.. It's a Matter of “Who” and “How”!
Our first “where” of Harvest was Panera Bread. Our family has been at Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North since the earliest days of the Core Team. This is what the Fellowship refers to as the group of people you get together to form the church before you actually are a church. We had first heard of the possibility of a Pittsburgh HBC from a “Walk In the Word” email requesting if we would be interested in hearing more about a potential future church launch. In a leap of well-placed faith, my wife, Alicia, immediately said, "This is it!"
At this time, we were worshipping in a church with a great building and long-standing congregation. While the “where” was excellent, the “how” of worship was becoming increasingly difficult, as the church body of this congregation for some time had been cannibalizing itself, through selfishness and backbiting. Unfortunately, the “who” of worship started to become misplaced. We stayed, probably longer than we should, working with hope for things to get better. They didn't, and when this email arrived, Alicia rightly sensed that this was the Spirit opening a new door for us. Ever the engineer, I was more skeptical: we even didn't know “where” this was going to be other than “in the Pittsburgh area” and knew nothing about the “how” of Harvest worship. We did know from listening to Pastor James McDonald on Walk in the Word that at least he was urging people to worship the right “Who”, so we stayed hopeful.
Eventually, this led us to Panera, where we sat across the table for Pastor Jeff and Erin and heard about the vision for HBCPN. After hearing about the four pillars, we knew we had the “how” and “Who” of worship that God prescribes. We shared with Pastor Jeff and Erin some of the gifts and passions that God has given us. It was clear that both couples were doing as much as we could to contain our excitement over the feeling of having found exactly what we needed.
In our time at HBCPN so far, we've seen many “where”s: setting up chairs in Paul Persic’s basement, singing praise to God in our chiropractors’ office, praying on our knees outside on the patio of Marshall Middle School, handing out flyers door-to-door in the surrounding neighborhoods, hearing bold preaching in whatever auditorium or cafeteria the North Allegheny School district permitted us to use that week, and when in doubt, borrowing the church next-door. While over the past few years we’ve seen many “where”s, we know the “Who” of our worship better than we ever have as a result of being a disciple at HBCPN, and this growth is a result if a consistent “how” we worship that very great “Who”.
In this time at HBCPN, we've experienced a lot as a family: the birth of our children, the death of a father, and just about the full spectrum of human experience. We’ve preached, worshipped, prayed to, and proclaimed our great “Who” in all of the “where”s above as well as in our home, workplaces, and everywhere we can.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8 ESV
All of these “where”s have certainly made things interesting: from the summer of broken-AC at Ingomar, to the infamous church-cancelling snow day; from unexplained gremlins in the sound system, to impromptu cafeteria services when the auditorium was double-booked. We are very excited about our new “where” and are excited for the opportunity that this gives HBCPN to reach more families, to share the love of our one-and-only “Who”, and to worship Him together exactly “how” He must be worshiped: in Spirit and truth.
Join us in this exciting new adventure. You won't be disappointed!
“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
Psalms 139:5 NLT
- Dan and Alicia Thompson
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