May 2019 Update

The elders are grateful for all those who have participated in the momentum in our church. Already, this year has brought many great changes, including a different service time and location. The elders are excited about the spiritual journey God is taking our church on and are celebrating with the 6 people who have been baptized since the beginning of the year and the 1 person who committed their life to Christ for the first time on Easter Sunday.

This Spring, the elders met on January 9th, January 16th, January 23rd, February 6th, February 13th, February 27th, March 6th, March 13th, March 20th, April 3rd, April 10th, and April 24th. They focused on the following:


As the leadership discussed ways to improve the high-impact service, the first decision was to change the service times to 8:30am & 10:30am at Kellogg Middle School. The service time change was implemented for a couple of months before a conversation with Portable Church encouraged Harvest Rochester to move service locations in order to have the opportunity to continue growing at a healthy rate.

Project Momentum was launched as a way to encourage the people who call Harvest their home to commit to serving at Harvest as they would if the church was newly planting again. On April 14th, Harvest Rochester moved to John Marshall High School, with one service at 10:00am. This was a successful and encouraging time, as many people committed to being anchors or allies in the new serving plan.

The Elders & Deacons decided to focus on the up-front prayer ministry in a greater capacity. They are seeing momentum in that area of ministry as well and are excited to care for the church through prayer.



Jon Inselman and Matt Anderson were installed as Deacons in March 2019. The Deacons have been continuing to meet with the Elders once per month, and the Elders are grateful for their service to the church.

The Elders wanted to focus on supporting and strengthening the staff. We brought in a few resources to do so: a consultant to give staff soul care and a leadership development training. Staff, Elders & fellow church-planters from Madison & St. Paul attended a day of leadership training. The Elders found this training to be very useful in growing our team and are encouraging the staff to continue pursuing growth from the training.

We would like to thank Ben Levno for serving on the team for almost three years. In February, Ben decided to step down from the governing Elder Board. Thank you also to the previous elders who have served this church faithfully: Trevor Long, Matt Wordelman, Chris Persons, and Steve Buehler.  

The Elders joyfully gave Brent Thomas sabbatical leave for the month of May, with the intent to refuel spiritually, pour into his wife and family, and be refreshed in his ministry upon return. We want to thank Brent for his seven years of faithfulness to ministry at Harvest.



The Elders have been shepherding the people of Harvest Rochester by answering questions about James MacDonald’s influence on our church, as he was fired from Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago in February.

On February 21st, The Elders had a family chat with the church, addressing their questions regarding the situation. Their outline for that family chat is linked here.


The Elders are sad to announce that Vertical Church Maple Grove closed its doors as a church.

The Elders supported Vertical Church St. Paul as they had their first elder installation on March 31st. They also are celebrating with Harvest Bible Chapel in Madison, WI, as they changed their name to City on a Hill and bought a building. They started services in their new building in April.



Since City on a Hill bought a church building, the leadership team decided to purchase their portable church equipment. The portable church equipment will be very useful to our church, as we will not have any storage space at John Marshall, unlike our experience with Kellogg Middle School.

The Elders have been praying about a financial campaign possibility in 2019. They also have been encouraging the Deacons to find volunteers to do some upkeep on our property for clean-up and general maintenance.



Adam Sawatsky has been doing more research to set the direction for Outreach. The Elders have been discussing what the balance should be between worship, caring for people inside the church, and caring for those outside of the church (mercy & evangelism). We also reevaluated our current ministry partners. The current four are: Friendship Place, MN Adult & Teen Challenge, Navs, and New Life Family Services.

In February, we supported New Life Family Services in their comedy event, featuring John Crist. In April, several small groups volunteered with New Life Family Services to help them clean and move to their new location.


  • Continued momentum as we have 1 service @ JM – that we’d see more and more people impacted by the Gospel

  • Health among the Elders and Staff as we enter into summer – growth and unity from the leadership training and staff soul care

  • Vertical Church St. Paul & City on a Hill – continued growth – praising God!

*This is an update for January-April 2019