Straight to the Heart

 
 
 

The Glory & Goal of Missions

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’”  (Revelation 5:11-13, ESV)

Have you ever seen those pictures that make you cross your eyes and make funny faces in order to try and see the hidden three-dimensional (3-D) image? When you first see these pictures, the variety of the colors and the detail of the individual shapes distract your focus from seeing the “hidden” image; however, when you “look through” the image and focus on the “big” picture, rather than the individual images, then the hidden image emerges (or at least it’s supposed to).

In one sense, life is very much like looking at those 3-D images. At least, that’s what people mean when they say, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Sometimes we’re so focused on the smaller details of life that we fail to see the “big” picture. The same thing happens in the church. We won’t understand our mission if we don’t first see the “big” picture. The details of our mission help us answer the who, what, when, where and how questions. When we think about the “big” picture, though, then we are asking the “why” question–why do we do missions and evangelism? If you try to answer the why question by merely looking at the details, your answer will be incomplete or possibly even skewed.

The Big Picture

Although the book of Revelation seems difficult to understand, it offers a clear message about the glory of God and His power to bring about His plan in history no matter how bad the present circumstances (details) may appear to His people. Revelation 5, tell us the glorious truth that the only one worthy to accomplish God’s saving plan is Jesus Christ: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Revelation 5:5), the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:9, 12). Jesus Christ purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people and nation, making them a kingdom of priests to God (Revelation 5:9-10). Our role in this plan is to make disciples of all nations (the details) in order that people from every tribe, language and nation who presently do not worship Jesus Christ will become worshipers of the one true and living God (the “big” picture). So, the ultimate reason we do missions is the glory of God in Christ—that Christ would become famous in all the world as the treasure most worthy to be prized and praised. Again, the goal of missions is the glory of God in Christ.

The Details

The truth of the glory of God in Christ fuels missions and evangelism. It is that God may be glorified in Christ that we share the gospel with our unbelieving family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and co-workers (evangelism). It is that those who presently do not worship God, in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, that we pray for, support financially, and send missionaries across cultures to share the gospel. It is our privilege to participate in God’s eternal plan to exalt Jesus as King and Lord over all things by sharing the gospel and calling all peoples to repent and believe in King Jesus.

Will you join us in this mission? Share the good news of Jesus with those you come in contact with who presently do not worship Him. Pray for those we support financially in mission fields throughout the world. Consider going on a short-term mission trip yourself. Help us send missionaries from High Pointe to peoples who do not know Jesus. GO! May God be calling you to take the gospel to a people to whom Christ has not yet been preached? Let the glory of God fuel our missions practice. “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13)!

Love,


Pursuing Pastoral Ministry at High Pointe Baptist Church

At High Pointe, we desire to train and equip men for pastoral ministry in order that we may serve Christ and His kingdom for the advancement of the gospel and the glory of His name. In order to accomplish this goal, we have adopted a purposeful strategy for pastoral staffing and development that will allow us to continue to send trained and equipped *biblically qualified men to minister in local churches.

*Biblically qualified refers to the qualifications, responsibilities, and demeanor as stated in Acts 20:17-35; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5, among other New Testament passages. Such qualifications describe character, competency, and care for the congregation, all undergirded by a credibility by which an individual has the moral ability to lead. Biblically qualified leadership may be described as follows: Credibility (Character + Conviction + Competency + Caring, all observed over time) = Biblically Qualified Leadership.

Vocational Pastors (Elders)

Under the direction of the senior pastor and the present elders, we seek to employ biblically qualified vocational pastors who desire to pursue pastoral ministry and eventually seek to become senior pastors themselves. Consequently, we understand that our pastors will eventually leave High Pointe to plant churches (either in North America or a cross-cultural context) or revitalize local churches (either in North America or a cross-cultural context).

Non-Vocational Pastors (Elders)

At High Pointe we believe that a local church is to be led by a plurality of pastors/elders (Acts 20:17-35; Philippians 1:1). Under the leadership of the present elder council, we seek to identify and raise up such men who are biblically qualified (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1) and express a desire to serve High Pointe as non-vocational pastors (elders). As non-vocational pastors/elders, these men provide for themselves through non-church employment. Together with the vocational pastors/elders, these men make up the present body of elders or elder council that are responsible for shepherding High Pointe.

