Understanding the Timeless Biblical Laws of the Harvest Lord of the Harvest Soil Prepared Farm & Workers Seed Sowing Harvest Gathering Harvesting is a season as well as an event
Each Season holds specific principles & intended outcomes • It's all about sowing, growing and harvesting • The farmer doesn’t grow it; he cooperates with the Lord • Any neglect leads to reduction or elimination of harvest
Harvesting is hard work - we are laborers (2 Tim. 4:5; Luke 10:2-3) • The Motivation for harvesting is God's mandate (Ex. 20:2) • The Goal is the worship of God worldwide • Challenges are those keeping us from making others glad in Him
Our Goal : to plant as many seeds, in as many places, in the most effective manner, in the shortest time • Don't ever think numbers are not important • The more done- the greater the harvest
The Lord of the Harvest Lord of the Harvest It Begins and Ends with the…
The Lord of the Harvest How would you describe your church’s passion for Christ? • Red Hot • Luke Warm • Cold as Ice “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16- NIV)
The Lord of the Harvest How would you describe yourpassion for Christ? • Red Hot • Luke Warm • Cold as Ice “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16- NIV)
The Lord of the Harvest "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."Deut. 6:5 It Begins and Ends with the Lord of the Harvest It Starts with His Rain
The Lord of the Harvest Hosea 6:1-3 1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
The Lord of the Harvest Prayer is Foundational Pray and he will heal, forgive and revive Hos 6:1 Pray and he will send laborers Mat 9:35 Pray and he will empower Acts 1:8 Pray and he will give boldness Acts 4:31 Pray and he will give us fruit for our labors John 15 Pray and he will open a door for our ministry Col. 4:2 Pray and he will have fellowship with us. Rev 3:20
The Lord of the Harvest • Every day in the USA, 6new churches are started • 4 of those churches are SBC • The sad news… • Every day in the USA, 8 churches close • More than 800 Southern Baptist churches close a yr.
The Lord of the Harvest • Declines in church attendance and lack of revivalin New England are due to failure of the church to persistently and consistently come to God for renewing and reviving. • The crisis we are in will only be altered in our repentance of dead works and our return to Him through repentance and confession. • Without His presence and His glory at the heart of the Church we are nothing more then a religious treadmill.
The Lord of the Harvest Is prayer for Renewal in our relationship to God and prayer for the lost of this community a priority in this fellowship?
The Farm & The Workers Must Be Ready How is your church building and body ready to make and add more disciples? • If the body of Christ or the church facilities are unreceptive or unprepared the harvest will be diminished greatly. Farm & Workers
The Farm & The Workers Must Be Ready If 50 un-churched people came to your church this weekend, what would happen? A ready farm & its workers will include intentional preparation & quality in the areas of: Farm & Workers People ~ Processes ~ Place
The Farm & The Workers Must Be Ready PEOPLE- Prepared for Harvest • Spiritually Transforming Community • Welcoming & Friendly Community (Heb. 13:1) • Loving Community • Serving Community • Evangelistic Community (Every believer sharing their faith) • Missional Community (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8) • Safe Community Farm & Workers
The Farm & The Workers Must Be Ready PROCESSES- Intentional about Harvest • Welcome • Membership(Connection & Assimilation) • Discipling • Engaging Prayer • Evangelistic Strategizing • Organizational (Including vision & goals) • Follow through & Follow up • Evaluation • Biblical Conflict Resolution Farm & Workers
The Farm & The Workers Must Be Ready PLACE- Prepared for Harvest Visitors Farm & Workers • Curb appeal • Clean & Uncluttered • Maintained - Paint too • Sufficient Parking • Welcome Center • Beautiful Nursery • Attractive Restrooms Are You Ready for Guests?
IS 99.9% GOOD ENOUGH? What is an Acceptable Level of Quality PerformanceIf 99.9% is the Goal Then… • Twelve babies will be given to the wrong parents each day in every major city. • 200,000 drug prescriptions will be filled incorrectly in the next 12 months. • 107 incorrect medical procedures will be performed by the end of the day today. • Since 99.9 % is not good enough for parents, pharmacists and doctors, it is not good enough for churches either.
2 FACTS: • Your church cannot grow without visitors • Your church cannot grow if your visitors don’t come back
2 QUESTIONS: • What are you doing every Sunday to make sure your visitorsreturn? • What is the difference between a guest and a visitor?
“The church is the only cooperative society in the world thatexists for the benefit of its non-members” William Temple It is the difference between never missing another Sunday or never coming back.
Did you know? Researchers say that church guests decide whether or not to return to the church they are visiting in the first ten to twelveminutesupon entering the church campus.
