Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Five Studies of Christ's Power
Sunday Mornings at 9:30am and 10:45am Wreck the Roof
by Tom Goodman
September 19, 2007

Are you willing to wreck a roof to get people to Jesus?  Before we go any further in our Connection Campaign, we better have an answer to that question.

At the end of the first week of our Connection Campaign, 55 households told us they'd like to come to our Open House on October 14.  Eighty-one other households expressed interest and wanted more information.  We also gave 328 requests to our prayer team.

Imagine what those numbers will be after three more weeks of calling!

So, now's the time for our entire congregation to settle the question:  What are we willing to break to get people to Jesus?

That question comes from a story in the Gospels.  Matthew said that some men brought to Jesus a paralytic, lying on a mat.  Mark and Luke point out that since they could not get their friend into the house where Jesus was teaching, they dug a hole in the roof above Jesus and lowered the man to him.  All three of these Gospel writers point out that it was "when Jesus saw their faith" that Jesus healed their friend.

Sadly, not every church has this kind of single-minded passion.  Some churches are more interested in keeping the roof intact than in getting people to Jesus.  Mark Buchanan wrote about this --

Roof-tile Syndrome is when we are so caught up in the preaching of Jesus, we turn our backs to the needs of those still outside the building.  It's when we're more upset when stuff gets broken than excited when the broken are mended.  It's when the church exists for itself; to hell with the rest of you.

Have no doubt about it: getting others to Jesus requires that we break some things.  It may mean we have to break our comfortable routines, or break up our cliques, or break our Common Ground table into two.  It may mean that we have to cheerfully break our habit of claiming that choice aisle seat!  It may mean we have to break our preferences for what we think "ought" to happen in a worship service.

I'm struck by that line in the story:  "When Jesus saw their faith" he healed their friend.  Remarkable!  I wonder what kind of faith Jesus sees in us during this Connection Campaign.  I want it to be the kind of faith that sets everything aside to get people to Jesus!


Help Us Welcome New Guests!  On Connection Sunday, October 14, we need greeters, parking lot attendants, and follow-up visitors.  See Herb's article and contact him right away!

Work Day Before Connection Sunday.  Join us for a day of "sprucing up" the facility: Saturday, October 13.  See Gene's article.

Youth Fall Retreat.  Get your student signed up!  See Jim's article.

Ordination Service for Bill Linam.  This Sunday, September 23, 2:30pm, at Crystal Lake Baptist Church.  More information in BJ's article.

Tabernacle Study.  Bruce Murray begins a study of the Old Testament Tabernacle on Wednesday's midweek service.  Join him in Room A-161, 6:30pm.  Dr. Murray writes:  "A study of the Tabernacle is one of the most enlightening studies in the Bible.  There are more 13 chapters in Exodus, 18 in Leviticus, 13 in Numbers and 4 in Hebrews devoted to its construction, its meaning, the priesthood, and worship instructions.  When you consider that only 2 chapters of the Bible are devoted to the creation, the significance becomes apparent."

"Beyond the Bars" -- a Network for Life dessert benefit.  More information here.

Links to Your World (From my weblog, "Get Anchored")

In the WSJ, Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses the issue of Christians dating outside the fold.

Emmy award winner Angela Kinsey (The Office)....  Baylor grad.

Being a Christian turns you into a wimp on the team?  Not so, say this writer.

You and your kid can build it, too!  The Barbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project.

Lifehacker has a list of web tools for students.  Especially check out: Book Finder, XDrive, Ottobib, and Google Docs.

Ever heard of measuring by the gou, the mickey, and the smoot?  Obscure units of measure.

Creationism v. Evolution: the danger of misplaced dogmatism.

See more links at my weblog, "Get Anchored" (click here).

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