Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Five Years Under the Hardhat
by Tom Goodman
May 14, 2008

This Sunday marks five years with you!  I believe that when God called me here, he gave me a foreman's hardhat and put me in charge of renovating three areas: our heart, our program, and our space.

Our heart.  This is the renovation of our how we think.  We're learning how to be a congregation where Austin can find and follow Jesus together.  Some churches are very effective at helping people find Jesus, but they don't really focus on helping people grow once they've come to faith.  Other churches are very effective at helping people follow Jesus, but frankly they're uncomfortable with the issues and questions that seekers raise.  Our church needs to be where people can come together to meet Jesus and grow in him.  Last year I prepared an eight-day devotional guide that will help you understand this better.  You can download a copy from our website.

Our program.  This is the renovation of what we do.  You've heard me say it a lot:  "Theology never changes but methodology has to."  You get your theology right by paying attention to what God says, and you get your methodology right by paying attention to those God loves.  How do we gain a hearing among the Austin neighborhoods God has called us to reach?  Answering that question has resulted in changes to what we do at Hillcrest.

Our space.  This is the renovation of how we look.  A team is developing recommendations for a big campus update, and you should get that report in July.  We have fantastic space in a fantastic location, but our space needs some updating and upgrading.  As Andy Stanley put it, "The sermon starts in the parking lot."  Long before a 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.

I believe God put me here to lead Hillcrest to look afresh at our priorities, our activities, and our facilities.  Thank you for sharing life with me!  Onward together!

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week" (This week, "Premature" by Toots and the Maytals with Bonnie Raitt).  Also, every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."

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