About Northern Life

The Church on the Hill since 1903

Northern Life Baptist Church have represented Jesus in the Hornsby area of Sydney’s North Shore since 1903. Formerly known as Hornsby Baptist Church, this church on the hill is one of Sydney’s oldest Baptist churches. In late 2019 we moved into our new 5-storey Ministry Centre on the corner of College Cres. and Pretoria Parade.

Our congregation embodies the diversity of Hornsby—we are a people of many backgrounds, languages, experiences and giftings—all united in Christ.

We meet for Church services every Sunday at 9:30am and 6pm. We teach the Bible, pray, sing, and get to know one another over a cuppa.

Come and say hello! We’d love to meet you.

Our Vision


We want to be a faithful + fruitful church, fulfilling our mission to the Hornsby area. We believe in the power of visionary clarity, so we’ve articulated our long and short term vision using the framework below.

a. Vision Frame

The Vision Frame is the lens that our entire vision is interpreted through and framed by.

b. Horizon Storyline

Our vision has four horizons. These are visionary time frames leading into the future, ranging from 90 days to 3+ years.

c. Vision Picture

Each time frame has specific, articulated vision that drives us toward our goal of being a faithful + fruitful church.

Our Values




Value 1 Explained

KNOWN & LOVED – Identity

At the core of who we are as a church is the understanding that we are known and loved by Father God.  Through faith in Christ we are have passed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, been given life a new, born from above and know from the inner witness of the Holy Spirit that we are children of God.  We are known by our creator and we are loved with an everlasting love.

Our efforts to “do” church come from “being” church.  All we do as a Church is built on the foundation of intimate relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit – We love because He first loved us, we minister out of our identity as Children of God.  We have been rescued from the need to perform for approval.

Romans 8:15-16 And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

John 1:12  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.




Value 2 Explained


He is our treasure, delight, first love and reason for being.  To worship Him is our joy.

He deserves our very best.  This core value encapsulates “The Lordship of Christ” it also speaks of commitment to the “cause of Christ”.    There is a cost involved in following Him and Jesus is Worth it.  There is no limit to our commit to excellence on His behalf – our worship of Jesus extends far beyond Sunday into our every day lives – To see Him smile over our lives is our greatest desire.

Colossians 1

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.




Value 3 Explained


We believe the bible and are led by the Holy Spirit.  We are a bible believing Church.  God’s words matter more than any other words.  We want to know His words, listen to them and obey them.  We expect Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father to guide us and counsel us every step of the journey.  Jesus said; “my sheep know my voice”.  We want to know His voice.  By grace our hope is: God speaks we listen.

Matthew 4:4

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Galatians 5:16

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.




Value 4 Explained


We are free and have access to His endless supply.  He is able to provide all of our needs.  Christ’s finished work on the cross, His glorious resurrection from the dead, ascension to Heaven and provision of the Spirit is sufficient to grant us true freedom – HIs Grace is Enough.  This enables us as a church to truly live out of a mindset of abundance and generosity.  We see God’s grace not only as a means of forgiveness but also the power to be and do all that we have been called to accomplish in the Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.




Value 5 Explained

5.  LIFE MATTERS – Stewardship

All living things matter; people and planet, we steward everything for God’s glory in the context of loving relationships. We are called to exercise our authority as true humanity in Christ through stewardship of all creation. As we take care of each other and our environment we desire to bring glory to the one who created and sustains it all. We are responsible and we are accountable.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”




Value 6 Explained


God is painting His story on a canvas of generations in the colours of the nations – we are a canvas of colour. God’s plans for our church are beyond one generation and one ethnicity. We respect and appreciate each generation, we enjoy and rely on our diversity.

We are not the body of Christ by ourselves as individuals but together we are the Body of Christ.  We are dependent on the integration of body parts and giftedness: people who lead, who give, who create, who care, who discern, who work in unity and diversity all for His glory. We are a healthy family.

1 Corinthians 12:12

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.




Value 7 Explained

7.  FIND OUT / HELP OUT – Care

Since people matter, we believe in listening to stories, understanding journey’s, discovering opportunities and providing solutions.  Love, loves with action.  We listen and respond.  We get involved.

Whether it’s finding out a new persons name at morning tea, or investigating a tragedy unfolding in Malawi.  We find out, we help out, we put skin in the game, for the renown of His name.

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.




Value 8 Explained

8.  PRAYER HAS POWER – Transformation 

We pray with shameless persistence and authority.  Life is spiritual.  Mysteriously God has invited His church to interact with Him in prayer. By grace we pray persistently, passionately and humbly approaching the throne of Grace through Jesus.  We believe that for every situation Prayer has Power.  Through our dependence on the Holy Spirit in prayer we see transformation unto the glory of God.

Luke 11:8

7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

Ephesians 3:14

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Love God. Love Others. Make disciples.




Value 9 Explained


Our faith is grounded in the truth of the gospel.  Jesus Christ, fully God, fully man, lived a perfect life to die a perfect sacrificial death and rose victoriously and powerfully from the dead.  This is historically verifiable truth which is the bedrock of our Church.  After the resurrection Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and sent His Spirit at Pentecost to fill His Church.  We know and share the gospel.  We know and share the biblical story.  We seek to understand good theology. We are not ashamed of the gospel.

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…




Value 10 Explained

10.  LIFE LEARNERS – Growth

We are apprentices of Jesus, learning to live the way He said we could live. This process centres around character transformation. Peter reminds us that growth in the grace and knowledge of the kingdom is a possibility and expectation of all who followers Christ Jesus as Lord.

We embrace effort with servant hearted intentionality to become more like Jesus.  Our character is the sum of our habits.  As Christians we aim to put into practise the teachings of the sermon on the mount by training to be like Christ rather than trying to be like Christ. Grace is the fuel of the kingdom and we aim to use it live the way Jesus said we could live. We live out of the overflow of our hearts & Habits Shape Hearts

2 Peter 1:5-15

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.




Value 11 Explained

11.  A COACHING COMMUNITY – Multiplication

We are disciple making disciples who live intentionally to develop others’ in Christ.  We are disciples making disciples of Jesus.  When Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave His disciples a very clear mandate.  This has not changed for us in the 21st century.  By God’s grace and the gospel we lead people to Christ, coach them towards maturity in Christ and encourage them to do the same thing causing Kingdom multiplication.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”




Value 12 Explained

12.  SENT – SENDERS – Mission

We are a sent people committed to sending others.  We have been blessed to be a blessing.  As the Father sent the Son, the Son sent the Spirit, the Spirit sends the Church, the Church sends ministers of the gospel.  We nurture new life in Christ, we train up, we raise up, we send out and we “go” ourselves.  We live our lives with a sense of purpose.  We see mission as everyone’s life calling – across the road and around the world.  We exist to see the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ taken to every nation and tribe and people and tongue.

John 20:21

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

Our Staff

Jonathan Shanks


Rachel Li


Virginia Mathews


Benjamin Shanks