Every structure requires support. Bodies have bones. Tables have legs. Sandwiches have bread. But what about the church? What supports it?
At Harmony we believe God is the obvious source of our strength. We also believe God has given us different means to participate with him in strengthening the church. Harmony’s Four Pillars identifies the means to a stronger church.
Harmony’s Four Pillars are Sunday Mornings, Assimilation, Core Expectations and Core Ministries.
Like it or not, the Sunday morning church experience is vital to a growing church. The first impression many people receive of a church will be its Sunday morning worship service. As a result, a consistently strong effort must be made to offer the best of what God has given us on Sunday mornings. To be strong on Sundays requires much more than a good message from the pulpit and inspiring music. Assistance is needed to maintain the building and grounds, welcome weekly guests, care for children and on it goes. The entire experience matters.
Once people experience Sunday morning, many will take a closer look. In taking a closer look, they want to find out what we believe, what’s important to us and how they might participate. We’ve creating several opportunities for these questions to be answered. Our Welcome to Harmony, Alpha and MAP classes are the best ways we’ve developed to help people find their way into the Harmony family. Each area requires caring and reliable people to successfully share the good things God is doing at Harmony.
The welcoming invitation from Sunday mornings and the Assimilation process must be partnered with strong, personal challenges. Core Expectations lovingly confront the church’s people to grow individually. A new rhythm of life must be created; a rhythm pulsating with the teachings and practices of Jesus. To the degree that individual people are strong, the larger group will be, too.
The Core Expectations are UP, IN and OUT.
UP – just as Jesus had a vertical and vibrant relationship with His Father, our lives are to demonstrate that we are sons and daughters of God by embracing worship, prayer and Bible reading as primary spiritual activities.
IN – just as Jesus had inward and intentional relationships with His followers, our lives are to be flavored with enjoyable and encouraging friendships with other believers.
OUT – just as Jesus had outward and ordinary relationships with people who did not yet believe in Him, our lives are to be marked by normal yet spiritually obvious friendships with all people, looking for opportunities to show the love of God.
All people of every age are important to God. However, the unquestionable truth is that without dramatic and intentional action, the American Church will lose an entire generation of young people. Credible national studies agree that approximately 60 to 70% of spiritually-engaged Christian high school graduates will leave the Church after graduation and never return.(1) Unless the Church makes strong decisive moves, Christianity will be the minority religion in America by 2042.(2) Consequently, Harmony has committed to fight for the heart of the next generation, identifying our ministries to children, youth, post-high school graduate and families as a high priority.1. Mark A. Holmen, Building Faith at Home (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2007), 19 – 20.
2. The Barna Group, article Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years, September 11, 2006, www.barna.org