We are so excited! 4 Higham's are getting ready to head out on their first mission trip!
In just a couple of weeks, Amy and our 3 oldest boys, will join with a group from our church, for a week-long missions trip to Kentucky! A total of 16 people will be making their way from Western PA to a community in Appalachia Kentucky.
We're excited because we've been wanting for our teens to expereince the incredible oportunities that come through short-term mission trips. Amy and I (Jay) have served on a number of short-term trips in our teen and young adult years. As a youth pastor, Jay took teams of students on trips. Now we have a chance to send our boys!
The trip will be a week long mission that will serve a region that is desparately deprived. Ranking as one of the poorest areas in our country, our team will join dozens of others from all over the area, to share God's love, mercy and grace. Through work projects, children's ministry and sports ministry, our group will have the opportunity to work closely with the children and families of the community. Our host organization, Big Creek Missions, has been working with this community since 2002. Their commitment is to make a difference in the lives of the people in this community.
The trip will take place from July 19th through 26th, 2015. We would love to ask you to pray for the trip and the team! Most almost everyone on the team, this will be their first missions trip! So your ongoing prayer support will be needed and greatly appreciated!
We would also like to ask for your prayer support for our family. While Amy is away, I (Jay) will be home balancing church work, the 9-5 work, and the remaining 2 kiddos'.
For the safety and privacy of our team members, our family, and the trip, I are keeping this post brief. While we want to share the trip and our prayer requests with you, we also want to be aware of privacy issues regarding a trip like this. But if you would like specifics of what to pray for, or how you can financially support our family or the trip, please contact is via email. When the trip is over, we'll share some of our expereinces and what was learned while away!
If you would be willing to pray for us, simply comment below! We would love to know who your are so we can thank you!
- the higham family
It's one of my favorite books of the Bible, Genesis. This morning at Harvest Church, we started a new series the focuses on the book of Genesis. Over the next couple of weeks we will study, verse by verse, chapter by chapter all the exciting things that Genesis has to offer. Join us and discover the awesome God who goes demonstrates his amazing love for us as he carries out his purposes and plan for man!
Take a few minutes to watch the video from this Sunday!
Thanks for watching! Be sure to check in with us each week as we study the book of Genesis. If you would like to see the notes from the teaching, click on the link below that leads you to the website of Harvest Church. And if you are in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, let me invite you to come and worship with us! You can find directions and details about Harvest Church on the website!
Harvest Church :: www.HarvestChurchToday.org
This past Sunday, at Harvest Church, we started a new series, Back to School. As a way of celebrating the new school year, we're taking the congregation on a little learning experience as we take a look at a couple spiritual disciplines. It's a timely series not simply because our kids are heading back to school, but as I think about the purpose of the church and our desire to see adults growing in their faith, it is very important that we talk about how we grow up in the Lord.
To help us explore and learn how to practice these disciplines, we are applying the H.A.B.I.T.S. tool. H.A.B.I.T.S. are the brain child of Doug Fields. the H.A.B.I.T.S. tool was something he developed for his student ministry as a way to help them develop the spiritual disciplines. By applying the idea that these disciplines are things that should be daily and regular habits in our lives, the tool helps to reinforce the practices of the disciplines in a way that makes it doable. I mean, no one really enjoys when we're given lists of things that we are expected to do because we're told we have to do them. But understand the why and the how, and allowing our desire to WANT to do them, helps take the disciplines and make them habits that are as much a part of us as is brushing our teeth in the morning.
Over the years, I have adapted and used the H.A.B.I.T.S. tool with both students and adults. I even use them in my own life. I love the simplicity of the tool and it's application to life. As both a student and an adult pastor, I want to be sure I am giving those I care for the teachings and tools that will help them deepen and grow their relationship with God.
So what are the H.A.B.I.T.S.?
- H ... Having Time with God. This is daily, intentional prayer time set aside so you can be with and talk to God.
- A ... Accountability. This is the practices of living life knowing that someone has your back.
- B ... Bible Memorization. More than the Sunday school competions that helps us learn scripture, this is the practice of hiding God's words of life in our hearts.
- I ... Involvement. The life of the believers is more than showing up for church, it's about engaging with the life and ministry of the church.
