Harvest Community Church exists...
To develop people into followers of Jesus Christ with a passion to worship God well and communicate his love to others.
"...followers of Jesus Christ..."
We start with people wherever they are and help them develop into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. The first step in this process is evangelism, introducing people to a personal relationship with Christ. Then we establish them in their faith and equip them to serve others. Integral to this process is our commitment to God’s Word and to prayer.
"...with a passion to worship God well..."
We agree with A.W. Tozer, who said, “Worship is the missing jewel of the church.” Our intention is to establish a church in which worship is a major emphasis. In our worship service, we encourage people to focus on and participate in giving praise to God rather than coming to church just to be entertained. In addition, we teach people how to live a lifestyle of worship throughout the week.
"...and communicate His love to others."
We desire to be a loving, gracious community of Christians where all people feel welcome and accepted, regardless of their socio-economic background, race, sex, or personal situation in life. We want to reach out in love and minister to each other and to those who are not yet part of God’s family.
Our Core Values
- Biblical Community
- Commitment to God's Word
- Commitment to Prayer
- Grace Rather than Legalism
The vision of our church is to develop people into followers of Jesus Christ with a passion to worship God well and communicate His love to others. One of the key concepts in our understanding of worship is the word “participation.” We strongly believe that worship is not just watching the “performers” (i.e., Worship Team or Pastor) perform, but involves all of us coming before God to praise Him. No one is ever asked to participate publicly in any way that would be uncomfortable, but all are encouraged to come prepared to GIVE something to God, which is the essence of worship. To facilitate this, we have a lot of congregational singing and allow for spontaneous times of prayer, praise, or Scripture reading from the congregation. We strive for balance in the area of “freedom of worship.” People are encouraged to express their worship to God in a way that is meaningful to them personally without distracting others. For example, many feel the freedom to clap or raise their hands to God in our services, while those who do not express their worship best through these venues are not pressured to do so.
According to Matthew 28:18-20, our purpose in terms of ministry to people is to “make disciples of all nations,” which means evangelizing unbelievers, then establishing and equipping Christians to obey all that Christ commanded. As for evangelism, we encourage a multifaceted approach, using friendship or “lifestyle” evangelism, offer neighborhood studies for those exploring Christianity, hold special outreach services and events, and encourage ministries outside the church facilities that target certain groups (e.g., teenage mothers, adult children of alcoholics). The Charlotte region has hundreds of thousands to reach, but we do not stop there: we participate in church planting, evangelism and discipleship in other needy parts of the state, the country and the world. Once people accept Christ as Savior, we begin the process of “discipling” new believers. This establishing of believers includes teaching them the basics of Christianity, training them in the Christian life, as well as instructing them how they can feed themselves spiritually and grow in Christ. We seek to equip them to reproduce themselves by ministering to both unbelievers and believers.
Harvest consists of a number of small groups that meet together on a regular basis in homes for the purposes of caring, spiritual growth, and outreach. We also model community in our men's, women's and special interest groups. We seek to unleash the members of the body so they can give and receive spiritual care in the most effective way, i.e., in more intimate, participatory group settings. To accomplish this, leaders are trained as a part of our “Shepherding Community.” The primary role of a pastor/teacher is to equip believers so they can do ministry themselves, as Ephesians 4:12-16 clearly teaches. We desire to be a loving, gracious community of Christians in which all people feel welcome and accepted, regardless of their socio-economic background, race, sex, or personal situation in life, and attempt to foster a spirit of being a united church family.
Commitment to God's Word:
Harvest is a church which is thoroughly grounded on Scripture rather than tradition or expediency. This means that we seek Biblical guidance for all principles and practice. This also means that people must be taught how to feed themselves from the Word and how to discern sound Biblical teaching from unsound teaching. We believe in the inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible in its original autographs, and in our public teaching and preaching will use the best modern versions which translate the text accurately and in understandable language (our preference at this point is the New International Version). Though our preaching and teaching will address life issues (e.g., marriage relationships, managing stress), it will be driven by a passion to explain, apply and obey God’s Word.
Commitment to Prayer:
Correct principles without divine power results in a dead church. It seems that often we try to accomplish God’s work in our own strength and abilities. However, we long for a church which makes prayer its first rather than its last priority, one in which every corporate and individual need is bathed in fervent prayer. This can be done in a variety of ways-congregational prayer times, prayer in small groups, prayer partners, “prayer chains,” etc. – we use any or all of these methods as well as others which will develop us into a praying church, dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit. Some ongoing prayer ministries are the following:
- Prayer service: Sundays at 9 a.m. prior to the worship service at 10 a.m.
- Men's and women's prayer groups
- Prayer Vigils throughout the year
- 40 Days of Prayer: annually from January 1 - February 9
Grace Rather Than Legalism:
We want to create an atmosphere which is grace-oriented rather than legalistic. In other words, spirituality should not be measured by one’s conformity to an outward list of humanly-designed rules but by Biblical expression of the life and love of Christ. We want everyone to feel acceptance and love from us. Although we will encourage the living of holy lives and the development of Christian character, we will not impose personal convictions upon others.