LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
October 14, 2004

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. . . .

“Our Exciting Bible Study Groups!”
by Tom Goodman

I hope you’re having a great time in your HOST groups during our Purpose-Driven campaign.  By structuring our Bible study groups the way we have, we have a lot more people in service and we have a lot more people sharing the experience of real community.  Great job, guys!

I’ve asked Herb Ingram to share with our LeaderLines readers something about the work of the HOST group leaders.  His comments are below.  Keep up the great work everyone!


“The Work of our HOST Group Leaders”
by Herb Ingram

I am amazed that we have over 200 Adults in our church who have stepped up to a place of leadership through our HOST group structure.  We have 40+ groups each with a group leader, co-leader, prayer champion, fellowship champion, and ministry champion.  When called to lead, often the response is, "I don't have what it takes."  That is another reason it amazes me that so many were willing to step forward and try an entry-level leadership position.  All we had to do was clearly define the jobs and ask for volunteers.

Will you join me in praying for these leaders, that God will make this experience a positive one in their lives to encourage them to accept other leadership assignments as they arise?  Will you join me in encouraging them as well when you experience the fruit of their leadership?  Tell them how excited you are that they are allowing God to use them for His glory.  They need our encouragement and support through prayer and exhortation.

Recently I offered five simple principles to help enable our HOST leaders to cultivate a healthy group that produces healthy lives over time.  These may be useful to you as well as you serve as leaders in our quest to help people get up the discipleship HILL!

CONNECT your group with one another.  It's your job to create a circle of friends, so ask the Lord who he wants you to bring together for at least six weeks.  It was amazing to watch God work through the connection event activity to put people together.  Many groups are made up of unique blends of people.  More than one of our group leaders has commented on the activity of God in this process.  We are still inviting, so continue to seek those God desires to join your group!
CULTIVATE your spiritual journey.  The dream is that you spur your group on toward love and good deeds.  But this only happens by hearing the Word of God.  Get into God's Word like you've never done before, because this is how you'll grow and be able to encourage others in their journeys.
CHAMPION your gifts together.  Bring them in, build them up, and train them for ministry.  Help people discover their unique God-given gifts.  Celebrate and cheer each other on!
COACH your group to shepherd one another.  Not all of us are called to be leaders and teachers.  But all of us are called to disciple—or shepherd—one another.  Our job is to send them out, not just bring them in and build them up.  We need to send them out for the purpose of evangelism.  All of us are called to one day have the name of someone we are shepherding.
CELEBRATE your lives together.  The big idea here is to gather people, even when they go out and start a new group, and celebrate life together.  Don't miss birthdays, anniversaries, or life-changing events.
Perhaps these five principles will inspire you to do more than ever before with the groups you lead.  It is truly a privilege to participate with God in "building up the body of Christ for works of service."

Herb Ingram