Meet the Staff: Scott Pickering

Name: Scott A. Pickering

Hometown: Berlin, New Jersey

Position: Chief Operating Officer

What do you do at Harvest USA?

I oversee Harvest USA’s daily operations, including all of our programs, administrative functions, and our finances and accounting. I also serve as a member of our development team, where I help coordinate our efforts to cultivate new and existing ministry partners.   

How did you get to Harvest USA?

I love to tell this story as it points so clearly to God’s sweet, covenantal care and leading of his people. My history with Harvest USA actually began a year or two before I joined the staff. I was working at a local bank while attending seminary. At the bank, I met a Christian businessman who provided accounting services to a number of local Christian nonprofits. We developed a relationship, and I mentioned that I would love to use my accounting skills to help support a Christian nonprofit, specifically one that shared my theological convictions. The conversation didn’t go any further and I didn’t give it any more thought. 

Fast forward a year or two: I’m now working as a consultant for a local insurance company. It was a good-paying, flexible job that allowed me to continue my seminary studies. At this point, I felt God leading me to do missions work in Bosnia. This was scary, though, because it meant leaving my job. How would I afford seminary? Would I find a job that would accommodate my school schedule? I was bombarded by these and many other questions, but Christ stood by me, strengthening my faith and giving me courage. I went ahead and gave official notice that I was leaving.

Within a week, I received a phone call from the Christian businessman I met at the bank. He told me of a job opening at Harvest USA, a nonprofit that shared my theological convictions. I was delighted but explained it wouldn’t work as I was leaving shortly to spend the summer in Bosnia. He asked when I was going to return. When I answered, he said, “That’s perfect. That’s right when the position is opening up.” He proceeded to coordinate an interview for me with Harvest USA and, in God’s kindness, I was hired before I even left for Bosnia!

What is your favorite Scripture passage or book of the Bible?

This is like asking if I have a favorite child. I love all of God’s Word—it’s difficult to point to a favorite. That said, I’ve found myself coming back again and again to 2 Corinthians. 

First, 2 Corinthians 1:8–11 is the text of the first sermon I ever preached in a church. In it, the apostle Paul learns “spirituality 101,” and in so doing, he reveals God’s way—his “curriculum.” The trials and testings I face are part of the means God is using to wean me from my self-reliance and teach me the joy and power of looking away from self and trusting in him. If Paul needed it, how much more do I!

Second, I’ve found great instruction and encouragement meditating on Paul’s description of Christian ministry as “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Cor. 4:10–12). We make the life of Jesus “real” to those around us as we die to ourselves in order that others might experience life in Christ. 

What is your favorite thing about living in Philadelphia? 

There are many things to like, but my favorite is probably Wissahickon Valley Park (a.k.a. “the Wiss”). The park boasts over 1,800 acres and 50+ miles of trails. It’s the Central Park of Philadelphia. I love to go there for a good jog or a leisurely walk. 

Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I spent a summer teaching English in Bosnia and have been to Ukraine and Uganda on short-term missions trips.