The Session met at Mahoney State Park on October 2, 2021, for an annual retreat. Annual retreats are an opportunity to build camaraderie as a Session, to reflect on the Lord’s work at Harvest during the previous year, and to review our mission, vision, values, and long-term goals as we move forward as a Session and as a church.
After a season of prayer, the Session spent significant time clarifying our church values, reviewing our public worship at Harvest, and considering questions about ministries.
We made a few adjustments to the church values that we promote at Harvest. Our values are important, since they help to give some shape to explain our decision-making. As a small church, we cannot do all things—in fact, we cannot even do all the good things that we might want to do. The Bible, our doctrinal standards (the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms), and our Book of Church Order give the critical principles for guiding our decisions; however, two equally faithful churches may take somewhat different approaches to implementing those principles. Our values, then, are where we give a specific definition to what we are trying to become and to do, by God’s grace.
Here is the list of our current values, as amended:
Centrality of the Bible
We believe that God shepherds his people through his authoritative word, the Bible. We believe that the Bible bears witness to Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. It renews our minds, shapes our desires, and trains us in godly wisdom. Therefore, the Bible directs everything we believe, say, and do.
We believe that the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms are faithful summaries of the Bible. These Standards are under the authority of the Bible, but they seek to protect what we believe, preach, teach, and practice from the Bible. Our confessional standards help to anchor us in the face of every wind of doctrine and culture.
Prayerful Dependence on the Spirit
We believe that true ministry is impossible apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, and we believe that true life comes only through intimately knowing the living God. Therefore, we give ourselves to prayer in private, in families, in disciple groups, and as a congregation.
Unity in the Body
We believe that the church is composed of many members united as one body in Christ. Therefore, we work to cultivate deep relationships within the body, and we are committed to building a community characterized by love, grace, and Christian liberty.
Commitment to the Reach the Lost
We believe that Jesus died to ransom people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation. Therefore, we seek to spread the gospel of Jesus with the lost in our community and throughout the world through our partnerships with church planters, global churches, and missionaries.
Equipping, Commissioning, and Sending
We believe that Jesus commands his church to make and send disciple-making disciples, so we are dedicated to equip the saints for ministering in their families, neighborhoods, and vocations through spiritual formation, Christian education, and leadership development, and church planting.