Our Vision

  • Developing Disciples of Jesus

    Our vision and primary aim at Northwest is Developing Disciples of Jesus. Northwest can be envisioned as a large caravan of people on a journey toward becoming like our Teacher (Luke 6:40). We are spread out along the pathway, with some just Discovering Jesus, others Deciding whether to follow Jesus, and many others already Devoted to Jesus as their Teacher and Lord. You are welcome to join up with our caravan, starting where you are, and travel with us in the direction of Jesus. If you want to Develop as a disciple here with us at NorthWest, we'd love to tell you more about what we are doing. 

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  • Discover

    The journey of discipleship begins with discovering Jesus. Perhaps the best way to do this is to read the primary source documents about him. These are the writings of four of Jesus' earliest followers, named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are found at the beginning of the second half of the Bible (the New Testament), and they are a vital part of God's message to us.

    Personally, I connect best with Mark, but many people really like John. They are all good, however, so just pick one and dive in. Look for insights about the matters mentioned here: who Jesus is and what he is like. What Jesus taught about God and life. What he wants from us. Read slowly and carefully. Think about the meaning of what you see. Read prayerfully, just asking God in your own words to help you understand and begin to discover Jesus.

    If you have a friend or church leader you trust and respect, they can be of great help as you read about and discover Jesus. You'll definitely need someone to help you with questions that arise. It can also be good to sit down and read the Bible together and let them guide you and point out some things you might not see on your own the first time through.

    One thing that is certain is that Jesus wants to change our hearts and actions so that we live our lives better. So, if you find yourself wanting to stop some of the unwholesome things in your life or start doing some things that are good and right, that's a great sign! Go ahead and let Jesus lead you in those ways. As you see Jesus more clearly, you may also find yourself believing in him and being drawn to him. And you may sense that you have a decision to make about him.

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  • Decide

    This phase of the journey is important and involved. Most likely you will need help, so hopefully you have a friend or church leader, whose faith you respect, to walk with you through the decision process. Here are some key truths everyone needs to learn during the decision phase of the journey.

    First, you need to know who Jesus is. As you discover him, you will see that he revealed himself to be someone truly special who came from God. He revealed this is a quiet, deliberate, indirect way, first with his actions and only later with words. Someone said he is one of a kind, larger than life. The Bible uses words like Son of God, Christ, King, and Lord to tell us who he is. He was not merely human. He is utterly unique and authoritative. It is essential that we understand and believe who Jesus is.

    You'll also need to know the meaning of his death and resurrection. These are highlighted in the Bible as utmost importance (1 Corinthians 15:3-5). In short, the meaning of his death is that it was a judicial sentence that can count as the payment of the penalty we rightfully deserve due to our sins. In other words, God allowed him to suffer the penalty for the sins we committed so that we would not have to (Mark 10:45; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Then, when God raised him from the dead, it was a powerful message the Jesus really is God's son (Romans 1:4)

    Somewhere along the way, you will need to count the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:25-34). It will be helpful to discuss this with a trusted friend or mentor. One way of stating the decision is that you are going to become a disciple or student of Jesus and allow him to teach you how to live. This entails our total allegiance. He will call us to give up some attitudes and actions that are not in line with his teachings. At the same time, though, there are benefits of following him, including having all our sins forgiven, having God come to live inside us, and being included in the people of God.

    If you want to be his disciple, then, you put your trust him as your leader and Lord. You choose to believe he is indeed God's Son and worthy of your loyalty. You put your faith in his death and resurrection as the way your sins can be forgiven and you can be okay as a person. You turn away from your sins (repentance), embrace Jesus verbally and in your heart as your divine Mentor and Lord (confession), and get immersed in water with faith in him (baptism). Deciding to follow Jesus like this is a major step, but it's not the end of the story.

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  • Devote

    Once we have decided to put our trust in Jesus and follow him, then we live out the rest of our lives in devotion to him. We are devoted first and foremost to him personally (Matthew 6:24; 2 Corinthians 11:3). It is a relationship of trust, learning, and serving him.

    Our devotion to Jesus also leads us to devote ourselves to other activities that will help us become more like him and better represent him in the world. We devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching (found in the Bible), the fellowship (special, helpful relationships that are formed by those who follow Jesus), breaking of bread (sharing meals together and also the special "meal" in memory of Jesus' death), prayer (communicating directly with God), and good deeds (helping others in the name of Jesus)(Acts 2:42; Titus 3:8, 14).

    Our devotion to Jesus stems from what he has done for us (Titus 3:8 is based on Titus 3:4-7). We remember and thank and praise him for graciously paying the penalty for our sins and so grow in our devotion to him. We also take care that nothing or no one else becomes a rival to him (Matthew 6:24; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Instead, we spend the rest of our lives growing in our devotion to our Teacher and Lord. Our goal is to become like our Teacher (Luke 6:40). This is the ultimate goal in our journey of discipleship.

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  • Develop

    We believe that a person will develop best as a disciple of Jesus if they find a group of disciples (a church) and dig in deeply with them. We may resist doing this, but it is the best way to make sure we are doers and not mere observers, that we learn to love people who are different from us instead of avoiding them, and that we learn to trust, respect, and follow spiritual leaders instead of just doing whatever we please. These things may challenge us, but they will also help us grow to be more like Christ. We know that Northwest can't be the church for everyone, but we hope we can be the church for many.

    Developing at Northwest means utilizing the resources we offer (worship, Bible study, fellowships, groups, service opportunities) to develop as a disciple of Jesus. It means developing relationships with the disciples here and learning to love others as Christ loved us. It means sharing our vision of developing disciples and finding a way to get involved in it. It means learning to follow the spiritual leadership of elders and ministers who have been appointed to guide us on the journey.

    If you have decided to follow Jesus and are devoted to him, we would love to have you develop here with us at Northwest. We want to share our vision, core beliefs, and ways of doing things with you so that you can see if we are the group of disciples you would like to develop with. If so, we will provide special training opportunities to help you get involved in serving others and advancing the vision of Developing Disciples of Jesus.

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