Deacons

Deacons emerged in Acts 6 when the task of meeting the physical needs of the congregation began to overwhelm the leaders responsible for teaching the word of God and praying for the congregation. Like pastors/elders, deacons too must fit the biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-13). The purpose of deacons is to serve the physical needs of the congregation so that the pastors/elders may focus on the shepherding ministry of the church.

Pastoral Assistants

The pastoral assistantship is a one to two-year full-time employment agreement for the purpose of training in pastoral ministry in the context of High Pointe Baptist Church. During the time of employment, the pastoral staff and elders observe the pastoral assistant for the purpose of evaluating potential for pastoral ministry in the areas of character, competency/skills, and care for the congregation. The pastoral assistant may expect both informal and formal evaluations during that period.

At the end of his time at High Pointe, the pastoral assistant, upon the recommendation of the elders, will be expected to (1) pursue pastoral ministry in a local church context (either in church planting, revitalization, or another local church); (2) pursue further education/training for pastoral ministry; or (3) return to non-pastoral work force. The elders have the freedom to extend an individual’s assistantship beyond the two years if the elders deem it is advantageous to both High Pointe and the individual.

Pastoral Interns

Presently, the pastoral internship is a 5 to 6-month period of service where someone pursuing pastoral ministry is exposed to the daily responsibilities of ministry in a local church context.  Depending on the individual’s educational background, the internship will involve reading in various areas of pastoral ministry in a local church, along with writing papers and completing assignments. The primary purpose of the internship is to expose participants to pastoral ministry and help them assess whether or not they are fit to pursue further training and equipping for pastoral ministry. The pastoral intern receives a small monthly stipend.

 

The ascended Christ has structured his church for mission (Ephesians 4:11-16). At High Pointe, we want to fulfill this mission and train others to do the same. For this reason, our pastoral staff will always be relatively temporary and transient. Please join the elders in praying that the Lord would allow us to continue to raise up and to welcome godly men who want to grow in their understanding of the church and want to pursue pastoral ministry.

Love,


Introducing the July Preaching Series

This past Sunday we began what I trust will become a much-anticipated summer tradition at High Pointe – the July Preaching Series. Each Sunday in July, we will host a special guest who will deliver the sermon in our 10:00 am gathering. There are several reasons I’m excited about this preaching series, but the primary reason is that it allows us to hear from faithful voices outside of High Pointe. I hope it will encourage you to hear the same gospel we already preach from different voices. How can you participate in this series?

Pray

Please join us in praying for the guest preachers to preach the Word with faithfulness and conviction. And pray for us that we would hear the Word and be faithful to obey.

Our Guest Preachers

July 1

Jesus Cursed Warped Religion | Mark 11:12-25
Ben Wright
Lead Pastor, Cedar Pointe Baptist Church in Cedar Park

 

July 8

Entrusted: A Gospel Legacy for the Coming Generations | 2 Timothy 3:10-17
Dr. Jim Richards
Executive Director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention 

 

July 15

Jesus’ Desire for the Church | John 17:20-26
Shai Linne
Artist with Lamp Mode Recordings, Planting Pastor of Risen Christ Fellowship in Philadelphia.

 

July 22

Triple Work of Grace | Titus 2:11-14
Dr. Curtis Woods
Associate Executive Director, Kentucky Baptist Convention

 

July 29

Pilgrims Seeking the City of God | Hebrews 13:10-14
Dr. Michael Pohlman
Assistant Professor of Christian Preaching, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Lead Pastor, Cedar Creek Baptist Church in Louisville.
 
For more detailed information on these brothers click here.

 

Come

Be sure to make every effort to be with us each Sunday in July that you’re in town. I am sure you will be blessed.

Welcome

As always, continue to welcome all our guests. Not only will we have guest preachers in July, but already we are seeing LOTS of visitors in our morning services. This is a time when families moving into town are looking to find a home church. Continue to make all our guests feel welcome at High Pointe.

Love,

 




Juan Sanchez

Juan Sanchez (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the senior pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. In addition, Juan serves as a council member of The Gospel Coalition, co-founder and president of Coalición, assistant professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. He has authored numerous books, including 1 Peter for You and Seven Dangers Facing your Church (forthcoming March 2018). Juan and his wife, Jeanine, have five daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.
 
    

Juan’s Publications

    

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