The leadership of Scottsdale Bible Church (SBC) and North Ridge Community Church (NRCC) believe God is clearly leading us toward an exciting future together. After several months of prayer, discussion, and comparison of our mission, vision and values, the Senior Pastors and Elders of both churches concluded unanimously that we could reach our community better by joining together. As a church plant of SBC 25 years ago, NRCC shares similar values of solid biblical teaching, service-based outreach, and authentic community.

On the weekend of August 25/26, the decision to merge together was announced to each congregation. A membership vote by NRCC regarding the merger will take place on September 30, and if approved, the North Ridge Campus of SBC will launch on January 13, 2019. This merger offers a unique opportunity to expand God’s Kingdom exponentially and strengthen our ability to bring the hope of Jesus to more people in North Scottsdale and Cave Creek. We will be “better together” as we humbly unite to serve and reach our surrounding community for Christ.

 

[Added Friday, September 21st]

Hear personal testimonies from Scottsdale Bible Church congregants about being part of a multisite campus.

 


To learn more, watch the videos to hear from the Senior Pastors of both churches about their excitement and vision for this merger.





Since 1962, Scottsdale Bible Church has had a rich history of leadership and church planting in the Valley. North Ridge Community Church was planted by SBC in 1994, and after meeting in various locations, moved into a beautiful 33-acre campus at 64th Street and Dynamite Road in 2001. Over the past 25 years, North Ridge has grown into a vibrant church with strong outreach to its community.


Recently, North Ridge’s senior pastor, Mike Burnidge, began discussions with his Elder Board about his projected retirement transition from senior leadership. At the same time, SBC began looking for opportunities to establish a campus north of Highway 101 in Scottsdale, an area where the church already has hundreds of SBC households. Through a series of God-ordained conversations, the leaders of both churches sensed God uniquely leading them to begin asking “What if we could reach more people together?”

After a season of prayer and consideration, the Elders from both churches appointed a team to determine whether a merger was possible, feasible and desirable. It quickly became clear that with the shared heritage and DNA of Scottsdale Bible and North Ridge, as well as the timing, a merger seemed God ordained. Both boards and leadership teams believed uniting together and combining resources would create a stronger, more effective church presence than either church could achieve on its own. In July, both Elder Boards unanimously voted to pursue a merger of our two churches.




Both churches are mission driven and future-focused, and our values align closely. North Ridge’s mission is to do whatever it takes to create POWER-filled followers of Christ through Prayer, Outreach to others, Worshiping God, Equipping for service in ministry, and Relationship with others and God. SBC’s mission is to Win people to faith in Jesus Christ, Build them up in their faith, and Send them out to win and build others in their spheres of influence. SBC’s values are: transformational Bible teaching, engaging worship, authentic community and service-based outreach, and the church rallies around helping people Get God, Get Real and Get Out There.


Like SBC, North Ridge has a full complement of ministry programs, quality biblical teaching, a strong presence in the community and beautiful facilities. Both churches have a heart for the vulnerable and are known for generosity and outreach. North Ridge serves local schools, refugees, and even pays the electric bills of single moms and widows in their region, with a vision to give hope to all through Christ alone.

With the 25-year history our two churches share, it would be an honor to re-engage with one another to ensure an even stronger future in a community that desperately needs the hope of Jesus. It is exciting to see God continue to write our story and to launch NRCC’s next chapter as a part of the SBC family.

Joining a Multisite Church

More than 5,000 churches in America are now multisite churches, and more than 5 million people or 10% of U.S. protestants attend one. As a multisite church, SBC is one church in multiple locations, sharing one vision, one set of values, one budget, one ministry strategy, one teaching team, one Senior Pastor (Jamie Rasmussen), and one Elder Board.

North Ridge would join SBC’s Cactus campus and Shea campus venues as part of the SBC family. Teaching is centralized on most weekends and broadcast to each venue or campus, and campuses share the same budget and governance. Key ministries are consistent across all campuses and include weekend worship services with the same message series, generational ministries, and small groups focus.



