Helping people who are far from God become fully developed worshipers and servants of Christ.
North River's mission statement identifies the two primary commitments of the church. First of all, we are committed to reaching unchurched people with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. We aim to do this with clarity and creativity, seeking to be biblically anchored and culturally relevant. Toward this end, we have borrowed many ideas from Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.
Our second primary commitment focuses on helping believers become fully developed in their devotion and service to our Lord. Since the fall of 2000, we have designed our Life Development Process around the five purposes of the church which stem from Jesus' commands in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40).
North River is a Purpose-Driven Church
While North River has a heart for reaching people who are far from God, our church is also purpose-driven. Our ministry is structured around the five purposes of the church that Jesus delivered as "marching orders" for the church. These purposes are identified below.
- "Love the Lord your God...." = Magnification
- "Love your neighbor as yourself..." = Ministry
- "Go, make disciple of all the nations..." = Mission
- "Teaching them to obey everything..." = Maturity
- "Baptizing them in the name..." = Membership
Because these five purposes come directly from the heart of Jesus, we believe that church health comes through developing a structure that allows us to emphasize all five purposes. The value of Magnification or Worship runs through our weekly services. North River then offers four seminars to further teach Membership, Maturity, Ministry, and Mission. These respective seminars, which we like to visualize as four bases on a baseball diamond, function within our Adult Ministries. We become balanced Christians when we embrace all five purposes, and we become a healthy church when we embrace and balance all five purposes.
North River is also a Seeker-Targeted Church
From our earliest days, North River has been fueled by a passion for helping unchurched people and people who are far from God understand the life-changing claims of Jesus Christ and the Bible. Toward this end, we have adapted an outreach strategy pioneered by Willow Creek Community Church . We have summarized this seven step strategy with seven words:
- Care... by developing relationships with people far from God
- Share... by offering a clear, compelling, verbal witness of God's grace
- Invite... by introducing seekers to God's truth in a service designed with the process of coming to faith in mind.
- Worship... through a service aimed at enfolding believers into the New Community of worship, prayer and biblical truth.
- Grow... Growing deeper together in nurturing small groups.
- Serve... by discovering & employing God-given spiritual gifts.
- Give... using our resources of time, talent and treasures wisely to build up God's community at North River.
This strategy is built upon four foundational principles:
- Every Christ-follower bears the responsibility of being a personal witness in their faith and walk with Jesus Christ.
- The needs of a seeker differ from those of a believer.
- Believers must respect each individual's process in reaching a faith decision and in the journey one must travel to maturity in Christ.
- Every believer is a minister, gifted by God for the benefit of the church community.