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Harvest Plants: The 1-5-1 Challenge

harvestA unique component of what we refer to as “Harvest Plants” is the 1-5-1 Strategy.  While you may see many similar kinds of outreach strategies operating in North America, we believe 1-5-1 takes Harvest Plants to a new level.

Take it outside

The first ‘1’ represents a church’s desire to get outside the walls of the church and start a group, branch, or church plant  — “no plant, no harvest.” A Harvest Plant by definition must be planted where lost people live and congregate.  In an increasing secular culture, it is harder than ever to get lost people to come to church.  Consequently, we must be willing to go where they are, engaging them with the gospel in their homes, work places, ball fields, coffee shops, etc.

Plant expecting a harvest

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Harvesters plant with the expectation of a harvest. The ‘5’ refers to the parent church’s goal for each plant, with the Lord’s help, to have at least five people come to faith in Christ and follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. While many plants will see more than five people saved and baptized, five is an admirable goal.

Anticipate a larger harvest

The final ‘1’ denotes the parent church’s desire for each plant to multiply itself within one year.  Multiplication is the key to seeing a great movement of God across our state as men, women, boys and girls come to faith in Jesus Christ. Those new believers will be baptized, discipled and trained to go out with their mentors to start new plants. Like plants in nature, Harvest Plants grow not by simple addition, but by multiplication. Second Timothy 2:2 clearly illustrates this principle: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Each new plant would carry the same 1-5-1 DNA as the originating plant — producing baptisms and new plants in perpetuity.

The 1-5-1 Challenge is attainable for any size church. Even the smallest fellowship of believers can send a planting team of 3-5 members out into the harvest fields in order to reap a harvest of lost souls, getting them “off the road to hell and on the road to heaven.” How about you and your church? Are you ready to take the 1-5-1 Challenge?

Steve Holt serves as director of the Church Services Group of the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s Executive Board office in Brentwood, Tennessee. Prior to coming to the TBC staff, Steve served for over 17 years as a pastor in Northeast Tennessee.  His email is sholt@tnbaptist.org and phone is (615-210-4532).