Harvest Bible Chapel

5 days
2 hrs
11 mins

Spring/Summer 2018 Elder Update

June 22, 2018

The Elders have had productive meetings on April 17, May 15, and June 19. In addition to their normal practices of prayer and time in the Word, they focused on the following:


Policies Reviewed/Implemented

The Elders are responsible for initiating and maintaining policies that govern the activities of Harvest Bible Chapel, as well as ensuring staff accountability and conformity to established policy. In spring 2018 meetings, the Elders have reviewed updated policies surrounding, the 10 Moral Fences (practices our pastors follow to avoid any appearance of impropriety or falling into moral sin), document retention, Whistleblower, and Finance Policies. A positive report on an audit of church security procedures was also discussed at length.


Family Meetings

During these months, the staff Executive Leadership Team went with representatives from the Elder Board to each campus for a ‘family meeting.’ Attendance at these meetings was strong, with several thousand in attendance in total. The content presented included:

  • Lead Pastors – as a step towards next generation leadership, five men (Pastors Trei Tatum, Jeff Donaldson, Mohan Zachariah, and Landon and Luke MacDonald) have been given the title ‘Lead Pastor.’ These men have all been on staff a decade or more and many have observed their unique capacity to help as Harvest strives to be strong for the gospel for many years to come. Their responsibilities will be expanding, as will their opportunities for preaching and leadership church-wide.
  • Fall Funding Campaign – For the fifth time in our history, we are preparing to ask our church to give over and above regular giving to take new ground together. Plans are underway for a fall launch and dozens of volunteers are already hard at work. The overall vision for the campaign is next generation; half the giving going toward mortgage reduction and half going toward big projects. Big projects being prayed through include (1) an addiction recovery center at Camp Harvest, (2) two new campuses in 2019, (3) a worship center type building at Camp Harvest, and (4) a substantial building project at each of our current seven campuses. There will be much time given to information and questions in the months to come.
  • Financial Update – At each meeting, an up-to-date financial report was given. The campus where the meeting took place saw its financial contributions in context to the whole. Overall as a church, through June 15, we are about 2% behind our projected giving for the year. That’s well within our normal range and we rejoice at the faithfulness of God and the generosity of His church.


HCA / Harvest Elgin

In the June Elder Meeting, the initial findings of the Harvest Christian Academy/Harvest Elgin report were presented. Adjusting policy to allow both the school and church to be better partners to each other is the goal. The initial recommendations presented were well received and are being finalized for implementation this fall. This will likely include changes in weekend service times and school activity schedules.


Pastor Kurt Gebhards

As part of the Rolling Meadows family meeting on May 2, it was announced that Pastor Kurt is in the process of finding a new ministry assignment. Pastor Kurt spoke at length of his appreciation for our church and the blessing that Pastor James and Pastor Rick have been to his family. His desire to preach weekly and lead his own congregation has been known to our elders since he arrived and we affirm his gifts/calling to this kind of role. Landon and Luke MacDonald have agreed to jointly take on the Campus Pastor role in Rolling Meadows alongside their other responsibilities. The Gebhards family has served well the last two years and Kurt will continue on staff and in our church until his next opportunity arrives.


Pastor James Summer Break

As we approach our 30th Anniversary in September, Pastor James is beginning his annual study break. As part of his commitment to spending his life building a single church, the elders have long seen the benefit of a 6-week study break in the summertime to refresh and prepare for another year. In recent years, our other pastors have done a great job filling these weeks and will do so between now and the Summer Revival nights starting July 28. Please be in prayer for Pastor James and Kathy this summer, particularly this weekend, June 23-24, as they minister with Pastor Al and Debbie Blake at Harvest Bible Chapel St. Vincent.


The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel



Summer Revival

June 16, 2018

This Summer, we have 3 incredible Saturdays to continue with our celebration of 30 years of Vertical Ministry.

Women’s Summer Bible Study | Crystal Lake

May 25, 2018

“That You May Know” – A deep dive into 1,2,&3 John

Do you ever wrestle with doubt, relationships, confusion, or being tempted to just give in?  Join the club!  Let’s use some time this summer to be truly refreshed, strengthened, and gain clarity through 1,2,&3 John.