- T ... Tithing/giving. One of the hardest habits to apply is the habit of giving. But when we look at scripture, giving is something that believers practice and live by.
- S ... Studying Scripture. From hiding God's word in our hearts to understanding and knowing what it says, studying scripture is a vital way of growing to know God.
Sunday, we talked about the first spiritual discipline; Having time with God. This week I will share some of my notes and suggest a few resources that can be helpful when developing the habit of prayer. So look for them throughout the week.
And, come out and join us at Harvest as we unpack all of the H.A.B.I.T.S. and discover how to go a little deeper with God.
It's amazing what can happen over the summer. For the last year, we have been running a very simple children's ministry. It was nothing fancy, some curriculum, 3 amazing volunteers, and a handful of kids. For the longest time it was just the founding families kids, so it allowed us to simply make due, until we were able to do something else.
But since this past Easter, things have been begun to change. Over the last couple of months, the population of children has started to grow. Along with that growth, new families have also started attended regularly. We quickly realized that we would no longer be able to just get by. We need a plan. We decided it was time to get serious about our Children's Ministry. And last night we did.
You know when you have a vision for what something should be, the dream alone can be intoxicating. But when substance begins to make your visions reality, well, I'm not just not sure how to describe it. Last night at a ministry team meeting for our children's ministry, I discovered that many others have the same passion as I do when it comes to creating an exciting, fun, and engaging children's ministry.
I am so excited to announce that Sprouts, the Children's Ministry at Harvest Church, returns this Sunday, September 14th! I am even more excited, by what these first 4 months will look like for our children and families! We have 7, incredible adults, who have a heart for kids, and a passion to see that they are introduced to Jesus! On top of that, there are 7 student helpers, who are amazing with kids, ready to jump in and be a part of this exciting ministry.
Here are just a few things that will happen this season!
1. Almost-Extreme Children's Ministry Make-Over...
Meeting in borrowed space always creates the obsticle of atmosphere. There's not much we can do to 'decorate' or create a total kid ministry when it's not your space. But we have some great ideas for taking the space we do have and modifying it just enough to make it a little more kid friendly. Now we're not paint walls or building playgrounds yet, but we will be bring a few items into the space that will help with our make-over attenpt.
2. An Exciting Teaching/Lesson Calendar...
We use a wonderful curriculum that has been created and published through KidsSundaySchool.com. It's flexible, adaptable, complete, and easy to use. And that's important in a setting like ours. Last night we sat down and created an awesome teaching plan that leads up to Christmas and the birth of Jesus. With a little bit of Old Testament and a little bit of the New Testament, we've put together a great plan for our kids!
3. Many Hands Make Light Work...
Something that really proves that God is at work is the awesome news that we will move from 3 teachers to 7 leaders! Our leaders will share the enormous responsibility of teaching our kids. With a 7 week rotation, our leadership will take turns teaching and loving on our students! And with 7 incredible teen helpers, I think there will be a real joy found in Sprouts every week!
One of the three emphasis' that we adopted this past winter was the idea of becoming a church focused on outreach. In all of our ministries, there will be an element of missions and service. I am thrilled that our children will also have the opportunity to join the church in missions as they prepare to do they first missions project, later this fall! (I will share our plans in a little while. I don't want to give away too much here now!)
5. Preparing for the Greater Harvest to Come...
Jesus told His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:37&38 niv) In February, this became our prayer. While we knew we were small, we also believed that there was a great harvest awaiting us. We just needed the workers. So we have been praying that God would raise up the workers that would be needed to move out into the fields. Today, I am beginning to see how God is answering that prayer. From 3 teachers to 7 leaders and 7 teen helpers. From just getting by from week to week, to having a plan and a purpose. From a just a small handful of kids to being ready to welcome a great many more. I believe God is about to do something awesome!
So let me share this invitation with those of you who live in the Canonsburg/McMurray area. If you have been looking for a church, or if you've just been looking for something more for your family, come and visit us this weekend at Harvest Church! Come and discover what we've already been learning - that God is good, and He desires for you to come to know Him!
Authenic. Simple. Biblical. Relational. Harvest Church is the church for everyone else!
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.