Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
April 14, 2004

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Here is this week's WINNING WAYS . . . .

“The Renovation of Our Heart”
by Tom Goodman

Thanks for your extra effort on Easter!  You parked off site, filled the choir loft both services, and showed up at the early service to free up space in the later service—and you did all this through cold, windy drizzle!  You’re all troopers!  Over 700 people celebrated the Resurrection with us!

My wife can’t get enough of remodeling shows: Trading Spaces . . . Designer’s Challenge . . . This Old House . . . Surprised by Design . . . Extreme Make-over: Home Edition . . . and the list could go on.

I can’t exactly say I share her passion for renovation shows, but I have a passion for renovation.

The word “renovation” comes from the Latin renovare (re + novare) which means “to make new again.”  The word describes the process of restoring a building as well as the process of restoring a life.  When I began as your pastor nearly a year ago (I’m five weeks from my first anniversary), renovation was already underway.  I’ve just continued a process that began before I arrived.

What is Hillcrest busy renovating?  Three things:

The Renovation of Our Congregation’s Heart
The Renovation of Our Congregation’s Program
The Renovation of Our Congregation’s Look
The order of those three “renovations” is important.  Everything starts with the heart (Luke 6:45).  Unless we’re committed to God’s priorities—and passionately committed—no other project matters.

We renovate our congregation’s heart by renewing a commitment to God’s expectations:  Honor the Lord of Life, Invite Your World to Life, Love the Fellowship for Life, and Live the Word in Life.  Until we ache to excel in these four areas, the renovation of our congregation’s heart is not finished.

Now, that does not mean that we cannot begin the other two renovations until the renovation of the heart is completed, but it needs to be significantly underway.  When a congregation’s heart is renovated, the family can better judge what—and why—renovation should take place in our program and our look.

So, how’s progress going in the renovation of our congregation’s heart?  Obviously, that’s a little harder to measure than the progress of a building project.  Still, I think more and more people are praying for our church to make it up the discipleship H.I.L.L. (Honor, Invite, Love, and Live).

I hope that you’re one of those “more and more people!”  In the next two editions of Winning Ways, I’ll tell you about the other two renovations.


Important Notes:

Discover Hillcrest.  Sunday, April 18, 4:00-6:00 p.m.  For those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  Topics include:
  o  The most important thing you need to know about Jesus
  o  What we teach about baptism
  o  Four fundamentals of spiritual growth, using the acronym “H.I.L.L.”
  o  How to “connect” with others in the church
  o  How to help us reach others for Christ and church involvement
  o  How to worship
Our Children’s Minister, B.J. Linam, teaches a “kid-friendly” version of this workshop in her office at the same time.  Preschool care for parents taking the class is also available by appointment.  Call 345-3771 for more information.
Baptisms have been scheduled for April 18 and 25, 10:45 a.m.  If you would like to take this important step in your walk with Christ, call the church office at 345-3771.
The Imperials in Concert at Hillcrest April 18, 6:30 p.m.  Come hear the new sound of a familiar name in Christian music!



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