Small Groups are here! Answers to frequently asked questions…

WHAT HAPPENS AT A SMALL GROUP?

You’ve probably seen small groups meeting and not even realized it. A small group looks like friends at lunch or coffee, or people studying a book or topic of interest. At its core, a small group is a small gathering of people, and it is less about what you do and more about who you do it with. By participating in small groups, you can expect to connect with others through a common activity, engage in life giving conversation and request prayer.

HOW OFTEN DOES A SMALL GROUP MEET?

Our small groups meet for three semesters a year—winter/spring, summer and fall. During the semester, most groups meet once a week. Small groups are meant to bring meaning and community into the flow of your life, so even if you can’t attend every meeting, there is still great value in joining a group.

WHERE DO SMALL GROUPS MEET?

Small groups meet in places like homes, parks, restaurants, coffee shops and office buildings. The leader of the group selects a meeting spot that best fits the purpose of the group. Small groups happen throughout Sioux Falls.

HOW LONG DOES A TYPICAL SMALL GROUP STAY TOGETHER?

Most small groups meet for a semester. This way, new people can join groups easily and regularly. Also, the semester format allows you to try multiple groups each year. As relationships form, some groups choose to stay together for consecutive semesters, but new members are always welcome.

IS THERE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE?

Childcare varies from group to group. When you search our directory for a group, the group profile will indicate if childcare is available.

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE FIRST GROUP I TRY?

The truth is, not everyone will find the best fit with the first group they try. This is why we encourage you to select a few groups that interest you, contact the leaders and try out a couple different groups before choosing the best one for you. The simple strategy to finding success in small groups is to not give up. We believe there is a group that is right for everyone—including you!

The Cross and Forgiveness – Bible Apps for Life

Who rules your life? Does God rule your life, or someone (or something) else? The application of what God gave us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross provided us with the greatest gift of all – the gift of forgiveness.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaish 53: 5-6 NIV).

Your Christian life isn’t just what you believe or confess, it’s what you do. Once you get saved, you want to grow in your faith, not just stay in the safety of God’s grace, but grow into a higher level so that you can share that grace and love with others.

Turn to Your Maker

We need to surrender our pride, our ego, our wordly desires and our plans in order to live out the will of God. We need to freely love and forgive our neighbors and not deceive ourselves thinking that God’s forgiveness is only meant for us. Read More

Experiencing God for Yourself

Hearing someone’s story about a great tropical vacation can be mildly interesting. Seeing their pictures of the beautiful sky blue waters, the gorgeous ocean sunsets, and the white sand can make that story come to life in a whole new way. But experiencing the vacation destination for yourself is a completely different level of understanding. This is exactly what it’s like to experience God for yourself.

We can read the Bible stories, hear about the experiences of others, and even see pictures of great revivals. But until we experience these things for ourselves, we’ll never truly grasp the greatness of God’s presence and His power in our lives.

 All of us, with no covering on our faces, show the shining-greatness of the Lord as in a mirror. All the time we are being changed to look like Him, with more and more of His shining-greatness. This change is from the Lord Who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

As we experience God first-hand, we become more and more like Him. We become a light, a beacon of hope. But too often, once we’ve had an encounter, a beautiful moment, or a tragedy that reminds of us God in our lives, we choose to do nothing with that revelation.

Getting Closer to God

For many of us, experiencing God means going to church. It’s practicing a certain religion and “doing” the motions of church every Sunday. Is this really what God wants for us though? When we go through the motions of church, are we actually experiencing anything? Or simply following along and calling it good? Read More

Faith’s Ragged Edge: Faith Over Failure

Do you mark your life more by failure than by faith?

Many of us do.

But if you look at the Bible, every person who ever did anything significant for God had no prior success. In fact, every one of them had a terrible resume.

  • Moses was murderer and had a studder.
  • David was an adultress murderer.
  • Peter (best friend of Jesus) denied Jesus three times on the day he was killed. (Then Jesus used him to preach the first ever message – and over 3,000 people were saved!)

God is at his best when He can take people who don’t have it all together and use them for His glory

God is a God of second chances! He is faithful and just to forgive. He doesn’t hold our wrongs against us.

Let’s look at Paul as an example. He wrote over ⅔ of the New Testament, but he was the least likely of people to be called to do so…

Before he was known as Paul, he was called Saul, and he was one of the biggest “haters” of Christianity. In fact, he was murdering and persecuting the church. But then God did something amazing… Read More

Why Do I Value Relationships?

