2016: Year In Review
The people of Northland are eyewitnesses to what God is doing as we link together for worship and service everywhere, every day. That cannot be quantified, but the numbers can be inspiring.
Together at more than 260 live worship services at the Longwood, Oviedo and Lake County sites, at prisons and jails throughout Florida, and worldwide via the Web, we worshiped God for who He is and what He has done.
1,147 lives were saved thanks to blood drive donations by Northlanders.
Over 50 student leaders are receiving seminary-level training via Leadership Cohorts with the goal of those leaders overseeing clusters of distributed churches both locally and globally.
324,000 people from 205 countries and sovereign states — including 166 from Pakistan, 42 people from Zambia and 3 from Libya! — hit Northland’s website 1.4 million times. Visitors viewed our site from more than 140 different languages including Hindi and Albanian.
People from more than 128 countries worshiped online more than 153,000 times. Worshipers connected with us regularly from Finland, Brazil and South Korea.
People read our daily liturgy at bible.northlandchurch.net more than 26,000 times.
More than 900 prayer requests were posted and Northlanders prayed over those requests 45,000 times at pray.northlandchurch.net.
Resourcewell.org, where an entire three-year children’s curriculum is hosted for free download, was visited by almost 50,000 people from 176 different countries. People speaking 110 languages and dialects, including Korean, Russian and Mandarin, spent more than 335,000 minutes exploring these resources.
Worship, Word & Way, the 3-year Bible curriculum our children at Northland learn from every week, has been downloaded for free by people and churches in over 33 nations around the globe. This year we began expanding it to include the Middle School age group. 18 lessons have now been piloted with Middle School students in 5 different classroom settings. Next month, it will also be available through Disciplr, an online ministry of David C. Cook to provide churches with the digital tools they need for the discipleship of children.
Teacher Training Videos (children’s Bible curriculum) were completed in English, Spanish and Arabic. The Arabic version was used to train teachers at the 2016 conference in Alexandria, Egypt. Some of the churches there took the videos to train churches in Iraq. The Synod of Nile plans to print the Arabic version so it can be more easily used in Arabic speaking classrooms.
Arabic training videos and USB sticks with children’s Bible curriculum in Arabic were delivered to churches in Iran who will also be sharing it with churches the Northwestern Pakistan, and Afghanistan. One of the churches in Iran plans to translate it into Kurdish. It is also serving women in Pakistan where women are denied education but are now learning God’s Word through their children who come home from class sharing Bible stories.
Over 700 Bibles were purchased by our congregation and community, and hundres more were given away to prisons, the homeless and veterans.
Over 1,051 Lenten Study guides were sold, and hundreds more were given away.
There were over $7,500 in sales dedicated to purchasing from our Fair Trade partners, impacting hundreds of lives.
By the end of Dr. Hunter’s teaching series on Building Bridges, more than 7,000 Northlanders including local worshippers, online worshippers, distributed churches and those in correctional facilities wrote their names on wooden clothespins to mark their commitment to build bridges in their relationships. Those 7,000 clothespins created a bridge sculpture eight feet tall, sixteen feet long and 4 feet wide. Weighing hundreds of pounds and bearing so many thousands of names it’s a marker for Northland to remember what a big thing it is when together a community commits to connecting with others.
Each week Northland volunteers travel to 6 Florida Department of Corrections prison sites throughout Central Florida and the Seminole County Jail.
Prison and Jail Ministry volunteers traveled almost 27,000 miles to bring live worship and bible studies to congregations behind bars. An average of more than 200 men and women worshiped live with us each weekend from behind bars. Over 150 committed volunteers hosted live worship for these men & women.
We hosted the JuST Faith Summit (Anti-Human Trafficking Conference) in April with 106 volunteers and 450 conference attendees from 36 states.
LifeHope walked alongside more than 200 families, assisting with housing, transportation, utilities and other needs. Individuals attended weekly advocacy meetings, budget classes and participated in weekly worship and serving projects.
94 single moms applied for acceptance into the LifeHope Childcare Program (a program to serve single mothers working to achieve their employment and educational goals).
20 moms and 24 babies are currently being served in the LifeHope Childcare Center. This includes 4 sets of twins!
We came alongside 80 families and 200 children with Christmas House, a fun and festive shopping experience for parents facing financial challenges. 60 volunteers helped created this warm and welcoming shopping experience. Tons of Northland congregants generously donated the gifts for this event.
Over 150 participants from Northland’s congregation, local organizations and other local churches participated in a When Helping Hurts small group experience in 2016. Each participant is now equipped with a better understanding on how to serve individuals who are experiencing spiritual or material poverty.
483 congregants responded to the call for volunteers to walk alongside families experiencing homelessness through Community Resource Network.
20+ churches and faith based organizations have said, “We’re in!”. They are committed to stand with the larger faith community to impact homelessness providing their unique resources and assets, and equipping families toward restorative change and community building through Community Resource Network.
12,673 pounds of groceries were donated during the Red Bag project to food pantries in Seminole County schools that feed homeless students and their families.
61 members of our Disaster Response team volunteered nearly 4,330 hours, impacted 2,302 people and served 4,452 meals through our mobile kitchen. The team was deployed to West Virginia, Louisiana, the Pulse shooting and Hurricane Matthew for a total of 38 days.
Northland’s Outbound Welcome Team made over 2,000 calls and emails to the following groups; first time visitors, parents of children first time time to Children’s Church, Altar calls at Northland and Celebrate Recovery. The team helped connect and helped many with their next steps at Northland. Prayer request were made and given to Northland’s prayer team.
On July 9th, we launched the Connect Team consisting of over 70 volunteers focused on helping weekend attendees get involved here at Northland. Since then we’ve experienced over 600 meaningful conversations with Northlanders helping them take their next step in distributing the church. The team has developed and formed a “spiritual family” with each other that has lead to 4 formal gatherings in Connect Team member homes celebrating each other and participating in the sacraments together.
The Northland Worship Team sang over 273 songs this year.
The Tech Team supported 682 worship services across all campuses this year, plus almost 100 youth services. Those services were supported by more than 3,000 hours of help from our amazing volunteers.
By using rechargeable batteries, the Tech Team saved 7,800 batteries from being thrown away this year, or almost $2,000 in savings!
The Tech Team installed new high efficiency laser light source video projectors in the sanctuary, saving 70 Kwh per weekend, or almost $40 per month on our electricity bill! Over the year, that’s enough electricity to drive an electric car 16,000 miles!
Over 50.8 million video frames were rendered by our Video Team.
The average weekly attendance for Children’s Church at Longwood was over 700, with hundreds of volunteers giving their time to teach and support the children and families each week.
Hundreds of children have asked Jesus into their hearts, many have been baptized and lives have been changed for all eternity because of the love and dedication of so many people.
118 young artists attended Worship in the Arts Camp—which provides an encouraging environment for spiritual growth with instruction in the disciplines of music, acting, dance, visual arts and technical production—and presented an amazing program benefiting American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing program in Central Florida.
More than 2,000 dads and daughters bonded at the daddy-daughter dance, with an amazing team of volunteers serving them at this annual event.
We’ve had some great events for families to have fun and build some wonderful relationships along the way: Movie Night, Family Worship Nights and the Family Fall Festival are some of the highlights.
A new Children’s Ministries mobile app was created to resource our parents with discussion points for the lessons their children have been taught as well as Scripture memory verse songs they can play all year long.
Several parents participated in Loving Our Kids On Purpose and learned how to create a safe place for children to build confidence and personal responsibility.
89 faithful adult volunteers serve weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday nights, discipling high school students and middle school students and supporting student ministries.
160 high school students volunteer their time and talents serving middle schoolers with 57 students entering leadership through SETup Crew (freshmen) and 103 participating in servant leadership (grades 10 to 12).
40 students were baptized this year during two separate services and at LUGrox and IAMTHIRD.
304 middle school students and 176 high school students attended retreats this year, learning more about God and growing in relationships with peers through talks, games, activities, and time spent away from the routine of life.
Over 400 student volunteers hosted Northland’s first ever Joy Prom, welcoming 100 students with disabilities to a formal event designed to celebrate God’s love for each of us.
Between middle school and high school, we have 31 discipleship groups with approximately 12 students in each group equalling 372 students who are praying, thinking and engaging in God's call to be on mission in this world.
We have 11 active college and young adult distributes churches that are meeting in and around Orlando.
Access Ministries’ Sunday school programs, for children and teens with special needs, have grown to serve 52 families each weekend.
Over 120 Buddy Break volunteers provided 1,633 hours of free respite care for parents of children with disabilities this year.
FaithAbility, a monthly Bible study, worship and community service group for adults with intellectual disabilities, has grown to over 50 participants who provided more than 1,215 hours of service to the Church and community in 2016.
Hundreds of couples were blessed by marriage classes and parenting classes, including the Marriage Preparation Class, The Art of Marriage, Marriage Oneness, and Marriage 911.
40 couples completed the Marriage Prep Class, which has been serving couples for 18 years.
Hundreds of men were discipled and had great fellowship and interaction in various groups including AMEN (A Meeting of Men), Authentic Manhood - A Man and His Work, Men of Honor, Man in the Mirror, and Men’s Life in Community.
Over 1,100 individuals attended the Women’s Community Bible Study, representing in excess of 16,000 hours of women studying God’s word. In addition, most attendees spent numerous hours during the week doing daily homework, as well as prayer focused on others in their small group.
In February, we hosted “The War Room” movie night in the sanctuary, where we had close to 600 women in attendance.
Over 80 people participated in our Divorce Recovery program. We have 22 volunteers that have different roles in the program each session. Some participants do not have a walk with the Lord when they start the program, but begin attending Northland and committing their life to Christ. One participant actually crossed over from Muslim faith. We also have many participant’s children that attend Divorce Care for Kids as well.
