I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by. Yet another week is done at the Training Center and I am continually being challenged. In our preaching phase we discussed the importance of applicational preaching and how to go beyond general principles to "drill down" into the hearers' life. We also did many sermon evaluations. This exercise helps us think through the framework of a sermon. It helps in thinking through the nuts and bolts of a sermon. I have heard many times since I have got here that a mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pew. Doing sermon evaluations helps us think through how to best communicate God's Word.
Part of my responsibility in my time here at Harvest has been to observe and help out with small groups. Every small group follows the same format. There is some welcome time to start as everybody grabs some refreshments. Then there is 45 minutes of teaching. This is not to be lecture style, but rather interactive as the leader guides the discussion. The next 45 minutes are then spent in accountability time. This is guys with guys and girls with girls. The time is to be spent not only in sharing, but in prayer as the members spur one another on. The evening concludes with a time of fellowship. Small groups is a vital part of Harvest. The Elgin campus has over 70% of their congregation in a small group and would love to have more. This really provides the opportunity for the congregation to do life together and to grow in their walk with the Lord.
I am excited about the upcoming look of the website. A few other guys from the Training Center and myself had some productive time looking at what is needed for our websites. You should see some changes next week sometime. The changes should make the site look a lot better as well as helping it to be user friendly.
This next weekend we are going to Davenport, Iowa to visit the Harvest church there. Heather will be joining me as we learn more about the ins and outs of Harvest and how they play out in a church plant situation. The church in Davenport was planted in 2004 and it has been very successful. God has really blessed the work there. So we are anticipating a great weekend in Davenport.
Tomorrow, I am teaching a lesson on communication in marriage. I will write some of my thoughts on that in a blog tomorrow. I would love to hear any feedback that any of you have as I write on different topics. Have a great week!