At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. (Colossians 4:3-4, HCSB)
It all begins with prayer, says Pastor Rich Shipe. “Colossians tells us that we are to pray not just for salvation but also for opportunities. And we’ve found that this is a prayer that God loves to answer!”
Harvest Bible Chapel Ashburn started core team meetings in mid-2017 and small groups in early 2018. Weekly worship services launched on April 15, 2018. To reach and connect with people, the leaders have always encouraged the congregation to connect with the people God has put around them—their neighbors, co-workers, etc. The people of Harvest have embraced their personal mission field and the belief that each person is part of God’s plan for sharing the Gospel with those they encounter.
One vital resource for Harvest has been the “new movers” list that the church receives each week from Bless Every Home. Loudoun County has consistently been one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Ashburn happens to be the center of most of Loudoun’s growth over the last 15 years, and there is no end in sight to the rapid expansion.
Shipe explains, “We send a postcard invitation to the ‘new movers’ list that basically says, ‘Welcome to the neighborhood! We’re new too!’ We’ve already seen some fruit from this approach—for example, one great new family who had just moved here from Seattle and was having trouble finding a church.”
Harvest members pray and look for open doors to build relationships and share the Gospel. “We continue to encourage this outreach,” says Pastor Shipe, “by sharing stories with one another of even the little ways that God opens doors.” Stories of answered prayers edify the entire body and glorify the Lord.
Are you and your church family praying for opportunities and open doors?