Who We Are
North Way Christian Community is a regional multi-site church dedicated to serving and impacting the Pittsburgh metro area with the good news of the gospel. Some multi-site churches seek a national presence. That’s not us. Our calling is firmly rooted here in Pittsburgh – specifically, to reach 1% of the metro region with the history-changing story of Jesus and life in Him. We believe that the local church is the hope of the world – and we believe that Pittsburgh, with its vibrant, dynamic neighborhoods, is ideal for a multi-site church vision. We plant out of the mindset that a church and its members must contextualize a shared faith community within an actual physical community. Though the places are different, the North Way DNA remains: following Jesus, doing life together, spirit-led worship, strong Biblical teaching, and prayerfully considered seasonal objectives that advance God’s love and kingdom work in our region.
Today’s North Way stands on the shoulders of a wonderful, powerful tradition. More than a century ago, a young Lutheran pastor named William Alfred Passavant came to western Pennsylvania to establish communities of faith, hope and care. Empowered by the spirit of God, Dr. Passavant’s efforts resulted in the establishment of several churches and care-giving organizations – and the hospital that bears his name to this day. Decades later, in that same spirit, Dr. Jay Passavant, W.A. Passavant’s great-great grandson, committed with his wife Carol and eight other couples to prayerfully pursue a vision for a new type of church in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. North Way Christian Community was founded in 1981, and Jay served as North Way’s senior pastor for 30 years before his transition to founding pastor in 2011.
Our Beliefs and Values
Mission A church that loves people where we live, work, and play. Vision To impact the Pittsburgh region with the hope of the Gospel. Values Following Jesus | “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ ” Matthew 4:19 Doing Life Together | “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 Engaging and Influencing Culture | “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18 Objectives Campus Strategy | Uniquely impacting local communities around the Pittsburgh region for Christ through the launch of multiple campus locations. Family Matters | Partnering with parents from cradle to college to raise children to know and love Jesus. In pre-school, children learn to embrace a God who is bigger than their imagination and who loves them deeply. In elementary, kids learn by discovering a new understanding of how to grow in relationship with Jesus. In middle and high school, students learn how to own their faith, to be the church, and to make a difference by influencing their generation. Emerging Leaders | Raising up young leaders in the character and ways of Jesus to develop the next generation of leaders. Relational Evangelism | Encouraging every member of our church to introduce the Gospel to others through building relationships and loving one another as we go about living our lives. Transformational Outreach | Partnering with churches and established missional organizations to care for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children locally, nationally, and globally. Beliefs North Way Christian Community is a non-denominational church, and as such, is home to members from a wide spectrum of church backgrounds – and some with no church background at all. We say that to say this: you are welcome here no matter where you came from. While we do not subscribe to any particular denomination, we practice an evangelical tradition which holds the following tenets of belief:
- We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is inspired and inerrant as originally given.
- We believe that God is eternal, three persons in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless and perfect life, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, and His present dominion at the right hand of God the Father.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling enables the Christian to lead a Godly life; and whose baptism provides power for service.
- We believe in the resurrection from the dead of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved into the resurrection of life and those that have not known God into the resurrection of judgment.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in the Lord Jesus.
- We believe in the table of the Lord, commonly called Communion or the Lord’s Supper, for believers.
- We believe in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory to receive His church unto Himself.
- We believe that worship is our number one priority.
- We believe that prayer is the touchstone of our power.
- Making disciple-makers by reproducing the character, ways and mission of Jesus in those God brings around us, expecting them to do the same in others.
- Developing emerging leaders by intentionally investing in the next generation.
- Raising local and global missional awareness and impact.
- Maximizing the potential of our multiple locations and launching new campuses.
- Leveraging technology to better advance our mission.
About Multi-Site Churches
Why does North Way have multiple locations? We want to leverage our church’s strengths and maximize our potential to impact local communities around the region. Having multiple locations helps to develop an intentional, region-wide strategy that is unique to each community while minimizing expenses. North Way’s locations are not, however, separate churches. North Way Christian Community operates as one church with one lead pastor, one group of elders, one staff and the same message each week. One church, multiple locations. What is the difference between a multi-site church and a church plant? A church plant is usually a small delegation of people who leave a church to develop a brand new church. While the sending church may help financially, typically a church plant is a completely new church with its own elders and budget. Multiple campuses, on the other hand, are extensions of the original church, not new entities; one church meeting in multiple locations. What are the advantages of having campuses in multiple locations? Statistics show that people prefer to attend a church within a 15 minute drive of their home. When people are required to drive more than 15-20 minutes to church, it becomes a challenge to attend services regularly – and also to volunteer and experience deeper involvement in their church community. In addition, we want to see North Way Christian Community expressed into different areas around the region so that we can have a greater ability to reach people right where they are. How does North Way determine where to launch new campuses? First and foremost, we pray and look for God’s distinctive activity to determine location. We also factor in practical considerations and seek wisdom from our staff, our elders, and a core of dedicated members living in the area. What’s with the video teaching? We don’t do it to be slick or cutting edge. We want to have a consistent weekly message for our entire church family, but we also want our campus pastors to be able to spend their week ministering to the people in their neighborhood. If they aren’t spending the bulk of their time preparing a sermon, they can be invested in their most important job: encouraging, discipling, and caring for people in their community.
The Pastors and Elders of North Way Christian Community believe that the proper stewardship of our church’s resources is one of our most important responsibilities. As such, we have taken great care to establish independent checks and balances throughout the process. North Way is a church governed by its Elders, a group of Biblically qualified men called by God to lead this body. They appoint the Elders Council – a subset of Elders with business and administrative gifts – to manage North Way’s business affairs. In addition to the Elders Council, North Way’s financial affairs are overseen by a group of member volunteers that comprise the church’s Finance Council. This provides us with independent oversight at several levels in our organization. These councils have drafted and approved a set of Financial Disciplines that guide church leadership on the handling of resources brought into the church. North Way voluntarily submits all financial transactions to an independent certified public accounting firm. Each year, the firm completes a full external financial audit of North Way in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS). We have successfully passed every financial review since we initiated the practice in 1988. In addition, we make these audited financial statements publicly available, demonstrating our careful stewardship and accountability with our congregation’s resources. Any North Way member can review a copy of the most recent audited financial statements by requesting to meet with finance director Emily Cook. North Way also voluntarily submits to the standards of accountability required to become a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the benchmark oversight organization for stewardship excellence in the non-profit sector. We have gone to great lengths to remain faithful and proactive in safeguarding North Way’s financial integrity through careful stewardship and internal and external accountability. Our partnership with you, our church family, is crucial in our efforts to honor God with our use of all of His resources to bring Jesus to the forefront of all we do. Thank you for your partnership, stewardship, and faithful giving! North Way’s United Way Code: 224954 North Way is a proud member-in-good-standing of the ECFA ECFA membership requires strict compliance with their standards, including comprehensive screening prior to membership, annual reviews, and field audits.