These letters from the Apostle John issue a resounding call to believers to walk in love, as they have been loved; yet they also address the church head-on regarding half-hearted Christian living and confused thinking about Christ.  John says that everyone is walking in either light or darkness, love or hatred, truth or falsehood; also, that we either confess Jesus as the Son of God who has come in the flesh, or we lend our support to the antichrist, who denies this. There is no middle ground! 

Join us as we engage the Scriptures, through the immensely profitable “Journibles” series, on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 pm, or Thursday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00 am for 8 weeks.

NOTE:  If you were in last summer’s 1 Peter study (Living Hope), you may use the same book!
Questions?  Contact Karen at khuizenga@harvestbiblechapel.org

Family Meetings

March 26, 2018

Join us for an all-church update, a campus-update, question and answer opportunity, and prayer. We’re also looking for your feedback through a survey at the meeting. Please sign up so we know to expect you.

Please take a minute to register here.

Act Like Men Palooza

March 22, 2018

Camp Harvest, our camp in Michigan, is the location of our biggest, craziest, most impactful men’s event: Act Like Men Palooza, June 8-10, 2018. Think camping, sports, competitions, food, and worship all rolled into one gigantic weekend. Registration is now open.

March 2018 Elder Update

March 16, 2018

The Elders met on Tuesday, March 13, in Rolling Meadows.

The Elders heard reports from the executive staff team (XLT) on a variety of initiatives – of particular note, the Much More event and the Act Like Men movement. Much More’s second year saw it grow to reaching more than 3000 women. This fall, Much More will add discipleship nights similar to Act Like Men to expand the impact. As Act Like Men Palooza moves towards its third year, its influence is increasing. Last Sunday, more than 200 leaders from other churches came to Rolling Meadows for an event called “Reaching More Men.”

In addition to ministry updates, there was an update on financials through February, the status of the annual audit in progress, an update on financial policies, and initial plans for a fall capital campaign laid out.

The Elders took extended time for prayer throughout the meeting, including for three Elders currently experiencing significant health challenges.

As technology evolves, our teams strive to make sure our policies are current. A thorough update of our Student Ministry Staff Communication Policy was presented. Adherence to this policy allows our youth staff to maximize all channels to engage and minister to students in safe, healthy, and appropriate ways.

Upcoming Ministry Emphasis
The Elders are encouraging our entire congregation to participate in this coming weekend’s Solemn Assembly. The preparation, fasting, and 24-hour prayer times (find all details here) are designed to lead us toward a spiritually impactful time.

In addition, four prayer meetings are scheduled to help prepare the way for Good Friday and Easter services at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Please join us to consecrate the facility for the heralding of the gospel, and to pray for all who will hear and glorify the Lord in response.

• Thursday, March 29 • 7-9PM at the Sears Centre
• Friday, March 30 • 12-1PM at the Sears Centre
• Saturday, March 31 • 7:30-8:30PM at the Sears Centre
• Sunday, April 1 • 7-8AM at the Sears Centre

With gratitude and expectation,

The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel

Harvest Connect

March 10, 2018

Next Connect Night is April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Rolling Meadows. These are monthly gatherings designed to do one thing: community. Roughly an hour and half long, we hear a short, biblical talk on a topic that is relevant to your season of life and get into huddles of small groups to find community and commonality.

February 2018 Elder Update

February 22, 2018

The full Elder Board met on February 20, 2018.

  • Pastor James opened the meeting with a devotional from Matthew 18. This passage has great relevance for Elders and church leaders, so it’s critical that it is well understood and applied. He reminded us of the lengths we must go to resolve issues and the care we must undertake to avoid spreading offense — the end goal always being unity and reconciliation.
  • The Elders welcomed, with anticipation, the nine new men joining or re-joining the Board. Each shared their broad background, experience, ages, and home campuses, and their freshness of perspective was immediately observed.
  • The Elders approved a staff plan for a series of “Family Meetings” this spring. These meetings are to include congregational meeting elements and celebrate God at work, while welcoming congregational feedback and providing an opportunity for future vision casting. All members will be encouraged to attend, particularly leaders. More details to come soon.

