Bulletin Post

Letter from the shepherds: Full speed ahead

Despite the challenges we face as the Northside family, there are a lot of exciting things in the works as we look forward to 2020 and beyond. 

For one thing, we’re working with Interim Ministry Partners (IMP), an organization that helps churches fill the position of pulpit minister. The shepherds, staff, and our spouses recently met with a representative of the company — Tim Woodroof, whom you’ll see more of VERY soon — to discuss the hiring process and the results of the survey that our church family recently completed. We discussed the vision of where all of us want our church to go and began the process of filling the pulpit minister position.

On Saturday, June 6, Tim met with those invited to serve on a Northside committee who will work with IMP to fill that position. More on that soon. Meanwhile, David Swanger and Chris Gannon are on tap to preach in the weeks ahead, something we’re excited about.

Second: we’ll be starting a new shepherd selection process soon with Charlie Hooks heading this up. More on this soon, as well.

Third: we took a brief break, but now we’re back-on-track with our 2020 Vision plans. If you’re not a part of these plans yet, contact Stan Cunningham, Dennis Sellers, Kenny Wyatt, or Greg Tolbert to get involved.

Philippians 4:13 tells us that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” And He is certainly providing strength to the Northside family and will continue to do so as we grow individually and as a church family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

In Christian love,

Dennis, Kenny, and Greg

Harvard And Science Journal May Be On To Something

     Harvard University and Science Journal are two places people go to learn some deep truths. And this time, I think they are on to one of the deepest of all. Their study was about how much money it takes to make someone happy.

     Here’s the finding: If you live below the poverty line, more money seems to make you a little happier. Life gets easier; some of the daily pressures lessen. But…hear this…If you are above the poverty line, having more money does not make you any happier. Interesting.  Hmm.

      The study showed that even if a family who earns $45,000 per year has their income doubled to $90,000 per year, they are no happier than before. Michael Norton, professor at Harvard Business School said, “Most people think that if you make a lot more money, you are going to be happier, but our studies showed that this is not actually true.”  

      But there is something the study showed about happiness and money. And it doesn’t have anything to do with your earnings, but rather how you use your money. Norton went on to say, “It’s what you spend your money on that makes a difference in your happiness.”   

      Regardless of income levels, those who spent more money on others in need or gave to worthy causes reported greater happiness in their lives. Those who spent money on themselves were not as happy.

      They then conducted a second study. Sixteen corporate employees were given bonuses, anywhere from $5000 to $10,000. And they were asked two months later how they used their bonuses. The results showed that the size of the bonus had nothing to do with their happiness. The only thing that related to happiness was that those who spent a portion of their bonuses on causes they believed in were the happier ones.

      Next forty-six volunteers were given from $5 to $20 to spend that day anyway they wanted. You’re probably catching on by now, but just so you know, the ones who spent their money on others or gave it away were much the happier group. Buying someone else coffee makes you happier than buying it for yourself.

     Now the SHOCKER! Harvard and Science Journal concluded… Are you ready for this?

      “It is better to give than to receive.” I think I heard that somewhere before.

—Phil Kinzer


The Power of A Single Welcoming Word

My oldest brother, Rick Cunningham, received a letter in the mail the other day. It was from a friend who had once been a member of the church where Rick had served as minister.  This lady was now a member of a church in another Texas town, several hundred miles away.   In the letter she wrote this:

“Yesterday, our minister, John Knox, was telling about his baptism at Sunset in Lubbock, TX when he was 20 years old.  He was a student at Lubbock Christian University after flunking out of Texas Tech.  He had   never darkened the door of a church building until he met his LCU friends.  At some time in there, he had a girlfriend who was also a student at LCU, who lead him to Christ.  Anyway, when he was baptized, he came up out of the water, up the stairs to re-dress, and he was met by an older man with a towel who simply said ‘Welcome.’  John went on to say how much that one word meant to him then, and how it stayed with him through the years.  He said he had kept it in his heart to this very day.  He related instances of seeing this man, many times over the years, whenever he visited someone in a Lubbock Hospital… there this man was visiting people nearly every time.  John said that, because he had so many connections in Lubbock, he always checked the Lubbock obituaries.  There, he said, in last week’s obituary, was the name Joe Cunningham, the man who was first to welcome him into the Kingdom, and whose welcome had touched his heart for all these years.” 

Of course, this kind of witness to my dad’s life does not surprise my brothers or me.  This is the kind of man Pop was.  But I wanted to relay this story here to simply remind us of the power of a single word when it is uttered by someone whose heart is filled with love and welcome.  We  never know how un-welcome people feel around us, so when they are confronted by someone who is genuine in their welcome, it can have a powerful and lasting impact.  Pop likely never knew this story even though he was the central character.  And you may never know how your words of welcome impact someone else…. But that person knows.  And it may have a lasting impact on how they feel about life.  And, after all, isn’t this exactly how we think Jesus welcomes us into His Kingdom?  “Well done, good and faithful servant…. Come on into the joy of your Master.”