To glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) in the spirit of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39).
Huntsville LAUNCH SUNDAY RECAP
Our foundation is Christ
The Six Distinctives
Core Values of Harvest Church
Expository and Applicational (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24)
Dependent and Expectant (Ephesians 6:18)
Intentional and In Community (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Word and Deed (Matthew 16:18b)
Strategic Church Planting
Together and Around the World (Matthew 16:18b)
Life At Harvest
Our Discipleship Focus
Following Jesus with hearts that know, follow and treasure God above all things. This heart of worship will grow as we pursue Him through personal spiritual disciplines (Bible study, prayer, fasting, etc.) and overflow in outward acts of worship.
Following Jesus together as we worship together weekly and commit to walking alongside each other in loving, intentional and intensive discipleship and deep authentic community.
On mission with Jesus through shouldering weekly kingdom responsibilities in the church as well as being involved in the community through serving others and sharing the message of Jesus.
What to Expect
Like most churches we take an offering in our service. If you are a guest, please do not feel obligated to participate, as this is intended for those who consider Harvest their church home.
As our guest, we only ask that you take a few moments to fill out our Connection Card which you received upon arrival. The Connection Card is where you can request information, ask for prayer, let us know your thoughts, or just indicate your presence with us. In any case, our church leaders pray for each of the prayer requests every week.
Harvest provides practical Bible messages that help you deal with real life issues. Pastor Kaj preaches from the English Standard Version, but please feel free to bring whatever version of the Bible you use.
We do ask that people wear clothing that does not draw attention to themselves. We think that what you wear to church should not detract from the worship experience of others around you. We want all of the attention to go to Jesus Christ.
What We Believe
We believe that the God head eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).
Issues for Clarification
Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:18). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder-through the bread and the juice-of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:20-29; Matthew 26:26-29).
Harvest Church is a conservative, evangelical fellowship that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and all who are seeking Him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe that current displays of the gift of tongues distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Current displays of the gift of tongues:
- Gives unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
- Emphasizes speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life, while minimizing the Spirit’s work in producing a holy life (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9), and a life that displays the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
- Often suggests that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this
Harvest Church seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members to and adherents of Harvest Church are not to propagate the teachings and emphasis of the current charismatic movement. Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not to be overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Harvest Church.
The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest His presence as we do His work (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when Harvest Bible Chapels and other like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support, and admonish.
The governing members, serving as directors of the Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Board, lead the association of Harvest Bible Chapels and affiliating churches and oversee church planting. The Elder Board assists affiliate churches to more effectively spread the Word of God and the ways of God in order to build His kingdom. The Elder Board desires to bless all affiliate churches through the mutual exchange of pulpit and music ministry, consulting services, research, conferences, and seed money devoted to church planting and pastoral education programs.
When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior and seek to explain the causes of human behavior, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11).
Each Christian’s passion should be to become more like Christ and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38).
The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Acts 25:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:
- Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10).
- Resisting Satan’s temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
- Rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27).
- Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
- Putting on the armor of God’s truth, righteousness, readiness to share the Gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20).
- Demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:9-10).
Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
- Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26; John 12:32; John 14:6).
- Lead God’s people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyrics (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 95:1-2).
- Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Psalm 95:6-9; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42).
- Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Matthew 13:32, Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9).
- Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Exodus 12; Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Hebrews 11:4).
What do we believe about debt?
As a church our goal is to “owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 There is greater freedom that comes with being debt free. As a church we do not want to be slaves to the lender (“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave to the lender” Prov 22:7) but rather want to position our church to be a lender not only locally but to the nations expecting nothing in return and freely being able to give as our Lord Jesus freely gave of himself. Jesus taught, “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6: 34-36
Is it permissible for a church to take on debt?
It is always preferred not to become indebted to anyone as mentioned above; however, there are times when there may be a pressing need or when the elders and deacons of the church see an opportunity to invest in the kingdom of God and require a short term loan due to time sensitivity or other reasons. This would never be done without praying and fasting first, seeking the Lord and bringing the need before the congregation to see if the need can be met first. As church leaders we want to be extremely sensitive to the Lord’s timing and not move ahead of what the Lord is doing in our midst.
Through a biblical perspective, John MacArthur (2011) summed up borrowing well:
“… Jesus approved of financial borrowing for the purpose of investing. In the parable of the talents, (Matt: 25:14-30), the master highly commended the two servants who had wisely invested his money, but he strongly rebuked the unfaithful servant who merely buried the money entrusted to him: “You ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.” (v.27)
Many businesses could not operate without borrowing money to invest in such things as buildings, equipment and raw materials. Many farmers could not plant new crops without borrowing money for seed and fertilizer. Most families could never afford to buy a home without taking out a mortgage.”
What does Scripture teach when there is debt of any kind?
Romans 13:7 clearly says, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed…”
John MacArthur, in his biblical perspective of borrowing continues,
“When borrowing is truly necessary, the money should be repaid as agreed upon with the lender, promptly and fully.“
It is extremely important to us at Harvest Church to honour and do what we say. In terms of whatever agreement we enter into, we want to be a church of integrity paying back any debt according to the terms of the agreement entered into, as promptly and diligently as possible.
