Who we are
We are a growing church that has a passion for making disciples, a love for the Word of God, and a commitment to take the gospel to the entire world. We desire to be a church that glorifies the Lord by going where the people are, bringing the lost to Jesus, and building believers up in their faith by making disciples. We believe God has a plan for all his children to be involved in his mission. We seek to equip God’s people for that mission through the process of making disciples.
OUR MINISTRY PRINCIPLES
WE ARE A HOUSE OF PRAYER
In Matthew 21 when Jesus saw that the religious leaders had made the synagogue into something other than a house of prayer, he overthrew their tables and ran them out! The Bible’s teaching on prayer is clear. God expects us, as we come together, to pray in unity for the mission He has given us. He then answers prayer, moving us along in his power and provision. We are wonderfully dependent upon God for all we have done, are doing, and will do. As we continue to move forward, we must have God’s hand of blessing upon us, or we will labor in vain (Psalm 127). Because of these foundational truths Harvest Baptist Church will always prioritize the importance of personal and collective prayer. When we meet we will keep an attitude of desperate dependence upon God.
OUR MEMBERS ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE WORD OF GOD
Accountability within the body helps each of us stay faithful to the Word, to one another, and to the ministry responsibilities we have committed to. (Colossians 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Sometimes it's easy to think of accountability as someone enforcing strict rules and regulations, or of some "watchdog" mentality, but real accountability in the local church is a wonderfully edifying experience. When the central focus of HBC is investing and honoring the Word of God together, a Christ-like heart emerges. With that said, there are many ways to be accountable in the Word. It could be by taking part in Life on Life Discipleship, Ministry Tools and Training, taking Living Faith Bible Institute classes, or even by participating in a midweek bible study/small group. As a side note, if participating in one of our weekly Bible studies seems intimidating, just know that everyone around you is cheering you on for what will truly be a life-changing experience as you learn to study the Bible for yourself. 2 Timothy 2:15
WE ARE ALWAYS TRAINING LEADERS
Harvest Baptist Church is committed to training leaders through the structure of our various ministries. We believe that every member not only needs to be trained in the ministry but should also be looking to train others as well. In the Bible we see a dynamic model of mentorship between Paul and Timothy. At HBC we like to say that we all need a “Paul” (mentor) and “Timothy” (mentee) in our lives.
Training leaders is not a separate activity from the other ministries within a church, rather training takes place when members are active in the ministry. One main motivation for training leaders is that we believe God has called us to plant churches and send out missionaries. Considering that some of us will be sent out, who will take their place when they go? The answer is that we will train up “Timothy's” and be trained by our “Paul's” so that whether we are sent, or take the place of someone who goes, we are always ready with sufficient leadership in place.
God has made a way for us to have a right relationship with him through Jesus Christ (John 1:12, Romans 5:1). Upon receiving Christ for our salvation, the Holy Spirit begins to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:10). As we become more Christ-like, we become more focused on the mission of reproducing this transformation in others (2 Timothy 2:2). The "Great Commission" as found in Matthew 28:18-20 shows us this distinct cycle of evangelism, spiritual growth, and reproduction. At Harvest Baptist Church, we have accepted this mission from God as our mission. Plainly put, God’s mission for us is to “Make disciples that make disciples". Every ministry HBC is a part of will be in some way intertwined in this single and important mission. In fact, making disciples is all we care to be about! As we continue to make disciples, our hope is to be a ministry that plants other works and churches throughout the world.
OUR MEMBERS ARE ENGAGED IN MINISTRY SERVICE
At HBC the ministry is not intended to be done by a select few, but by all of us together. There is no "them", there is only "us." 1 Corinthians 12:27 tells us, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Verse 18 of the same chapter says, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him”. This is such a comforting and reassuring verse that we are all in this together, and that we all have a necessary part in the body. Simply put, the success of HBC is not reliant on the Pastor or church staff alone, it is based upon all of us joining together to follow God's Great Commission. Just like our physical body must have all its members (body parts) functioning as they are designed to function, the local church must have all its members functioning as they are gifted as well. 1 Corinthians 12:7 tells us that every believer has been gifted to be a member of a local church to work in unity with the other members to further God's kingdom together.
