11-11-18 @North Heartland: This Sunday & Beyond

Good white, windy and wintery afternon dear family and friends of North Heartland:

Several items of significance in this edition on which I need to bring you up to speed, so I appreciate you hanging in til the end of it.

First off, this Sunday we continue in our series, Outsiders, with the topic God's Story/My Story. These days no one buys anything without first checking the reviews. The same is true when it comes to faith, which means that the best endorsement for Christianity is an authentic Christian who can explain two things: who Jesus is and how following Him makes their life better and makes them better at life. Show up Sunday and I promise you'll be better at sharing your faith. 🙂

Second, as a consequence of the recent change in the leadership of our Arts Ministry (see the email I sent you on Tuesday if you don't know what I'm talking about), our annual Celebration of Christmas event is canceled for this year. We plan to bring it back next year as it fits so well with North Heartland's vision of reaching "outsiders" plus the fact that the Christmas season is the time of the year when non-church-attenders are most likely to say "yes" to an invitation to church.

However, because we don't want to miss that open window this year, we've decided that we're going to go about it a different way. If you've been around North Heartland for a while, I'm sure you know that one of the most effective "invitational" series we do is a movie series. So, this December, I'll be doing four weeks of "Christmas at the Movies." Not only will the series feature four classic films that everyone loves, the series will also pack a punch in terms of helping people come to grips with the truth of the Gospel.

Here's the plan:

12-02 Christmas Vacation
Who doesn't love a little Griswald chaos at Christmas?

12-09 A Christmas Carol
I'll be using the 1999 remake starring Patrick Stewart but the story is the same in any version.

12-16    Elf
I just love this movie - one of my top three favs!

12-23    The Santa Clause
The first of the Tim Allen trilogy. The rest are so-so IMHO.

There are a couple more cool things that will be happening in this series which I'll let you in on later but, for now, be thinking now about the "outsiders" to the faith in your life who God might want you to invite. I promise it will be great!

Speaking of promises ... I know that whenever there is a major change in church leadership, there is always a question of how that change will impact what we experience together as a congregation. As I wrote in my email on Tuesday, there are some things we don't know yet about the long-term future of our Arts Ministry (and we're going to use the next three months to figure it out) but I do know one thing:

Our interim leadership team of Hannah Shuler (Interim Director of Arts) and Richard Blair (Interim Director of Music) is committed to doing only what we can do with excellence.

Because these are new roles for them and there are limits on their time (Hannah is serving in a volunteer capacity for now and Richard is part-time plus he has another job full-time), that might mean fewer songs, fewer singers and fewer musicians than we have had onstage in the past. In fact, I've told them that if all we can do well in this time period involves two singers and an acoustic guitarist, that is acceptable as long as it is done with excellence.

As a church committed to being the kind of place where "insiders" can invite the "outsiders" in their lives, that's our promise: excellence - and not just in the Arts but also in preaching, hospitality, children's ministry, student ministry, etc. And not only in this interim but, ultimately, going forward. North Heartland exists not just to reach outsiders but to help insiders reach their outsiders.

You'll be hearing more about that in next Sunday's message 🙂 so that's enough for now. Stay warm and I'll see you this Sunday!


***** Stats from Sunday *****

09:30    431
11:00    306
Total    737
LiveStream IPs    33
Ministry & Operations Fund
Offering    $45,138
Goal    $29,000
YTD    $1,178,146
Goal    $1,175,500
Status    $2,646

Rick McGinniss