Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Don't Fly Solo
by Tom Goodman
March 11, 2015

"When a friend committed suicide, I realized I could become too cynical, too lost, and too alone."

That's what Carmen Renee Berry admitted in her book, The Unauthorized Guide to Choosing a Church.  She wrote, "I needed a church, a community of believers.  Something happens there that simply doesn't when you are alone in prayer or on the Internet.  As much as I hate to admit it, my faith is enhanced and enlarged when in relationship to other less-than-perfect human beings."

Spiritual growth isn't flying solo.  And sometimes even when we finally commit to attending a church, we still think of spiritual growth like this.  Some people attend a Sunday morning church service like they attend a college lecture or a seminar.  They attend to get some pointers for spiritual growth.

But we gather with other believers not just to get information that will help us grow spiritually.  No, gathering with other believers is precisely how we grow spiritually.  The insights you gain from others, the accountability you get from sharing your own views and having them challenged, the refining process that always comes when imperfect people have to interact with each other, the strength you get from sharing your prayer requests and knowing people are praying for you -- it is within the hard work of doing life together that we actually grow spiritually.

Saul knew this.  His conversion to Christ included a conversion to a new way of looking at Christ's followers.  It wasn't easy for him, but he knew he needed fellowship with other believers.  Let's dig deeper into this truth this Sunday, the second week in our 3-week study of Paul's famous conversion story.

You don't pick a church like you pick a restaurant.  You pick a church like a thirsty man picks a water well in the desert!  You get involved because you know it's what you need to continue in your commitment to Christ.

"40 Days of Life" Prayer and Fasting Vigil.  On March 17 Hillcrest will unite with churches across Central Texas as part of a 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting and a constant peaceful prayer vigil in front of Austin Planned Parenthood.  Please stop at the "40 Days for Life" table in the MPC after our Sunday service to find out how you can get involved, or contact Jim Steed at


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