OUR THREE FOCUS AREAS FOR 2015
by Hercules Opperman
This past year’s focus on the harvest was not as much a prophetic season as a wake-up call to our vision as a church to reach nations and generations through disciple-making, leadership development and church planting.
Having so many dynamic and vibrant ministries and activities in our church, the challenge is to keep it simple and make it possible for everyone to take part in what God is doing.
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Habakuk 2:2
We want the vision to be easy to understand and accessible. If we communicate it well, we’ll all know how we, as individuals, fit into it and can keep each other accountable. Specific goals and good communication are tools that help make this possible.
We identified three focus areas for 2015 for the ‘harvest campaign’ and as congregations and small groups, we specifically prayed and gave into these areas this year.
MAY: the Himalayan church network leadership conference
We specifically looked at why we go out to the nations and gave towards the Himalayan church network. The donations were used to equip the pastors with material, equipment and impartation at the pastors’ conference in Northern India.
JULY: our Shofar Europe church plant in the Netherlands
This included a focus on why church planting is important and we contributed financially towards the church plant in Utrecht, Netherlands – specifically for start-up costs and the outreaches.
AUGUST: the Shofar Malawi church network
Here we looked at the impact of our church ‘DNA’ and the incorporation of our Malawi network churches into the Shofar family. Contributions toward this project were used to rebuild the main base in Mangochi and equip the pastors at the pastors’ conference.
HOW THE MALAWI CHURCHES BECAME PART OF SHOFAR
was this campaign a success?
The ‘harvest campaign’ was an amazing way to unify all of us around our vision, with focused areas of prayer, giving and physical support. It created awareness and excitement in the congregations and the groups who benefited testify of how they felt supported and covered in prayer during this time.
The small group themes contributed towards personal growth around the vision, with action points that helped to make it practical.
does it continue?
We’ll continue to build on this structure next year with the theme of ‘God’s building’, which God spoke so clearly about through many of the Convergence 2015 speakers.
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16b (ESV)
We want to start the new year in a way that gathers us together around the vision and Activate Sunday on 17 January 2016 gives ministry leaders in each congregation an opportunity to present their ministries and it’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us to figure out where we can lend our skills, prayer and time, as well as encouraging each other with the direction that God is taking us in.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’.” Luke 14:18 (ESV)
global prayer and fast
It is important to prayerfully count the cost before making formal commitments and the first Global Prayer and Fast that follows Activate Sunday from 18-20 January is a time set aside to ask God what His will for each of us is within the church family.
The second Global Prayer and Fast from 18-20 July is another time set aside to pray together and continue to ask God for clear direction – both in the prophetic and in the practical.
quarterly combined small groups
These ‘big group’ meetings are informal opportunities for us to give feedback, brainstorm together and share the vision around the focus in 2016. The leadership team will give a small group topic for each quarter that will help us talk about and pray through the vision.
JANUARY: global prayer, fast and consecration
- the vision and goals for the year
- prayerfully considering our involvement and commitment to these goals
MAY: progress and annual financial feedback
- feedback on progress
- a look at the current financial position of the local church and region
JULY: progress feedback and global prayer and fast
- an update on how we’re doing in reaching our goals
- praying for our alignment with the vision that God has given us
DECEMBER: thanksgiving and testimonies
- testimonies of God’s faithfulness through the year
- opportunities to thank God and reflect on goals achieved
At the end of the year, we look forward to coming together and thanking God for what He’s done in our movement, region, local church and personal lives. So often we get so caught up in the here and now that we forget to look back at what God has already done – the best way to become excited about what He will still do in the future.
Thank you for partnering with us in bringing in the harvest in 2015 and we look forward to a year of seeing God as the builder of our lives, families, communities and churches!