Where to from here?

I have been sharing here on the blog for many months that a big change is coming for Northside Church.  For the past 18 months, my husband and I have been seeking God concerning this change.  After getting the mind of God on it, we spoke to our leadership team this past January and they too began to pray, share, brainstorm and strategize with us.  

This might be the biggest secret (besides the wedding in August) that any of the 31 of us on the leadership team have had to keep under wraps, but we did it~  Yesterday, the big announcement was made to the congregation.  

We are in our 8th year of pastoring at Northside.  Over these eight years Larry and I have experienced the rebuilding of this church from the ground up.  It's been more work than I ever imagined in my life that it would be.  We've often remarked to each other that a turnaround church is harder than a plant.  We've been through a lot of hard times that I won't even chronicle here, but suffice it to say, we've been through the fire, we've been through the flood, and we've not only survived, we've thrived.  We came into an extremely challenging situation and God has given us boat loads of grace and mercy over the past 8 years.    (We needed boat loads because there were many storms as a part of this assignment.)  I never doubted though that God had called us here.  It has been a long journey to hope and healing, but here we are.

 We realized some time ago that our church has completely transformed (in a good way) and no longer has the identity we once had.  This is a blessing, believe me.  We are a new creation and what has taken place is beautiful.  From the inside out we have experienced glorious change.  But the community at large doesn't know that.  We still have our old branding.  Our old name.  Our old "history"...over 55  whopping years of it.  We are new wine in old wineskin and at this point...about to burst. 

It is time to close one chapter and make the new one official.  After January 30, Northside Church will exist no more!   Please don't shed even a tear or see this as anything remotely sad.  It's more incredible than you can ever imagine.  A few of you reading this know what we came into and the mountains we've climbed, the valleys we've walked through and just how much we've had to face to get to the AMAZING point we are now at.   

On the weekend of January 29-31, 2010, we will completely re-launch and open our doors with a brand new name, completely updated facilities, with a new brandingcore values and marketing that reflects who we currently are, not who we used to be.   That's right, Larry and I are pastoring a new church!    We're in the same location with the same core of precious people who have stood by us these last eight years, as well as all the many new people who have come to be a part of our incredible family.  However, for all intents and purposes, we are a new church and will be introduced as such in the community.      By the way, consultants have guided us on this process as well  and have been invaluable.  Pastor Ed Russo and his wife Janis, pastors of Victorious Life Church have been an invaluable part of our transformation.    They are not only pastor-friends, but they serve as the assistant superintendent of our district, and have been very successful in church planting, re-launching and revitalization.   I will share more about the Russo's help in this endeavor in the future here on the blog.

Why haven't I told you the name, the core values, the logo or the branding?  I am only sharing here what was shared with the congregation.  Only our 31 leaders and our consultants know everything in detail.  Over the next three Sundays we will release more  each week until the entire strategic plan is presented in totality to the  congregation on the last Sunday of this month, October 25.  We are so excited we can hardly stand it.  The people are estatic!!!    This has been a resounding "YES!" from everyone that it is time to close the door on our old identity and declare to our community not only what we are becoming but what we already are! 

I will be giving updates here on the blog including photos as we remodel and also photos from our launch.  The launch WEEKEND (not just day, but WEEKEND) is going to be spectacular!  We've been planning it for many months. 
Also in other news, the church began the month of "pastor appreciation" for Larry and I yesterday.  This is a month long as well, (held every year in October) although really our church family is great at appreciating us all the time.  The staff is honored in March, so October is a month exclusively for Larry and me.  I'm curious  seeing the people so giddy with excitement over these "surprises" they are planning, whatever they are.  We were escorted out of the sanctuary for 15 minutes yesterday so that the board of directors could share the "pastor appreciation plan" with the church.  Yesterday several of my friends said, "we can't wait!!!" although they didn't disclose what's happening, I look forward to sharing it here with you. 

God willing, I will also be sharing another HUGE CHANGE, and I do mean HUGE with you tomorrow.  But it will have to wait until it's official.    Our church family, and the Shrodes family are both going through big change.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Sounds exciting - change is scary, but awesome all at the same time!!!
Anonymous said…
AWE, that's wonderful! Blessings on your new everything :O)
Melissa said…
Cool! So excited for you, Larry and the church! That is awesome!
DaNella Auten said…
I'm happy for you. Unfortunately for pastor's appreciation month our present was a church's death... Ironic huh. lol No I am not as bitter as I sound. I know GHAP!