WE STRIVE TO PROTECT UNITY
Unity within the body of Christ is beautiful and comes from our Lord (Psalm 133:1; Ephesians 4:1-10). Unity should be the norm for mature believers who seek to have the “mind of Christ” as described in Philippians 2:1-8. Unity is also under attack. We don't have to look very far to see examples of this. Churches are dividing and even splitting over arguments all the time (1 Corinthians 1:10-11). Many churches are powerlessly struggling because of the division within their body (1 Corinthians 11:18-30). Division comes through prideful contentions that are rooted in selfish human carnality (Proverbs 13:10). To prevent this, we must actively protect the unity we have in Christ by giving no place for gossip or the spreading of rumors. We must communicate clearly, frequently, and Biblically so that expectations, issues and needs are fully understood and addressed. In the absence of good communication there is a danger of divisive speculation. Good communication is the key to staying on the same page together in ministry. The attitude we seek to develop at HBC is that, “Everyone is worth being right with” (Philippians 2:1-10). Taking the wrong, forgiveness, and erring on the side of grace will keep us Christ-like in our attitudes toward each other and will protect our unity.
THE WORD OF GOD IS OUR FINAL AUTHORITY
At HBC we trust in God’s preserved Word as our absolute authority. We believe that the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us as we study the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Bible, not any pastor or teacher, is the gold standard of truth in all matters of doctrine and practice. In reverence we submit to every word, and seek to learn to live according to its teachings. Knowing this, we will not challenge the Word of God's authority or attempt to tear it apart with human logic or by doubting it with "scholarly" criticism. The Bible must change us, we are not to change it (Romans 12:2, John 17:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13, Revelation 22:18-19, 1 Corinthians 1:19-2:5).
OUR LEADERS ARE SERVANT LEADERS
God has established that servant leaders are beneficial to the function and the structure of local churches (Ephesians 4:11-13). Like all churches, we have leaders and are continually training up new ones. Leadership for a follower of Jesus Christ does not mean that someone gets to "boss" every one around, but rather that leaders will serve others (Matthew 20:26). We see beautiful pictures of servant leadership in Jesus (Matthew 20:28), the apostle Paul (Philippians 2:17), and Peter (1 Peter 5:3). Likewise, it should be our goal to lead others in this same manner. Those who seek leadership in the local church are seeking a good thing (1 Timothy 3:1). However, they must be willing to serve, not expect to be served. Moving forward in leadership requires dying to self and thinking of others first. The further someone moves forward in leadership, the more selflessness will be required.
WE SERVE WITH SPIRITUAL EYES
God is with us (Matthew 1:23, 28:20) and the devil seeks to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8) are two great examples of simple spiritual realities we must keep in our sight at all times. There are times we get so focused on what we are doing that we forget the most basic and most important spiritual truths. The problem with this is that we are in danger of reacting out of discouragement, doubt, or fear if we lose sight of the fact that God is with us! For example, despite the clear teachings of scripture that we will have sufferings (Romans 8:18), hardness (2 Timothy 2:3), and persecutions in our lives (2 Timothy 3:12); Christians can at times seem flabbergasted when certain things become difficult for them (1 Peter 4:12). Of course things will get difficult--we are part of a spiritual battle for the souls of men! Yet sometimes we lose sight of the big picture when we cannot see past our situations, don’t we?
The accusing liar, the Devil, is trying to get us to quit. Never forget that! Keeping in mind that God is with us (Matthew 1:23, 28:20) and the devil seeks to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8) will help us to move forward in diligent faith to do what God has tasked HBC with. It is of great encouragement to know that greater is He that is within us, than he that is in the world.