For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. – Isaiah 9:6
It is indeed a season of God’s blessing! This time of year reminds us that Jesus, our God and Savior, cared about us so much He humbled Himself to take the form of a baby. He came to live and walk among us, then ultimately took our sins and died our death as our redeemer.
Yet, we live in a fallen world, one that needs the light of a Savior. Isaiah calls this child the Prince of Peace. At Harvest, we get to see that even in the midst of a fallen world, where Christ dwells, lives are changed, marriages are restored, and relationships are healed. Even in a fallen world, Jesus is indeed that Prince of Peace.
In this special season, the elders would like to review some of the amazing ways we have seen God’s unique provision at Harvest this year.
- Through the production of the Easter movie, Once We Were Slaves, many heard the gospel presented in a clear and compelling way. We know many lives were reached, and one of the movie’s actors committed his life to Christ as a result.
- Through Harvest Now, we have been able to streamline our connection process through our “Step” initiative. We have seen many connecting for the first time and are experiencing fresh growth as a result.
- Our first Summer for the City event in downtown Chicago raised over $130,000 to support Chicago urban ministries.
- Pastor James led the elders through a God-honoring process of reconciliation with three former elders, modeling Christ-like humility and mutual accountability to our Lord.
- God’s amazing provision of a television ministry called Walk in the Word with James MacDonald launched this spring, and by fall, could be seen six days a week across the globe. We have heard countless stories of lives impacted and souls won for Christ.
- Harvest Bible Fellowship recently concluded the training of 16 men slated to plant Harvest churches around the globe, adding to the more than 115 churches already planted.
- Over 4,000 men came together at the Act Like Men Conference in Dallas, Texas, this fall to hear from Pastor James and others what it means to truly be a man who follows Christ.
- Just this month, more than 4,200 women attended a Christmas event hosted by Kathy MacDonald, where 217 women made first-time commitments to Christ.
- Through Soul Care, our church has equipped many in our church. We had 1500 people trained with “Uncommon Leadership 101.” We then sent 140 people through our intensive counseling training “Uncommon Leadership 501.” We are so thankful for the training that has taken place to equip our leaders to better lead our church.
- The Vertical Church Band (VCB) is a ministry of our church and are in partnership with Sony Provident. This year VCB has been nominated for a Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year 2014 and over this past year they have led more than 150,000 people in worship.
- Our beloved pastor preached one of the most impactful sermon series ever, Thinc Diphruntly, and by all accounts, we continue to be blessed by his faithfulness to our Lord and to our church.
We are so grateful to you, our flock, for your faithful provision of the financial resources that allow these great stories of God’s work to be told! As our year-end giving comes to a close, we ask you to remain faithful in your tithes and prayers for our ministries, our staff, our pastors, and their families. Please join us in taking a moment this season to say a special word of encouragement and thank you for all they do.
Randy Williams and Steve Huston on behalf of the entire elder board of Harvest Bible Chapel