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Stages Up the H.I.L.L.
by Tom Goodman
July 8, 2011

Hillcrest is more than our name -- it's our destination.  But there are stages to this destination.  You and everyone you know are at one of these stages.  As leaders, our job is to encourage others to rise up to the next stage.

What's the hill to crest at Hillcrest?  All together now:

HONOR the Lord of Life
INVITE Your World to Life
LOVE the Fellowship for Life
LIVE the Word in Life

These are the four life purposes God wants you going hard after.  But when it comes to fulfilling these life purposes, you and everyone you know are at one of the following stages:

Stage One:  "I am exposed to the life purposes."
Stage Two:  "I agree with the life purposes."
Stage Three:  "I practice the life purposes."
Stage Four:  "I advance the life purposes in others."

If we're a church where people are finding and following Jesus together, all of us will be at a different stage.  But no matter what stage a person is at, we must turn their attention to the discipleship H.I.L.L. that we are meant to climb!

Stage One:  As we build relationships with lost and unchurched persons, we expose them to the life purposes.  Through the music and the lessons at church -- and through the example we set with our own lives -- they get exposed to the inspiring life Christ is calling them into.

Stage Two:  As they make their commitment to Christ and to our church, we lead them to agree with the life purposes.  At this stage, they are simply saying, "I commit my life to Christ as his disciple: I pledge to pursue his vision for my life."

Stage Three:  Here people work through the joys and struggles of putting the life purposes into practice.

Stage Four:  Christ expected us to influence others for him.  We need to nudge others to embrace Christ and to climb the discipleship H.I.L.L.

Of course, moving from one stage to another doesn't mean you abandon the work of the previous stages.  Even though I've been at Stage Four for many years

  • I'm still exposed to the life purposes as I watch the inspiring examples of great disciples around me (Stage One)...
  • I still agree with the life purposes -- and sometimes have to renew my commitment to Christ (Stage Two)...
  • I will never come to a point where I'm not growing in my ability to practice the life purposes (Stage Three).

But Christ calls all disciples to influence others who need to find and follow Jesus, and that's the stage many of us who read LeaderLines have reached (Stage Four).

In the next four editions of LeaderLines, I'll go into more detail about each of these four stages and how we serve people who are at each one.  For now, pray that God will help you be fully faithful at the stage you are at.


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