WHAT IS MEMBERSHIP?
Members are those who commit to making Northway their faith community for learning, worship, service, and generosity. Membership is when church goes from being “them” to being “us.” We actually like to think of membership as more like partnership. As a Partner of Northway Church, we ask you to commit to: being an apprentice of Jesus, attending weekend services, making an intentional effort to foster deep relationships with other Northwegians, serving faithfully, and giving generously.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Our Pastor regularly extends an invitation to make your intentions public at the end of service on Sundays. Simply respond by coming forward! As a general guideline, we ask that all prospective members:
- Are baptized followers of Christ
- Affirm our Core Beliefs (found HERE)
- Agree to live out our 6 Core Practices:
- United Believing Prayer – joining our hearts and minds together, crying out to the Lord.
- Bring Them In – living as Kingdom Ambassadors in the world, sharing the love of Christ with others, building relationships with unchurched friends, inviting them to discover the life they were meant to live.
- Disciples Making Disciples – learning, practicing, and living The Jesus Way and faithfully passing it on to the next generation of Jesus Followers.
- All Out Worship – coming together as an entire body of believers to lift up the name of Jesus and offer him our complete attention and our deepest affection and allegiance.
- Right-Setting Action & Radical Generosity – willingly sacrificing our time and resources for those in physical, relational, and spiritual need. Helping the least of these.
- Life Together – spending time with each other around the dinner tables of life, keeping Jesus at the center of every conversation.
- Commit to living out the ultimate membership challenge from the Apostle Paul: “…live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
- Consider taking The Vow of Stability: A selfless devotion between Christ followers of a particular fellowship to remain in community in spite of imperfections and petty preferences. Don’t leave at the drop of a hat, but fully devote yourself to a long term relationship with Northway!
WHAT’S NORTHWAY’S ANNUAL BUDGET?
Our annual budget for fiscal year 2023 is $280,800 and is developed by our staff, carefully vetted by our Executive Advisory Team, and approved by the membership of Northway. Each year’s budget always includes a minimum of 13% of funding dedicated to local and global mission initiatives.
HOW MANY MISSION PARTNERS DOES NORTHWAY SUPPORT?
In addition to 10% of our General Budget giving being designated for Southern Baptist Cooperative Programs (Click HERE for more info), we partner with Acres of Hope Uganda (orphanage and school), and Segua Village Impact in Honduras. Locally we support financially and through volunteer programs Pregnancy Assistant Center North, Interfaith of The Woodlands, Compassion United, and Kairos Prison Ministry.
WHY DOES PASTOR RODNEY USE MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF SCRIPTURE TO PREACH FROM?
Most traditional approaches take the most literal translation of Scripture possible. Of course, that’s never a perfect science, but we assume the best scholars are diligent to be as unbiased to simply present the text as it was originally written. That’s most often the best place to start when studying. But again, it’s not always perfect because what the translated Scripture says and what the original author might have meant might not come through in the translation. Not because of error on the translators part necessarily, but because our contemporary understandings may not be able to completely capture the nuances of the original language.
That’s one reason we have versions like the New International Version or the New Living Translation that stay close to the original language but use more contemporary language to express it. That’s also why we often look to other experts on the original language, as well as trained teachers to help us see just a bit more deeply and clearly. That’s what you might be doing if/when you read Scripture with a commentary in hand or when you go through a Bible study from your favorite teacher. That’s what most pastors are doing every week when they stand in the pulpit: They’re doing their best to help the congregation understand in today’s context what the original authors meant. They even sometimes take liberty to paraphrase it in their own words in an attempt to help our congregations grasp the meaning, ultimately so it will bring about life change.
As another example, The Amplified Bible is like having a “built in” commentary; little snippets of clarity without having to pull out an extra book to look up original definitions and meanings.
You’ll also notice Rodney often uses a paraphrase called “The Message.” It was put together by Pastor Eugene Peterson, a brilliant Greek and Hebrew scholar. The story goes that as he was preaching through Galatians to his own congregation, he couldn’t seem to get them to grasp the depths of Paul’s writing. He simply wanted them to love and cherish the words as much as he did as he understood them from the original languages. He put his paraphrasing of the original language in print for them to use as a study guide, and they fell in love with it! Again, it was simply what he would have done speaking in class, paraphrasing, explaining, using today’s language to teach, he just wrote it all out. Rodney says, “I really do imagine as I’m reading his version of Scripture that I’m hearing a wise old pastor standing behind the pulpit, pouring his heart out in contemporary English what Paul and James and the Gospel writers were trying to convey.”
Finally, related to the Scriptural command to “not add to God’s Word,” in our opinion that is more related to not adding new “revelation” or extra books or new commands, etc. To us, it’s not as much about translation, which will absolutely require at least a degree of word-changing (even word-adding). It’s about not changing the Spirit of the Word, not the Letter of the Law.