Tinkering with Partnership
In past years, Northgate Church has offered two different categories for Northgaters: “partners” (or what many churches call members) and “active participants.” Simply put, “partners” were those who were baptized and attended both the “Introduction to Northgate” and “Alpha” courses. “Active participants” were those who attended Northgate but did not complete both courses.
In some churches, people see church membership as something similar to a country club association. The organization exists to benefit its members. If you’ve been around Northgate for any time, you know that’s not how we operate.
Part of our vision reads: We see “outwardly-focused” people whose hearts beat for those outside the church. We see people who don’t cater to their personal preferences, but stick to God’s purpose, first and foremost, of reaching as many other people as possible for Christ.
So, after some discussion and prayer, the Board of Directors has decided to do away with a formal membership process here at Northgate. If you’re already a partner, nothing changes. You’re still as much a part of the church as you were before. However, if you were simply a participant (and many of you are), we now consider you a partner, as well, because you’re making Northgate Church a reality each and every day. If you aren’t baptized, I strongly encourage you to do so as a follower of Christ.
On the second Sunday of the month, in lieu of an “Introduction to Northgate Course,” we’ll offer “Second Look,” a standing meeting in which people can learn what we’re all about. Of course, we’ll keep offering Alpha. God changes so many lives through it! Take the course if you haven’t already and bring a friend with you.
Back in the old days, churches would boast about their membership size. “We have 10,000 members and about 1,000 people in attendance.” 9,000 people on the books who don’t show up? I don’t think so. Even with formal membership, Northgate’s attendance has always been higher than its membership.
At Northgate, we’re just fine celebrating what God is doing in our attendance and beyond. So, attendance wise at present, ZERO formal members and 1100 people each and every week. We’re up 10% this fall over last!
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Invite a friend to “join” us at Northgate in the days ahead! Thanks for all you’re doing to help people become who God purposed them to be.