Upcoming Discipleship Opportunities!

Brothers and Sisters,

In 2018 there will be many discipleship opportunities available to you at HCBC including Community Groups, Men & Women’s Discipleship, and more. You’ll hear more about those soon, but for now, I’d just like to focus on some very significant opportunities for you that are right around the corner!

For several years at HCBC, Biblical Counseling has been an increasingly significant partimages of our emphasis and ministry.  At its core, Biblical Counseling is simply a form of discipleship as it aims to bring the all-sufficient Scriptures to bear (2 Tim 3:16) on our personal and corporate growth as Christians as well as letting the Scriptures inform how we navigate the common challenges of life.  Biblical Counseling impacts marriage, fear, anxiety, friendships, spiritual disciplines, parenting, anger, practical theology, depression, evangelism, addictions/besetting sins, church unity, and much more.

imagesWhile recognizing that not everyone in the church is called to be a full-time, formal biblical counselor, and that some will be more trained in Biblical Counseling than others, we believe that everyone at HCBC is called to have a basic, fundamental understanding and responsibility to know how to use the truths of Scripture in such a way that it will facilitate spiritual growth, maturity, and strength in our congregation.  The apostle Paul looked back on the growth of the church in Rome with grateful thanksgiving and satisfaction because they themselves were “filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)

Here we see that the instruction isn’t just limited to a handful of formally trained imagespastors.  Instead, Paul rejoices that the whole church is able to instruct one another in the Scriptures.  We see elsewhere in the Scriptures that the church membership is expected to be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands through loving discipleship, through the bearing of one another’s burdens, and through speaking loving truth to one another that builds up the Body. (Gal 6:1-2, Eph 4:29)  As your pastors, our heart’s desire is for Harbins Church to be like the church in Rome, “filled with all knowledge and able to instruct (counsel) one another.”

With that said, we are excited to bring to your attention a few ways that you can begin to receive basic training in Biblical Counseling.  I would love to see all of our members involved in one (or more) of these opportunities.

#1. Adult Bible Study.  We just recently launched a great study called Instruments in the imagesRedeemer’s Hands and it’s not too late to join in.  After our holiday break, Pastor Jeff will resume this study on Sunday, January 7th, at 9:30am in the sanctuary.  This is an outstanding study designed to release HCBC from the popular notion in our culture that the church’s sanctification and growth is in the hands of a small group of trained pastoral professionals.  Instead, every one of us at Harbins is called to minister to the Body and and become an effective tool of change in the lives of others.  We’ve gotten excellent feedback on this study so far and we are hoping to see more of our members there every week, resuming on the 7th.

#2. Faith Community Church 2018 Biblical Counseling and Discipleship Training imagesConference.  For the past several years members of HCBC have gone to this conference and it has been nothing short of outstanding.  This will certainly be a time of personal growth and excellent training in God’s Word for all who attend.  Myself, Pastor Jeff, and our wives, along with others from our church, have been among those who have greatly benefited from this time.  The training will be broken up over the course of four Saturdays at Northside Church in Roswell on January 27, February 24, March 24, and April 21st.  Jeff and I would really love to see more of our members make it an annual tradition to attend.  The registration deadline is January 12th.  For more information visit here.  If you need financial assistance to help pay for the conference let us know and we’ll see if we can help.  Also, groups can carpool to help with travel expenses.

#3. Biblical Counseling Training at Providence Church in Duluth.  Our friends at imagesProvidence Church will be providing FREE training in Biblical Counseling as they launch a 10 week course starting Tuesday evening, January 9th.  If you are interested in deeper and more intensive training, or if you are interested in going through the certification process with the ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors), this is for you!  Led by Pastor Jess Arnds, who is an ACBC certified counselor from the Master’s Seminary, you will go deep through weekly reading assignments, observing counseling sessions through video, group discussions, and more.  There will be dinner provided at 5:30pm for a small fee, and the training begins at 6pm.  You’ll wrap up by 9pm.  There will be FREE CHILDCARE!  Sign up here! For more information, contact Pastor Jess at jarnds@providenceduluth.org

Please prayerfully consider taking advantage of one or more of these terrific opportunities that will help you in your own personal growth as a Christian, and help you to powerfully minister to others in our church, building up the Body at HCBC.  We pray that 2018 will be an incredible year of growth in the Lord for you and for our church.

Grace and Peace,

Pastors Demer and Jeff

Spring 2017 Community Groups Coming Soon!

