Our Mission to God:
The first meetings of this church were held in MSU’s Chapel of Memories, in 1980. The people involved, some of whom are still members here, were looking to worship God together as free individuals, without subjecting themselves to the outside control and patterns of any denominational headquarters or church manuals and constitutions. Rather, they desired to pattern a fellowship of Christians simply after the same pattern that God revealed through the scriptures to the churches of the New Testament era. Those aims are hallmarks of our congregation still today.
On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He prayed that all those who would believe in Him would have unity, a unity based on sanctification in the truth, that is, dedication to the truth (John 17:13-23). In contradiction to that prayer of our Lord, the world of “Christianity” today is marked by division - division in practice and in understanding. And what is it that creates this division? One contributor is the stubborn human heart which we sometimes have! But in addition to that, it is the very existence of denominationalism that divides us. It is the willingness of people, who ought to have spiritual allegiance only to God, to have additional allegiances to a denomination, a church council in some cases, or a denominational headquarters, or church constitutions and manuals. In each of the denominations, different views of church and truth are held forth by those human authorities, and they are given allegiance.
And then, while the question “Which one is right?” arises, many decide that it just doesn’t matter. But then again, there is that prayer - that prayer which Jesus prayed on that sorrowful night: a prayer for unity!
How are we to find unity of believers in the world today? We at Northside believe the key to that call for unity is also in that prayer of Jesus. He prayed that His disciples would be sanctified in, or dedicated to, truth…Truth…the Word of God (John 17:17). The only way for a person to be wholly and truly dedicated to something is to reject all other competing allegiances. To illustrate: can a person be wholly dedicated to the United States of America, if he also has allegiance to, for example, the French government? Similarly, we question whether a congregation can be truly dedicated to the Word of God, seeking to independently seek out its meaning and live by it, if it is also holding an allegiance to some external church hierarchy, or church council, or a denominational headquarters or constitution. The church that holds allegiance to both the Word and to the external human authority (councils, headquarters, etc.) will eventually run into conflict between the Word of God and that external authority. And all too often, churches yield to that human authority rather than to the authority of the Word. We are reminded of the words of Jesus, “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24).
The solution for a congregation? Discard those man made authorities; be dedicated wholly to the Word of God; study the Word independently, and enjoy the freedom to believe and practice as the Word directs!
And since God, through His word, will direct each in the same common direction, people (and congregations) who follow only the Word will find themselves being drawn closer and closer to that very unity for which Jesus prayed.
When we at Northside gather together, our assemblies are aimed not at entertainment or what might be termed “spectator worship,” but at worshiping and glorifying God as we see such activity outlined in the pages of the New Testament. We lift our voices together in songs of praise to the Creator of all. We spend time in congregational prayer, led by the various members of our church who desire to lead our thoughts addressed to God, and therein we pour forth our praise, our thanksgiving, and our concerns. And on each Sunday, we remember that particular Friday, nearly 2000 years ago, when the Lord sacrificially offered Himself on that Roman cross; we eat the bread, symbolizing his broken body, and drink the cup, symbolizing his precious blood, blood that was shed to redeem each one of us from the sins that we know we each have committed, those rebellious acts wherein we each have previously separated ourselves from God. We do these things because they are what a forgiven saint would want to do, and because they are what the New Testament teaches us to do.
We at Northside do not pretend to be perfect Christians, nor to have correctly found every correct answer, or to have put into perfect practice every true thing. But we strive for that, and we are convinced that holding allegiance only to the Word of God is the only path which can lead us toward that goal.
Undenominational independence, then, coupled with the desires to faithfully serve and glorify God, and pattern our practices after New Testament practices, is a key part of our mission.