Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Mission Work Across the Ocean and Across the Aisle
by Tom Goodman
September 17, 2014

During the last two weeks I was on a teaching trip in East Asia.  Just like past trips, I expect I learned as much from the church leaders as they learned from me.

I went with an organization which brings theological training to under-resourced church leaders around the world.  The organization partners with personnel from our International Mission Board.  Students who complete the 2-year course receive a Pastoral Ministry Certificate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  I taught one of the required classes for this certificate.

I'm sure you've heard about the Chinese "house church" movement.  My class in Shanghai was made up of preachers and musicians from a single association of house churches.  Every Sunday about 50 workers in this association lead gatherings in believer's homes around the city.  Most workers will travel to four or more homes each Sunday to lead services.  All total, this one association serves about 10,000 worshippers each week.

Are You Greeting Guests?  You don't have to cross the ocean to do missions work; you just have to cross the aisle.  As our worship service wrapped up this Sunday, I noticed one of our members engaged in conversation a young couple.  The member called me over and introduced me to the first-time visitors.  This is a vital ministry that all of us can perform!  When you see an unfamiliar face in your area, smile and say, "Hi, I'm ____.  How long have you been attending?"  By asking the question in this way, you don't have to worry if you're introducing yourself to a member or a visitor.  If they're a member you haven't met before, you can get acquainted with one more member of Hillcrest family.  If they answer, "This is my first time," introduce them to your circle of friends and offer to escort them to the Connections Table in the MPC.

The Quest and the Battle.  Every story we care to hear involves two things: a worthy quest and a daring battle.  Life with your Lord is very much like that: it includes both a quest that compels us forward and a battle against forces that hold us back.  This Sunday we're going to look at Colossians 3:1-11 to find out what we must seek and what we must fight.  Join us at 10!


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