So, what happens in the first twelve minutes? • They see your facilities • They meet your people • They decide whether or not you can meet their needs • They decide whether or not to come back • Before they have heard the music or sermon
Make Your Church Visitor Friendly 1. Your church campus should: • Have directional signage in parking areas and outside of buildings • Be well landscaped- at least no weeds • Have enough visitor parkingspaces • Have greeters in the parking area
2. Have Greeters that Should… Make Your Church Visitor Friendly • Wear name tags • Be friendly and smile • Understand the value of this ministry • Escort guests to / from the welcome / information center • Introduce guests by name
3. Information at Welcome Ctr. Make Your Church Visitor Friendly • Church newsletter with website / FB • Upcoming events for all ages with website / FB • On allministries with website / FB • Information about Bible study / discipleship / Sunday School groups with website / FB • Recreationalopportunities with website / FB • On staff and who to call for what with website / FB • Campus Map (if needed) • Gifts (Example: Coupon for free Wednesday night dinner)
4. Make your guests feel valued Make Your Church Visitor Friendly • Make certain the Nursery is clean, bright, cheerful, and secure. • Include – do not exclude. Act like every person is a first time guest. • Everyone who gives an announcement, sings, speaks, etc. must be introduced or introduce themselves. No insider communication. • Welcome them anonymously- invite them to complete (with everyone) a communication card • Teach your people to value their guests.
5. Following Up and Following Through Make Your Church Visitor Friendly Herb Miller gives the following statistics for following up: 85% of guests return if visited in 36 hours 60% of guests return if visited in 72 hours 15% of guests return if visited in 7 days. If the pastor makes the first visit instead of a lay person the percentage is cut in half.
The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. • How well do you know your community? • What are some of the needs of your town and what are you doing to meet them? Soil Prepared
The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. • Certain fields respond better to certain seed • Remove any barriers that might stand in the way. Question: Does this fellowship have a history that needs to be corrected? • Churches that grow have regular and consistent prayer for their community • Let the needs of the community drive the programs of the church.
The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. One Simple Principle that will help you reach more people: • Learn to think like the people you want to reach. • “You” communicating not “Me” communicating
The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. In order to clearly communicate the gospel to our community, we must start with… Define Your Mission • People focus (not programs) • Clear Vision • Be On Mission Develop Your Message • Know Your Target Audience (community) • Learn Their Needs • Link Communication to Life Application Needs
The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted Discern Your Community • People groups, like fields, must be identified and adopted. • How well do you know your community? • How well does your community know you? • Conduct Community assessments • Acts 1:8 list four God given fields of ministry • The most neglected field in America is Men
Ten Surprising Truths about the Unchurched The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. • They will want to come on Sunday morning • They feel guilty about not attending • 38% are highly receptive and 82% are somewhat likely if escorted by a friend or relative when invited. • Very few have had someone share how to become a Christian with them • Most have a high view of pastors and church
Ten Surprising Truths about the Unchurched The Soil must be Examined, Prepared and Adopted. • Most have a church background • Some types of cold calls are effective most are not. • Most would like to develop a sincere relationship with a Christian • There is no monolithic unchurched group • Most are far more concerned for the spiritual well being of their children then themselves
Seed Sowing must be Regular, Relentless & Intentional Name at least 4 ways your church is sowing seeds of the gospel in your town or around the world Seed Sowing
Seed Sowing must be Regular, Relentless & Intentional • Seed sowing represents the Word of God being broadcast into the community of our missions. • It can be spoken, printed, demonstrated or dramatized. • Seeds can be spread through servant evangelism, ministry evangelism, mass media. Any actions that demonstrate the love of God in word or deed. • The more these seeds can be sown in the community the better.
Seed sowing must be Regular, Relentless and Intentional Rick Warren suggests that 20% of a churches annual budget should be in the area of advertising the church ministry. What if we spent that much money in seed sowing on an annual bases? Seed Sowing means serving your communities
Harvest is the Culmination • Harvest is the result of all the other elements discussed • Harvest is moving a person who has decided to accept Christ into a disciple who follows Christ Harvest Gathering
Harvest is the Culmination • New England has more than 14 million souls that do not know Christ • Harvest time involves the effective partnering of sowers, reapers and the Lord of the Harvest. "There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." "This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!"
Harvest is the Culmination • 3. The Harvest is the result of a process • God on Mission • Prayer • Seed Sowing, Cultivation • Harvesting Harvest Gathering
The Harvest • We are called to make disciples not just decisions • The church is God’s primary means of harvesting and discipleship • The Harvest is not complete until the crops have been stored and made ready for the next harvest.
Harvest Events One on One • Know the basics of sharing our testimonies and the gospel • Sensitive enough to allow the Spirit to do the work of conversion • Be a mentor to a new convert