“Do not withhold good to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
• The Elders are thankful for the example of Pastor James in leading us through the needed reconciliation with perseverance and humility.
As an answer to the prayers of so many, we are also thankful for the way the Lord brought a peaceful end to a difficult season of disagreement with three brothers. The video apology on behalf of the entire board will remain available for viewing in our Elder Update Archives. We are grateful for the lessons of this difficult season now behind us.
• Reconciliation efforts took precedence over other matters in September and so our usual monthly Elder meeting was postponed until October.
We are in the final stages of reviewing new Elder candidates and are meeting with candidates and their wives to complete the selection process. We anticipate announcing a final group of newly approved Elders to the church soon. Please continue to pray for these men and their families as we seek God’s leading in this process.
• The Elders would like to remind our Harvest family that October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
Our 5G campaign has challenged us to grow in graciousness and gratefulness. As part of that emphasis we are inviting you to consider expressing heartfelt appreciation to members of our pastoral staff. Consider inviting one or several to lunch, dropping by to say thank you, or looking for other ways to express your gratitude.
We have posted special notes from our Pastors, and some from our Elders below, to express our appreciation for Pastor James. It is our hope that these letters will serve as a model for similar expressions toward pastors on our staff, whom the Lord might lead you to encourage this month. Please pay special attention to Pastor James’ letter to our pastoral staff.
- Check out these notes from our Pastors and appreciation ideas: HarvestBibleChapel.org/pastor-appreciation.
Excerpts from some of the letters sent by the Elders to Pastor James and Kathy.
On behalf of all the Elders, I would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for you and Kathy. We all benefit from your time in the Word, your prayers for the church, and the messages that the Lord gives you. We know they come to us from a heart and soul that is itself growing in faith and trust. This is what we value so much in you: seeing God at work in your life as you model chasing hard after God and showing us what it takes to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ.
As fellow Elders we appreciate your servant leadership, your commitment to the church, and your continual desire to see God glorified above all else.
You are truly loved!
Elder Chairman Steve Huston for the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel
“Phil. 1:3 ‘I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.’ God is good to us through you, in that you preach the Word without apology. We have seen these things lived out in your life and the life of your family. We are grateful to our God for having a Pastor who is strong in his endurance and love for the LORD! Your leadership in our church has blessed us, our family and countless others for the past 15 years during many seasons of our lives.”
—Mike and Sherry Dunwoody
“Thank you for your service and leadership at Harvest Bible Chapel. You have both been, and continue to be a huge blessing to Lori and me. Your desire to grow and submit is an example to us . . . your reliance on the Lord has been a witness to us all. We would like to thank you and know that you have our support and love. ”
—Mark and Lori Fisk
“You have led with great humility and character. You have demonstrated Christ’s servant leadership to all of us. Our family is more loved, recognized, filled, appreciated, hugged, etc. then we were in 42 years at our previous church. What you and Kathy have been committed to for all these years is still ‘new every morning’ and blessing people that you will never know. Our weeks are filled with ‘When can we get to Harvest?’ and what amazing thing will God do this week?”
—Ron and Heidi Frahler
“We have grown as followers of Christ under your teaching and leadership. We have seen God’s faithfulness in our church, lives transformed, and have watched you grow during this time. I get to see up close a loving and compassionate man, who happens to be my pastor, and his wife who are filled with grace, gratitude, and the desire to grow in Christ and in relationships with the body. Thank you both for all that you do. To God be the glory!”
—Ernie and Doris Holton
“You taught us to seize the Word, make it our own, be fed by it, and to worship God like we’ve never been pushed to before. We’ve used your messages, based on God’s word, to instruct our children and to guide our marriage. If we had thought we had learned a lot from sitting in a pew, we have learned ten-fold more by being a part of the ministry at Harvest. As a couple we’ve seen your marriage close up, your family, and your commitment to the church. Your faithfulness to your calling, our church, and the word of God is exemplary.”
—Steve and Sally Huston
“Ash and I love you guys so much. Your faithful and fierce love for the word of God, His glory, and the unity of the church is amazing. Giving, sacrificing, praying, working, persevering, forbearing, forgiving, encouraging, teaching, leading, shepherding, building, dreaming, expecting, proclaiming, and loving. He uses you powerfully. We are so thankful for you in our lives. We pray for you both, and your children and their families often. We pray with immense gratitude and joy. I can’t begin to adequately express our love and commitment to you. ”
—Neil and Ash Anderson
“We want to take a moment to thank you for your leadership of this church. As our pastor your teaching, your friendship and your counsel have blessed us. It is a privilege to call you our pastor and Kathy, to call you our friend. Thank you for all that and more.”
—Jeff and Ellen Smith
“You and the church fast-tracked our relationship with Jesus by faithfully teaching and modeling God’s word year after year. As we reflect on your importance to our Christian walk, we can only imagine what you have meant to the tens of thousands who attend our church and the millions who now listen on radio and television. We love and support you!”
—Bill and Carole Sperling
“You have an unusual anointing from the Lord, and we greatly appreciate you. I told someone this week that it is a blessing we never have to wonder if this is the right week to bring our lost relative, friend, or neighbor. We always know the Word will come forth strong and clear. The value of your teaching becomes even more apparent whenever we travel on vacation and attend other churches. We always look forward to returning home to hear the oracles of God pour forth from your mouth. Thank you for building us up in our most holy faith.”
—Steve and Hilda Stewart