Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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In Concert

Wednesday, March 8

In the Worship Center

(You must be connected to the internet to see this picture.) "Two Services: Bible Study for Adults"
by Tom Goodman
March 1, 2006

Interested in membership or just want to learn more about Hillcrest?  Plan to attend this Sunday’s Discover Hillcrest class!  See the end of this newsletter for more information!
We’ll go to two services beginning Easter Sunday.  To help you get ready, I’m covering six topics in six weeks of newsletters.  You can find the first five topics here.  Today let’s look at how we’ll create a new hour of Adult Bible Study.

The schedule does not change for adults who prefer the “Smooth Blend.”  You will show up for Bible study at 9:30 a.m. and your worship service will start at 10:45 a.m. just as it does now.

However, for adults who attend the 9:30 service, your time for small-group Bible study will follow the worship service.  That time will consist of “host-led” small groups rather than “teacher-led” classes.  You are familiar with this model if you were a part of our “40 Days of Purpose” campaign.  It involves explanation and discussion: explanation of a Bible text in a large-group setting, followed by small-group discussion of that lesson.  We will encourage adults who attend our 9:30 service to move to the MPC for a friendship-building time we’re calling “Common Ground.”  For half an hour they will enjoy fellowship, coffee, and pastries in a "coffee shop" atmosphere.  That will be followed by a 45-minute small-group discussion of the Bible study they heard in the worship service.

We’ve discovered that many members and teachers in the “first-half adult” Sunday School departments want to check out both worship hours before deciding which to attend.  So, for four weeks beginning April 16, the teachers in the Singles-1 department and the Adult 1, 2, and 3 departments are bringing their classes together at 9:30.  Participants will be free to try out the 9:30 service and the “Common Ground” study time afterward.  However, on the days you attend the 10:45 service, we encourage you to attend the combined class at 9:30.  At the end of this four-week effort, we’ll have a clear idea of how to structure a 9:30 Sunday School for first-half adults.

This is an exciting arrangement!  I’ve got one more topic to cover in next week’s newsletter.  Stay tuned!


Special Notes:

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held this Sunday, March 5, 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
Greg Buchanan in Concert.  Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 p.m.  Don’t miss this amazing harpist in concert.  For more information, go to Greg’s website where you can hear samples of his recordings.
Links.  Lots of folk are talking about John Piper’s thought-provoking article, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.”  He wrote it on the eve of his surgery for prostate cancer.  Sobering and inspiring.  Also, see what you think about the current poker craze after reading “Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em?” on Boundless, a website designed for university students and young adults.  Also, read Sam Simmons’ challenge, “How ‘Culturally Engaging’ is Your Evangelism Strategy?”  “Few church leaders would question the need for a missionary to learn the language of the culture needing to be reached, “Simmons observes, “He or she must use the language of the culture to communicate the Gospel.  Yet a similar communication challenge may exist between your church and those in the surrounding culture.”  A similar challenge can be found in an article on the Baptist Press website: “Churches must focus more on connecting with guests.”  Also, you should read Bob Russell’s warning in his article, “Imperfect Churches Have a ‘Serve Us’ Rather Than Service Mentality.”  Finally, did you catch the Austin-American Statesman article (here) about the new café at Crestview Baptist Church?  Crestview is our partner church in this year’s Upward Basketball program, and they’ve just hired our long-time member, David Tobey, as their outreach pastor.  It’s a great article on a church willing to risk change and expend resources to reach out.
Have You Missed Your Invitation to the Pastor’s Prayer Meetings?  The last invitations have gone out, so if you haven’t received your invitation, please call the church office right away!  We will be able to schedule you on the last night.  My assistant, Jami, can be reached at or 345-3771.
Next-Level Living.  Learn how to live at the next level from the one you’re on!  Our Sunday morning series through Colossians continues this Sunday.  If you want to review the messages from the first seven weeks, click here.  You will also find instructions for receiving the sermons as weekly podcasts to that new iPod or MP3 player you got for Christmas.

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