       4.06 – Cathedral
       4.12 – Elgin
       4.19 – Aurora
       4.26 – Rolling Meadows
       5.10 – Crystal Lake
       5.18 – Niles
       5.20 – Deerfield Road

  • The Executive Committee (EC) and the Elder Board requested that the staff Executive Leadership Team (XLT) bring a proposal in March detailing potential partnership with a new church-planting group, Vertical Church Network, created by Harvest Bible Chapel Winston-Salem, which has extended an invitation to our church to join them. The EC is warm to the idea, but is asking for a fuller picture on this partnership and specifics on our broader church-planting strategy going forward before a decision is made.
  • Randy Williams and Pastor James brought their “Lessons Learned in 2017” report to the Board. They challenged the Elders to take care to observe and resolve non-alignment among leaders at the earliest possible time, since non-alignment issues grow if neglected, and become more personal. The earlier we can see, involve other leaders, and direct our efforts towards resolution, the less we put at risk the broader health of our church family. The Elders expressed their appreciation for the completion of this task, the humility involved, and the clarity it provided. Actions to implement these lessons are ongoing.
  • Among many ministry updates, the Elders stopped to pray with thanks for the immense outpouring of God’s Spirit on three 2017-2018 Student Ministry winter retreats, and for the renewed emphasis on short-term missions through Mission Harvest. Eighteen missions trips are scheduled in 2018 to Harvest churches in Romania, St. Vincent Island, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

As we approach the Easter season, in keeping with what we’ve heard from the pulpit this past weekend, the Elders encourage our whole church to pursue personal holiness and a revival in heart in the days between now and Good Friday.

The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel

(Not pictured: Mike Collette, David Martin, Brian Musso, Steve Stewart, and Matt Woodhead.)

Uncommon Leadership 501 Training

February 19, 2018

UL501 training is for those who have received a recommendation from a Pastor or other ministry leader to be equipped as a non-vocational counselor at Harvest. This formal, comprehensive training occurs annually. The next offering has not been scheduled.  Please contact your campus Pastor/Director for more information.

January 2018 Elder Update

January 18, 2018

The Elder Board met on January 16, 2018.

  • Together, the Elders thanked God for His faithfulness to Harvest in December. Reviewing the strong year-end in terms of ministry impact, attendance, and giving was an encouragement for all, and a great reflection of “the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) across our church.
  • The new slate of 9 Elder candidates was approved and accepted to the Elder Board. They bring full participation as Elders starting February 1. (Note, all 10 candidates presented to the congregation were qualified, but one needed to withdraw due to unforeseen work conflicts that prevent him from serving at this time.)
  • The Elders approved the 2018 budget, at a need of $510,000 per week. Bill Sperling, on behalf of the Finance Committee, walked through the process that was undertaken to arrive at the budget. We thanked CFO Jeff Sharda and his team for leading well through this process.
  • The Elders also approved a new staff transition communication policy. In response to a desire expressed in congregational meetings and among our staff, this policy brings a consistent protocol for informing the congregation of staff transitions. The plan was developed by the Personnel Committee, reviewed by the Executive Committee (EC) at their January meeting, then presented to the full Elder Board for approval. See the Staff Transitions page for updates.
  • The Elders continue a heightened focus on their responsibility to take actions that protect our church. Specific discussions this month centered on a staff member no longer employed and a former Elder no longer attending the church. If you observe conduct that is detrimental to the ministry of our church, please report it to our Elders at Elders@harvestbiblechapel.org.
  • The Elders continued a discussion they began in November on child safety. We are pleased by the extensive work done by the Children/Student Ministries and the security team in background checks, conformity to process, and pro-active communication. The Elders reaffirmed the need for all mandatory reporting to be done exactly as required and mandatory security training for all volunteers to continue.
  • In addition, we discussed the evident increasing momentum surrounding Vertical Worship. As this gifted team is invited to places or to minister with people who don’t completely align with Harvest theologically, the Elders affirmed these as opportunities to teach and share what we have all been learning about vertical worship from a biblical perspective.

Pastor James and Randy Williams have almost completed their ‘lessons learned in 2017′ project, promised in last month’s Elder Update. They will be presenting it in the February meeting, which allows for all the newly joined Elders’ presence in the meeting.

The Elders look forward to Pastor James’ return to the pulpit next weekend (January 27-28) and his new series, Gamechangers: 7 Scriptures that Shatter Strongholds. We are grateful to the Lord and prayerful that our 30th year might be the most fruitful in our church’s history.

– The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel