LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Living the 'One-Anothers' of the Bible”
Hillcrest Church Office
July 17, 2003

LeaderLines is a weekly “e-briefing” providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.

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Here is this week’s LeaderLines. . . .

Special Note:  Be sure to read the news about our Youth Minister Search Committee. It’s at the end of this e-briefing.

“Living the ‘One-Anothers’ of the Bible”
by Tom Goodman

If you are going spiritually solo, you may be shortchanging yourself.  That’s the message from the author of a handbook on how, and why, to find the right church.

The Unauthorized Guide to Choosing a Church (Brazos Press, $18.99) has received a lot of press attention in the last few weeks.  Carmen Renee Berry wrote it after discovering how much her relationship to God was tied to her relationship to God’s people.

In her young adult years, she abandoned the church, disillusioned and cynical over the faults of the church.  Then heartbreak led to awakening.

“When a friend committed suicide, I realized I could become too cynical, too lost, and too alone,” Berry says.  “I needed a church, a community of believers. Something happens there that simply doesn't when you are alone in prayer or on the Internet.”

“As much as I hate to admit it, my faith is enhanced and enlarged when in relationship to other less-than-perfect human beings,” she writes.*

Carmen Renee Berry intends her book to help people understand how important it is to connect with a spiritual community.  As leaders at Hillcrest, we need to help people understand that concept, too.

Showing people how to love the Christian Family is part of helping people ascend the H.I.L.L.  You’ve been introduced to this acrostic in past LeaderLines.  At Hillcrest, everything we do is aimed at helping people reach four objectives:

          H -- Honor the Lord of Life
          I -- Invite Your World to Life
          L -- Love the Fellowship for Life
          L -- Live the Word in Life

That’s our H.I.L.L. to crest!  Hillcrest is more than our name -- it’s a destination!  We’ve been looking at one objective each week in LeaderLines.  This week, let’s give some thought to how Hillcrest Church is doing on “loving the Fellowship for life.”

Rick Warren says, “The phrase ‘one another’ or ‘each other’ is used more than 50 times in the New Testament.  We are commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other's burdens, forgive each other, sing to each other, submit to each other and be devoted to each other.  All of these commands are what membership in a local body of believers is all about.  These are the responsibilities of membership.”

So, as a leader, what are you doing to help people live the “one-anothers” of the Bible?  As Carmen Renee Berry says, the people we’re leading won’t have a rich experience with God until they develop rich experiences with each other.

Thank you for the part you play at helping people love each other at Hillcrest!  It’s one way we help people crest the H.I.L.L.  Take a moment to examine how you’re doing at helping people “love the Fellowship for life,” and then re-commit yourself to pouring your passion and energy into that great work!


*More information about this book is found at www.usatoday.com/news/relig ion/2003-06-01-church-usat_x.htm

News on our Youth Minister Search Committee: The search is finally underway!  Though we are not ready to evaluate resumes yet, be thinking about names of youth ministers you’d like us to consider.  Before we ask for names of candidates, though, we’re going to ask you complete a survey that will help us know what you want to see in the next youth minister.  Be watching for that survey in the next few weeks.

Keep the following names and e-mail addresses handy so you can pray FOR them and talk TO them!  The members are Chairman Debbie Marett (rdnjt@yahoo.com), Jason Alvis (Jas0n2cool@aol.com), Jennifer Hicks (jbhicks@austin.rr.com), Bob Hill (rmjahill@aol.com), Judi Raymund (judiray@swbell.net), and Tom Pugh (Mopugh@austin.rr.com). I will have a role, too (tomgoodman@hbcaustin.org).

As a leader at Hillcrest, it’s important that you know how this committee was selected.  While the search committee members for the senior pastor are selected by the church, search committee members for ministry staff positions are selected by the pastor.  This has been the practice for the calling of every ministry staff member.  However, as a new pastor, I felt I needed help on the selection process.  So, I called on the church to give me suggestions.  In addition, I specifically asked the Personnel Committee for suggestions, I asked the youth leaders for suggestions, I asked parents of fourth-and-fifth-grade students for suggestions, and I asked the deacons for suggestions.  The final list was then presented to the church in the last business meeting for approval.  I think the process has resulted in a great group for this search.  Each one of them is dedicated to listening to you and discerning God’s guidance.  Before you finish reading this edition of LeaderLines, please lift up a quick prayer for the important work of this group!