Get to Know Your Lead Pastor: Jason Dickenson

Posted on April 25, 2019 by Justin Serrano

Jason Dickenson is the lead pastor of Harvest Church in Taylor Ranch. Pastor Jason and his wife Lisa took over Harvest in August of 2013 when they returned to Albuquerque from Waxahachie, Texas. Since then, Jason and Lisa have turned the church around with their leadership and vision for Harvest. They have created an environment and culture that is warm and loving—an environment where everyONE matters.

Due to Pastor Jason’s leadership, Harvest is now a place that is multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and continues to grow as he equips the church to reach the lost in our community and abroad. As you read this interview, I hope you will get a glimpse of Pastor Jason’s vision for Harvest, Albuquerque and all of New Mexico, as well as his passion to help others through discipleship and outreach across our state.


1. What made you want to be a pastor?

I wanted to be President of the United State until the age of 12 when I attended a summer camp. During an altar call I felt the Lord calling me into full time ministry. Both my father and my papa were pastors so this was familiar territory, but I knew beyond any doubt that God was calling me.


2. What were you doing before Harvest?

We were living in Waxahachie, Texas. I was running a construction business and we were serving on staff at a great church, Trinity Church with Pastors Jim and Becky Hennesy.


3. What compelled you to move back to New Mexico?

Lisa and I swore we would never move to New Mexico. It’s not that we didn’t like it. I had a great upbringing here. We just didn’t want to live here. When we would visit, we would joke about the flat roofs, the lack of greenery, and the green chile. Then one day, the Lord clearly spoke to me saying, “Go back home, pastor Harvest, love your city, and plant churches.” That day changed everything. Not that we fell in love with New Mexico instantly, but it has definitely grown on us. Now we are so happy. I’ve always heard it said, “The happiest place is in God’s will,” and it’s true.


4. What is your favorite thing about shepherding the people of Harvest?

Seeing lives change. Seeing marriages healed. Seeing men set free. Seeing kids and youth find and pursue Jesus. Seeing God dreams in others come true.


5. How do you hope to impact the lives of the people you shepherd over a lifetime?

I would love to be in ministry in the same place long enough to see generations follow Jesus. It would be so much fun to see the kids at Harvest grow up, get married, have their own kids, and maybe even see those kids have kids. I would love to pastor several generations here in Albuquerque because I think long term we will have a major impact together.


6. What is something that surprised you about being a pastor?

How emotional it is. It’s like a roller coaster. I may celebrate a great triumph with someone like getting married or having a baby or accepting Christ and later the same day someone will experience their lowest low like the passing of a loved one, a terrible medical diagnosis, or a divorce. And I go with both of them on that journey. I’ve learned that I have to keep a healthy heart to be able to survive these ups and downs with others.


7. How do you prepare for a sermon?

Sermon prep takes a lot of work and I dedicate a large amount of my schedule to it. I have a process that I’ve found works for me. At the end of the year I spend some time planning a preaching calendar for the upcoming year. I try to get a sense of what the Holy Spirit is wanting for us the following year. Then I map it out. It’s not a plan in concrete, more like on a white board. Meaning, if the Holy Spirit wants to change it he can. But having it mapped out for the year helps my team know where we are going and we are always on the lookout for illustrations, stories and testimonies.
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I always try to stay a couple of weeks out in my prep, but in all reality, the final touches go on the week the message is being preached. That way it’s fresh! I have also made it a habit of turning my messages into a manuscript. Then I preach it out loud, usually in the sanctuary, and usually without anyone there. I do this because I’ve found it often sounds different on paper than it does out loud. Then I go back and make changes and finally send it out to the campus pastors, worship team, and Pastor Tyler who does all the slides for the messages.

Finally, I get up on Sunday morning and spend time in prayer and read back over the message asking the Holy Spirit to breathe life into the message.


8. What do you do on your down time?

Fish, hunt, run, buy socks, read.


9. Why is it important to you to do outreach in Albuquerque?

For too long the church has had the mentality from the movie, Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come.” I think those days are long gone! Jesus gave us The Great Commission which includes the word, “Go!” I believe it’s our mandate to get out and go tell others about Jesus. But I also think we have to earn the right to tell others by showing them God’s love. This is what outreach does.


10. What is your greatest hope for the people of New Mexico?

I’m tired of New Mexico being on the bottom of every good list and the top of every bad list. I’m tired of being called the late term abortion capital of our nation. I’m tired of poverty, crime, and poor education. But I realize these aren’t political issues. They are spiritual. So my hope is for the people of New Mexico to find Jesus. If that happens, I know we will stop killing babies, we will have more peace, we will see lives, families, and generations change. In my lifetime of ministry in New Mexico, we will see abortion laws change! We will see crime decrease! We will see jobs created and poverty diminished. Our schools will improve!


11. What ministries are you involved in outside of being a pastor at Harvest? Why?

I serve on the board of New Mexico Prays and the advisory team for America Prays. I’m also the co-chair for Convoy of Hope Albuquerque. I’ve always felt my call was both to the local church and the the greater community of faith across our state and our nation. These are the doors God has opened for me and I am honored to serve our city and nation in this way.


12. Where do you see Harvest in five years? In ten years?

The last five years have been so much fun! God has allowed us to grow in number, in health, and in influence. I can only hope that will continue. In the last five years we’ve planted five churches. As I look to the future, I see us planting many more. In the last five years we have substantially increased our missions giving and I have a crazy ambitious goal to one day give $1 million to missions in a single year. I don’t know if that can happen in the next five or even 10 years, but I do know we serve a limitless God. I also see us remodeling our building. I see our youth group and kids ministries growing and expanding. I see our worship team developing and one day recording our own worship album. I see us continuing to be a spearhead for outreach in our community. I see us outgrowing our current facility. I see us being the church that God always intended for the west side of Albuquerque. Most importantly, I see us helping more people and leading more people to Christ.


You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. —Matthew 5:14-16 NASB



Love Jesus. Love each other. Love your city.
Harvest, go be the Church!


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