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One of the things I love about HCBC is how eager our folks are to study the Bible.  Many people have been coming up to me lately asking when our next round of Community Groups will be launching.  I’m happy to say we’ll be relaunching the week of February 5th.  As usual we’ve got a terrific lineup of studies.  Here’s what we’re offering this time around:

1 Peter: Maintaining Our Hope in a World That’s Not Our Home

imagesLed by Steve Doyle at Barbara Coleman’s home.  1830 Jessica Way, Winder.
Launch Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 7pm.

Do you ever feel like an alien and a stranger in a land that is increasingly distant and even hostile to Jesus Christ?  That’s normal.  The Apostle Peter begins his letter by saying he is writing to “To those who are elect exiles…” (1 Pe 1:1).  To be a believer is to be an exile longing for their true home in heaven.  But in the meantime, how now shall we live?  This Bible study will equip and encourage all pilgrims who are passing through this difficult world in route to their ultimate destination, the New Heavens and the New Earth.  No study guide necessary, just your Bible!  Sign up here!

Lessons from the Upper Room

 Led by Jeff Thomas at Karen Lindsey’s home.  2515 Harbins Mill Drive, Dacula.
Launch Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 7pm.

Knowing the time was fast approaching for Him to imagesdepart this world, Jesus spent His final hours with His closest friends. As the disciples sat with their master, unaware of what would soon take place, Jesus served them, taught them, and prayed for them.  In this 12-part teaching series, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson paints a vivid picture of the disciples’ final moments with their Savior. Carefully walking through John 13-17, Dr.
Ferguson reminds us of the centrality of Christ in all of life.   No study guide necessary, just your Bible!  Sign up here!  For more information, view the trailer below:

 

God in our midst: The Tabernacle and our relationship to God.  

Led by Mark Pierce at the Pritchett home, 2290 Marshland Ct, Suwanee.
Launch Date: Wednesday,  February 8th, 7pm.

How does an ancient tent in the wilderness of Sinai relate to our relationship with God? The description of the tabernacle, God’s Old Testament dwelling place, spans sixteen chapters of the Bible. Yet many of us pass over this extended description without understanding its significance. In this series, Daniel R. Hyde encourages us to consider this “tent of meeting” (Ex. 27:21). By studying the particulars of this first tabernacle, we will better understand Jesus, the One who dwelt, or “tabernacled,” among us (John 1:14).  No study guide necessary!  Just bring your Bible!  Sign up here!  For more information, view the trailer below:

 

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage

Led by Demer Webb at the Sims’ home, 3605 Wynter Frost Walk.
Launch Date: Wednesday,  February 8th, 7pm

imagesIt won’t take long for you to be disappointed in marriage. It won’t take long for your dreams to be dashed. The reality is that you can’t escape the brokenness of this
world. You won’t be able to avoid the sin of your spouse.

The Bible teaches that we all bring something destructive into our relationships – sin. But as Paul David Tripp explains, we buy into the delusion that our biggest problem is outside of us. We blame our spouse. We blame our circumstances. We rarely take seriously the nature of our own sin.

‘What Did You Expect?’ challenges you to look into the mirror of God’s Word and see yourself with clarity. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you love yourself more than your spouse. Maybe you love your little kingdom more than God’s big Kingdom. When you reach that level of honesty, you’re at the edge of real good things for your marriage.

Sign up here!  

After you sign up, get your FREE study guide here! (required)  

To go even deeper, click here and order the book! (optional but recommended)

For more information, view the trailer below:

 

Behold Your God

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF THE STUDY THAT BEGAN LAST SEMESTER.  

Led by Todd Harrison at the Harrison home. 1480 Bradley Gin Road, Monroe.
Study resumes Thursday, February 9th,  7pm.  

Are we sure that the God we serve is the imagesGod described in Scripture? Is rethinking Him biblically really necessary? How do we do it? How would it affect our views of Christ, the gospel, holiness, worship, evangelism, service, and revival?

Behold Your God is a study that focuses on God’s self-revelation in the Bible, helping the believer to apply the descriptions of God to all of life. Each week features a short biographical sketch of the life of a significant figure from Christian history whose ministry illustrates the truths that you will be studying weekly.  They include A. W. TozerGeorge MullerRobert Murray M’CheyneCharles Spurgeon,  Jonathan Edwards, and more.

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In addition, each week’s lesson will reinforce what you have been studying in the Bible on your own time throughout that week.  Finally, you will be able to listen to highlights from interviews with contemporary ministers whose lives and labors reflect these same truths.

