OUR VISION IS TO MAKE DISCIPLES WHO MAKE DISCIPLES. "make disciples" 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 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. We believe that disciples of Jesus Christ worship God well. We agree with A.W. Tozer, who said that "Worship is the missing jewel of the church." At Harvest, worship is a major emphasis. In our services, 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.
"who make disciples" Disciples of Jesus Christ communicate His love to others in many ways. At the top of the list is sharing Christ with others so that they too can become disciples of Jesus. 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.
That’s our vision: to make disciples who make disciples. A fuller statement of it is, “to develop people into followers of Jesus Christ with a passion to worship God well and communicate his love to others.”
MINISTRY STRATEGY How do we "make disciples who make disciples"?
LIVE: Guiding people to new LIFE in Christ. GROW: Equipping people to GROW together in Christ. GO: Empowering people to GO and bring others to new life in Christ.
Values (Philosophy of Ministry) What values guide us as we try to accomplish the vision of making disciples who make disciples? The following six values are very important to us:
1. Worship Romans 12:1-2 indicates that worship is something that should happen 24/7, not just on Sunday morning. We teach people how to worship individually, at home, and with other believers in churchwide settings. Our services are designed to be awe-inspiring celebrations of God, which are meaningful to children, youth, singles, couples, and families. Children join adults for a portion of this time so that families worship together. We want to provide excellent, dynamic, and inspiring music which ministers to people and leads them in their worship, without allowing the atmosphere to become that of being passively "entertained." Our music is primarily contemporary, and also includes some traditional hymns–both styles are used and woven together in a “blended worship” context. As appropriate, such input as drama, testimonies, dramatic readings, and spontaneous sharing and prayer from the congregation is used to facilitate worship. The goal for our preaching and teaching ministry is to be both Biblical and relevant to life. Every sermon is designed to teach people God's Word and inspire them with practical ways to obey.
2. Disciple-Making The purpose of this church in terms of its ministry to people is to “make disciples of all nations,” which means helping unbelievers start to follow Jesus Christ, then establishing and equipping Christians to obey all that Christ commanded. We reach out locally but we also 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, the process has only begun, for then we “disciple” them. This establishing of believers includes teaching them the basics of Christianity, training them in the Christian life, and teaching them not only the content and principles of the Bible but such things as how they can feed themselves and grow in Christ. We seek to equip them to reproduce themselves by ministering to both unbelievers and believers.
3. Biblical Community Biblical community is more than just friendship or connection, although it includes those. When Christians live in relationship with each other and live out the “one another” commands of the New Testament (e.g. love one another, encourage one another), biblical community occurs. Our vision is for ever-expanding numbers of small groups who meet together on a regular basis for the purposes of caring, spiritual growth, and outreach. We seek to unleash the members of the body so they can give and receive spiritual care in the most effective way. Find a community group.
4. Commitment to God's Word We strive to be a church that 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.
5. 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 do this in a variety of ways—congregational prayer times, prayer in small groups, prayer partners, 24-hour prayer vigils, etc. We consider prayer to be a vital element in our church life, and invite you to participate in our church wide prayer sessions as much as you can.
6. Grace oriented-rather than legalistic 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.