"Connecting the Great Commandment to the Great Commission"
by Tom Goodman
July 27, 2006
Here's an interesting observation from Malcolm Gladwell:
Every subscriber to “Winning Ways” is receiving “LeaderLines” this week. This gives me a chance to let you know about our other weekly e-newsletter. “Winning Ways” goes out to about 700 subscribers as a brief shot of
encouragement in the middle of your week. “LeaderLines” is designed for those who serve at Hillcrest, providing the information and inspiration they need as co-laborers with me. However, anyone is welcome to subscribe.
Sign up here, or contact Jami and she will sign you up.
Ram Cnaan, a professor of social work at the University of Pennsylvania, recently estimated the replacement value of the charitable work done by the average American church—that is, the amount of money it would take to equal the time,
money, and resources donated to the community by a typical congregation—and found that it came to about $140,000 a year. In the city of Philadelphia, for example, that works out to an annual total of 250 million dollars worth of community
"good"; on a national scale, the contribution of religious groups to the public welfare is, as Cnaan puts it, "staggering." In the past 20 years, as the enthusiasm for publicly supported welfare has waned, churches have quietly and steadily
stepped in to fill the gaps.
We're doing our part at Hillcrest to minister to the needs of the community. About 16 percent of what you give to Hillcrest goes to missions and ministries beyond our walls, and our people give generously to special offerings for things like
tsunami relief, hurricane recovery, and missionary support. Through your generosity, our church supports thousands of career missionaries around the world. Also, we’re able to provide benevolence gifts to those in financial crisis in
Austin. We support the Overcomers and Network for Life and Maggie's House—all ministries to ex-offenders. We maintain the Helping Hands closet in a room off our MPC. We send high-school upperclassmen to Acuna every
Spring Break to build an entire house for a family living in a shack made of pallets. Recently, our staff has been involved in the mentoring program at Hill Elementary and the abstinence program in the health classes at Anderson High. Our
young adults have begun to get connected with Austin Habitat for Humanity projects. Two tons of food have been collected for the Capital Area Food Bank in
Herb Ingram's "Can Hunger" campaign—which was an effort to get to know our neighbors by enlisting them in serving the Food Bank.
Check out our Missions Page on our website for more information. I'm grateful to our Missions Committee for this new effort at educating our church on missions.
As we fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples, we're also fulfilling the Great Commandment to love our neighbors. A well-known pastor has said, "A Great Commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment will
build a Great Church."
Thanks to you, we're on our way!
Get Advertised! A little boy had just made his commitment to Christ, and he asked the pastor, "When can I get advertised?"
The boy used the wrong word—but he had the right concept. When we become believers, we need to ask, "When can I get advertised? When can I publicly proclaim that I'm a believer in Jesus Christ?"
You can get "advertised" at an outdoor baptism, Sunday, August 13. We're holding a Summer Fair at the Quarries that day. At the Fair, you can walk through our "Ministry Expo" in the air-conditioned recreation center and find out about the
ministries and missions of our church. Then, after a free BBQ dinner, our praise band will lead us in worship by the lake. We'll celebrate the Lord's Supper and then baptize new believers in the lake.
If you'd like to follow Jesus in the water immersion that the Bible calls baptism, contact me!
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