A growing number of Northlanders have never even set foot inside the church. Each weekend, about 2,000 worshipers attend Northland via interactive webstream, participating in live services and connecting with one another. We have multiple online environments (the largest are at northlandchurch.net and at Facebook) where people can gather in community, share prayer requests, chat one-on-one with an online minister and join together in worship.
Northland’s senior pastor is Dr. Joel C. Hunter. During Dr. Hunter’s tenure, which began in 1985, Northland has grown from 200 faithful souls to a congregation of 12,000 that worships throughout Metro Orlando and around the world via interactive Webcast. A longtime bridge-builder who seeks common ground for the common good, Dr. Hunter approaches today’s issues in a biblical and balanced manner. He has become an internationally known spokesperson for “compassion issues” outlined in Scripture: sanctity of life, creation care, justice, poverty, and marriage and the family. He and his wife, Becky, are parents to three married sons and have been partners in the ministry since their marriage in 1972. For more information about Dr. Hunter, please click here.
Put simply: It means that church isn’t a building … it’s people “being the church,” everywhere, every day. It also means that, in recognition of how God distributes different gifts among different people (1 Corinthians 12:11), we connect with individuals and organizations outside our four walls for long-term support and effectiveness—without blurring distinctions.
Dr. Hunter puts it this way: “Both spiritual and intellectual maturity grow from differences. A distributed church uses contrasts to accomplish kingdom purposes.”
“There are many parts, yet one body,” the Bible says (1 Corinthians 12:20). Parts of Northland meet throughout Metro Orlando (Longwood, Mount Dora and Oviedo. A growing part of Northland’s body now meets around the world via interactive webcast. Northlanders are also regularly distributed in service to the community, participating in everything from local events assisting the homeless to responding to local and national emergencies via Northland’s Disaster Response Team.
“God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18). He is joining people together to participate in what He is doing … everywhere, every day.
Check out Dr. Hunter’s book Church Distributed to learn more, available at Amazon.com and in Northland’s bookstore.
Northland was started in 1972 by a handful of faithful evangelical believers in the “north land” of Orlando. Dr. Joel C. Hunter has served as senior pastor since 1985, when the congregation purchased its first building, an old roller skating rink, on Dog Track Road in Longwood, Florida. During his tenure, Northland has grown from 200 faithful souls to a congregation of 12,000 that worships at sites around Metro Orlando and around the world via interactive Webcast. Congregants take leadership of nearly every ministry effort inside the church, out in the community and around the world. Dr. Hunter encourages Northlanders to “be the church everywhere, every day,” and to “do what you can, where you are, with what you’ve got.” Learn more about the history of Northland here.
Join us for worship at any of our Central Florida sites, or live online at http://www.northlandchurch.net
Longwood, 530 Dog Track Road
Saturday 5 p.m.
Sunday 9, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Mondays 7 p.m.
Mount Dora, Gathering at The Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 18440 Highway 441
Sunday 10 a.m.
Oviedo, Gathering at Reformed Theological Seminary, 1231 Reformation Drive.
Sunday 9, 11 a.m.
Online, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, go to http://www.northlandchurch.net
Saturday 5 p.m.
Sunday 9, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Mondays 7 p.m.
Roku Set Top Box (Download Northland From Channel Store)
Saturday 5 p.m.
Sunday 9, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Mondays 7 p.m.
We are a Christ-centered, Evangelical church, not affiliated with any denomination. We’re elder-governed and theologically, we lean a bit toward the Reformed tradition. We arrange our worship around a specific attribute of God, so we’re free to make use of a wide range of expressions, including current worship music, traditional hymns and anything in between—from reading together the creeds and catechisms to the use of various technologies.
There are a handful of issues that we find non-negotiable. We major on the majors and leave the minor ones to ongoing discussion. We believe God is, within Himself a relationship—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus died for our sins so that we might be able to live in relationship with God forever. We favor deference over being divisive on issues that the Bible itself does not appear to be divisive about. Learn more about our beliefs here.
About 15,000 people consider Northland their church home. Many Northlanders worship in our 160,000-sq.-ft. facility in Longwood, Fla., which serves as a technological backbone and connects the church to other sites around the globe. The church also has congregations that gather in Mount Dora and Oviedo that utilize two-way video connections that allow us to worship concurrently with one another in real time.
A growing number of Northlanders, however, have never even set foot inside a church site. Each week, 4,000 people worship with us online via the Web, smartphone (iPhone, Android and BlackBerry) or Roku player.
Our ultimate hope for virtual worship is that people will use these tools to worship and serve in community, at one of our sites or as part of a house church or “simple church.” Click here to learn more about online worship and to create an online worship profile.
