A July Note from Pastor Josh

We are all so excited to see the sun and take a break. While not all of us get to take the summer off from work, most of us have a break in our routines—our kids are out of school, we shake the dust off the tent and head out for a weekend, or we just have a few more BBQ’s with the long evenings.

As Christians, we know that breaks are good and resting is important. God himself took a break after creating, and we are called to do likewise. Here at Northwest Hills, we also have a different rhythm during the summer. As usual, we meet every Sunday to sing and to hear the Word of God preached, something that we never need rest from. What does change, though, is our Community Group routine. We strategically take a break from our Community Groups from mid-June until late September, and we do this for five reasons.

1. It provides on-ramps and off-ramps. We believe that taking intentional breaks gives you a chance to either start going to a new group or end going to a group that is not a good fit anymore. We do not want you to feel like you are stuck in a group forever, and want to give you an opportunity to move to a new group if that’s what’s best for you.

2. It gives leaders a break. As a leader, it is important that you rest. Also, if you as a leader need to take a break from leading a Community Group, these breaks are natural starting and stopping points to make that possible and promote a smooth transition.

3. It gives groups the opportunity to reflect and improve. Taking a break is always a good time to stop and look at the purpose of your Community Group. If you are not achieving that purpose, then change is due. During the regular pattern of meeting every week, it can be hard to make some of these changes, so taking a break will encourage you to evaluate the success of your group and make proper adjustments.

4. It improves consistency. It is very hard to maintain consistent attendance during the summer with so many people in and out of town. Taking a break during this time ensures that each week won’t be helter-skelter with half the group not attending on any given week.

5. It provides new beginnings. With every break comes a new beginning. Our hope is that everyone at Northwest Hills will be in a Community Group. If you have not joined one yet, be praying about joining one in the fall. Also, if you are thinking about leading a group, talk to your Community Group leader or me about how to make that possible in the fall.

We hope to see you in our worship services this summer, and we hope you get the rest you need!

Pastor Josh Carstensen