By now you know that Harvest Church is hosting a special conference this spring called “Caring for One Another” (Friday-Saturday, April 21-22), featuring Dr. Ed Welch. Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Why should I attend this conference?” Great question! Here’s offering several reasons for your prayerful consideration:

Why attend? Because you and I need help. On the one hand, hard things press against us; I suffer, you suffer, they suffer—and it hurts. On the other hand, bad things arise and overflow from us; sin lives in me, in you, in them, and it harms. As always, Jesus sums up the human condition best: “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

Why attend? Because God calls you and me to give help. Care for the soul has many shades of color. In fact, more than fifty times throughout his letters, the apostle Paul highlights the full spectrum of care that God commands us to give: “love” one another; “serve” one another; “instruct” one another; “encourage” one another; “bear with” one another—to name just a few. So, note carefully: this is not a conference for a select handful interested in “counseling” ministry; this conference is for ALL of us, because “from Christ the WHOLE body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as EACH part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).

Why attend? If we keep our troubles to ourselves and ourselves from each other’s troubles, then we all suffer alone. But in God’s kingdom, the walls come down between us, and his Spirit delivers help in the most surprising way—through a humble, interdependent body of believers who need help and give help. Who would have thought that, in God’s kingdom, our weakness would be the new strength? Far from being a liability, our weakness is actually what qualifies us to help each other grow!

Why attend? Because you are not a cul-de-sac, but a conduit of God’s care, meaning, the help you have received from him is not intended to be kept to yourself, but to be shared with others. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Amazing! God’s care cascades from him to you, and through you to others.

Why attend? Because sitting under biblical preaching and having personal devotions—as essential as these are for our spiritual growth—are not enough. According to Scripture, the publicly proclaimed Word and the privately pursued Word are designed to generate the interpersonally conversed Word—that is, wise, loving, timely, tailored, personal conversations (Ephesians 4:11-17; Colossians 3:16). In fact, we can even say that constructive conversations like these are living proof that the living Word has taken root in believing hearts.

Why attend? Let’s be honest. It’s hard to share our burden with someone else, and it’s scary to bear the burden of someone else. And yet, a healthy church is dependent on each of us doing both. Yes, we believe God speaks deeply to our troubles, but we struggle to connect Christ’s riches to life’s troubles in practical ways. This conference will introduce us to the basic skills we need to give and receive biblically wise help.

Why attend? Because our featured speaker, Dr. Ed Welch, brings an exceptional heart and mind for equipping the church to become a truly helpful community. He is a best-selling author, highly regarded counselor, and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Ed has been counseling for more than thirty-five years, has taught practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and has written and spoken extensively on the topics of fear, depression, addictions, and more. As a senior editor and frequent writer for the Journal of Biblical Counseling, he continues to bring the God of truth, mercy, and power to the issues that face the church’s ministries of counseling and discipleship.

Why attend? In a word, what better time than now for Harvest Church to grow still more in “Caring for One Another”? The glory of God and the good of his people are worth it!

Please plan to join us. Even better, invite a friend to attend with you! And remember, this is a ticketed event, so click here to register.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Greg


Book Recommendation:

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Edward T. Welch

In these six weeks leading up to the “Caring for One Another” conference, our Pastor’s Desk will highlight several books authored our conference speaker, Dr. Ed Welch. Taking its title from the deadly way of “Dame Folly” in contrast with the lifegiving way of “Woman Wisdom” (Proverbs 9:1-6; 13-18), this book charts a biblically wise path for understanding and addressing addiction as “voluntary slavery.”

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