“Allow us to introduce ourselves…”
Harvest City is a home-grown, grass roots kind of church that sprang out of the “Jesus People” or “Jesus Movement” that rose up in the 1960s and ’70s. Because of the way God was highlighting spiritual gifts then, churches like Harvest City became known as “Charismatic” churches. (Charisma means “gifts of divine grace” in the original Bible language.)
Harvest City does not belong to what has traditionally been known as a “denomination.” However, we are vitally connected to a family of churches called LifeLinks International Fellowship. Although LifeLinks churches have the freedom to be self-governing, they have a real sense of identification and connection with one another. For example, LifeLinks churches partner together to plant new churches, serve on short term missions teams, participate in ministry and youth training programs, and attend network conferences and camps.
If you’re interested in a video with more of our back story, click HERE.
What has been the result of that team emphasis? Accountability, trust, wisdom from the “multitude of counselors” – all these and more. God’s pattern shown in the Bible has given Harvest City stability and growth, and for that we’re very grateful!
Another example is our Global Focus strategy, which has us partnering with missions workers locally, nationally and internationally. Since this strategy was implemented in 2007, Harvest City has channeled millions of dollars into outreach efforts around the globe, not to mention all the in-person missions participation of Harvest City people.
The Bible tells us God is love; whoever lives in godly love actually lives in God, and God lives in them. All he requires of you can be summed up in this one word, LOVE — love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself.
God’s love for you is so strong, he even sent his precious son Jesus to earth to make a way for you to live forever, even though he knew Jesus would have to suffer and die to accomplish the task! That kind of unconditional, self-sacrificing love is one thing we treasure and encourage at Harvest City.
God’s grace is a humbling attitude of undeserved, forgiving kindness and generosity. God’s grace draws us into relationship with Christ, keeps and protects us, and causes us to grow in Christian virtue. Because of God’s grace he sees past our failures and is always ready to accept the broken-hearted. With his grace we, too can overcome arrogance, hard-heartedness and prejudice.
It is in the atmosphere of grace that we find peace, confidence and help in our time of need.
Everybody wants friends! The attitudes we looked at above — love and grace — make for strong, life-giving friendships among those who follow the Lord. And like God, we don’t want just a circle of friends — we want a spiral that always reaches out to include others in the Christian community.
Harvest City Church nurtures community by encouraging each member to be actively involved in church life, particularly in one of the small groups we call “house churches” where each of us can be blessed while learning to be a blessing.
The family is a special example of community, designed by God to be no less than a picture of his relationship with his church. Healthy families are therefore crucial not only to the well-being of our society, but also to the advancement of God’s purposes for humanity.
That is why we are committed to building God-honouring relationships amongst members of families. From premarriage mentoring, to help with child-rearing (Harvest City Christian Academy, for example), to family conflict counseling, and at all points in between we at Harvest City do all we can to strengthen family ties.
Vital to all our relationships — with God, our family, our friends, even with ourselves — is an attitude of honesty, sincerity and integrity. Unless we can truly “be real” in our day-to-day living, how can we expect to live by God’s truth? Real life is what happens when we shed the masks we so often hide behind.
Worship and Praise
Being real also recognizes the reality and importance of our invisible, spiritual dimension. God created us with a spirit because he himself is a spirit being; to express our love, adoration and gratitude to him we must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Worship “in truth” is worship that lines up with God’s “Word of Truth”, the Bible. Many ways of expressing true worship are described in the Bible, all of which are as good for our day as they were in Bible times. As we take God at his Word, praise and worship becomes intimate communion with him, a wonderfully varied experience involving our total being — body, spirit, mind, will and emotions.
- We believe in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God; that it is without error in the original Scriptures, and is therefore the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- We believe in the creation, test and fall of humanity as recorded in the Bible; that in our natural state we humans are spiritually corrupt (sinful) and therefore totally unable to attain divine righteousness and eternal life.
- We believe in Jesus Christ, the one true Savior, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, very God and very man.
- We believe in the Gospel — that Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead three days later.
- We believe in salvation for sinners, by grace, through faith — that those who believe in Jesus Christ and fully trust him to be their Savior are redeemed. That is, by accepting Christ’s free gift, believers in him have their death penalty paid and are justified (cleared of all charges) by God’s gracious decree, thereby becoming members of his church.
- We believe Jesus was resurrected (raised from death to life), that he bodily ascended to heaven, was enthroned as Lord of all and will personally return for his church.
- We believe that believers in Christ receive eternal life, living forever with God, while those who die as unbelievers suffer eternal separation from God.
- We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the enemy of God and humanity (especially God’s people). Satan was conquered by Christ’s resurrection, which sealed the doom that awaits him when Christ returns.
- We believe in water baptism by immersion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an act of obedience, an expression of our faith in Christ, our identification with him, and our covenant relationship with God.
- We believe in the baptism with the Holy Spirit (also known as being “filled with the Spirit”) as an experience following salvation; and that spiritual power is an evidence of the Spirit-filled life.
- We believe in the Spirit-filled life in this world but not of the world, and that the perfecting of holiness (wholeness, moral purity, devotion to pleasing God) is an expression of true Christianity.
- We believe in the charismata (gifts of the Holy Spirit) as presented in the Bible. We believe these gifts (including divine healing in its many aspects and speaking in tongues) are for today and are to be exercised as they were in the early church.
- We believe that the gifts of the Spirit are to operate in the context of the church according to biblical guidelines. Since God gifts every believer, all believers ought to develop and use their gift(s) for building up or equipping others. We believe this can be properly accomplished only when all members of the church regularly relate together in small groups (see the heading “Community”, above).
- We believe that larger-group celebration through worship, prayer, teaching, etc. is also indispensable for every believer (see heading “Worship and Praise”, above), and that corporate assembling is essential for spiritual growth.
- We believe that on His ascension Christ gave gifts — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers — who are to be recognized and established in the local church to help prepare the believers for works of service, so that the church may be built up.
- We believe in the ordinance of the Lord’s supper (“communion”) for believers, by which we remember the Lord Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and future return, and by which we acknowledge our communion or unity in the body of Christ — that although we are many, we are one body in Christian fellowship.
- We believe that the church, universal and local, is the body of Christ, an expression of Jesus on the earth. We believe that the local church is to be self-governing under the direction of God (through Christ) and its elders, yet is to be interdependent and in fellowship with other churches.
- We believe that children essentially belong to God, though he has entrusted them to parents. It is the Lord’s command, and therefore a solemn duty, that families train their children in a godly environment with instruction that is Bible-centred. We believe, therefore, that the church is obliged to support its families by providing Christian educational ministries.
- We believe that, according to Scripture, God has given authority to both the church and the family to discipline its own members, in order to discourage the spread of unrighteousness and to encourage righteousness.
- We believe that the Lord requires us to show his love and care for the disadvantaged around us by helping them, under his direction. This activity is so important to the Lord that he counts it as ministry to himself, and rewards it accordingly.
- We believe that all we have comes from God, so he deserves a say in how we use it. God asks us to be faithful managers (or “stewards”) of his material gifts, using them responsibly to meet the needs of ourselves, our families and others, as he directs.