Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Three Renovations: Our Space"
by Tom Goodman
June 13, 2007

“The sermon starts in the parking lot.”

That’s how church leader Andy Stanley puts it.  Long before the pastor begins to speak, guests draw conclusions about the church.  They make their assessment from the moment they park, to the upkeep of the grounds they walk past, to finding the right door to enter, to the nursery where they leave their baby, to the seating and lighting and sound quality of the auditorium they sit in, to the quality of the printed material they read before the service begins, and on and on.

We have fantastic space in a fantastic location, but our space needs some updating and upgrading.  That’s one of the three renovations I believe God called me to lead.  In my last two Beacon articles, I’ve talked about the renovation of our heart and the renovation of our program.  The third area for renovation is our space.  As Jennifer Schuchmann wrote:

The condition of the building, the landscaping, and the signs can make a difference between a church that welcomes visitors and one that is ignored.  Curb appeal is not about tricks; it's about removing barriers that discourage people from coming inside your church where they can experience your ministry.

Did you know that God actually withholds his blessing from those who pay more attention to their own house and business than they do to the place where he is worshipped?  In Haggai 1:1-9, he actually says we should pay attention to the building where he is worshipped “so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”

To help me with this work of renovating our space, I have some advisors that I call my “First Impressions Team.”  Recently I gave them disposable cameras and told them to take photos of things about our facility that should be addressed.  I’ve also asked them to take photos of interesting features at other facilities.  As the team looks at these photos in a couple of weeks, we’ll start talking about changes to recommend to our church family.  Take your own photos of these things, too!  I’ll need them in 2 weeks.

This church knows how to build.  Within the last 10 years you renovated the multipurpose center, and you built a three-story education building.  You were already at work updating and upgrading our campus before I got here.  I’m glad I’m here to join you in that ongoing work!

Join us this week for the 9:30am “Bold Blend” service or the 10:45am “Smooth Blend” service, or listen online Monday (iTunes; website).


Links to Your World

According to a report covered by The Daily Texan, young adults who do not go to college are more likely to drop out of church involvement than those who do—by a dropout rate of 76% to 59%.  Though this is a counterintuitive finding, either way it's not good news.  Pray that Hillcrest can help reverse this trend.

Greeters Play Key Role At Churches.

At this church, Herb Ingram could open his weekly announcements with, "What's New, Pussycat?"  Yikes.  (HT: Eileen Flynn’s “Of Sacred and Secular”)

Teen finds 2.93-carat diamond along path (here).

Randy Alcorn answers some questions you may have about heaven here.

How to Invite God to Your Summer BBQ.

“They do want to go back to a more conventional sexuality, morality, whatever.  But they do not want to go back to an era of repression.  So a kind of muddled, middle position is where it seems to me that most Americans are these days.”  Sociologist Alan Wolfe, in a Times article about the trend toward a greater sense of propriety about sex in recent books and films.

According to this Washington Post article, missionaries from developing countries are making progress in Europe.  If you're someone who believes missionary work is an invasion of someone else's culture, what do you do with a story like this?

What’s the greatest innovation in history?  Experts reply.

What your pew says about you (here).

Your Mouth:  When to Shut It.

JP Morgan’s guaranteed route to success: every day (1) make a list of what you're going to do and then (2) do it.  Ah, if only we could all practice it.  Then again, it really depends on what’s on that list, right?

Have you read the previous posts this week?  They include the "Song of the Week" ("Get Right with God" by Lucinda Williams), reaching people at the preconversion stage, and Part Two of a review of our church's three renovations.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader or Google Personalized Home Page.

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