The NorthBridge Story
This is the story of a church that began not with an event or a program or even a community survey, but it is the story of a church that began with a dream. A dream of a different kind of church, a church that would effectively reach out to those far from God, transform its community, impact the prevailing culture, and raise up the leaders of tomorrow’s church.
The pattern of the Bible shows us that when God is preparing to do a new work, He doesn’t form a committee, but He envisions a leader. He places an overwhelming concern upon the heart of a person that drives him or her to action. In 1999, God began to place that kind of a burden upon the heart of Mark Albrecht.
God placed two burning questions in particular upon Mark that dominated his thinking and captured his heart. First question: Why are young adults disappearing from the church across America in such large numbers? This question forced Mark to wonder what a church would look like if it set out to creatively and intentionally reach out to young adults who were disinterested in church.
Second question: Why does the church in America seem to have so little impact upon the prevailing culture? This troubling concern drove Mark to imagine a community of people who discovered the truths of Christianity and grew to maturity in Jesus Christ together.
Mark began to imagine a community of people who regularly engaged in deep reflection about the teachings of the Bible and the application of its principles to the vexing cultural challenges we face in our complicated world today. And he began to envision the local community being genuinely thankful for this new church as the people of God selflessly served the community, and the community actually changing because of the impact of the church!
Believing God was calling him to not just ask the questions but to become part of the solution, Mark and his wife Michelle called a small group of people together to begin to pray and seek God in the summer of 2000. Through these times of prayer and God’s sovereign orchestration of events a calling from God became clear. A calling to launch a church that would build a bridge. A bridge to cross the distance between a gracious God and lost people. A bridge to cross the chasm between a confused culture and an isolated church. A bridge to span the divide from today’s leaders to the next generation… NorthBridge Church.
But this new church did not begin as a maverick, independent church, but rather, NorthBridge Church birthed through a coalition of partnering churches. Mark’s home church (Hawthorn Hills Community Church in Libertyville, IL) joined together with Faith Baptist Church (Grayslake, IL) and TeAmerica to support and resource this creative new church. As a result, NorthBridge Church received a “jump start” into existence. Quickly gathering a core group and necessary resources, NorthBridge began with a meeting of interested parties on April 29, 2001. As the vision for NorthBridge was shared, God coalesced a group of people around His vision for a church that would not only impact a community but also give shape to the church of the future.
The focus of NorthBridge Church is the communities of Antioch, Lake Villa, and Lindenhurst in Northern Lake County Illinois. It is the aim of NorthBridge to honor God by reaching, inspiring and training up the next generation of the church to impact lives and influence the prevailing culture with the truth of Jesus Christ.
In its beginning stages, NorthBridge Church has demonstrated a desire to live out the gospel in fresh, creative, relevant ways, and it is our hope that this church will become a pioneer in exploring how Christians and churches must grow and change as world transitions from a modern to post-modern culture. We are committed to continual learning and growing, while depending upon God’s guidance and empowerment to help us “build a bridge” to the future of the church. The adventure has just begun… We hope that you will join us for the future chapters of this amazing story!