Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"3 X 5 Night"
by Tom Goodman
August 23, 2006

Our first “3 X 5 Night” is this Wednesday, August 23, 6:30 p.m.  Most of you will receive this newsletter in time to attend, so I hope to see you there!

What’s a “3 X 5 Night?”  People submitted questions on 3 X 5 cards this past Sunday, and this Wednesday I’ll try to respond to as many as I can.  As I thumb through the cards right now, someone wants to know about how to have assurance of salvation, and someone else wonders how baptism connects with salvation, while another person asks how we should understand the role of women in church leadership.  Someone asks what Jesus meant when he told us to “hate” our father and mother in Luke 14:26, and another wants to know how a Christian should properly interpret the Old Testament.

These were just a few of the excellent questions that were turned in Sunday!  I doubt I’ll be able to get to all of them in one meeting, but I’ll cover as many topics as I can.

It’s part of my effort to keep you aware of an important discipleship “tool” at Hillcrest: our evening service!  When we changed the Sunday evening activities a year ago to put priority on the Hillcrest Institute, we didn’t cancel evening service—we moved it.  Our evening service now meets at 6:30 on Wednesday instead of 6:30 on Sunday.

We knew this would be a challenge, because our congregation is spread out across Austin, and who likes to fight the traffic to attend midweek activities?  That’s probably one reason that when I began as your pastor no more than 35 people met with me for a little midweek prayer meeting in one of the Sunday School rooms.  Moving our evening service from Sunday night to Wednesday night was one effort to build up the attendance of that little group.  We moved into the Worship Center and enlisted Gene and Stephen to lead an inspiring worship music medley.  Following that, I teach from God’s word for a half-hour and then our attendance breaks into small groups for prayer.

I’m thrilled with what’s happening on Sundays, but I’m working hard to make Wednesdays part of your spiritual growth, too.  So, come to our first “3 X 5 Night” this Wednesday.  Maybe our evening service will become part of your weekly routine!


Important Notes:

Hillcrest Institute of Lifelong Learning.  The Fall semester of the Hillcrest Institute is off and running!  It’s not too late to review the courses and register online!

The Sermon Series “God is Closer Than You Think,” continues this Sunday.  Click here to hear last week’s message from our website, or click here to listen to it on iTunes.

Links to Your World

Did you see the Statesman article, Beach Blanket Baptism” on Monday?  The report covered 95 baptisms in a public pool conducted by Lake Hills Church, a Baptist church that began in southwest Austin about seven years ago.  I was interested in the note that Tanya Streeter was baptized.  She is the world-champion free diver from the Cayman Islands who moved to Austin just before I got here.  I’ve made reference to her experience as a freediver in my new book, The Anchor Course, so I was thrilled to read about her commitment to Christ.  If you attend Hillcrest, you will receive a free copy of The Anchor Course in a few weeks!
In this article from Baptist press, youth ministers report on the popularity of MySpace.  They note its potential for ministry and for danger.
In ”The Biggest Celebrity Is Jesus,” Actor Kirk Cameron talks about his transition from staunch atheist to Christian.
In this article, read about clinics harvesting stem cells from aborted babies for anti-aging treatment.  How self-centered can our society be?
Get AnchoredYou’ll find more articles and commentary at my weblog, “Get Anchored,” including my reaction to a TIME magazine article on the growth of—and persecution of—Chinese Christianity.  To keep up with the weblog, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the RSS feed to your news reader.

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