Life at Northwest

fish1We began our mission in July of 2003 when the Northwest church of Christ was planted here in Regina. The goal was to create a church that had a strong commitment to evangelism, a desire to seek and fulfill the will of God, and to develop a close feeling of community among the members. We have gone through our share of struggles and growing pains as we continue to try and find the best way to fulfill our mission; “to serve God with devotion and to seek the lost with compassion.”

We are a group that isn’t perfect. We will struggle with sin daily, but we help and encourage each other to be what God de­sires us to be. We lift each other up as we strive to know Jesus better. Jesus is our driving force and the head of the church. Our desire is to be constantly transformed in to the image of our Lord and Master.

We all fall short of the ideal we want and the life God has planned for us. We know that our only hope is Jesus. He overcame our weaknesses, addictions, and failures by His sacrificial love. Our faith community is strong because we know we are weak. We want a church where masks are not needed and no one need take their faith journey alone.

We seek to know more about the Lord and His Word so we can be changed and change the world around us. We do this through a variety of one-on-one studies, small groups and weekly classes. We are confident you will find a place within this church family: a place for deep lasting friendships. a place to grow, and to make a difference.

Mission Statement / Core Values

Mission Statement: Our mission is to serve God with devotion and seek the lost with compassion (Mark 12:30; Luke 19:10).

Specific Goals:

We will serve God by:

1. WORSHIPING God individually and collectively (Mark 12:30)

2. COMMITTING to God and the ministries of this congregation (1 Peter 4:10)

3. LOVING each other unconditionally (1 Peter 1:22)

MATURING together toward Christ likeness (Colossians 1:28)

We will seek the lost by:

5. REACHING out to our community (Mark 16:15)

6. DRAWING the lost to Jesus (Luke 19:10)

7. INTEGRATING new Christians into the body life (Acts 2:42)

EXTENDING our outreach by planting another church before 2009 (Acts 13:1-3)

(This goal will require a smaller set of intermediate goals.)

Core Values:

1. God dependent, God responsive.  It is the Spirit of God that must serve as the impetus for the church to fulfill its mission.  Only as we offer ourselves as clay to be shaped by the Master will He be able to accomplish His will through us.  Our faith in God will be expressed in the life of the church through prayer, fasting and waiting on God.  These spiritual disciplines will be the most formative things we do; they will empower the church and give shape to all that we do.

2. Biblical, and theologically centred.  It is vital for the church to be biblical in all that we do.  The Bible is the ultimate authority for Christian teaching and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  It is our goal to determine the will of God on all matters, as revealed in the word of God, to the best of our ability.  Our effort to be biblical will centre around the major themes of the Scriptures – love, grace, justification, reconciliation, redemption, righteousness, communion with God, holy living, and sacrificial service.  These will flow from a biblical theology which is openly expressed and taught, so that biblical priorities become the priorities of the church.

We are also committed to the values of non-sectarian, non-denominational Christianity as espoused by the Restoration Movement churches in their best non-sectarian form. In our effort to be biblical, we will maintain an attitude of humility and openness, remembering that God is larger than we are and that we can learn from others even as they can learn from us.

We want to be positive about our heritage.  While we recognize that our movement is not sacred and that many mistakes have been made, we affirm the crucial importance of restoration principles.  These include particularly the search for truth as revealed in the word of God, and an unswerving commitment to unity.  We want to balance these to the best of our ability, by maintaining our commitment to unity and learning the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Thes. 2:15).

3. Strategic in evangelism, making the best evangelistic use of corporate worship, special events and occasions, small groups, personal relationships, workshops on marriage and family topics, evangelistic seeker courses offered by the church, and our personal examples shown in the community.

An essential part of effective evangelism is being culturally attuned.  Strategic evangelism will include attention to the needs and habits of our culture.  We will study the characteristics of our culture that make the unchurched accessible to the gospel and use these to the advantage of the gospel.  Examples of this include the openness of our culture to spirituality (although it is typically a non-Christian spirituality), and the preference for stories.

One of our dreams from the outset is to plant another church.  This is intentionally built into our goals, with a specific date to make it concrete.  The year 2009 will be our target from the moment the church begins.  Our congregation will be used as a training ground and place of internship by those planning strategic church plants in other parts of Canada.  Throughout the process, we will continue to consult the best church planting resources in our fellowship and beyond, with particular attention to those working in Canada.

4. Worship focused.  This is not only biblically central but is crucial in a post-modern society looking for genuine experience with God.

5.Relationship based.  This includes an emphasis on each believer having a personal relationship with Christ and building strong bonds of love within the church family.  (This proposal may give the impression that structure and organization will be the major vehicle for accomplishing the work of the church.  However, the mission of the church will be achieved both through careful planning and through caring relationships.)

A vital aspect of nurturing our relationships is small groups.  The small group unit will be the primary context for shepherding, care, benevolence and healthy accountability.   The small group will also be an important part of our plan to evangelize and incorporate new members into our body.

6. Service oriented, so that the church members and members of the community know the church as a place where help is provided and needs are met.

7. Purposeful in leadership – The church has a clear sense of mission, encapsulated in a succinct and memorable mission statement.  The mission statement and goals will guide everything we do in this church.  (We are reluctant to use the phrase “Purpose-Driven” because this could give the impression that we intend to become a “mega church” and be market-driven.  This is not our intention.)

We will not leave the personal and spiritual growth of members to chance, but will plan so that every member can grow in their theological understanding and training for ministry.  Total discipleship is the goal.

We will also be intentional about identifying and training potential leaders who will work to carry out our mission statement.  We will make it our goal that every person serving in ministry will be coaching an apprentice, including small group leaders, elders, deacons, preachers, women’s ministry leaders, youth leaders, etc., so that training is intentionally built into every facet of our body life.  This will result in the multiplication of those who are trained for service.  It will also dovetail well with having high school and college students from several schools as part of the congregation.

Another area of deliberate planning is marriage and family.  Strong marriages and families are crucial for the strength of the church.  We will plan classes and seminars to provide both biblical foundations and practical skills for family life.  These can also be used for evangelistic purposes.

In leading the church plant, we will strive to be biblical.  Biblical leadership is servant-oriented, humble, prayerful and relational.  It gives attention both to careful planning and loving relationships.  Our style of leadership will be open.  Issues that affect the congregation or individuals will be addressed openly and directly.  An open style of communication will mitigate problems and facilitate trust.  We will balance “speaking the truth” by doing it “in love” (Ephesians 4:15).  Leaders will be accountable to God and the church family.  Leadership will be provided in teams, as no individual has all the skills and abilities necessary to fully embody Christ’s leadership.

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