When you set out on a journey you need to have some idea of where you are going. Whether you depend on your GPS or study a map, you will have some idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there.
The same is true with being part of a church and growing in your relationship with Jesus. You need to have a sense of where you are headed and what to expect. Although each of us has a unique path to follow, we have a common goal and God provides us with markers to look for as we make progress toward Him.
Our goal-our “True North”-is a life that is centered upon a relationship with Jesus Christ. We move toward this goal as we continue to seek Him daily and allow Him to transform our lives.
We find a great map for this journey in the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:9-11:
This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God. (NCV)
Provide opportunity and environment for fulfilling the first part of Paul’s prayer for the Philippians
“That your love will grow more and more.” Jesus overcame sin through an act of love. God’s plan for dealing with the sin of mankind was not to condemn us for our sins, but to pursue us in love and give us the opportunity to respond in love. In order to understand and accept Jesus’ forgiveness of sins a person must first know the love of God.
Our first priority with any person building a connection with True North is to ensure they know what real love is; to know they are valued, accepted and welcome regardless of who they are, what they believe, or how they have lived their life.
In a world that is much more familiar with condemnation than love, we will go out of our way to exhibit God’s love toward people to help awaken them to who He is. We will also continue learning to set aside our own assumptions about people and view them as people God desires to know.
“That you will have knowledge and understanding with your love.” With a foundation of understanding God’s love, a person is able to commit their life to God and grow as a disciple of Christ. As a person gains knowledge and understanding from God’s Word in relationship with other followers of Christ, God transforms and purifies their life.
As people build those vital connections with True North, we will teach them to value God’s Word and provide opportunities for them to learn from and study the Bible. We will also work together to encourage one another to continue growing in love, knowledge and understanding.
Success for True North is measured by seeing the results described in the second half of Paul’s prayer.
“That you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good.” With new knowledge from God, people will see the difference between good and bad. With trust in Him based upon knowing Him, they will begin to choose the good.
Our first measure of success is seeing people make new choices in the way they live based upon love for God and knowledge of Him & His Word.
“That you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ.” A person who has a healthy and growing relationship with Jesus will adopt new priorities for life. They will pursue holiness; being set apart to bring glory to God in all they do. They will express new desires for life motivated by their love for Jesus.
“That you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God.” As a person continues to grow in Christ and live for Him, they will bear fruit that brings further praise and glory to God. They will seek opportunities to exhibit and share the good things Jesus has produced in them so that others will have the opportunity to know Him, too.
We invite you to come along with us on the greatest of adventures-the journey to find “True North” with these 5 steps as your guide: