TheNext3

Seriously, What's the Big Deal?

We met at our new home last Sunday. The buzz in the air was electric and the Holy Spirit's presence was palpable... because God's Son was glorified. We are so thankful for this amazing provision from God - and may many people come to know Him through this open door for ministry!

So what was so great about it? I mean, we did the same stuff at Marshall Middle School for the last 5 and a half years, what made this so special? We had the same worship leader and the same preacher. Same mission, same pillars, same amazing leaders. It was a great run at Marshall, so what made this new place so different? 

In no particular order, here is what blessed me about Sunday:

  1. Sitting together! Marshall was a great place but it was HUGE. We've struggled for years, trying to "shrink the room" so people are closer together, resulting in more intentional interaction. The size is so much more appropriate for where we are as a church currently. Related to this...
     
  2. Worship was amazing! I don't just mean personal experience or presentation or talent - that's all been consistent. I just simply mean that it was nice, in a smaller room, to hear all the voices around me praising Jesus. At one point during, I just stopped to listen to everyone else! I imagine I'll be doing that on occasion. What a glorious sound.
     
  3. Coffee. Guess what we can do in our own space? Have coffee. The smell of coffee before the sound of worship... it was like a tiny taste of heaven.
     
  4. Ability to focus on people instead of tasks. There was no sense of "hurry up and pack up - we are paying rent by the hour!". Our hospitality team was able to do their main function (loving people) without the pesky distraction of lesser things (packing up cases). They have been so diligent and complaint-free since we launched. I was happy for them to be done with that.
     
  5. Being close to people while I speak. I didn't feel like people were so far away. The room layout allowed me to look at people's faces. And there is nothing like seeing someone receive the Word of God. 

Anyways, Sunday was a great day for these and countless other reasons. Let's do it again this Sunday! 

Pastor Jeff

-If I was listing 6, I'd just include coffee again. 

10th Anniversary of So What's Wrong with Living Together? - The Ride Home

 John Hall and Kathy Emmons

John Hall and Kathy Emmons

Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North was blessed yet again with a special appearance by Pastor Jeff Miller on The Ride Home with John & Kathy. Broadcast over the Pittsburgh airwaves at 101.5 WORD-FM this week.

Enjoy a 12 minute audio snippet of Jeff's interview below about the 10th Anniversary of Jeff's first book, So What's Wrong with Living Together? A Biblical Response to Cohabitation. This and other books authored by Pastor Jeff are available on Focus Publishing!

Don't forget to check out what TheNext3 is all about.

Listen to more of John and Kathy here.

Worship Isn't a Matter of "Where"

.. It's a Matter of “Who” and “How”!

 Dan and Alicia Thompson - Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North Youth Ministry Leaders

Dan and Alicia Thompson -
Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North Youth Ministry Leaders

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.

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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”.

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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

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TheNext3_Thompsons_Childrens02

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

Visit theNext3 page to stay updated on the building move and continued growth of our church to bring disciples to Christ in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

The Ride Home to theNext3

 John Hall and Kathy Emmons

John Hall and Kathy Emmons

Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North was blessed yet again with a special appearance by Pastor Jeff Miller on The Ride Home with John & Kathy. Broadcast over the Pittsburgh airwaves at 101.5 WORD-FM this past April.

Enjoy the 14 minute audio snippet of Jeff's interview below about how God showed Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North that a little prayer makes a BIG difference!

Don't forget to check out what TheNext3 is all about.

Listen to more of John and Kathy here.