Harvest America 2012

It’s out of the box. It’s something new. It’s an idea a church member had. It’s something I don’t think I would have considered doing. Will it work? I don’t know. Is it the answer? Nope, but maybe it’s what we need right now. Is it something that God can use in motivating the people of God to being obedient to the great commission and being people of the new commandment? I’m praying.

Our church is a wonderful community of folks, who are all trying to figure out how to follow Jesus in the world. It’s a church that has had some history in the Antelope Valley and in Littlerock. It’s one of the oldest churches in the Antelope Valley. The church has always been a community church first and foremost.  We’ve really worked hard at being a community for the community, a phrase that I once borrowed from a pastor friend. The church has always had a strong view of scripture and is a church that affirms the work of the cross. Over the last 5 years we’ve tried to be good neighbors. We host narcotics anonymous meetings twice a week now, we host cub scouts on a bi-weekly basis, and we even host a Weight Watchers group every Monday evening. We also are part of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and host a food distribution twice a month. It’s something we’ve been doing for over 9 years. Earlier this year we began hosting a hispanic fellowship called Nuevo Pacto. They meet every Sunday afternoon and throughout the week as a faith community and have been a wonderful addition to our church community. We even during the school year bring muffins to the teachers and staffs of two elementary schools. We’re doing all the right things. We’re just trying to figure out what our role is in the world as Christ followers when it comes to being intentional with folks in the world who don’t look or sound like us. People on the streets, people at our places of employment, and most of all our neighbors.

I’ve been at the church for over 5 years now serving as a solo pastor. We’ve had some joys and some struggles as a small church. We’ve had some successes and we’ve had some moments where we’ve had to readjust, regroup, and try again. Every church has those moments. I’ve been part of large churches and small ones. Just because we’re a small church doesn’t mean we’re alone. Churches large and small have their moments. If anything we’re simply asking ourselves, “What are we doing here?”

I’ve followed Greg Laurie off and on for several years. I don’t know much about his church. All I know is that it’s huge. I know he has some history with Calvary Chapel and the one time I saw him up close was in the book store at Azusa Pacific one day while I was visting someone. From what I’ve heard on the radio and at harvest, he’s a pretty decent preacher. I also know he has a heart for the Lord and indeed cares about the larger church being able to reach out to the lost for Christ. I’ve been to at least one Harvest Crusade, back when I was a youth pastor. I remember taking some kids once to see Audio Adrenaline. In order to see the band perform, the kids had to sit through the crusade. That’s all I really remember from my Harvest experience.

This year we have signed up to do Harvest America. I recently checked and found out that over 900 churches have signed up to be host sites for this years Harvest Crusade. What are we doing? Each church that has signed up will be a host site and will live stream the Harvest Crusade live from Anaheim California on August 26th at 4:00pm. What are my hopes from doing something like Harvest America? My hope is that it would be the nudge that our community needs in being motivated to do what Jesus calls us to do in loving our neighbor. I’m hoping that it would be something that ignites and rekindles a spark and a heart for the lost. I’m praying that those who have decided to help lead this year will be the first wave of folks who will cause a Spirit filled movement. My biggest prayer is that it will be draw people to the Lord. Even if they don’t go to our church after the event and even if only a few people attend.

Again, totally out of the box. We’re doing all the right things as a church. We’re just needing a little jump start. The cool thing is that it’s being lay led. It all started from an idea that someone had. What more can a pastor ask for? Right?

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