Harvest Church Update – Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Greetings friends! I hope your week has started out well. Aside from the rain here in Somerset, it has been an okay start. I want to try something a little different with the blog starting this week. As we get closer and closer to going full time at Harvest Church, I thought it might be good to share where we are as we transition from Somerset back to the the Peters Twp/North Strabane areas.

With each passing day, we realize a little more the reality of what we are doing. Leaving a wonderful church, with wonderful friends, strong ministry, and confirmed salary with benefits to plant a new church brings with it a number of uncertainties. But my hope is that by sharing some of these uncertainties, we might encourage you in your faith while soliciting your prayers.

First, we believe without doubt, that God has called us to this wonderful opportunity. Leading a church has been something God has put on my heart for some time now, I just never thought he’d actually ask me to be part of a church plant. As Amy and I prayed about Harvest, we knew there would be a number of questions that we might not be able to answer right away. But we choose to bring those questions before God and trust that he would provide the answers as he saw fit.

Second. One of the unique opportunities a move like this brings is the chance to show our kids, and everyone else for that matter, that our God is alive and well and very active in this world. I think too often we get caught up in the comforts of established ministries. When you come to a church that is active and growing long before you arrive, filled with exciting programs and ministries, and teeming with godly leadership, you can forget just how big God is. We are stepping out in faith because we want our kids to see first hand that God is still in the details of every day life. It’s an opportunity to talk regularly about our needs as a family and young church and see how God provides, both miraculously and through his people. I desperately desire for my kids to catch an unquenchable thirst for God. I want them to know the God who fed thousands with a couple loaves of bread and some fish. I want them to see the God who calmed the storm with a word. I want to them know that they too can rest their burdens and worry not for tomorrow because they are trusting God to provide for today AND tomorrow.

Third. In the first few months of Harvest Church, we have traveled every Saturday evening into Peters to lead worship and teach. Over the last 16+ weeks, I have fallen in love with the call to be the pastor. I mean, I have always loved being a pastor. I think it’s the greatest job in the world and I am blessed to be called to service God in this way. But the last 20 years have been spent pastoring students, and while I loved do that, there is no doubt that God has been preparing my heart for the transition from youth ministry to the role of lead pastor. I love teaching. I love having the opportunity to present the gospel of Christ every weekend. I love caring for the families he has put in front of me to serve. And I love watching God speak into the live of people I deeply care about.

I know this is what God is calling us to do. And because I believe he is at work in all of this, I can step out in faith, trusting that he WILL provide, he WILL do miraculous things, and he WILL use people who love him to build his kingdom for his glory. And I’m ready to do my part!

What’s my part? Well aside from preparing to lead Harvest Church, I believe my part is also to keep you informed with our progress, prayer requests, and how you can support this new work.

So if I may, can I share with you some things that we are currently praying about and ask that you to join with us in prayer? Thanks.

1. Housing. Because we own our house here in Somerset, we are in the process of selling it. Thus far, we have had about 12 or 13 showings in about 6 or 8 weeks. (I’ve kinda lost count because there have been so many.) We’re told this is a good thing. It’s a lot of traffic in a short amount of time. And we are happy with the amount of traffic. All along we have been praying that God would bring the right people to the house and that when the time was right, an offer/buyer would come. We still believe that. Would you pray with us that we would be patient and calm, resting in God, relying on his timing, and trusting in his faithfulness. Pray too, that God would bring a buyer soon so we can begin to make plans to move.

The other part of our housing involves a home for us to move into. We have started the work of looking for a house about two weeks ago. This is a monumental task when you think about a home for seven people and a dog. We are asking God for a place that is just big enough for us, the dog, and for the open door ministry we hope to have with the families and students at Harvest. We are also praying that God would open the doors for us to be in Peters Township. Because our kids have some friends who already attend school in Peters, we think the transition between schools might be a little easier for them if we are in the same area.

2. Financially. One of the big unanswered questions we wrestle with is that of finances. With Harvest being a brand new church, only five months old, there’s not much of a budget. We would love to be able to make the move to Harvest in July and be able to focus all of our time and energies in establishing the weekly ministries of the church without having to work a second or third job. We’re not opposed to the idea of a second or third job if that is God’s will. But we would really like to begin in July knowing that we can give all that we have to Harvest.

I’m not big into asking for money, however, sometimes God chooses to use those who have the resources to fund his work and that sometimes we have to ask or make the need known. So, that is what I am doing, making the need known and asking that you might pray with us as we ask God to go before us and provide the necessary funds that would allow us to move and go directly into full-time ministry with Harvest by providing a salary and the funds for health benefits for our family.

We are also praying that if a second job is needed, that God would lead us to one that will provide for the family and offer the health benefits that we would need while still allowing us the time to establish the new church.

If you would like to know the financial specifics or would like to give to the Harvest start-up efforts, please email me directly at; harvestchurchtoday@yahoo.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and allowing me this opportunity to share it all with you. We are very excited about Harvest Church and the chance to be part of what God is doing in the North Strabane/Peters Twp area. I invite you to visit our website at; www.HarvestChurchToday.org, to learn more about Harvest Church. And if you can, stop by and join us for worship some weekend!

If you have any further questions, please contact me! I love talking about what God is doing!

Thank You.

– jay

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