Harvest Update - July 2, 2014
Happy July! Can you believe it? I mean, what happened to June. It feels like it was here than gone. So fast.
So, it's been a couple of months since my last update about Harvest, and the family, and today being the second day in July, I'd thought I'd give you a quick review of what's been happening.
Over the last couple of weeks I've post various posts about some of what we as a family have been up to and some of the lessons I've been learning as we do this amazing thing of starting Harvest Church. Some of what I share, might sound a little familar. Sorry.
First the family...
The Higham's are doing well. Spring was a busy time as baseball, soccer, football work outs, work, and church stuff. (perhaps that's why it feels like June just flew by.) Let me break it down.
- Logan continues to do well, both in school and with football. In May he turned 16, and quickly assume the roll of a 16 year old by passing his drivers permit test and getting a job. Now he is learning the values of budgeting, savings, giving, and spending.
- Nate had a great baseball season. He, along with a small handful of others, was pulled up to play on the freshmen baseball team. that's quite an accomplishment as an 8th grader. He also place for one of the local rec. teams and had a great season, both on the mount and at the plate. and of course, he's the best short stop I know. (Father's pride.)
- Aiden took to the soccer field again for his second season of spring soccer. He continues to demonstrate a natural ability while learning how to control the ball, pass, and take shots on goal. He even stepped into the goalie roll for a few games. But the most exciting part of his season came just this week as we learned he was selected for teh "A" travel team.
- Asher continues to excell in school. He had a great year. But success isn't just for school. Asher stepped onto the diamond for his second season of baseball. There was a definite improvement in his fielding and batting.
- Breya is full of life. She finished her first year of pre-school and stands ready for kindergarten come the fall. She is a total fashionista and is every much a little girl. But don't think she is a push over, because she can hold her own among her brothers.
Amy continues to amaze me. She has been my biggest support and cheerleader and I am so thankful for her. Along with taking care of our kids, maintaining the family calendar, keeping the house looking great, playing hostess extrodinaire, and being a fantastic wife, she watches a number of kids during the day, helps to lead a womens study, and continues to minister to an assortment of women as needed. She's awesome!
As for me, I am still juggling the church, a full time job, a free-lance graphics business, fatherhood, and homeowner. I have to admit, I'm not a very good juggler, but God has been teaching me to keep things simple and to rest in His perfection. Amy and I pray every day for God to bless the church so we can make the jump back into full-time ministry, but rest in the knowledge that this season is one of teaching and learning. He continues to provide and care for us and we continue to be amazed and in awe of his faithfulness.
Now, for the church...
At the beginning of the year, I declared 2014 to be an #epic year. I had sensed that God was moving and that 2014 was going to be an exciting year of growth. And so far, it has been. But while there is definitely growth happening among our wonderful church family, the biggest growth taking place is within me. It has be a constant challenge as I have felt God pushing me more and more into the lead pastor roll. The first 3 months of the year were three months of God confirming his call for me to be pastor. And so I am learning, every day what that looks like. Those three months were spent preparing the church for God's harvest field. We believe that God has a harvest for his church, but as we talked about going after that harvest, we found ourselves asking more questions about who we were and how we would care for the people and families that are harvested.
So we took time to be reminded of our foundations as a church and what it was that God was calling us to be and do. Coming out of the series, we are now making slow, but deliborate steps to readying ourselves as a church for God's growth. Since the end of the series, we have welcomed two new families to the church while hearing from another family that they were alos on board and started calling Harvest their church home. Exciting.
As we move into the summer months, we're taking advantage of the slower pace of life to build upon that foundation with some important framework. So we are getting a little more intentional in recruiting and building up our lay-leadership. For me, it's a time to organize, plan, train, and launch people into ministry. For the church, it's changing the idea of our growth goal being numbers, though that is important, to our growth goal being the church becoming active in discipleship, spiritual growth, and missional service. And together it means we move from thinking about ourself to thinking and responding to others. Afterall, isn't that what Jesus teaches?
I've also done away with the big launch activities, because, we have now launched. The reality is, we are a church, and we are doing what the church is called to do. It might be small, and it might not be perfect, we are the church! And that's exciting. So instead of always looking to the next season and saying, 'Hey, here's an great opportunity to launch the church and invite people to come and see.' I've come to see that the next time to invite someone to join us at Harvest is this Sunday! Now is the time for people to come. Now is when God is doing great things! Now is the perfect time to come, see, and discover the exciting things at Harvest Church. Because we're doing it. God's doing it. And it's happening. What's the it? Come and see!
Let me wrap this up with asking to you to pray for us. We value and appreciate your prayers and support. So would you pray for Harvest Church?
1. Please pray for Harvest Church as we build the framework of ministry that God will use to minister to the community that he has called us to serve. That means prayer for our layleaders, our new outreach ministry, our growing student ministry, our exciting children's ministry, and our small group ministry called, LIFEgroups.
2. Please pray for continue growth, both among our current church body and as individuals. Without growth in both of these areas we will be unable to see what God is doing around us.
3. Please pray for us as we think and pray for a future, permanent space for worship, ministry, and office space. We want to be able to serve the community and operate as a church in a place that provide a little more space.
4. Please pray that God would bless the church financially. There is a lot that we hope to do, including making it possible for full-time ministry to Jay and the expansion of our staff in the areas of praise and worship, student leadership, and children's ministry. But also to serve the community, have a dedicated space, and partici[ate in missions.
5. For the Higham family, as Jay and Amy work to lead the church and their family.
If you would like to support Harvest Church beyond your prayers, we would grately welcome your financial gifts. We believe that God has called us to love and serve this community. In many ways, we think of ourselves as missionairies. One of our biggest desires is to be in full-time ministry. Right now, my time is limited due to having to work multiple jobs to care for the family. But if we could move to that full-time position, it would great alter to landscape and allow us to engage both the church and the community in greater ways. I know that God's time is perfect and that he can "do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations..." (Ephesians 3:20,21) And I also know, that he can use his people to provide for his purpose in unexpected ways. Perhaps he is leading you to support this early years of Harvest Church. If you would like to know more about how you can support Harvest, please contact me. I'd be more than happy to share all that God is doing and where we believe he is leading us.
Until our next update, thank you for your prayers and support!
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Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.