Kick off for Northern Lights Church!

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We have started!!  What a thrill it was to hold the first ever church service for Northern Lights Church on Sunday morning just gone.

We had 23 people present, and there was a great atmosphere.

What was the most encouraging to me was when we had a time in the middle of the service for people to say hi to one another, so they did.  That doesn’t sound too remarkable, but seeing it happen it occurred to me that all these people had a connection to us, but they really didn’t know each other.  But as they spent those few minutes saying hello I realised, “this is the start of a new community.”  That’s central to our whole vision, even to our church name.  The bible says, “If we are in the light, as he is in the light, then we share in life together.”  Those few moments were the very start of that happening.  Still more encouraging was that half an hour after the service had ended almost no one had left.  People were still talking and enjoying each other’s company.  And enjoying their cup of tea, of course.

The people who came had a mixed background, some Catholic, some with no real church history to speak of.  But what was very encouraging was that I think only 4 of them apart from our selves were in church last week.  So that’s plenty of people who were not connected with any local church that are open to making Northern Lights Church their home.  Not all will, but some will, so that is great.

In the Purpose Driven Church Rick Warren makes the point that the modern trend of starting a church plant with a team of 30 odd means that the leader can get too busy looking after the needs of those 30 people, so they focus less on the community they are trying to reach out to.  Rick started with himself and his wife, so there was no other option.

Having now had our first service I can see what he is saying.  We do have a team to some extent in that we have borrowed 4 people from other churches – a keyboardist / worship leader and his friend, and a young couple who helped with numerous smaller jobs.  They were all fabulous.  We had so many people attend who had made a connection with us at some point over the last 3 months that we have been living here in Halifax.  In fact there was no one present who had not!

For the next service we will definitely do a better job of letting the community at large know about our meeting, and we will start to get more people attending who don’t have that connection with us.  When that is combined with those who do have that connection then we will be well placed.

I cannot express strongly enough that Catherine and I are so committed to this church.  We are in this for the long haul and by God’s grace we will build a church that will stand the test of time.  The Halifax Minster, the oldest church in town has been holding services on the same location for over 900 years.  My dream is that in a further 900 years the Minster will be celebrating its 1,800 year anniversary while Northern Lights Church celebrates 900 years of its own.  I love one of the prophetic words that we have been given which was that what we will build will be “like an oak tree, and an oak tree is something that stands for generations.”  I believe that, and I look forward to our second monthly service which will be on December 15.  I can’t believe that I have to wait 27 days to go again – I wish it was tomorrow!

John

5 Comments to “Kick off for Northern Lights Church!”

  1. Hello John, Catherine, and Poppy,

    As this special time of Christmas draws near, my thoughts and prayers go out to you all. I am very mindful that for this year and for future years to come you will have some times like you’ve never experienced before. Rugging up to keep warm and maybe even the possibility of snow and extremely cold weather. I would think in many ways it would be quite exciting to have a white Christmas. Poppy will have some fun making snow men.

    What a thrill it has been to hear of your news and the progress you are making in establishing Northern Lights. We have been praying for you and I am very encouraged by your enthusiasm to reach out to so many. How blessed you were to have so many unchurched people at your first service. God has certainly called you into that place, and only He can strengthen and guide you into bigger and better things. You are so wise to take it one step at a time. Onward and upward is what I say Hallelujah!! and glory be to God!

    Last Sunday we had ‘Christmas in the Courtyard.’ The worship team were in great voice and we had a jumping castle for the children and a craft table that they could make things while listening to the carols. There were many families gathered and stopping to listen. It gave us a great opportunity to speak to those who lingered.

    Saturday night Wendy and I went to a carols service put on by the Salvation Army at Hamer Hall in the city. It was a wonderful night and we were so blessed to be invited.

    Tonight is our Community Connections Christmas dinner. We have 45 come all up. Only 16 Manningham people and the rest are from the community. Isn’t that encouraging! I have cooked a huge Christmas pudding so I’m hoping it tastes yummy.

    Guys, I love to read your blog and hear of all the exciting things that God is doing in your lives. You give me many prayer points to bring before the Father, so I’m loving it that you keep me informed.

    As this special Christmas season comes upon us and you are surrounded by new family and friends, I pray it will be a really special time where the Holy Spirit speaks to your hearts. That your will know so profoundly that God has come Emmanuel, God is with us. Luke: 2: 9-14

    My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will so enfold you in His peace and love, and abundant joy will be your portion.

    With special love and a big Aussie hug for you all Rosalie Greenwood

  2. Congratulations John and Catherine. What a wonderful start to your new ministry. John could you contact me by email please.
    Michael Green.

  3. Woohoo! Go Warrens, and go NLC!

  4. congratulations! So exciting to hear about it. God is good.

  5. John Catherine and poppy… The spirit of God is upon your family and your ministry. You are a light to those people who came last week and your whole community. What an inspiration you 3 are. We love you and your ministry. Love Ali brad lach Tom and Nate

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