Finding Our True North

The mission is expressed in a clear and concise statement that describes what our church is ultimately supposed to be doing. The mission is our compass. It’s our guiding north star. It’s the holy orders for our congregation. It’s the golden thread that weaves through every idea, conversation and action, no matter how small. The mission is the mandate that Christ gave to the church. Mission answers the question: "What are we doing?"— Adapted from Church Unique Visual Summary, by Will Mancini

As expressed in NBLC’s constitution, our mission statement is: "We live to know Christ and make Christ known. We come together to build relationships with Jesus Christ and one another: person-to-person, house-to- house, city-to-city, and nation-to-nation (Acts 1:8)." This is shouted antiphonally at every worship service: "We live to know Christ … and make Christ known!"

Acts 1:8 is where this commission is found: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." This verse lays down the concentric circles of our mandate: start where you are (Jerusalem), work your way out (Judea and Samaria), and don’t stop until you get "to the ends of the earth." We express these ripples of Christ’s commission through the following relationships.

The average person interacts for at least one-hour each week with seven unchurched people. We see these people under our own rooftops, in our cubicles, on the elliptical machine, or at the many stomping grounds we frequent. These relationships make up our "household," in the biblical sense of the word. Our members commit to Prayer, Care, and Share for at least one person; Pray daily for them to know Jesus, express Care weekly (by spending TIME together), and strive to Share monthly through our Outreach Style. These people are not "evangelism projects," because friendship is our goal; sharing faith is our hope.

NBLC began as a church of small groups scattered throughout the community. After a few months, these groups began to gather for corporate worship. Historically, these two-wings of our church were described as ‘Cell’ and ‘Celebration’ (now we say ‘Connect Groups’ and ‘Team Groups’ supported by ‘worship’). We encourage our members to gather for weekly worship and to scatter through the week as the body of Christ permeating our community—sharing faith where we live, work, and play. Weekly worship has continued to be NBLC’s strength, but we want to emphasize community Connect Groups more and more. One way we hope this will happen is through the relationships formed during the various seminars of the Cross Training Circuit.

We are a church-planting-church. Having launched in 2000 as a daughter church of St. Mark’s in Eureka, NBLC finally launched The Bridge ten years later in Washington. We launched Renew in 2012 in O’Fallon (and learned many valuable lessons). We sent Chris Paavola to launch All Nations in University City in 2015. All healthy organisms reproduce themselves. Disciples beget disciples. Churches beget churches.

Since our inception, NBLC has sought to express God’s heart for the whole world. Therefore, as a church-planting-church, we also partner to make Christ known to the unreached and unevangelized people of other cultures. We offer a variety of levels of participation for cross-cultural missions, from entry-level (D-Team prayer-list, Operation Christmas Child), local opportunities (International Student Ministry, Christian Friends of New Americans), and global short-term missions and career opportunities (Tian Shan Mission Society).