By now you have heard at least something about Fill the Hill. When I think about filling the hill at Winstanley, the idea of church growth comes to mind. Duh, you say. But what might not be so obvious is how we will go about this effort, and what it will require of church members. It would be tempting to launch into a series of methods and strategies to get people up Winstanley Hill. An attractive website with lots of events, activities, and ministries displayed might get us going in the right direction. We could even utilize our big electronic sign down by the road with creative messages in hopes of drawing someone up the hill. It may also be helpful to begin some new ministry that has proven successful at another church. I’m sure you can add to this list. By the way, these things can be good, useful, and even necessary.
But I want to suggest one indispensable element we cannot afford to leave out in 2017 or at any other time. A heart for the lost. We must have a heart for the lost because God does, and we are his people. I’m reminded of the sermon Dr. Steve preached a short time ago on the Prodigal Son. Do you remember what happened in the story after the young man wasted all his money and had nothing left to live on? He decided to return home to his father in hopes of becoming a hired servant. Luke writes, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Fill the Hill cannot merely consist of implementing strategies in order to achieve church growth. Our efforts and methods must be undergirded with the desire to see lost people come to know Jesus. And we must be willing and equipped to share the good news of salvation with those in our community.
Beginning in February, we will be offering evangelism training, which will take place over the course of about five weeks. This training will equip you with the tools to communicate the gospel in a clear, faithful, and relevant manner. Please take advantage of this opportunity and plan on joining us! There will be more information to come soon.