When people from at least two different nuclear families gather for worship, this is called a “house church” or “simple church.”
The first few generations of Christians regularly met in small groups in order to worship and minister to one another. One of the most important aspects of being a house church is serving and loving your neighbors in the name of Jesus. Being the church in a house allows people to work together to serve others in ways that larger churches often overlook. Typically the members of a house church will share with one another the needs that they know of from their own relationships. As they are led by God they then reach out and meet those needs. It can range from providing meals for someone in the neighborhood who is ill, to providing Christmas for a family in need, or even doing home repairs. The type of serving depends on the situations that God presents to the church and the gifts and abilities within the church to meet those needs.
Five times each weekend, Northland sends its worship live across the Internet. Currently we average more 2,000 people around the world worshiping live via interactive webcast. Some of these are house churches. They sing and pray, celebrate communion, greet one another, share Scriptures and do whatever else we are doing in worship at that time. They listen to the sermon for the day and often gather after worship to share a meal and talk about what they have just heard. Sometimes they even communicate with other sites via the Web, exchanging prayer requests and praises.
Each week’s service is unique and themed around an attribute of God’s nature (i.e. His mercy, goodness, grace, etc.). The preaching is biblical, applicable and winsome. And the music is a mix of contemporary worship and beloved hymns—blending the foundational and the modern. It’s what Robert Webber called “ancient future” worship, “The common tradition of the church’s worship in Word, Table, and song, practiced faithfully and communicated clearly in every context of the world.” Woven together are the historical creeds of the faith and time-honored practices of the church, with new, innovative tools and modern expressions of worship.
Belong/Membership opportunities include three options. We invite you to participate in the one that best suits your schedule:
• Online anytime at http://www.northlandchurch.net/series/belong_study/
Each weekend, children are provided a safe place to learn who God is and what He has done through “kid-crafted” experiences that make the stories of the Bible come alive! The children’s curriculum team has developed a systematic, God-centered study for children, covering Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers have created hundreds of teachers’ guides, games, crafts, discussions, puppet sketches, dramatic illustrations, Bible Memory Verse Songs, videos, storybooks, and take-home devotional studies—all connected to the Bible stories the children are learning each week. Best of all, these materials are free to individuals and churches at www.resourcewell.org/children-ministry.
Northland offers many options for worshiping, serving, and growing in community: service projects, connection groups, Bible studies, events, and more. Northland’s online calendar is a good place to find these resources. The church also offers a monthly newspaper called RESPOND. This 12-page newspaper lists many ways to connect and serve at Northland and in the community. Pick up a copy at any of our Central Florida sites, or read a fully interactive version online!
The mission of Northland’s Access Ministries is to create a welcoming environment that encourages people with disabilities and their families to worship, serve and fellowship; everywhere, every day! It is our desire to develop communities that will help people draw closer to Jesus. Northland’s facilities are accessible to those who use a wheelchair or any other assistive device. There is a large parking area designated in front of the worship center for those who have special needs, as well as family restrooms for personal needs.
Northland has also developed a program in partnership with Nathaniel’s Hope called Buddy Break. Through this partnership, we are able to offer a free three-hour respite for families who have children with special needs. Our “buddies” receive specialized training and are background screened.
Additionally, Northland provides a variety of Christian education options for children with special needs. Many students take part in the typical classes with the assistance of a “buddy” who may provide some physical or emotional support. Other students need the structure of a smaller self-contained class, which Northland is presently offering during the 11 a.m. church service at our Longwood location.
Access teachers receive ongoing training in the field of disability and behavioral management. For students who have sensory impairments and may get over stimulated in a large group setting, the Access grade school classroom has a video monitor so that students can participate in large group worship—with minimal stimulation. Our desire is to have our children learn who God is and for them to know God created them with a plan and a purpose to serve Him.
Not taking up an offering during the worship service is a reminder to us that our giving is an extension of our worship. There are several ways to give to Northland’ s ministry. Choose the one that allows you give in the way that is most conducive to extending your worship. Giving options include: Offering envelopes available at the boxes located at each sanctuary exit; giving kiosks for credit card use located in the foyer at Longwood; and last but not least, the option of online giving via the Northland website. Northland strongly supports the biblical principle of tithing, and even goes above and beyond that as a church body that gives itself away in ministry. Tithing is a tenth of one’s income given for the purposes of God through His church. The only place that Scripture encourages us to “test God” is found in Malachi 3:10 where we are told to test God with our tithe. An offering is any giving beyond a tithe.