LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
June 24, 2004

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Here is this week's LeaderLines. . . .

“Sunday Partnership”
by Tom Goodman

As a partner in leadership, you will want to participate in two important events this Sunday, June 27.


First, in the morning services (8:15 and 10:45), we will launch a five-week emphasis to simply pray that God would reveal to us the folks around us who need Him:  our family members . . . our co-workers . . . our neighbors . . . our teammates in sports . . . whoever they are.

Herb Ingram calls this our “THEM Emphasis,” and I like it.  It reminds me that the most important word in the Great Commission is the word “them.”  As Jesus closed his earthly ministry, he commissioned his church with these words:  “Go to the people of all nations and make THEM my disciples. Baptize THEM in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach THEM to do everything I have told you” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEV).  As Herb has often reminded us, you can’t say you’ve reached “them” until you’ve reached at least one.  So . . . who is your “them”?

This Sunday we’ll ask God to show us the answer to that question.  I’m going to teach us what the Bible says about fasting so that we can match this ancient biblical discipline with our prayers.

Called Meeting to Affirm the Schedule Change

The second important event this Sunday is the called business meeting at 6:30 p.m.  I will ask Hillcrest to affirm the staff’s proposed schedule change.  I’m grateful that the deacons will add their “second” to the proposal this Sunday.  I will ask that at least eighty percent of you affirm this proposal before we proceed.

For the last three-and-a-half months, we’ve been at work on this.

First, the staff hammered out a proposal to set before the congregation.
Then, in April and May, we discussed this with the church leadership in a series of large-group and small-group meetings.  Some changes were made to the proposal in response to these discussions.
On May 16 we introduced the proposal to the congregation.  Though many had heard about it, this was the first time to present it to everyone.  We broke up into small groups for prayer and discussion.
For the last six weeks, we’ve answered further questions from the congregation.  If you haven’t read the “Frequently Asked Questions” page on our website, go online at www.HillcrestAustin.org/ScheduleProposalFAQ.
Now it’s time to ask for Hillcrest’s affirmation of this proposal.  No doubt, change is not easy to consider!  I’m grateful that Hillcrest has taken this process prayerfully and seriously.

If Hillcrest gives me this chance to try this schedule change, I look forward to four advantages:

I look forward to a Hillcrest Institute on Sunday nights where people can match the Bible to their needs (family, finances, recovery, etc.), and where people can grow in their knowledge of theology, church history, and social issues.
I look forward to a midweek service where worship and Bible study will provide the “shot-in-the-arm” that people need to get through the rest of their week.
I look forward to more closely matching the start-and-stop times of the activities we provide for our children, our students, and our adults.
I especially look forward to having a designated, protected time for our leadership teams to meet.  This is so important!
Let me stress that none of those things are happening under our current schedule, and so we can expect that none of those things will happen if we keep it.  That’s why I am pushing so hard for us to make some changes to our schedule.  Let’s give it a try!

An Important Sunday

Join me in prayer for June 27.  What we do this Sunday morning and this Sunday evening will make a big impact on Hillcrest’s future.  I’m looking forward to your partnership in these two important events this Sunday!