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:25

Relationships matter to God. He made that very clear when he chose to make Eve as a help mate for Adam. And from there arose the idea of family, and from family the idea of community. God has always meant for us to be together, whether in a church body or another form of small group or community.

But yet, so many people in the world today think they are better off tackling life alone. Why is it that too often we feel that relationships don’t matter? Why do we hole up and convince ourselves we don’t need anyone else to know us on a deeper level?

If we want to have relationships and success, we have to put our heart out there. Sometimes people will stab it, or take advantage of it, or just be downright mean – but the relationships overall are what matter. If you are humble and quick to forgive, you’ll be able to grow and nurture lifelong relationships that don’t crumble by the weight of little hurts. (After all, we are all human and we all make mistakes. In fact, it seems its those who we love the most that we hurt the most. But forgiveness can right those wrongs and retain those relationships.)

What can be even more harmful is when we do have others around us who love and care for us, but we chose to put other things ahead of spending quality time together. Read More

Why Do I Forgive?

Throughout the sermon series titled “Why Do I…?” Pastor Charlie has been walking us through several examples of why we, as Christians, should do certain things. But perhaps none more important than the question: Why Do I Forgive?

The foundational verse for this sermon series is Romans 7:15-20 (MSG)

“I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”

Why Do I Forgive?

In Matthew 18:21-23, Peter asked Jesus how often he has to forgive, and Jesus’ answer was clear: there is no limit.

At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”

It doesn’t matter how many times you have to forgive people; you keep doing it because God keeps forgiving you.

But as humans, it can be so hard to forgive! The wrongs that people have done to us or to someone we love can seem unforgivable, and at times we aren’t ready or willing to forgive. There are reasons for these barriers that many times we don’t consciously think about when holding onto others’ faults. Read More

So glad to be home!

Hello Church Family:

What a great day today, I pray you are all doing well and having a blessed week to this point.  Let me start by saying thank to all the dream team and staff for your help and service over the past weeks that Djuana and I have been away.  We truly pastor one of the best Churches on the planet when it comes to team spirit.  Also, I want to say thanks to Tamien for sharing this past Sunday.  I have heard from many that it was an amazing word from the Lord.

I can tell you it is good to be home.  It seems the past 4 weeks have been filled with lots of travel, motel stays, and more family than I am use to.  But we are home now and ready to finish our summer well.

Over the past few weeks I have had a chance to really pray and seek the Lord for what is next for Harvest Church, and I want to share just a few thoughts coming up in the series this month entitled “Why Do I”:

Its amazing how many things I do that I never think about, but just do them.  Some habits like prayer for instance.  Sometimes I will pray out of habit rather than passion….or attend church out of duty rather than opportunity and excitement.

I recently read a book where the author talked about the “doldrums of life”.  The place where things are motionless and void of movement.  I’m sure like me, all of you would say you’ve been there at times in your life.  Where we find ourselves drifting, or disconnected from God in some area of life, or disconnected from good friends that hold us accountable.

In 2 Timothy 1:16 Paul has a friend that he says, “Visited and encouraged me often, and his visits where like a BREATH OF FRESH AIR”.  I know all of us have someone like that in our lives, but I also know the relationship we have with God is like that, (or can be).

Just take a moment today and remember Why you DO love God, love people, pray for the lost to know Jesus, or simply why you are a part of a serving team.  I think the reason will always go beyond YOU.

I hope you come this Sunday, and I hope you find someone to bring with you.  We Love being your Pastors.

Pastors Charlie & Djuana

Loving Our Kids

Here at Harvest we love our kids and are so proud to have the opportunity to invest in the next generation.  The month of June held two exciting events for them!

VBS – Legacy Heroes

This years VBS was focused around being a Super Hero for Christ and even better yet, knowing the ultimate Super Hero, Jesus.  The kids learned how to: do their best and let God do the rest, love people because God loves people and to love God because He first loved us!

Read More

The Importance of Easter Service

I want to take a few moments to highlight our weekend service for Easter. This is the most important day of the year for every believer. I know in my life, I am overwhelmed that Jesus died for me, was buried for me and rose again for me. I do take it personal and believe you do too!

Again, I want to offer to you as you have heard me from the pulpit over the past weeks: Easter Sunday is proven that more people will say yes to your invitation to church and they will also say yes to an invitation to know Jesus as their Savior. Read More