On the Road… with Brooke Delaney
On the Road
Brooke Delaney, Church Ministry Coordinator, Harvest USA
Harvest USA staff is on the road a lot, teaching to churches and organizations, speaking to church leadership, and meeting with people to tell them of the ministry vision of Harvest USA. Brooke is our newest staff member who is joining the travel circuit. Here is an introduction to her, her work, and her trip to Dallas.
I am one of the newest staff members at Harvest USA, though I am not new to the organization. In 2009 I was given the opportunity to participate in the Harvest USA internship program with Ellen Dykas. That year proved to be a life changing experience that matured me personally and spiritually. I absorbed everything that I could from Harvest USA and volunteered my time in every ministry opportunity that was available. I came away from that year having seen Scripture come alive both in myself and in the lives of those I worked with, having developed a deeper, more biblical understanding of sexual sin and how the relevant application of the gospel message gives life to hopeless strugglers. Seeing the hope that God gave the women I worked with gave me courage to talk about sexual addictions with others and to talk openly about my own.
When I graduated from Westminster Seminary in 2012, I jumped at the chance to apply for a job at Harvest USA. After spending several months employed as the Administrative Assistant, I was offered the position of Church Ministry Coordinator, which began on July 1st. The time spent in my new position has been a joy. As Church Ministry Coordinator there are two main aspects of my job. First, I am the event-planning liaison between Harvest USA and churches around the country, which entails the planning and coordinating of all our speaking and teaching events (which is a lot!). The second aspect of my position includes cultivating relationships with pastors and other church staff/leaders around the country, keeping them apprised of the resources available through Harvest USA. One of these resources is the establishment of Partner Ministries in their local churches. Harvest USA has a vision that one day churches all over the country would be equipped through Harvest USA to do the ministry that we do here in our own offices. Imagine what it could look like for the church to become a safe place to talk about sexual sin and struggles, and for every believer to learn how to help those who struggle grow in Christ, while experiencing the joy of a life lived with sexual integrity. That’s the gospel come to life!
Recently, I traveled to Dallas, TX to promote Harvest USA seminars and Partner Ministries to several churches in the city, as well as begin my ministry of fundraising. Though Harvest USA does have a Mid-South office in Chattanooga, TN, we do not have much of a presence in the great state of Texas. The Lone Star state is known for its mega churches, and bringing a Harvest USA seminar to one of them could make a huge difference for those struggling with sexual sin. I was surprised to learn that housed in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas is the second largest gay community in the country. Providentially, one of the churches I visited is located in the heart of this district.
Though it is often hard to convince church leaders to talk openly about these issues in their church, I found that many of the pastors desired to do so, though they were unsure of how to implement this in a way that was thoroughly biblical and grace-filled. One pastor told me that his church was not shepherding their community well in relation to sexual sin, and many were suffering greatly in silence. The possibility of starting a Partner Ministry was encouraging to this pastor, and to others, as well. The benefit of Harvest USA Partner Ministries is that our staff will train and walk alongside new leaders to equip them through the entire process of starting mentoring and support groups in their local church.
During my time in Dallas, I was also given the opportunity to present the vision of Harvest USA and our need for fundraising. Many do not realize that after 30 years, Harvest USA has continued to be almost completely donation-based. We do not charge people who come to us for help (that is, our one-to-one discipleship meetings and support-groups in our offices). As a result, we do not turn away anyone in need of help. As Harvest USA continues to grow and add new positions (like mine!) to our staff, we need to find people who will walk alongside us in this ministry through prayer and financial support. Fundraising is hard work! It’s not easy, but I’m coming to learn that it is joyful privilege to give people an opportunity to hear what Harvest USA is about, and to consider becoming a financial partner in our much-needed
I found Dallas to be a great city, and a place where many were eager to hear about Harvest USA’s vision for the church. I pray that God would continue to open up doors, and for Harvest USA to become a strong presence there, helping to equip churches to give gospel-hope to people who live way too long in silence, shame, and hopelessness. Praise the Lord for his work!