2017 – The Year of Connected Community

2017 – The Year of Connected Community

The Year of Connected Community

The New Year is just a few days away. This year Harvest Christian Fellowship reaches the 10-year milestone. God is good! We will celebrate our Tenth Church Anniversary in April, under the theme “Love God, Love Others, Serve the World.” Additionally, this needs to be seen by all connected to Harvest Christian Fellowship as the year of Connected Community! To fulfill our mission to glorify God by making disciples for Jesus Christ, we must strive to become a community, and serve in community. We will do this by focusing on connecting people to God through our worship services, connecting people to each other through small groups, and connecting people to opportunities to serve inside and outside of the church.

We will begin this year with a 21-day Fast. The fast will commence on Sunday, January 1, 2017, and end on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Like last year, our prayer focus will be on three areas: 1) Loving God, 2) Loving others, and 3) Serving the world.  We will accomplish our goal to make more disciples not simply by getting people to love God and come to church on Sunday morning. We also need to see them engage and connect with other people through smaller group gatherings, and ultimately serve inside and outside of the church. Each week our prayer time will focus on one of these three areas, as we petition God for the strength and focus needed in the coming year.

As always, let us remember that fasting is not about what we “give up,” but about what we put in its place. The idea behind fasting is to be faithful in spending the time with God, focused on the goal, and not to become a “food Pharisee.” The Christian should see fasting as God-centered feasting. During this time, we are eliminating things from our physical diets, while increasing our spiritual intake. For some, the elimination of certain things will lead to pangs of hunger or longing. I encourage you to remember that food was made for the body, and not the body for food. We are not to be controlled by our physical appetites. Our culture, however, has trained us in just that way.

2017 Fast Guidelines

Week 1 – January 1 through 7

  • Prayer Focus
    • Loving God
    • Pray for those who attend our Sunday Worship services, and those who play a role in each service.
    • Pray that our services are used by the Spirit of God to draw men, women, and children into a relationship with Him.
  • Foods to avoid
    • This week avoid eating sweets or added sugar foods. These include:
      • Cookies, cakes, pies
      • Sodas, sugar-laden soft drinks
      • Candies

Week 2 – January 8 through 14

  • Prayer Focus
    • Loving others
    • Pray for our small groups, their leaders, and the creation of new groups that connect people to each other.
  • Foods to avoid
    • This week avoid eating the foods from Week 1 and:
      • Red meat
      • Pork
      • Caffeine

Week 3 – January 15 through 21

  • Prayer Focus
    • Serving the world
    • Pray for our commitment to finding and engaging opportunities to serve both inside and outside of the walls of the church.
  • Foods to avoid
    • This week avoid the foods from Week 1 and Week 2, as well as:
      • Bread
      • Crackers
      • Poultry