Church Roles

Every So Often, We Have This Membership Class...

...and the questions come up: Why officially become a member of the church? What difference does it make? Does is really matter, really change anything just to formalize my membership?

It does. Certainly taking the class doesn't MAKE you a member of the church, but it gives you the information so that you can make an informed decision. 

At Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North, membership results in the following perks: 

  1. Automatically go to the front of the line for prayer after service – no waiting!
  2. Warm baptism water (guaranteed to be at least 77 degrees) for any of your family or friends getting baptized. 
  3. Personalized car window decal: >your name here< is Loved at HBC!”
  4. 5% off your tithe. 

That was a joke. We don’t have any of those decals. 

But kidding aside, I don’t think membership itself is a joke. I do think it is really important, speaking from the pastor’s perspective, to know who is considering themselves part of the flock, part of this body of Christ. 

The bottom line: membership is about unity. I am a part of this team. I am taking responsibility for what happens at this church. 

We actually interview everyone who wants to place membership with us, for three main reasons: 

1) We can explain what it means to be a member (expectations, ministry involvement, etc), 

2) We want to hear the prospective member’s testimony. (To join the church, it’s pretty important to be a Christian first, right? Plus: I just LOVE hearing testimonies. They never get old!) Oh, and 

3) It gives the prospective member opportunity to ask any questions about the church. 

Recently, I came across this article about church membership. I thought it had some great points on the subject, so if you have ever struggled with the value of formally joining a church, take a minute and read this!

You are Loved!

Pastor Jeff

-membership has its privileges

Women as Pastors?

Is it Biblically sound to have women in positions of ordained leadership, such as pastors and/or reverends?

At Harvest Bible Chapel, we encourage women to be in every position of leadership the Scripture permits. And the only position I can see the Bible reserves for men only is the role of pastor/elder (same thing).

This belief comes from 1 Timothy 2:12-14, where Paul says he does not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. Note that Paul’s reason was theologicalNOT cultural. 

Many of our leaders here, and at HBCs world-wide, are amazing godly women. The Lord continues to raise up and use some very inspiring ladies to carry out Kingdom work. I know I am so thankful for the amazing women leaders at HBCPN, like Amanda, Michelle, and Mandy - just to name a few on our Ministry Team.

This is our last Question of the Week for a while! I hope these were helpful to you – and encouraged you to go after God’s Word for answers for even the toughest of questions.

A New Chapter is About to Begin

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you-- Titus 1:5

Can I overemphasize how important this season of our church is?

No, I cannot.

We are entering a new chapter at Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North. Up to this point, leadership has come from me and Rick Donald, who serves Harvest Bible Fellowship so faithfully and has served HBCPN faithfully since Day 1. 

But the goal from the beginning of the church plant has been to identify, select, interview, approve, train, and install men in our own church to shepherd this flock.

It has been a long process, but we have indeed identified, selected, interviewed, approved, and trained 3 men. And officially installing them will happen in service on September 14. These three men are Darren Keller, Jay Knauer, and Mark Ort. (Check out our “staff“ page on this site for pics and bios!)

What does it mean?

Simply put, it means HBCPN is now a self-governing and autonomous church (wait, is that simple?). With our own leaders in place, we are “independent” as a church body. We are not part of a denomination, we are a part of a fellowship. So while we have great relationships and influences in the Harvest Bible Fellowship Family, we strive to function as a local self-governing NT church as is the goal of all other HBC plants.

It is a milestone. It is a transition. And it is an exciting new chapter in the life of our church. Do not miss Installation Sunday on September 14!

Please keep Darren, Jay, and Mark in your prayers as they step into their new roles.

p.s. - thankful to God for these men