Elder Update June 2017
The Elder Board met on Tuesday, May 16, at the Rolling Meadows Campus. Gratitude was the resounding theme of our meeting. As we heard report after report of exciting growth and blessing at Harvest Bible Chapel, on four separate occasions we stopped to thank God for the current season of fruitfulness He is walking us through as a church.
- We praised God for the abundance of fruit from our Good Friday + Easter services. Record-breaking attendance, hundreds of decisions for Christ, and immense thankfulness to our leaders for their efforts were part of this report.
- We agreed to add the new Personnel Committee to the board. In the same way the Finance Committee provides safeguards and protection for our church’s resources, the Personnel Committee is charged with doing so for our staff. Filled with Elders and non-vocational Harvest Bible Chapel members, the tasks of these servants will be to provide accountability for conformity to best practices, and having ensured that, to provide protective representation to congregation members on the inevitable staff transitions of that are interest to them personally.
- We thanked the Lord for reports of two senior leaders moving to new assignments in a healthy way. Kent Shaw was present in the meeting and read a letter filled with graciousness and self-reflection. Kent will cont to work with Harvest Bible Fellowship in an exciting new opportunity in Denver, with one of our best Harvest Bible Fellowship churches. Subsequent to the meeting by email, Garrett Higbee expressed a similar level of thankfulness for the church and for their time of service. Garrett will continue to work within Harvest Bible Fellowship, while returning home to Indiana.
- We celebrated the news of long-sought after new hires filling significant staff positions. These are welcome additions to our student ministry in Rolling Meadows and Aurora, adult ministry in Elgin, Camp Harvest, the finance department, and Walk in the Word.
- We listened to Pastor James share his heart regarding leadership succession, with increasing clarity about the strategic direction and future of our church.
- Last, in concert with the executive leader team and Elders, Pastor James has decided to step down as President of Harvest Bible Fellowship. In addition, our church is turning all administrative leadership over to a capable group of regional pastors.
As many in our church are aware, Harvest Bible Fellowship has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve rejoiced as we’ve seen the Lord take our humble vision of planting 10 churches in 10 years, and make it possible for a fellowship of like-minded churches to plant more than 150 in multiple countries, train and equip church planters, provide a means of channeling funds from organizations and individuals to the work of planting churches, and develop the means and processes for growing those churches into healthy, vibrant, church-planting churches.
It is also true that such work doesn’t go without its own set of burdens and challenges. God gave us the vision initially, and our church has done its best to steward this vision by providing administrative support, guidelines, fiscal management, and operational oversight. As the churches we’ve planted have matured, they now have plans and desires of their own, not only for themselves but for the Fellowship as a whole. Pastor James is leading with graciousness by releasing control. We believe these changes will allow increased focus on our local body and hands-on church planting/missions work for our church.
The fall of 2017 will start our 30th year of ministry. It brings us great joy to reaffirm the conclusion of our last update — that Harvest Bible Chapel is happy and healthy and fruitful. Praise to the Lord and thanks to Pastor James and Kathy MacDonald, and the rest of our leaders are in order.
During the month of June, the Elders are are meeting in their committee structures and further updates from the Elder board will be provided this summer.
As we move to the summer season, the Elders want encourage the congregation to be faithful to God’s Word, God’s people, and God’s day through weekly participation in the life of Harvest.
You are loved.
— the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel