Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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iINVITE Strategy
Encourage No More Hermit Holes
by Tom Goodman
February 24, 2010

"God told me it was time to come out of the hole.  But I don't know if I have the energy."

I love that line.

It comes from an old Boston Globe story about Thomas Johnson, an ex-con and drug addict.  For ten years he avoided society by wandering deep into a Boy Scout campground on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts and burrowing eight feet underground.

Then a deer hunter stumbled over his stovepipe jutting out of the ground, and soon federal agents and state health officials were demanding he abandon his unauthorized hideaway.

He surrendered to the inevitable.  "God told me it was time to come out of the hole," he told the Boston Globe with a shrug, adding, "but I don't know if I have the energy."

Like Thomas Johnson, believers are tempted to burrow down into bunkers in escape from the world around us.  But God has told us its time to come out of our holes.  He has told us to go into the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), to fish for people (Matthew 4:19), and to be preserving salt (Matthew 5:13).

At Hillcrest, the acronym I.N.V.I.T.E. helps us remember the steps we should take to accomplish this.  Across the last five weeks we've looked at each of those steps in turn, and this Sunday we wrap up the series.  This week we'll share a very simple explanation of the gospel that you can use to communicate the message of the cross with your friends.

We should always hope that our friends will get to the same point that the Samaritan woman's friends got to in John 4.  There we read of a woman's encounter with Jesus at a well.  By the end of their conversation, she became convinced that he was the hoped-for Messiah, and ran into town to tell those she knew.  After the Samaritans spent two days with Jesus, they told the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world" (John 4:42).

Isn't that what you hope to hear from your friends?

I hope this Sunday morning series has been helpful to you.  We all need a fresh reminder to come out of our hermit hole and re-engage with the world for the sake of the good news we have to offer!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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