Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“The Vision Thing”
by Tom Goodman
February 16, 2005

The first President Bush admitted that he wasn’t big on “the vision thing.”

I guess he was confessing that, while he felt competent to handle his day-to-day responsibilities, he did not feel at ease with setting forth a compelling vision of where to go and how to get there.

People need a vision.  As the Bible says, without it the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).  The individuals won’t die, but the group perishes—the people perish.

At Hillcrest, we’re in the middle of accomplishing an important vision!  During the morning service this Sunday, February 20, we’re going to spend some time reviewing our progress in that work.

God has called this church into renovation.  That’s our vision.  Nearly two years ago I became his foreman in the work, but God had been stirring many hearts long before my arrival.  The renovation is in three parts: the renovation of what we value, the renovation of what we do, and the renovation of how we look.

I hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we examine this vision, review our progress toward it, and commit to accomplishing it!

Deadline to be a Lab Rat is February 22!

I’m looking for a few Lab Rats.  Many of you know that I’m writing a book designed for seekers wanting to explore the faith and believers wanting to explain the faith.  Now I need to test my work on some Lab Rats!

As a Lab Rat, you would enlist at least one seeking friend to discuss two of my chapters each week.  Tell your friends that you are evaluating a book that your pastor is writing, and since it’s a book especially for seekers, you want their help.  Make sure to let them know that you’ll want to send their comments and suggestions back to me.  I will send all Lab Rats a chapter in e-mail form on Monday and Wednesday every week.  Either talk or type with your seeking friends for their reaction and then send me a note about your conversation, or forward me their comments.

The Lab Rat experiment begins February 22, so sign up soon!  Write me at if you want to be part of this exciting project!


Important Notes

Exciting News About Youth Ministry!  If you have a teenager who would like to be part of our great DiscipleNow weekend, you need to let us know immediately!  Also, if you have a high school junior or senior who wants to go on a life-changing mission trip to Acuna, Mexico, you need to let us know right away!  Contact our Student Minister, Jim Siegel, at 345-3771 or  For more information, go to

Exciting News About Children’s Sunday School!  Beginning March 6, children in grades 1-4 will experience something new: G-Force!  This new curriculum from Lifeway combines large-group worship and teaching with small-group reinforcement.  Think of it as a one-hour Vacation Bible School each Sunday!  There’s some great stuff going on in preschool, too, and kids in fifth grade are about to begin a Sunday School study called Everything You Need to Know to Be a Teenager.  As BJ says, “Our goal is to make the 9:30 a.m. hour on Sunday mornings the best hour of a child’s week!”  For more information, go to

Exciting News About Adult Bible Study!  Beginning March 6, Adults will have two great options for Bible study on Sunday Mornings.  Option 1 is our current organization of wonderful Bible Study departments and classes.  Option 2 is a new organization of small groups called RiBS (Relational Bible Study).  These small groups will form from those who come on March 6 to the MPC to connect with other adults who prefer this format.  The RiBS groups will focus on study, application, ministry, and fellowship. March 6 is also designated as a “Friend Attend Day” for Hillcrest, so please make every effort to be here for this big kick-off day in our Adult Bible Study program.  For more information about Adult Bible Study, go to

Discover Hillcrest is Sunday, February 27.  The class will be held right after the morning service, AND LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is 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

While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.

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