “ministry” and Northgate’s staff gets a break from me. As the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

That being said, I’m so glad to be back and here’s why:

1.      Community.

I think it was John Wesley who said, “No man ever went to heaven alone. . .” and I don’t want to go through this life alone more than ever. I miss all of you Northgaters when we’re apart. As important as it is for me to connect with my family in the summer, I also long to connect with my spiritual family in the church when I’m away. And I’m an introvert! A big introvert! Community has become that important to me.

If you’re not connected to Northgate in some way, do it today. Join a Gateway (we have a few options) or form a small group. Volunteer. First Impressions (greeting, parking, etc.) is a great place to start. Do something to meet the people around you. If you want people to invest in you, you need to invest in others first. So, step outside your comfort zone and jump into something this fall.

2.      Worship.

There’s something very liberating to me about worshiping at Northgate. I can’t put my finger on it. I just connect with God at Northgate in a way I can’t in other places. I think it goes back to community.

My family feels the same way. In fact, my wife and kids are known for sneaking into Northgate during the summer without me. As my wife, Sarah, said to me a few weeks back, “We’re going to Northgate this weekend. You can stay at home if you want, but we’re going. I just need to worship.” My kids agreed.  

Also, we’ve taken some big steps in the past week to resolve some of our sound and lighting issues. With some “professional” help, the speakers in our auditorium are sounding so good its palpable, and yes, even quieter. Thanks to all the volunteers and staff who make worship what it is. Look for more improvements in the days ahead.

3.      Leadership.

In my darker moments, I sometimes fantasize about “leaving-it-all-behind” and retreating to an isolated cabin in the woods. . . But that’s not how God wired me. I LOVE to lead and Northgate is full of high quality leaders and more and more are coming every weekend. This fall, we’re launching a brand new leadership pilot which we advertised last spring. About two-dozen leaders will be meeting weekly to grow in their leadership potential as they serve and follow Christ in the church and in the world. It’ll be fun to see what God does with this leadership experiment.

I can’t wait to see what God does next at Northgate this fall. Things are constantly changing and in motion. And we’re growing. Still, our foundation remains the same: Jesus Christ.

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Northgate Church is passionate about helping people become who God purposed them to be. 

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