LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Leadership on Loan”
by Tom Goodman
June 16, 2005

The staff and I just got back from leading an all-day training conference.  The main office for Purpose-Driven campaigns asked Hillcrest to be a “mentor church” for other churches getting ready to go through the Purpose-Driven Life (PDL) campaign in the Fall.  About sixty staff members from seven cities gathered at Christ Community Church on Anderson Road for the all-day event.

Let me share a few impressions from my day.

First, it was nice to remember our exciting experience with the PDL Campaign last Fall.  As I prepared my notes for today’s conference, I looked back over all the planning materials from last year’s campaign.  It was wonderful to remember all the things that happened:

the small groups meeting all over the building during the Sunday School hour,
all the bug decorations up and down the children’s hallway,
the energy of the Ministry Fair,
the simulcast of the Saddleback worship service,
the Fall Fellowship and the golf scramble,
the great meals on Connection Sunday and Celebration Sunday,
the yard signs and newspaper inserts and “Purpose Pages,”
etc., etc., etc.
What an exciting experience to see our entire church come together last year to encourage each other’s spiritual growth!  Our Sunday School attendance increased by twenty percent, we averaged fifty guests a week, and twice as many people joined our church in the four months following the campaign than in the four months before the campaign.  Several of you reading this e-newsletter came into our church during this life-changing campaign.

The PDL campaign won’t be the last time we come together to do a churchwide effort.  God willing, we’ll be doing a homegrown spiritual growth experience in February next year.  We’re working on the material for this effort right now.  In addition, there are plans to pull a bunch of Austin-area churches together in the Fall of 2006 for a “Forty Days of Community” effort.  As God continues to lead us, you’ll get more information on these campaigns in the future.

That leads me to a second impression from the day.  It was great to see the passion and commitment of the larger Body of Christ!  So often our view of what God is doing in this world gets limited.  We become near-sighted and can only see what’s happening in our church or in our association or our denomination.  I praise God for all he’s doing through his Body in Austin and around the world!  There are churches practically next-door to Hillcrest who are doing such a great job reaching people.  We praise God for their partnership in our kingdom work!

It’s such a learning experience to get together with the staffs of other Bible-believing churches and just get ideas and inspiration from them.  Every time I gather with leaders of other churches, I gain insight on how God is moving in Austin.  Remember, as Henry Blackaby says, there’s one simple way to do church work:  “Find out where God is working and join him in it.”

Here’s a third impression:  I’m blessed to work with a world-class staff at Hillcrest.  Next time you see BJ and Gene and Herb and Jim, tell them that you thank God for them!  As I watched them explain to other staffs what Hillcrest is doing to make disciples in northwest Austin, as I watched them field questions and encourage the staff members of all these other churches—well, it made me glad again to be quarterbacking such a great team!

As my leadership partners, you’re on that same team!  Thanks to God for all of you who are doing such a great job of leading and influencing our people so Hillcrest can become all God wants her to be!  See you Sunday!


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