Welcome to our 2020-2021 Ministry Stories website. Below you'll find updates, stories, and photos from the ministry that NLCC has been engaging in this past year. Click the links at the bottom of the page for stories from different areas of ministry.
What a year it has been! I am sure few of us would have thought a year ago we would still be meeting only online and conducting our ministries with only the smallest of personal contacts. But here we are and we have survived, and in many ways thrived. The elders have been so impressed time after time when we have seen the ways the congregation and staff have risen to the occasion.
Whether it is the catalyst events or a drive-thru prayer event, we have found ways to reach out and see the mission of NLCC extended and realized. As an example, as Sue and I have led the marriage course, now exclusively online, we have had our largest group ever with 50+ couples, where we normally have around 18. While some doors have been closed others have opened in ways not possible before. Being a part of this and other ministries of our church is without a doubt one of my greatest joys. It is one of the true points of meaning in my life.
A verse that has been a focus for me this past year has been II Cor. 9:8, which says "God is able to make all grace abound to you so that at all times, having all that you need, you may abound in every good deed."
This is such a clear and perfect statement of what we have experienced as a church. And this is the history of the Church throughout the ages. When circumstances have changed and the church has had to adapt, the Lord has always provided in all those times, all that was needed. And through that provision, we have all that we needed and will always have all we need. The context of this passage is Paul’s challenge to give generously. When we sow generously we will in turn harvest generously. And not only are we to give generously, but we are also to give with joy because God wants us to experience and share in the joy and purpose found in lining up our lives, time, finances behind what he is doing in the world.
I hope in this challenging season you have been able to find a place to connect with God and experience the joy that comes with being a part of the powerful ongoing work of God through our church in this community and around the world. May God give us the strength to continue His work!
Hey North Langley!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart… God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
I echo these words from Paul: I thank my God every time I remember you.
I miss a full foyer of people hugging, chatting, and greeting each other.
I miss seeing our prayer teams laying hands on those that need to be prayed for.
I miss shaking hands or high-fiving our amazing usher team.
I miss seeing hands raised up in worship.
I miss hearing voices surrounding me in worship and praise to Jesus.
I miss seeing hundreds of kids gathered in classrooms learning about Jesus.
I miss the ability to gather in small groups and see each other’s faces as we study Scripture together.
I miss all of it. And I want you to know how much I love you and how thankful I am for my church family.
I thank my God every time I remember you.
Thank you for engaging our Scripture series this past Fall, for pursuing wisdom and peace in our Shalom series this winter, and I thank you for the way in which you are leaning into our Forgive Us series on confession and repentance this Spring. It is a real joy to walk with you as we learn to be apprenticed to Jesus.
This next year we have a lot that we are dreaming about: a new campus church plant, a new internship program, and all the ministries of our church reopening! I am thrilled about the year ahead. But I am most excited about the people in our city that will be hearing the good news of Jesus for the first time this year.
As I begin my 15th year of ministry at North Langley I am eager to see all the ways in which God is going to keep drawing us closer to Himself. That is what this is all about, right?
“Father, we thank you for the faithfulness of your love in the year that has passed, and we look ahead to a new year of many more people coming to know you in our city. Draw us to Yourself. And may our city know that we are yours by the love we have for one another. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.”
Love you all,
Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how." (Mark 4:226-27) Yet amazingly, the seed produces a harvest, even though we can't always see it or explain it!
This is a promising word for this last year of ministry when we have not been able to gather, share and observe God at work as a church family as we would have liked. But God is always working! There is so much to be thankful for! While our church building has only seen usage for short periods of time, our parking lots (Walnut Grove and Yorkson) have been hubs of activity on many occasions such as Drive Through connection events and Easter gatherings. Giving is strong, enabling NLCC staff to stay engaged in discipleship, outreach, and care, as well as support missions and partnerships locally and globally.
Joy comes with sadness as well. Some have said goodbye to loved ones without the support of the gathered community. Others have suffered through illness and hospital stays without visits. We have all struggled with isolation and loneliness because of restrictions. As a staff team, we have had to say goodbye to 3 beloved Children's Ministry staff as God has led them on-- Scott Turner (Yorkson kids), Suzie Warneke (WG Preschool), and Joy Sarju (Children's Pastor, retiring in June). But we continue to be thankful that the staff have been able to work together, the church office can stay open and there have been no outbreaks. We are so thrilled to plan towards regathering in the summer and fall!
We are especially grateful for you, our congregation, who consistently encourages, appreciates, serves, and prays for our staff and church family. God is using you to be a blessing, and we are so thankful for every one of you! So, whether we get a front-row seat to God's kingdom growth, or not, carry on scattering seeds and God promises to make them grow!