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Filled with Joy: When I Feel Forgotten

Filled with Joy: When I Feel Forgotten Read It Luke 1:11-15 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.… Read More »

Relationship with the Learner

Relationship with the Learner Paul discussed the connection between truth and family relationships in 2 Timothy 3:14–16. First, there must be a relationship with the learner. Here’s verse 14: “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.” Take a moment and read that verse again.… Read More »

Lessons from Tozer

Lessons from Tozer Upon moving into our Elgin campus, we made an amazing discovery. In a random filing cabinet drawer buried beneath boxes and trash, we found a stack of paper three inches thick, bound together with rubber bands. They were copies of A.… Read More »

The Preaching Pillar

The Preaching Pillar “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22 “And they were all amazed…saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’” Mark 1:27 “And they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.” Luke 4:32 “The chief priests…came up to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’” Matthew 21:23 “And [God] gave [the Son] authority to execute judgment.” John 5:27 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 As I wrote out the pillars of a Vertical Church more than twenty-five years ago, I prayerfully jotted down what flowed from my reflection on the above Scriptures about Christ’s authority.… Read More »

Responding to Our Detractors

This is the statement read in our church this weekend. Later this week our elders as a whole will respond.   As we approach the Lord’s table today, let me say that we are back to reality. After 40 cities and almost 80 thousand people ministered to on the Vertical Church tour, we are gladly back to our church family—but also to the reminder that spiritual warfare is real, and that I have some pretty dedicated detractors.  … Read More »

Vertical Church Tour Recap

With all my heart I believe the battle that rages in the heavenlies is for the glory of God and His great Son, Jesus Christ. The enemy is very happy with horizontal church. As long as church is boring, entertaining, or self-help, it does not threaten the kingdom of darkness.… Read More »

What is Distinctive About Your Church?

What is Distinctive About Your Church? Church consultants are everywhere these days, flying in, costing a fortune, and teaching church leadership teams to “establish their vision,” “figure out their unique value proposition,” “settle on a purpose statement and what they will offer to the community.” Demographic analysis, carefully targeted music, and ad campaigns to catch the eye of consumers, all designed in hopes of attracting people to your church. … Read More »

Equipping vs. Serving: Are You Ready for Full-Time Ministry?

One of the key ministry values here at Harvest is recognizing the difference between equipping and serving. Serving is great, but serving is not the primary calling of a full-time pastor. The primary job of a pastor is not to do the work of the ministry, but to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). … Read More »

Evangelism Breakthrough Starts Here

Evangelism Breakthrough Starts Here My mom, who went to heaven in July 2010, was the most effective personal evangelist I have ever known. It was extremely common during my childhood to see my mother sitting at the kitchen table with her Bible open in earnest conversation with another mom who lived on our street.… Read More »

Common Mistakes Made by Young Preachers

One of my greatest joys these days is working with young preachers, trying to ‘fast track’ them through some of the lessons I have learned through almost three decades of preaching. I was blessed to attend some great schools, but truthfully most of the bit I have learned about preaching came from painful Sunday afternoons of lamenting the ‘getting it wrong’ and determining to do it better next time.… Read More »

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