Test Me in This

Covenant members with Harris Creek commit to give generously of their financial resources, their time, and their passions/giftedness for the local church and as the Church living on mission in the community. Hear from one of our members, Brooklynn Wynveen, about how she was recently challenged in her generosity. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if ...

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Compassion Mobile Experience

Harris Creek has been honored to have a relationship with Compassion International for the last four years. We have celebrated Compassion Sunday’s and welcomed Wes Stafford, former president and founder, as our guest. Our Kids, Youth, and College Ministries sponsor compassion children along with many individuals and families at Harris Creek. This year we are excited that Compassion is sending their mobile experience to Waco. It will be set up ...

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a matter of change

Several people requested a copy of the benediction I shared on Sunday at the Downtown Campus, and I hope you enjoy it, too. There are occasions when I’m taking notes during a worship service and I start thinking verse by verse; each line of song and each line of a sermon text starts to be composed as a line of poetry on the page in front of me. Based on ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#4 – Why it Matters)

4. LEARN WHY IT MATTERS As stated in the first of four previous posts about listening, a contingency of the relationship between sheep and shepherd is for the flock to be familiar with the voice of the one shepherding. Similarly, the shepherd must know the collective voice of the flock, and in order to know the voice, the shepherd/pastor must listen intently to each individual situation. The flock expects a shepherd to ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#3 – Learn How to Show Value)

In an effort to learn how to be a better listener, you should understand when to shut up, what to hear, how to show value, and why it matters.   3. LEARN HOW TO SHOW VALUE Consider these two scenarios for a listener's response to someone disclosing information about a crisis situation: [Scenario 1: leg crossed, arms folded across chest]      “I’m sorry to hear that.” [Scenario 2: leaning forward, palms up]                        “I’m sorry to hear that.” Your eye contact ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#2 – What to Hear)

For a minister (paid professionals and confessing believers from the congregation), there are occasions when pastoral care is a craft to learn and to be used in your relational conversations, and becoming a better listener makes your care all the more meaningful. You can learn to listen through understanding four elements: When to shut up  What to hear How to show value Why it matters   2. LEARN WHAT TO HEAR The loudest parts of a pastoral conversation ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#1 – When to Shut Up)

Yesterday, I blogged about the importance of a minister’s understanding of the different roles in which he/she might be serving, and when it comes to the role of pastor, offering pastoral care through presence and conversation requires the practice of listening. Whether you are a full-time employee of a church or a professing Christian living on mission through another vocation, it is helpful to have ears attuned to the people ...

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A Lesson on Listening: An Introduction

This summer, our church focused on Jesus’ parables—those allusive and, at times, elusive stories that always seem to pack a punch. With an economy of words, the brevity of Jesus’ teachings must always be unpacked, digested, and pondered. Without careful, contextual considerations, a cursory reading of a parable can only scratch the surface of the meaning of the parable, and the fullness of Jesus’ conveyed truths can easily be mistaken, misinterpreted, ...

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One Question Every Twentysomething Could Live Without

I want to start off by saying I am guilty of asking this question and I might even venture out to say that probably everyone is. It’s a question every college student gets asked repeatedly when they go home for the holidays, but unfortunately even after graduating, the question still arises: “So, what’s next?” Cringe. The scariest question when you have no answer. Paul Agnone, in a Relevant article he wrote, put ...

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Tiny Humans Need Names

We're blessed. Nothing short of undeserved grace has been a constant in the midst of mine and Allison's privileged positions as children to exceptional parents, siblings to trustworthy confidants, spouses to forgiving lovers, employees to purpose-filled vocations, and friends to life-giving community. Nothing less than blessed is how we feel about our new position as parents to an infant-sized delivery of exorbitant grace. June 18, 2014 at 11:29 a.m. marked life's first cry[1] ...

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