A Worshipping Community on Mission
In recent days the Elders at Harmony have laid out a vision for what we believe God is calling our church to pursue in the days ahead. For the big picture view of this vision, please listen to Pastor Chris’ message A Worshipping Community on Mission from April 7. Copies of this message are also available at Harmony Central.
As we move forward in pursuit of this vision, we thought it would be helpful to answer some common questions about the details of how we see God leading us in the days ahead. Please note that many specifics are still yet to be determined, but we do hope that the following answers will be beneficial as you pray and consider how God would have you be a part of reaching SE Iowa and the world for Him.
WHAT is our vision?
Harmony Bible Church exists to bring glory to God by being disciples and making disciples. We desire for this to occur in such a way that the transforming power of the gospel becomes evident in SE Iowa and around the world.
One of the primary ways we believe God is calling us to do this is through multiplying churches in the various communities in our region. We envision this potentially occurring through church planting, replanting, mergers, and multi-sites.
WHY do we believe God is calling us to this?
There are three primary reasons we believe God is calling us to multiply churches. First, we believe it is the natural result of making disciples. As new people believe the gospel and are saved, they will need churches where they can worship, live in community, and live on mission to make more disciples.
Second, research has shown time and again that new churches are much more effective at reaching unbelievers than established churches. New churches have been shown to gain 60-80% of their members from the unchurched, compared to only 10-20% for established churches like Harmony. Simply put, establishing new churches is the very best way to reach new people for Christ.
The third and final reason has to do with our context. Our Danville location is almost smack-dab in the center of four major communities in SE Iowa. Therefore we are strategically located to be a launching pad for sending people out into these communities to make disciples and launch new churches and/or campuses.
WHERE do we believe God is calling us to do this?
In the long-term, we believe God is calling us to multiply churches all over SE Iowa. In the short-term we believe He is leading us to begin in Burlington. As the Elders have considered where God would have us to go, it has become obvious that Burlington has the greatest need and provides the greatest opportunity for the gospel. In addition, about 40% of our current church body currently lives in or near Burlington, therefore giving us tremendous resources for reaching that community.
HOW do we believe God is calling to do this?
We believe the initial step in multiplying churches is multi-site. In short, a multi-site church is one that meets in multiple locations. Our current plan is to open another location (campus) somewhere in Burlington, at a site yet to be determined. While we are still working out numerous details, we can tell you that our plan is to hold one or two services at our Danville campus and one service (more as needed) at our Burlington campus.
Both campuses will have children’s ministry, church leaders, and a live worship team. The sermon at the Burlington campus will be provided both through live preaching and video from the Danville campus.
WHEN do we believe God is calling us to do this?
Our current plan is to launch the Burlington campus in March of 2014. However, we are already in the process of hiring additional staff for this initiative, and will soon begin upgrading the technology at our Danville campus in order to capture high-quality video for playback in Burlington and at other future locations. Early this fall we hope to form a core group of people who will commit to launching the Burlington campus.
WHAT can I do to be a part of this vision?
First and foremost, you can pray. Pray for wisdom as we work out the many details of implementing this vision. Second, you can give. There are numerous costs associated with multiplying churches including technology, staffing, and facilities. Third, you can consider joining the core team that will help to launch the Burlington campus. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can make disciples – after all, that is something that Jesus has called every single one of us to do.
We hope this FAQ helps to answer some of your questions about what lies ahead for Harmony. If you have further questions or want to know more about how you can be involved, please feel free to contact one of our church leaders.