Something awesome, maybe unparalleled (for us), is happening in our church. There is a fervency and unity and moving of God’s Spirit in our services that is provoking such expectancy every week. It’s the worship and the Word and the hunger of the people…it’s…I can’t totally explain it, but it is truly AWESOME! For the past two months we have been presenting to our people a “5G challenge.” 5G is a play on the “generation of mobile technology that takes us to previously unknown levels of service”—3G, 4G, etc. 5G is what a next-generation Christian looks like. Not just some vague generalities of being like Christ, but actually living that in very specific ways.
A 5G Christian is:
Glorifying: We are not our own for we have been bought with a price—therefore glorify God…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Growing: We all with unveiled faces are beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and are daily being changed into that image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Grateful: In everything give thanks for this is the will of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Gracious: Being kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Generous: The generous man will prosper and he who waters will himself be watered.
Everyone has worked so hard to put the challenge before our people. Kathy and I have gone to every campus personally and presented the vision we have to serve God in greater ways. Here is the message I gave live on every campus over a grueling, but rewarding, 10-day period.
At those meetings, everyone received a 5G Personal Study written by some of our incredible Pastors. This personal study was given to each person to conduct in their own time with the Lord. Then small groups and community groups on each campus allowed individuals to process what they were learning with other members of the Harvest family. Below, watch the video we showed to present the challenge and to remind our people of how God has been faithful to us every time we have launched out in faith.
As I got up to preach this past Sunday, we wanted people to see that the gifts they were bringing have the goal of accelerating what God is already doing in our church. Below is the video we showed as I began—it’s really a collage of what has been happening in our church during the past eight weeks. Every bit of footage was captured in September and October 2011.
And here is the message I preached to bring the final challenge. After I was done, people turned in their three-year pledges to the 5G campaign—their faith promises to give over and above regular giving as the Lord provides. The result of all this will be an acceleration of our passion for making disciples and meeting the needs of the poor and planting churches that are committed to the same, around the world. The final total won’t be known for a few days, but it appears as though the response will meet and/or exceed our expectations…from an army of faithful people doing all they can to see the work of God accelerated.
I am SO proud of our leadership team, and Pastors, and Elders, and Deacons, and Small Group Leaders who have led our church and modeled generosity in every conceivable way. God is doing a great work in our church, and we give Him all the glory and our thanks for His graciousness to us. It’s pretty exciting. If you want to use any of this material or these ideas to challenge and lead your church, check out Harvest5G.org. Please use it all without obligation, beyond your own faithfulness to Christ and His Word.