12 Highlights from 2012

I’m reflecting this morning on the past year!  Grateful to God for all that has been done.  And thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to serve in such a fun and unique way.  Harvest officially began the summer of 1996.  Before that, since 1990, I had been involved in worship and youth ministry each summer.  It’s hard to believe we’re already to 2013…  and to celebrate, here are 12 praises and highlights from 2012:

Harvest Summer Team – The 17th season of  Harvest Summer Ministry Teams was awesome.  Thanks to Tyler, Hailey, Justin, James, Doug, and Kim who served the whole summer.  Also thanks to several others who participated on a short term basis:  Millie, Josh, Sarah, Zach, Suzanne, Ruby and Macy.  It was a powerful two months of being available to share Christ with kids at camps all over Illinois and the Midwest.   Watch the highlight video (7 min.)   Watch the summer team documentary (20 min.) Check out the Harvest Website (www.harvestministryteams.com) Visit www.facebook.com/goharvest.

Young Adult and Leaders Connected – Approximately 50-55 young adults have helped with ministry teams, conference weekends and worship leadership over the year.  It’s awesome to invite gifted, Christ following leaders to serve in ministry to the next generation.  If you are a young adult interested in exploring the possibility of serving with Harvest for a summer, here’s the application page.

Opportunities to serve in great places – Harvest was on the road 112 days this year.  In addition to the Harvest Conferences, Harvest was invited to serve in 51 other churches, camps and events.  Thanks to all who invited us to partner with you in ministry! There are so many great stories of Christian hospitality and the work of Christ!  What a joy to have joined you in kingdom work!

New Collection of music – We created a new digital album of songs most of which have been previously released on Harvest CD’s.  These all were original songs.  Of the music, there are two that haven’t been previously releases on Harvest CD’s: one called “By Faith In You” which I was asked to write for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church a few years back.  The other song, “Because You Are Jesus” was written by my dad for a message series and I put music to it.  This song was included on a CD he and my mom made a few years back as well.  Take a listen to the music!  Other Harvest Music on iTunes. 100% of proceeds from the sale of Tim Price Songs goes to Harvest Ministry Teams, Inc (non-profit corp).

Conferences and Events for students – What a joy to have so many people attend Harvest Conferences this past year!  And what a joy to partner with hosting churches to reach students for Christ in this unique and powerful way.  In 2012, we hosted the Quad Cities Ignition Middle School Conference  and the Troy, IL Ignition Middle School Conference.  We hosted the Light Kids Conference in three areas in March of 2012 – Washington, IL; Marion, IL; and Troy, IL.  We were also privileged to host Beautiful U Girls Conference, a one day event for middle school and high school girls.  And in partnership with Troy UMC, Fire-Up Sr. High Conference  was held for the 17th year in a row!  What a huge blessing to have the opportunity to reach out to the next generation.  In total, between these events, there were approximately 1600 people in attendance.  As far as decisions, life changes and work done in the hearts and lives of these students, we may never know.  I know that we see lots of kids at the altar praying and seeking the Lord.  I consider Harvest to be an assistant in allowing students to experience Christ in their lives!  Join me in praying for fruit that will last.

Conferences and Events for leaders – Harvest also led conferences for ministry leaders in 2012.  The Well, a seminar for youth workers was hosted in 7 areas around Illinois (Springfield, Lawrenceville, Godfrey, Marion, Dwight, Galesburg and Peoria).  We also held Connection, a gathering for Children and Family Ministry Leaders in Shiloh, IL! [Read 25 one line lessons for Children’s Ministry Leaders]. This was the first time for this type of event and we are praying for more ways to engage and connect.  Additionally, partnering with Troy UMC, Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay books, led a seminar in Troy, IL for pastors and leaders.  The topic was on “Reaching the Millennial Generation”.  It was a tremendous event.  In all, there were approximately 350 leaders who attended Harvest Conferences this past year.  Ministry Leader Communities on Facebook:  Worship Leaders Group    Youth Ministry Network    Children & Family Ministry Leaders

Harvest Staff and Volunteer Teams – A huge thanks to Christine Fuesz for her work on the Harvest Staff.  She helps keep the office going and is a key leader in publicity, website and conference administration.  Suzanne Price serves in the administrative end of Harvest, helping to make sure all the financial aspects are in order.  She is also instrumental in developing the Light Kids Conference and Beautiful U Girls Conference.  Thanks to Christine and Suzanne for your ongoing work and ministry.  Also thanks to Kim Przybylski and Tyler Lynn for their help this year in the administrative side of the ministry.  What a blessing you guys were.

New Van Fund – In November, we found out the current Harvest van was finished.  The engine was shot and the body too old to warrant a new engine.  So, we began to raise money for the next van.  We had a goal of about $14,000 and right off the bat, one family generously offered to match – up to $7,000 – any gifts given before the end of the year!  What a huge boost it was to the fundraising effort.  In all, just over $7,000 was given and with the matching gift, the ultimate goal of $14,000 was reached.  Of course, as in all fundraising efforts, the ultimate goal is not the money, but to provide the needed infrastructure for Harvest to continue in ministry to the next generation – sharing Christ love with children, youth, young adults and leaders.  The van is a huge part of that mission.  Thanks for your generosity!  If you would still like to contribute, we are planning to purchase a van in the next two months and your gift will help with all the little expenses that go with a new purchase (lettering, licenses, etc).  Give online at www.harvestministryteams.com/vanWatch the van video. 

Ruby singing – My seven year old was invited to sing for a few things during the fall.  I enjoyed playing guitar for her.  She sang for a church in Staunton, IL; for our community Food Pantry Benefit; for a Ladies Christmas Brunch and for a church in Hillsboro, IL.  It was just really fun.  Two of the songs we sang at these places she helped write!  [Video]

The Harvest Blog and Blaze Ministry Magazine – I’ve enjoyed spending the year writing articles and thoughts for the Harvest Ministry Blog.  The subscription to the Blaze Ministry Magazine, the bi-monthly collection of these blogs to help leaders “burn brighter in ministry” is growing.  Additionally, Faith Village. com, new faith based national social network, has been posting several of the blogs and articles.  Subscribe to the Blaze Ministry Magazine today!  Advertise in the Blaze Ministry Magazine.   Read the 300 posts milestone

Supporters of Harvest have made a huge difference!  It takes a ton of people to help make Harvest go.  I am grateful for the number of people who have given so much to partner with us. There is a team who faithfully supports the ministry financially on a regular monthly basis.  There is also a team who prays for the ministry on regular basis.  During the summer, there is a specific team of people who specifically pray for each team member.  Troy UMC, the home base church for all of this, is also a huge support – through hospitality, housing, office, and more!  Thanks for your mission minded heart.  Thanks to each member of the team!  We’re making a difference in history as we share the message of hope with children, students and adults all over the Midwest.

 A Personal Thanks – Another highlight is of a personal nature.  It’s the highlight of the fact that I have this blessed opportunity to live this life – with my wonderful wife, Suzanne.  And our two cute little kids.  My family and my wife’s family also live in the same  area – our home towns.  I have the privilege of not only serving in Harvest Ministry, but working on part-time staff at Troy UMC, the church my dad has pastored since 1988.  I have the privilege of being both grounded in a home church while traveling and visiting other ministries and churches.  I’m grateful.  And I’m looking ahead and excited about what the new year will bring!  If I had to name 2012, it would be a Year of Commitment.  If I was going to name 2013, I think it would be:  The Year of Possibility.

– Tim Price, Harvest Ministry Teams, Troy, IL

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