Timing of the Proposed Merger

After town hall meetings on August 29, September 9 and September 16, the North Ridge membership will vote on September 30. If approved, the first service as a SBC North Ridge campus will take place on January 13, 2019. Between October 1 and January 13, the Elders and Pastor Mike will continue to lead North Ridge through the transition season, and physical enhancements will be made to the campus. The final service would be on Christmas Eve, and then the grand opening on January 13 would coincide with the 25th anniversary of North Ridge being launched as a church plant of Scottsdale Bible Church!




Who will lead the North Ridge Campus?

Jamie Rasmussen will be the Senior Pastor and his messages will be broadcast from the Shea Campus most weekends.

We also plan to add the capability to broadcast preaching from the North Ridge Campus to other SBC campuses. Kevin Yule will serve as the SBC North Ridge Campus Pastor, and Ryan Heath, the Associate Pastor, ensuring that the mission and vision are carried out.

What will happen with the current North Ridge pastoral team and staff?

We will take an intentional, honoring approach to transition existing staff and volunteers into the SBC family. Pastor Mike will function as SBC’s Pastor of Community Engagement, and will preach for Jamie at SBC on occasion. Dan King will be SBC’s Director of Multisite Development. Most of the current staff will continue to serve in either a site specific or centralized way, all working in the area of their giftedness where needed. Generous transition assistance will be given to those whose roles are eliminated or who choose to transition away.

What will happen to North Ridge’s supported missionaries and organizations?

All existing relationships with North Ridge’s supported missionaries and organizations will be carried forward into the SBC Outreach budget and program for at least two years. After that, they will be open for review and adjustment as appropriate.

What kind of investment will the merger involve?

The North Ridge campus already includes beautiful facilities and outdoor space with a total of 33 acres that gives ample room for future growth and ministry! All of this represents a significant North Ridge investment that, combined with the infusion of additional resources from SBC will set us up for an impactful and exciting future! Both churches bring a lot to the table, making Better Together more than just a slogan – it’s really true!

When the merger is approved, SBC will enhance the auditorium, Children’s space, technology and other aspects of the North Ridge campus to ensure it offers a similar SBC experience to other campuses and venues. The plan is to invest approximately $3-4 million into the campus within the first year to accomplish these updates. SBC has also agreed to assume $1.1 million in outstanding NRCC mortgage.


This merger represents an opportunity to expand the vision of both churches and bring about exponential growth. The new congregation will re-launch with people from both NRCC and SBC who love Jesus and are passionate about making an impact for the Kingdom of God.

The story for North Ridge will continue through a new expression, strengthening the current congregation and building on its strong legacy of mission and service. In addition, people who currently call SBC home and live in the North Scottsdale area will have an option to attend a Scottsdale Bible location nearby and easily invite their neighbors.

Our community will be better served, the church in Cave Creek, Scottsdale and Phoenix will be strengthened, and God’s kingdom will be extended. Our congregations will be “better together” as we create a campus with unstoppable potential to impact lives for Jesus Christ.

How can I learn more?

Over the next few weeks, members of both campuses will have opportunities to ask questions and hear more about this exciting initiative. Our Elders and leaders will hold Q & A sessions at both campuses.

North Ridge’s Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor and Elder Board have unanimously approved the merger for a congregational vote, and the final decision will be determined by the NRCC membership on September 30. SBC members do not need to vote to approve the merger, as SBC’s Elder Board has unanimously approved it.

What’s my part?

We’d ask you to pray for this process and your part in it. Then, participate in the meetings and classes that will be offered so that you can be a prayerful, informed part of the process. If you are one of the 400+ SBC individuals/families who live in North Scottsdale near North Ridge, begin praying about attending and serving at this multisite campus when it opens in January. If you already attend North Ridge, pray about how God can use you to encourage and care for others at your church through this transition. The integration process will include several stages, but we will work together to build our partnership with integrity and humility.