Is there any type of debt not justified by Scripture?
We are not to borrow to spend on our desires or pleasures. We can’t incur debt for things we don’t need, are unnecessary or are luxuries we simply can’t afford. Paul directly speaks to this selfishness in James 4:2-3 where he writes: “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” We are to be different from the world and are not to spend more than what we make for the purpose of serving ourselves and our desires.
If we owe anything do we continue to pay benevolence and other costs such as missions etc.?
Every year the finance team along with the deacons and elders agree on the next year’s budget. There are times when operating costs and other costs require adjustment but as much as possible, we want to bless others remembering the Lord Jesus said, “It is greater to give than receive.” The two areas of a church we protect the most are ministry and missions knowing without these it is difficult for the church to grow.
Benevolence is separate from the operating budget and growth fund (building campaign and other) which people give to and that is how the money is spent, meaning money given to benevolence must be used in that way and can’t be used for operating or building costs.
Who decides at Harvest Church when we will take on a debt?
Ultimately, it is the elders with the counsel of the treasurer and finance team who will decide at any point whether it is necessary to borrow money for any reason. The decision to do so will at no point be taken lightly and will be bathed in prayer. Our practice as leaders will be to wait on the Lord remembering what Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” AND “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
In summary, at Harvest Church we do not believe it is wrong to borrow; however, doing so should never be taken lightly and should always be decided within a multitude of counselors. Every situation is unique requiring wisdom and prayer. Debt should never be incurred because of selfish or greedy desires.
About Church Government
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for elders, no specific fixed term of office is recommended. Instead, each elder, upon appointment, shall be asked for a three year commitment. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow elders. During the review, both the individual and the other elders shall evaluate his continued service as an elder, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as an elder may be discontinued by his own decisions or by a consensus decision of the other elders or the congregation. A person leaving the Board of Elders would not preclude his service as a future elder, subject to the regular selection process.
The Scriptures are clear that the elder’s responsibility is the spiritual oversight of the congregation. The elder’s responsibility can be broken down into three main areas:
- Ensuring that the doctrine of the church remains purely biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the Board of Elders.
- Ensuring that the direction of the church remains consistent with our statement of purpose and the four pillars statement as outlined in the Constitution.
- Administering in love and humility the biblical process of church discipline as outlined in (Matthew 18:15-20) and (Galatians 6:1-4). All decisions affecting the overall doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church will be the responsibility of the Board of Elders.
All elders will have equal authority and responsibility. The Senior Pastor will work in cooperation with the Elder Board Chairman to ensure healthy ministry development and strong accountability. Agenda items for the elder meetings must be submitted to the Elder Board Chairman prior to the elders’ meeting. An elders’ meeting may not be held without a majority of the elders present and the entirety of the elders informed. The Elder Board Chairman will be selected by consensus decision of the Board of Elders with no fixed term and may not be one of the pastors. The Elder Board will consist of the Chairman, the Senior Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons Board and additional elders, who will assume responsibility as agreeable and necessary.
Qualifications (Titus 1:6-9)
- Above reproach
- Able to teach
- Husband to one wife
- Not addicted to wine
- Not antagonistic
- Free from the love of money
- Manage own household
- Not a new convert
All members of the pastoral staff will be chosen by the Board of Elders. The Senior Pastor will automatically be a member of the Board of Elders. The elders may nominate additional member(s) of the pastoral staff to serve on the Board of Elders.
All pastoral staff members will serve for an indefinite period of time. The Senior Pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the Board of Elders. All other staff members are responsible to the Board of Elders through the Senior Pastor. A staff member may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the Board of Elders.
The responsibility of the Senior Pastor will be to faithfully preach God’s Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the Board of Elders in carrying out the overall vision of Harvest Church.
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an elder.
Additional Pastoral Staff
Ministry descriptions for the remaining pastoral staff will be established by the Board of Elders in keeping with the giftedness of the individual and agreed upon at the time of hiring.
When the need arises for additional deacons, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. Following an independent interview to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified, the congregation will be reminded of the biblical requirements for deacons and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration. Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for deacons, no specific term of office is recommended. Instead, each deacon, upon appointment, shall be asked for a two year commitment. At the end of two years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation. During the review, both the individual and the Board of Elders shall evaluate his continued service as a deacon, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as a deacon may be discontinued by his own decision or by a two-thirds decision of the Elders Board. A person leaving the Board of Deacons would not preclude his service as a future deacon, subject to the regular selection process.
Deacons shall serve a term of two years and be eligible for additional terms upon nomination of the Board of Elders. A deacon may only be dismissed by a two-thirds decision of the Board of Elders.
The Board of Deacons will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church.
The Board of Deacons shall consist of a chairman, who shall be a member of the Board of Elders. The church treasurer will be the deacon in charge of finances. The remainder of the deacons will assume responsibilities as agreeable and as needed.
Qualifications (I Timothy 3:8-12)
- Individual of dignity
- Above reproach
- Not double tongued
- First tested as servants
- Not addicted to wine
- Spouses must be faithful
- Dignified Temperate
- Not fond of sordid gain
- Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
- Husband of one wife
- Manages household well