Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
April 28, 2004

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

“The Renovation of Our Look”
by Tom Goodman

Important Note:  See the end of this newsletter for important information about our upcoming “Vision Sunday” and a link to our website where I discuss the proposed schedule change.

I’m taking a few weeks in this column to introduce you to three “renovations” underway in our congregation—the renovation of our heart, program, and look.

The order of those three renovations is crucial.  First, our church’s heart must be passionately committed to God’s priorities (H.I.L.L.).  What we do and how we look should be a reflection of a heart that pursues God’s priorities.

In the last two weeks, I’ve used this column to talk about the renovation of our heart and our program.  This week I want to talk about the renovation of our look.  By our “look,” I’m talking about our landscaping, building (inside and out), bulletins, newsletters, projection images, web site, and so on.

I read about the East Seventh Street Baptist Church in New York City.  No one in the neighborhood refers to it by that name.  They all call it “The Graffiti Church.”  The pastor’s business card even uses that title.  Some of you know Don and Theda Yager, who had to return from their New York mission assignment for a few days for a medical procedure.  While we sat in the hospital waiting room, I asked Don about the Graffiti Church and he said they visit that church frequently in their mission work.

Why is it nicknamed “The Graffiti Church?”  When Southern Baptists began their work in that location in 1974, the place was covered with spray-painted artwork, slogans, and gang signs.  Anytime they painted the walls, more graffiti would appear.  So, they began adding their spray-painted work:  Bible verses and artwork with Christian themes.

Now that’s what I call “evandalism!”  (Groan!)

When I read about the Graffiti Church, it made me think: what does our church building “say” to our neighborhood?  What about our landscaping and the design of our printed materials?  Our congregation’s “look” sends a message.  Fair or not, people draw conclusions about our ministry from the first impression they get from our space and materials.

For several months several members have been meeting with me to discuss the renovation of our congregation’s look.  We’re a few weeks away from a new design for our printed materials and a few months away from a new corner sign at Steck and Greenslope.  We’ll then begin work on larger proposals regarding interior and exterior improvements.  It’s an exciting group of folks to work with.  Be praying for our “First Impressions Team”—Elishea Smith, Curtis Roberts, Judi Raymund, and Paul Waldo.

The renovation of our heart, program and look, will occupy Hillcrest for the next few years.  As God’s “foreman” for this project, I appreciate your prayers and partnership!


P.S.  “Vision Sunday” is May 16!  Make a special effort to attend the events of “Vision Sunday.”  During the two services, Pastor Tom will bring a message on what he believes God is calling us to do in the next few years as a church.  During the Sunday School hour (9:30-10:30), all adult classes are encouraged to meet in the MPC for a continental breakfast and a presentation by our Ministry Staff.  Come hear BJ, Jim, Gene and Herb share what God has put on their hearts for their ministry areas.  Then in the evening, from 6:00-7:30, the Ministry Staff will present the proposed Fall schedule and field your questions.  If you have internet access, log on to to see the proposed schedule and hear an audio file of Pastor Tom's explanation of the proposal.



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