“A New Season” from Pastor Joel
After 32 years of serving as your Senior Pastor at Northland, following 15 years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church, my call to the pastoral role in a church is fulfilled.
Northland has become a wonderful church family and has played an important part in the discipleship of its congregants and also in the improvement of the community, nation, and many parts of the world. I have nothing but love and gratitude for you and a sense of accomplishment for my time at Northland.
I am excited for the church’s next season of development and leadership. God will provide leaders to take this congregation to the next level of discipleship and to accomplish things that we didn’t during my time here. That is as it should be.
You’ve often heard me express a desire to serve at Northland for the rest of my life. So you may be asking, “What changed?”
I believe God will continue using Northland in wonderful ways, but He is calling me to focus my life on a new season of ministry outside the four walls of the church.
When I knelt at the altar to give my whole life to Jesus, I was a part of the Civil Rights movement. My focus on Jesus was not only for personal salvation after this life but also for compassion towards the marginalized in this life. My call to follow Jesus and serve the vulnerable is stronger than ever.
Jesus often taught in different synagogues but the bulk of his teaching and work was outside established religious settings. Following his way, I will seek to include the unincluded in the Kingdom.
During this new season of ministry, I will focus on three areas of service: 1) Helping people follow Jesus by teaching the Bible and holding a Q&A at a community venue. This will be a weekly gathering, not a church but simply a midweek assembly for anyone who wants to follow Jesus more closely. 2) Working to further the effectiveness of the Community Resource Network (CRN) with people and congregations who want to work together to help the vulnerable and eliminate homelessness in our region. 3) Distributing the church into everyday life by helping to form networks of people who follow Jesus.
I am so excited for my next season of ministry. You can support me as I take first steps into this next season by following CRN on Facebook.
My experience, relationships, and apostolic gifting are at their highest potential and I will spend them in the most productive way possible in this final season of my journey.
Brother Joel, I am excited for you and yet will miss your leadership greatly. I believe because of the special spirit you have been given, you may never know how powerful you have been to others while allowing the Lord to work through you. The day I started at Northland in 1993, I witnessed GOD’s movement through you and began to experience the journey in a most awesome way. Thank you from all of my family! Love to you and Becky!
Pastor Joel, I started coming to church because of your wonderful way of showing God’s love and grace. I will miss you at church but I will stay in touch with your new project. God has blessed me with your messages and I can’t thank you enough. Go with God.
Pastor Joel, thank you for all the messages that were exactly what I needed to hear. You are an amazing pastor and you will be missed!
We love you and Becky so much. It is so reassuring to know you will be with CRN.
You are an amazing human being and I am excited for you on this next season of your journey! I think God that I was blessed enough to have been on your path for many years and have developed a more closer relationship to Him because of that! I look forward to following you on that next journey, liked and followed that page :0) Thank you for the gift that you and Becky have and I know still will share !!!!
Pastor Hunter, God bless you for your years of service at Northland. You have touched countless lives and the Lord has used you in many ways to bring others to the Kingdom. Your giftedness, heart and love for people has created a loving DNA in the Church Distributed. I have visited many times and each time I have left fulfilled, inspired and encouraged having experienced the presence of God in worship at Northland. May the face of the Lord continue shine His face upon you and give you peace as you continue the journey of ministry and turn the page of the next chapter in your life. Blessings, William Barnett