Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Rescued from Either-Or Christianity”
by Tom Goodman
October 19, 2005

Have you noticed how people tend to be either/or people?

It’s true in our politics, at least according to the newspapers.  Supposedly, we are either blue state folks or red state folks, and we listen to either Jon Stewart or Rush Limbaugh.

This mentality infects the way we “do church,” too.  Worship music has to be either hymns or choruses.  Preaching has to be either “expository” or “topical.”  A church will either focus on building disciples or reaching seekers.

This is what I call Either/Or Christianity.  This form of Christianity has at least Six Commandments:

“A church should focus on either discipleship or outreach.”
“Real missions work targets either Balcones or Bangladesh.”
“Social action is about either protesting the sin or loving the sinner.”
“We can pigeonhole a sermon as either expository or topical.”
“Church leaders should either pray or plan.”
“Worship is either loud celebration or sweet contemplation.”
Across the next several weeks in Winning Ways, I want to clear a path for those who want to be rescued from Either/Or Christianity.  Each week we’ll look at one of the Six Commandments that Either/Or people follow.  Next week we’ll begin with the First Commandment:  A church can only be known for one thing: either we’re all about building Christians or connecting with seekers, but not both.

I’m looking forward to this series of newsletter articles, so pray for me as I put it together.  It may be the most important series I’ve done since starting Winning Ways.  Watch for it each Wednesday.

Until then, spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held this Sunday, October 23, right after the morning service.  LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  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.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting our Ministry Assistant, Jami, at


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