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A group of eighteen people from across the northwest suburbs of Chicago joined together to form a new church. These people had a vision for proclaiming the authority of the Word of God without apology, lifting high the name of Jesus through worship, believing firmly in the power of prayer, and sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness.
Harvest Bible Chapel was born on September 18, 1988, with 27-year-old James MacDonald serving as the senior pastor. Since its beginning, Harvest has grown to a multi-site church of more 13,000 people meeting on seven campuses each weekend; an international broadcast ministry that reaches over three million people every week; and a global church-planting ministry with more than 100 churches to date, as well as a training center for future senior pastors. It is the home of a thriving Christian school with more than 600 students, a biblical counseling center, and a year-round camp in Michigan that ministers to more than 1,500 people annually.
“This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23)
James MacDonald provokes Christians to think and act on their faith. His Bible teaching ministry, Walk in the Word, emphasizes the precise exposition of God's Word and compels listeners to life application. Every 30-minute program heard on over 1,100 stations across North America is designed to ignite passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth. Walk in the Word is widely known as a radio ministry; however, its reach and impact continue to expand through audio, video, and printed resources, as well as listener events. Online listeners and podcast subscribers make the web our fastest growing audience, with over 100,000 podcasts downloaded monthly. Whether you listen to one of the 1,800 programs aired daily, attend a live event, or use a Walk in the Word study in your small group, you will see that all of the teaching is personal, practical, and aimed at leading you to the transforming power of God.
In 2017 what had formerly been known as Harvest Bible Fellowship transitioned to a new fellowship of churches called The Great Commission Collective. This fellowship was founded and built upon four New Testament pillars: proclaim the authority of God’s Word without apology, lift high the Lord Jesus in worship, firmly believe in the power of prayer, and share the good news of Jesus with boldness. God has blessed this movement and brought the increase. As the original founder, James MacDonald, affirms, “The whole focus of Harvest is vertical, not horizontal. We know it’s God. We don’t want to do anything that isn’t empowered by God’s Spirit and blessed by God.”
The Great Commission Collective's passion is to plant and equip reproducing churches that are alive with the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:19-22, 2 Timothy 2:2, Matthew 16:18)
Vertical. It’s a summary term for everything that we believe about the church.
Ephesians 3:21 lays out our highest purpose, “to him TO HIM (emphasis added) be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The purpose of the church is not something we get to fashion according to our own whim, or subjective sense of God’s leading. The purpose of the church is doxological not soteriological. The purpose of the church of Jesus Christ is not to reach people, or feed the poor or any of those important ‘by products.’ The purpose of the church is to elevate and honor God’s great Son in the minds and hearts of those who gather in His name. PERIOD. When that truly happens, all the other good things happen too. When that focus is neglected nothing that ‘happens’ is lasting or worthwhile.
Everything that happens when the church gathers is for that single VERTICAL purpose.
Learn more about Vertical Church at VerticalChurchBook.com.