Building on a Firm Foundation Campaign
Yesterday, the Session and Diaconate launched a capital campaign for the future of Harvest, called the Building on a Firm Foundation Campaign. This is a written and expanded form of the announcement made during the service.
History of Harvest and Our Building
Harvest Community Church purchased our current facility at 39th and Cuming Street from another church (Calvary Baptist) in 2004. Because of their generosity, we acquired the building for a fraction of its value. For this reason, we have never carried a mortgage that matches the extraordinary value that our facility has provided over the years as a foundation for our ministry and our mission.
Yet, there are various ways right now that our building is creating barriers to our ministry and mission. I mentioned in a sermon a few months that our building needs significant, critical repairs. Indeed, this beautiful building will be 100 years old next year, in 2020. With a building that old, there will always be many issues to address.
More than that, Harvest Community Church is celebrating our 25th anniversary as a church this year, in 2019. We were planted in 1994 by people who had a vision for spreading the gospel of Jesus in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area. This anniversary is an important time for us to reflect, as a church, on our history: how God has worked in and through our congregation.
Additionally, this anniversary is an opportune time for our church to consider where we are going from here.
Consideration of the Session and Diaconate
The Session and the Diaconate considered all of these factors throughout most of 2018. We talked with construction experts, an architect, and other churches. We listened to each other, debated, and prayed together in a healthy, loving debate.
Throughout this time, the elders and the deacons have held and considered a variety of opinions on how to approach the various needs of our facility. Some have wanted to tackle many projects, and others have only wanted to take on the most critical issues.
In the end, we are unanimous that we must do something to deal with our most critical needs. For all the other projects beyond that, we have been united to pray as we seek God’s guidance and leading.
Building on a Firm Foundation Campaign
This is where the Building on a Firm Foundation Campaign comes in. From January through March, the Session and Diaconate are launching a capital campaign to address the needs in our facility.
During this season, we will carefully consider the following questions:
- How has God blessed us in the past?
- How is God blessing us right now?
- What challenges does our church face?
- Who is God calling us to be as we move forward?
In this campaign, we are praying not only to address the needs in our facility that are creating barriers to our ministry and mission—although addressing those needs is important.
More than that, we are praying to expand our vision as a church of God’s call to generosity stewardship, and, ultimately, the mission he has given us to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, this region, and the wider world.
In fact, it is probably better to think of this as a Vision Expansion Campaign than as a capital campaign, since our primary goal is to expand our vision for the ministry and mission of the church.
Goals of the Campaign
Naturally, a campaign like this will have financial goals, and we will have ample opportunities to discuss those goals over the next couple of months. Today isn’t the day to go over those goals just yet. More than that, a dollar amount isn’t the primary goal we are hoping to reach.
The only number we want to achieve is 100—that is, 100% participation of the whole congregation in prayer. We want 100% of the church praying to ask God to expand our vision for reaching our community with the gospel of Jesus. Also, we want 100% of the church wrestling with how God would have each one of us participating in that vision.
Our goals are not just financial, but spiritual.
Your Part in the Campaign
First, we are asking everyone to begin praying about this campaign right now. Here are the specific requests we would ask you to lift up in prayer:
- Pray for God to lead us. The Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the Lord can provide for our needs far more abundantly than we can think or imagine. Or, the Lord may not provide everything we merely want. Pray that God alone will lead our church and each individual within our church, during this time.
- Pray for God to deepen our generosity so that we grow more to resemble Christ. I (Pastor Jacob Gerber) will preach a four-week sermon series on generosity now (in January), and a four-week sermon series on our mission and vision as a church in March. We have not specifically studied what God’s word teaches us about generosity in our time, talents, and treasures in at least fifteen years—not during my tenure or during the tenure of my predecessor. Please pray that God will open our eyes to his full counsel on this important topic in his word!
- Pray for God to expand our vision and mission as a church. Ultimately, our prayer is that our church will grow increasingly united in faithfulness to the Great Commission that Jesus has given to us of making disciples who worship and serve. Please pray that God would give the growth as we plant and water through our gospel ministries (1 Cor. 3:6–7)!
Second, we would ask for your openness to participating in this campaign in various ways. Specifically, we will offer meetings outside of the normal worship service to learn more about the goals and vision for this campaign, and we would encourage you to do whatever you can to attend those meetings. More information will be coming soon.
We would love to answer any questions you have. Please send any questions to [email protected]