Dear Churches of Heartland Classis,
It is with great joy in my heart that I write this letter to you. The Northern Lighthouse continues to experience the joy of seeing God transform the lives of many. For some, it is a new hope in Christ as they come out of a past of broken lives and relationships and for others it is a new hope and purpose as they come to the NL and are given the opportunity to use what God has given to them for ministry.
One example of this is Terry Perkins, who himself has come from a past of brokenness (including drugs, divorce and loss). Terry has been a follower of Jesus for some time, and as a mature follower of Christ is serving as an elder. Terry also serves as the overseer of our marriage counseling and preaches as part of our preaching rotation; in both of these ministries he has expressed a new found freedom to serve Christ in an area of his calling.
Another exciting part of the ministry is that we have recently started teaching “The Story of God” during our second service. This teaching covers some of the key stories in the Bible over 22 weeks. It is taught in story format (about 10 minutes) and the rest of the time is left for people to dialog about the story. It is amazing to see the insight, questions and understanding that come of this; people are free to raise questions about God and the story during this time. I am amazed how so many are engaged with the story and the ways that Theology is coming alive.
As part of teaching sin, salvation, and service we recently started “Servant Sunday” on the 5th Sunday of ever month. For this we are working with a local Lutheran church and going out in the afternoons to bless the city of Lincoln. August was our first attempt at this and the results were very positive. It was a unifying and God-glorifying event for our church and the recipients. We were able to clean up and fix up a man’s home who has heart troubles, do renovations to a Christian community house, move a member of our church, clean and do repairs at our church, and serve at the Mission Distribution Center. Servant Sunday ended with a combined meal and worship service in the park.
In working with Home Missions, we are identified as a “Cluster” and hope to see multiple churches and ministries started in our local area. Currently we are working with nine pastor and future ministry leaders to develop each other in the 5 C’s (Christ, Calling, Competencies, Character and Community). This is with the help of a Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Grant from the denomination. We also are working with over 20 team leaders who are all a part of the NL family and oversee teams that are necessary for the fulfillment of our vision to be a place of Acceptance and Direction. This includes equipping them for the role of Encouraging, Recruiting, Discipling and Supporting those that serve on their teams.
The Re-Integration Program (RIP) was recently featured on the local news highlighting its success in helping inmates transition into contributing members of Christ’s body (this video should be on the NL web soon). It is a growing and life transforming ministry to inmates and many others who have struggled with addictions.
Although we know that God is the one who does this work and the one who has provided for this work there is no doubt that all the churches of Classis Heartland have been faithful to the call given to them to support the planting of new churches in their geographical area. It is as a result of your faithfulness to that vision that we have been able to make it through the past ten years of ministry.
I hope that you can see that great things are happening with the NL and we want to share those with you as a means of thanking you for your support. We also want to let you know that there is still a continued need for your church to partner with us as we continue to develop as a ministry and as we seek to start others. Although our giving has increased locally we still need to look to others for their partnership in this ministry to fulfill the vision God has given to us. As a means to partner with us we would like to offer several ways we see this happening.
- Evangelism 21: Each of the churches of Classis was sent a letter by David Best about his heart to come and share with churches the training that he has received and the practices that he is implementing in the development of Oasis. Not only is this a possible way to bring evangelism training to your church it is a means to help support David and the work that he is doing in Waverly.
- Pulpit supply: In the years past we have come to many of the churches in Classis to fill the pulpit and to share what God has done here. We are still willing and happy to do this in the way that would best serve you and that would allow for us to share what God is doing here in Lincoln. We ask simply that an offering be taken for the Northern Lighthouse.
- Shepherd Training: Pastor Sam Keyzer has developed an 8-hour seminar that covers the 5 C’s of leadership as developed by Malcom Webber and Strategic Global Assistance (Abiding in Christ, Transformation of Character, Loving relationships in their various Communities, Development of Competencies, Clarifying one’s Call). This training has already been done in Sibley with great results.
- Offering: If your church has already or would like to consider a pledged amount or would be willing to take an offering that would also be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for the years of support. If you have any questions about this letter or the ministry that is taking place in Lincoln please feel free to contact me at 402-805-2667 or email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for your partnership.