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God Is Doing Something Awesome

November 07, 2011

 

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.
Proverbs 11:25

 

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. [flash http://player.vimeo.com/video/30138429?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&autoplay=1 linktext={Here is the message I gave live on every campus} w=650 h=400] 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.

http://vimeo.com/29868689

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.

http://vimeo.com/31695986

And here is the message I preached to bring the final challenge:

http://vimeo.com/31698012

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.

 

Read comments:

  • JeffNov.08.2011

    Greetings
    I and my family have been attending Harvest for 12 years. Through those years we have seen a lot of change some good some bad. The 5G message is exactly what I need. I have gone through several years of fighting addiction, depression, fear and anxiety. I lost my business, many friends, the respect of my family and friends, a lot of money and almost my freedom because bad self center choices. But God is not just good He is Great. Through the years many times I wanted to stop going to church because of my shame and inability to break from my sin and secret life, but my wife and children kept on me and I kept listening to you and praying even when I wasn’t praying just to get out of trouble. What seemed a hopeless situation of incredible financial debt of over $200,000 dollars, four DUIs, possible jail time of 1 to 3 years, losing our home, and losing my wife and kids has completely been transformed. God has delivered my from alcohol and a long list of self centered sins and transformed my heart from one of darkness and fear which tried to commit suicide on March 13 of this year to almost 8 months of sobriety, and a restored growing relationship with God, and my family.

  • JeffNov.08.2011

    Sorry, couldn’t get my message on one comment, anyway when the 5G campaign started over a month ago, I sneered and told my wife that we were not going to participate and there was no way financially we could even consider getting involved. But then over the last 4 weeks as I listened and worked through the study God spoke to me that I need to grow in each of these areas especially in gratitude for the second, third and I don’t know how many times He has delivered me and showed up in a bigger than life way.So I shocked my wife this last week when she asked what we were going to do concerning our commitment to the church. Well we have never tithed and truly given our first fruits to God so not only are we going to give a gift of love and gratitude we have started to tithe 10% off the top for the first time. I can’t believe what God has done in my heart and life over the last 8 months and when I look back at my life before it was ruled by the fear and anxiety of having enough money and provision to meet my needs, well God has shown he can do that just fine so I want to thank Him, and also show a heart of obedience and step out and do this. Thank You James for being there.

    John Thomson Reply:

    Thanks Jeff for your testimony. God is doing wonderful things in the lives of people at our church. We as a church can thank God for the exceeding riches of His grace toward us and for you. We can pray that God will enable us to be faithful stewards of the people, opportunities and resources He has given to us as a church.

  • John ThomsonNov.09.2011

    God is doing awesome things in and through this church. It is astonishing to me. But it is a tiny bright spot in a big and increasingly dark world. My prayer is that God will enable us to spread out the church over many more locations, church plants, and grow the church exponentially over a wider area…(or to use your term James)to accelerate as a church and a people of God. We have been given a lot. To whom much is given much is required.

  • AndyNov.10.2011

    ” Thanks Jeff for your testimony. ”

    Agree. I’ve been down similar roads Jeff. Amazing grace. Blessings to you brother.

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