This study is written with the conviction that our fundamental need in Western Christianity is to repent of our low and unworthy views of God, to return to the biblical descriptions of the true God, and to risk it all in order to live upon Who He is. Nothing in this study is new truth.  Instead, everything is meant only to help you to take the biblical descriptions of God seriously and to see how they form the foundation of Christian living.

***Because this is a study that began in the Fall, you are encouraged to consider another one of our study options.  However, if you are still interested in joining this study midstream,  order the required daily devotional and then sign up here!***

For more information, view the trailer below:

To preserve strong group dynamics and intimacy, Pastor Steve and I are trying to keep the groups from becoming too large.  Therefore, our preference is to have a maximum of 12 participants per group.  (This does not of course, include babies and other children who won’t really be participating in the study!) With that said, we want to make sure everyone is in a group, so if there is only one that you desire to participate in due to day of the week, location, interest, etc, then we will of course increase the size of any group to make sure that everyone is included.  With that said, please let us know as early as you can which group you’d like to participate in.

I’m thrilled that HCBC is able to offer such amazing studies that will draw you closer to God, facilitate transformation in your life, and sink your roots deeper into the precious Word of God, through which we are able to more clearly see and savor our Lord Jesus Christ!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

 

Feasting on the Whole Counsel of God

When I was living on my own in college my diet basically consisted of Hamburger Helper and spaghetti. That’s it! Nothing too complicated for a single college male: boil noodles, add ground beef, stir in seasoning packet or sauce, enjoy. It was easy, simple, and it kept me living, but few would consider it a well-rounded, much less sufficiently healthy diet. Somehow I survived those years, and then, by God’s grace alone, a beautiful young lady named Heather came into my life and everything changed. Slowly over the past 20 years my wife has expanded my pallet and added a healthy variety into my diet.

food pyramid

A healthy diet requires a variety of beneficial foods. OK, I’m not sure Hamburger Helper qualifies as “beneficial” food, perhaps that’s why I haven’t had it since college, but the few good foods that were part of my diet were added to by my wife and thus I began to eat more healthily over the years. As children in school we are taught the Food Pyramid, where we are told that our diets need to have good variety. Regardless of what you think about pyramid itself (and I know we have some readers that think it’s a big government/Monsanto conspiracy) everyone agrees that a good diet consists of good variety. The same is true of our spiritual diet.

Some at HCBC have wondered how we choose the books of the Bible that we preach through and why we’ve been jumping around to a variety of different books. Well, our reasoning is the same as my wife’s when she introduced me to vegetables (yes, I was 22 and had never eaten veggies), and that reasoning is simply this: the elders of Harbins desire that our church have a healthy and balanced diet of God’s Word.

shutterstock140876329We want to have the type of diet that the Word of God itself calls for us to have. The key to Timothy’s development into a man of God equipped for every good work was that his mother and grandmother believed and taught him that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). And the Apostle Paul, as he said his final farewell to the Ephesian elders charged them to be faithful elders by reminding them of his own preaching saying, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

So Demer and I have committed ourselves to preaching the whole counsel of God, knowing that the full breadth and beautiful variety of the Bible is inspired and useful to edify the people of HCBC. That means that we aim to vary our preaching by not only moving back and forth between the Old and New Testaments, but also by making sure the we are intaking all the different genres of Scripture. Those genres include in the Old Testament the Law, Histories, Poetry & Wisdom, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. In the New Testament the genres are the Gospels & Acts, Pauline Epistles, General Epistles, and Revelation. Our desire is for our preaching to develop a rhythm of bouncing back and forth between the different genres. For example, Demer and I prayerfully looked at what had been preached thus far at Harbins and we realized that we had not touched on much from the Old Testament Poetry & Wisdom, so we chose to preach Job last summer. Then we came back to the New Testament knowing a General Epistle had never been preached at our church so we launched into 1 John. We then bounced back to Esther which belongs to the Histories, a genre we only touched on a bit when Harbins first began. With Esther now concluded, and after our special Holy Week services, our plan is to bounce back over to the Gospels where we will continue our chronological exposition of all four gospels in a series we have called “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ.” After a season in the Gospels we will, Lord willing, bounce to another genre.

I hope this helps you understand the reasoning behind the preaching schedule at Harbins. It may seem haphazard to some, but in reality it is very much thought through and prayed over with the hope that we, as the undershepherds of HCBC, will provide the flock with the Biblical nutrition it needs to be vibrant and healthy. And by the way, there is no Biblical equivalent to Hamburger Helper because all the Bible is healthy all the time. So eat up Harbins, and taste and see how good our God is!