LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription – Subscribe/Unsubscribe  Contact Us About Your Subscription

Hillcrest Church Office
January 29, 2004

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

Do you know friends who would appreciate LeaderLines?  Just forward this e-mail to them!  Have you subscribed to LeaderLines?  You can subscribe by logging on to Click here and following the instructions.  Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.

Here is this week's LeaderLines. . . .

“From Coasting to Commitment”
by Tom Goodman

How are we doing at helping our members grow in Christ?

This edition of LeaderLines is part of a series on the “Circles of Commitment.”  We’re looking at the different levels of commitment to Christ and His church.  Think of those levels of commitment as five concentric circles.  Moving from the outermost ring to the inner ring, you would label the five rings like this:

The Community
The Crowd
The Congregation
The Committed
The Core
Two weeks ago we looked at ways to move people from the Community into the Crowd.  We defined the Community as all the unchurched people known by those who attend Hillcrest.  When they begin to regularly attend Hillcrest, they become part of our Crowd.  We defined the Crowd as our Sunday morning attendance at Bible study and worship.

Last week we looked at how to get those who are part of the Crowd to become part of our Congregation.  We defined the Congregation as those who become members of our church through profession of faith or transfer from membership in another church.

Now, after they make a commitment to Christ and to membership, what’s next?  As thrilling as it is to see people begin attending and then join our church, there’s more work to do!  Once we lead someone to commit to our Congregation, we need to look for ways to move them into the Circle of the Committed.

By distinguishing “The Committed” from “The Congregation,” I’m not speaking about the difference between “active” and “inactive” members.  Many churches, including Hillcrest, will mark someone’s membership as “inactive” on the database when that person has not attended for a long time or when that person can no longer be located.  It’s a simple clerical identification of members who are eligible to vote or hold church positions.

When I say that our job is to lead people from the “Congregation Circle” to the “Committed Circle,” I’m not talking about helping “inactive members” become “active members.”

Instead, I’m talking about something much deeper:  our prayer and labor should aim to lead every member to make it up the discipleship H.I.L.L.  Our job isn’t done until every member Honors the Lord of Life, Invites his or her World to Life, Loves the Fellowship for Life, and Lives the Word in Life.  I’ve hammered this point for the last seven months.

If this is our goal, is there an end to this process?  As our staff discussed this a few weeks ago, Dale Linam had a good answer.  As a former high school football coach, he said, “Just because there’s one goal line doesn’t mean you only want to cross it once.  You want to score as many times as you can.”  Good illustration!  As a pastor, I want to get as many people up the H.I.L.L. as many times as I can until the clock runs out!  As a leadership partner, you share that responsibility, too.

So, here’s a summary of the process we’ve looked at in the last three weeks of LeaderLines:  First, we reach out to our Community until they become active Sunday morning attenders—this makes them part of our Crowd.  Second, we find ways to convince attenders to join our church by profession of faith or transfer of membership—this makes them part of our Congregation.  Third, we develop those who have become members so that they are climbing the discipleship H.I.L.L.—this makes them part of the Committed.

There’s one more step.  Those who are Committed to climbing the discipleship H.I.L.L. need to be put in places of influence and leadership—this makes them part of the Core.  We’ll look at that last Circle in the next edition of LeaderLines.


Suggestions for New Deacons.  Our Deacon Body is looking for a few good men!  At Hillcrest, deacons have two primary assignments:  they serve as a "sounding board" for the pastor and they take care of our congregation's widows and widowers.  As the deacons look for additional men to help them in these roles, they welcome any suggestions from the congregation.  Contact our Deacon Chairman, Luis Moreno, to offer suggestions.


Friend Day in Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.  Help your department and class make this a successful day of outreach!
A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Club, 8:15 or 10:45 a.m.  We’re challenging kids in February to be “At Worship Every Sunday Of the Month, Enthusiastically!”  The A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Club will help kids learn more about worshipping God at Hillcrest.  There are no additional meetings.  Club members are expected to be at a morning service each Sunday in February and complete the pages in a Worship Training book.  That’s it!  If you have questions, contact our Children’s Minister, BJ Linam at bj@hbcaustin.org.
“Getting Along: Eight Solutions to Conflict,” 8:15 or 10:45 a.m.  A new Sunday morning series begins February 1.  Each week we'll look at a different biblical principal for resolving conflict.  Join us and find practical steps from God's Word for improving your relationships!