The Board met for an unusually long, candid conversation that focused on developing a deeper connection between Harvest governance leaders, both Elders and Senior Staff.

The Elders want to do a better job of overseeing our church during challenging times. While our senior leaders have been circumspect and quiet throughout the turmoil of the Harvest Bible Fellowship transition, our Elders retrospectively wish they had been more informed and proactive. Though some errors were made by our staff (as has been graciously mentioned several times in recent weeks), our system of governance did not work nearly as well at protecting our team as we would desire. We commend Pastor James and the Senior Staff for their dedication and perseverance through this season.

The Senior Staff presented a new formation of day-to-day leadership that releases Pastor James to focus on preaching and training, while the Executive Staff Team (XLT) leads the organization and reports directly to the Executive Committee of the Elders (EC). This is a healthy and purposeful step toward next-generation, shared leadership.

Elders and Senior Staff discussed the challenge of communicating our commitment to church planting in a new structure. We are excited about our 8 Training Center Pastors this fall and are aiming for 15 more in the fall of 2018. Our interactions with our church plants in the future will be relational and project based.

The Elders were pleased to hear a report from the Personnel Team, detailing our strong HR policies and conformity to policy this past year.

The Elders are seeking to wisely discern both the causation and affects related to past challenging seasons, spread across our church’s 29 years of unified ministry. While these seasons have varied in severity, they appear to have some repeating patterns we are endeavoring to learn from. Please be in prayer for our Elder retreat at Camp Harvest later in October, where we hope to dig more deeply into these areas.

Thankfully, our church continues to be strong in attendance, giving, and ministry impact. There are many places of great advancement, which our Elders commend our Pastors for leading us in. We are deeply hopeful (about everything other than the Bears) that the last quarter of 2017 will be filled with even more fruit for the glory of God.

We ask that you continue to join us in praying for our staff, for whom we are extremely grateful to God because of their work, their passion for our congregation, and their commitment to God’s Word. We appreciate their shepherds’ hearts toward us all.

— The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel