Today was a special day at North Side.  It was exciting on one end due to our youth praise band leading in worship.  They did a fantastic job.  They sang the following songs:

  • Salvation is Here – Hillsong United
  • Awesome is the Lord – Chris Tomlin
  • Mighty to Save – Hillsong
  • How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin

I told them after sound check, “you guys are fantastic.  You’re not good for your age.  You are just simply good.  Don’t let these adults intimidate you today.  Lead them to the throne.”  And boy, did they!  Evan, Randy, Addison, Becca, Mandy, JC, Robert, and Taylor – you guys truly led in worship today.  Even though I was in the back working in the control room, I kept running out into the room to be a part of it!  You guys were incredible.

That was great.  The message wasn’t.  Jeff delivered it in a great way, but it was just hard to hear.  If you’ve been around North Side, you know that the last few weeks have been hard.  Whenever you lose a staff member, it’s really tough.  Jeff decided to scratch his message and talk about how our church can begin to heal.  These are some of the things he said:

  1. Thank God for our elders.  Through this process, God has shown why using the biblical form of church government, elders, can help us through moments like these.  These men are not a board or a committee – they are shepherds of our flock, and I personally thank God for their commitment to the Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit.  Their sensitivity to God is why our church is what it is today.
  2. Satan is real and he is after us.  When Satan tries to destroy lives, families, our churches, he doesn’t just try to trip us up.  He has come to steal, kill, and destroy.  When he goes after someone, he tries to take everyone down with them.  Satan is against you.  He targets ministers.  He goes after anyone trying to live for God.  We are at war.  Don’t ever forget that.
  3. Your life has an impact on other people.  You are not an island.  Your decisions have a huge effect on other people.  When you mess up, other people feel the weight of your consequences.  Someone is always watching you.  Live holy for the glory of God.  But also live holy for the sake of other people watching you.
  4. When it comes to the focus of your faith, never focus on a person other than God.  We were told to fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2) and no one else.  Even when people let us down, that does not mean that God has let us down.
  5. I still believe in Romans 8:28.  Only God can bring triumph out of tragedy.  Only he can work good out of hard times for those people who love God and who are called according to its purpose.  And he is still on his throne.  And he is still in the business of making things good out of the bad.
  6. It’s time for unity.  As Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy, he loves to divide churches.  Through preferences or differing ministry objectives, its easy for a church to squabble over differences.  But in times like these, it is time to unite.  It is time to rally around the fact that Jesus is King and we are here to serve him.  It’s a great time to remember that we are at war, and we need to unite for the sake of the gospel.

This message will not be posted online or put on CD.  Thanks for understanding.  You can listen to other sermons here though.

To finish this post up, I will leave a quote from Jeff that made me start church shoutin’ in the back:

“What’s going to happen to our church?  It’s not our church.  I didn’t die for it.  Jesus did.  This is his church.  The one that it does belong to says I’ll take all things and work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to its purpose.”

North Side, it’s time to heal.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.