We hope that with the series “The Harvesters,” you will be introduced to many different followers of Jesus who are striving to make disciples of Jesus out in the world; whether you’re in the military, a missionary, a scientist, a stay-at-home parent or anything else under the sun. Check out the full series here and may you be encouraged to do likewise in your own “fields of harvest.”
Tell us who you are
Peter and Lauren Fischer, our family lives in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb just outside of Washington, DC. we are trying to reach the young families within walking distance of our house. It is an affluent place, with lots of people who are familiar with Christianity, but perhaps are less familiar (or comfortable) with the message of Christ.
HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT (IS THERE A STORY THERE?)
We moved to this neighborhood about 3 years ago. After a stint attending a megachurch we had become lethargic in our work for Him — we were inward focused on what Christ could do for us, and not outward looking at what we can do on behalf of God’s Kingdom.
After some prayer, and appropriate rebukes, we made a change last September. We started walking to the nearest church building to where we live, and used that as a platform to look for the believers who are nearby in our neighborhood so that we had families to share and build with. We started a bi-weekly gathering we call Sunday Suppers where we open our home, have a meal, a devotional, and prayer together as a group. Peter started inviting men in the neighborhood to a weekly Bible study that now meets consistently.
As a result, God has given us a core group of families hungry for living the Gospel in this place. Our “routine” and our weekly focus has dramatically changed in the past nine months, and we praise His name for the work we are seeing being done in the few square blocks where we live.
What is the hardest thing about being in your harvest place?
Consistency / Busyness. Many of the people Lauren and I know and meet with have careers and small children, have well-developed friend circles, and ‘respectable’ lives. There are so many interests, activities, and social “obligations” that pull on people. A fragmented life makes following Christ simply another add-on item in the itinerary, instead of the “why” behind our day. Encouraging a mindset of faith-guided decisions and sacrificial living is foreign (and difficult for Lauren and I to come to as well).
What has surprised you the most about bringing Jesus to people in everyday places?
1. How eager people are for authentic connections to others.
2. How intimidated people are of reading the Bible.
3. How important it is to give courage to make hard decisions on faith.
What has encouraged you the most about your work (in the harvest)?
How small acts of faith are so richly rewarded. Simply opening our home, allowing ourselves to be known, and caring for the people across the street and around the corner has given us the chance to speak the Lord’s name in homes where it has not been heard.
Do you do church in the harvest? How does that look different/the same as what we traditionally see as church today?
We are a fledgling group, so each night looks a little different. Every other Sunday, we have a simple meal prepared. We sit around the table — usually 4 or 5 families — and share a bit about where we saw God in the week that just ended. Peter asks some questions from his time in the Word, usually to provoke a response or a conversation about how we can sharpen our devotion for Christ. Practically speaking, we’re still trying to work on how we handle child care during out time together (there are more kids than adults every time, most under the age of 6). We take notes on how we can specifically pray for each person, and then do so as the evening ends. Two hours, 5 pm to 7 pm. Frankly, it looks nothing like the traditional church.