Northland’s Stephen Ministry added 2 new leaders and 2 more Stephen ministers. Retreats and training sessions were conducted to equip Stephen Ministers to care for those in our congregation.
Over 63 LifeLabs were offered by gifted and talented leaders on topics that will help disciples of Jesus Christ mature in their faith.
Over 150 individuals attended groups on Sunday mornings, and in addition to studying the Bible these groups had meals together, prayed and cared for one another, participated in community service projects, served with other Northland ministries, met in homes, mentored new Christians and new leaders, provided fellowship and refreshments, shared stories and inspirational messages which grew class members in their faith and discipleship and provided encouragement to one another while creating community.
Northland’s Healing and Recovery Ministries came alongside hundreds of people through Ministers on Duty, hospital visits, Divorce Recovery, GriefShare, Faithful and True, men’s addiction recovery ministries, women’s recovery studies, recovering couples groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Life’s Healing Choices classes, and anger management support group (PRAXIS).
Affinity groups, such as Moms4Moms, Veterans for Christ, PetPals, Knit and Chat, Motorcycle Ministry, Single Adults, Sew and Serve, and Blended Families, provided fellowship and community.
Arabic and Hispanic ministries met Sunday mornings for worship and fellowship, inviting in many from our congregation and the community to be a part of their vibrant communities.
We’ve offered several classes throughout the year – including Bible book studies, foundations of the faith classes, financial classes, parenting classes, spiritual gifting, online studies and new believers groups, providing ongoing learning and discipling opportunities for developing maturity in Christ. New groups were launched to experience and learn about Life in Community and explore new and different ways of becoming distributed churches.
89 members from our local Orlando community signed up to “build community and play guitar” through 100 Guitars. As a result, over 150 people from other faiths at a local religious festival were impacted.
5,091 people attended Celebrate Recovery (including The Landing, for teens), which has been serving those struggling with addiction for 7 years including over 360+ consecutive Friday nights (yes, all holidays too - minus one hurricane eve).
1,003 additional children participated in Celebration Place which is a program where kids learn healthy ways to cope with challenges in their life often relating to the presence of strongholds for members of their family.
2,675 meals were served to help those participating in Celebrate Recovery to form community and fellowship all cooked and served by volunteers.
62 people either accepted Christ or rededicated their lives to Him through Celebrate Recovery. New believers were followed up with by Northland volunteers to invite them into church community.
30 leaders have been developed and trained for continuing service as Celebrate Recovery small group leaders, accountability partners, sponsors, and to share Christ’s love for those who are hurting.
In January, Northland at Oviedo launched a monthly gathering called ONE helping connect area high schools to a larger network of students believing that they could do more together than they ever could alone. Through this gathering we gained partnerships with 10 Central Florida churches, 8 Seminole & Orange County high schools, 40+ volunteers, and several non-profit organizations. 326 students participated, 23 students gave their life to Jesus for the first time, 5 students recommitted their lives to Jesus, and 137 homeless care packages were created through this network gathering.
Five distributed churches, along with 18 students and young adults, delivered supplies to OneBlood's Oviedo location and The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center) in Downtown Orlando directly after the PULSE Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando. This was in response to the relationships already formed in these distributed churches and their desire to care for those directly impacted by this event.
Two distributed church leaders took more than 30 college students and young adults to Manasota Key to share one house for a weekend in July so that they could develop deeper spiritual transformation in community and to help these churches begin to understand “the church as family on mission together.” This “family vacation” represented 3 different distributed churches that meet regularly in homes throughout the Orlando area. 2 baptisms took place in the Gulf of Mexico and extended spiritual family was formed and distributed back out into numerous cities and states.
Over 100 people attended our GriefShare sessions. The power of ‘withness’ was evidence as an amazing lay leader and intern led leadership team facilitated the work only Jesus can do, bringing hope in the midst of grief.
A team was formed to work on the future development of the Shepherding of the Northland family as it responds to the call to be the church out there, everywhere, every day. This team consisted of pastors, ministers, men, women, young and old collaborating on how to care for those who are caring for those in their distributed churches. This resulted in a presentation to the elders on the Head, Heart and Hands of a Shepherd and then a Student Ministry Leader workshop on the art/skill of “seeing, hearing, and knowing the person across from us”. These efforts will continue on in the hopes all of us learn the importance of fellowship, hospitality and friendship.
Pastoral Care and Counseling added Pastor Jeremy to the team which allowed for an additional 200+ hours of counseling, listening, prayer and spiritual direction for the congregation. Individuals, couples, families, one time visits, phone calls, back and forth emails and ongoing care were all a part of this process.
Northland and Reformed Theological Seminary celebrated more than 21 years of partnership, equipping the saints and serving the community through the ministry of the Oviedo Counseling Clinic.
39 master’s-level graduate interns serving at the clinic provided more than 8,000 hours of counseling to 723 clients.
We are looking forward to see what God has in store for us in 2017!
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