Who We Are
Elders and Deacons
Staff and Ministry Leaders
What We Believe
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20).
Issues for Clarification
For more information on the process and commitment of membership, please visit our membership page.
Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-6).
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death and a reminder – through the bread and the juice – of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:20-29; Matthew 26:26-29).
Current displays of the gift of tongues:
- Give unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-31).
- Emphasize speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life, while minimizing the Spirit’s work in producing a holy life (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9), and a life that displays the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Often suggest that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this.
Harvest Bible Chapel will not promote doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members of and adherents of Harvest Bible Chapel are not encouraged to promote the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement. Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not to be overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Harvest Bible Chapel. We will seek to emphasize the more excellent way of love as well as zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; John 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:19; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:25).
The Great Commission is fulfilled as disciples of Jesus Christ are made and grow in their relationship with Him and likeness to Him. God is glorified as we manifest His presence as we do His work (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In seeking to act upon the church’s purpose, we recognize the extraordinary value in multiplying the reach of His ministry by planting local churches and by associating with existing, like-minded local churches. God is glorified when Harvest Bible Chapels and other like-minded churches associate with one another in order to foster relationships that edify, protect, encourage, support, and admonish.
Problems that are approached by integrating the Scriptures with psychological theories tend to deceive individuals into diminishing the God of the Scriptures and into believing that He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom that will change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10).
When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behaviour and seek to explain the causes of human behaviour, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:5-11).
Each Christian’s passion should be to become more like Christ and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38).
The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25-28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 4:6).
All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). Those who are born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to his people, and empowers them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God’s decisive and faithful grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter, His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit, and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16:30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:
- Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10).
- Resisting Satan’s temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
- Rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27).
- Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
- Putting on the armor of God’s truth, righteousness, readiness to share the Gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20).
- Demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:9-10).
Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
- Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26; John 12:32; John 14:6).
- Lead God’s people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyrics (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 95:1-2).
- Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Psalm 95:6-9; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42).
- Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Matthew 13:52, Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9).
- Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Exodus 12:1-51; Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Hebrews 11:4).
About Church Government
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing board of elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the board of elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for elders, no specific fixed term of office is recommended. Instead, each elder, upon appointment, shall be asked for a three-year commitment. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow elders. During the review, both the individual and the other elders shall evaluate his continued service as an elder, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as an elder may be discontinued by his own decision or by a consensus decision of the other elders. A person leaving the board of elders would not preclude his service as a future elder, subject to the regular selection process.
The Scriptures show that the elders “serve by leading” and that their responsibility involves the spiritual oversight of the congregation. All elders are equal in authority but not necessarily equal in influence.
- Doctrine. Ensuring that the doctrine of the church is biblical; all doctrinal issues in the church will be settled by the board of elders;
- Direction. Ensuring that the direction of the church is consistent with the Harvest Bible Chapel statement of purpose and the five pillars;
- Discipline. Administering in love and humility the process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-4; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 and Romans 16:17.
Plurality of Elders
The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders exercising their individual giftedness squares with the Scripture’s teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counsellors (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 24:6). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the elder board.
Qualifications (Titus 1:6-9)
- Above reproach
- Able to teach
- Husband to one wife
- Not addicted to wine
- Not antagonistic
- Free from the love of money
- Manages own household well
- Not a new convert
All members of the pastoral staff will be chosen by the board of elders. The senior pastor will automatically be a member of the board of elders. The elders may nominate additional member(s) of the pastoral staff to serve on the board of elders.
The Harvest Bible Chapel senior pastor automatically serves as an elder and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, is a vital member of the elder board. The senior pastor should be gifted primarily as a preacher/teacher and as a leader.
All pastoral staff members will serve for an indefinite period of time. The senior pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the board of elders. All other staff members are responsible to the board of elders through the senior pastor. A staff member may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the board of elders.
The responsibility of the senior pastor will be to faithfully preach God’s Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the board of elders in carrying out the overall vision of Harvest Bible Chapel.
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an elder.
Additional Pastoral Staff
Ministry descriptions for the remaining pastoral staff will be established by the Board of Elders in keeping with the giftedness of the individual and agreed upon at the time of hiring.
Deacon Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
- Individual of dignity
- Above reproach
- Not double tongued
- First tested as servants
- Not addicted to wine
- Spouses must be faithful
- Not fond of sordid gain
- Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
- Husband of one wife
- Manages own household well
The Deacons’ Responsibilities
The deacons will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent, and facility operations of the church.
An international family of churches that exist to glorify God by planting, strengthening and multiplying Great Commission churches.
- Fervent Prayer
- Bold Preaching
- Passionate Worship
- Intentional Disciple-Making
- Courageous Evangelism
- Strategic Church Planting
- Influence through relationship
- Strengthening through resources
- Collaborating through shared mission
We are excited to see how the Lord will use this strategic partnership for His glory around the world!
Please note: While we are grateful for our rich heritage and past involvement with Harvest Bible Fellowship, our church is no longer associated with Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago or James MacDonald. We are moving forward with a renewed passion to be a worshipping and sending church in the GCC.