We have been extraordinarily blessed
over the last several years with the growing perception in Abilene that
Southern Hills is a church that really cares about our community. This
influence has been felt all over the United States, as other churches
have asked us about our We Are The Sermon Day, Jesus Parties, Bridge
Builders efforts and other community-connected events. While we are
committed to serve our community because it’s the right thing to do,
we also want to invite, include and involve the
people of our community in the life of Jesus. That means welcoming them
into our family and helping them commit to live for Jesus.
- We want to invite
others to experience the love of Jesus. We are called to take the initiative,
get out of our comfort zone, seek others and invite them into the life
of Jesus. As Jesus did, we invite them to join us in the journey of
grace and obedience. We invite them to see the transformation the Lord
can bring to our daily lives.
- We want to include
everyone in a community of accountability, forgiveness, genuine fellowship
and worship. We are challenged to open our circles of relationships
and bring others into them – not in some superficial way, but to actually
engage them with our lives and to actively integrate them into our fellowship.
This dimension of the Christian life is strongly taught and even commanded
in the New Testament. It is the essence of living a life included
in the Kingdom family of Jesus.
- We want to involve
everyone in serving sacrificially and crossing barriers to learn about,
meet, connect with and disciple others. We are committed to equip people
to move from being spectators of God’s work to becoming partners with
God in sharing His grace with others. We have the goal of being transformed
to be more like Jesus to seek, serve and save the lost. This happens
as each of us understands our responsibility to use the gifts we have
received to help the Body of Christ live out its mission as Jesus’
presence in the world.
Jesus used this three-stage process
– to invite, include, and involve others in His work of the
Kingdom. This process reflects Jesus’ command in the Great Commission
(Matthew 28:18-20) and His example of growing others in his earthly
ministry (Mark 3:13-14) and is practiced by the apostle Paul in his
own ministry (Colossians 1:28-29; 2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 2:3). We want
to follow their examples as we live out our mission as a front porch
As God’s community front porch, we
aspire to become a “transforming community.” By this,
we mean a church family whose members allow Jesus to transform their
lives. The relationships we have, the ministry we share, the growth
we challenge each other to experience bring about transformation. We
also know Jesus wants us to be a “transforming community”
in the sense that we impact our community and bring His character and
compassion to life in the world in which we live.
Being God’s community front porch
is an attitude, a heart for people that must be at the core of who we
are individually and as a family at Southern Hills.
The leadership at Southern Hills is
developing a road map to take us on this journey toward transforming
our community. Your input and dreams are crucial to this process. We
hope you will join us on this great adventure.