Let Me Tell You About It

This past Friday, we had our September lock-in. We had 36 students, and it was a great time for all of us. We wanted to do something that we have never done before since I became the youth pastor here at HFC. I wanted to have a youth service, but not just any worship service, one where others were in charge of leading the music, the sermon, small groups, etc.
I am happy to say that some of our young adults helped me make this possible for our students; they led worship, preached a great testimony sermon, and also helped me lead small groups. The reason why I am telling you this is not just to say they did a great job or that I feel unstoppable because we did what we said we were going to do.

God used Friday to allow our young adults to inspire, serve, and minister to our super young people. This gets me excited because God is turning things around in the lives of many, and I am not the only one God is using to do all of that. Some of our young adults are taking the discipleship training class to become part of our discipleship network (those are steps of faith). I am beyond grateful for how God is using 20-something-year olds to minister to teenagers. Only God can do that.

If you want to be part of God’s movement, send me an email at pastordavid@hfcog.org, and I will make sure you get connected with the right ministry or person. God is on the move, and he will use those willing to be used.
With love,
Pastor David

Do You Matter?

Yes! But before you roll your eyes and think, “Well you have to say that. You’re my pastor,” let me tell you why you matter.

This month the Lord has really been prompting me to think more about the culture of HFC. On one hand, I am responsible to lead the culture we want to have—I’m responsible to model it, to celebrate it, to correct it and to inspire it. However, I can do all those things and still not have the culture that I want to see with HFC.

The reality is that you carry the culture of HFC. You determine if it is perceived by first time guests as a loving church. You determine if we are known for our generosity. You determine if disciple making is a priority. And watch this… Even if you have only been with HFC for a couple weeks or months you still determine all those things! No pressure or anything but you matter tremendously to who we are!

Which leads to the vision for the church… to multiply. Our vision to multiply isn’t just about starting new community groups, opening new campuses or starting new ministries, but it is about reproducing a culture that is healthy, loving, and inspiring disciples to make disciples. If I get hit by a bus in my sleep that culture still has to continue and it will continue through you.

If you have been here 10 years you matter. If you have been here 10 minutes you matter. You matter to the culture. You matter to the church. You matter to the kingdom. You matter to Jesus. And you matter to me. I love you church.

In Him,
Pastor Tim

Culture Worth Spreading

Culture is most easily defined as “the way we do things around here,” and the way we are doing thing as a church is amazing! Our culture as a church is appealing to those who haven’t been part of it before which we see in about 35 first time guests in the last 6 weeks. So what do we do with this Jesus-centered, disciple making culture?
We have to spread it. We have to send it out. We have to share this culture with those who aren’t already part of it. This is why we make disciples. This is why our vision is to multiply. The world can’t find this on their own. This kind of culture and only come through submission to God’s Holy Spirit. We have to take it to the world. We have to multiply. We have to carry the vision with us wherever we go.
And each of us have to be responsible for the culture—responsible to live, to share, and to champion it. This coming Sunday we will have a chance to share the loving culture of HFC with those who are joining us for Back to Church Sunday. Don’t wait for others to show the loving, Spirit-filled culture we have. You make the first move. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t recognize and simply ask, “How long have you worshipped with HFC?” Help others experience the love that is natural for us.
I love you church! Let’s show ‘em Jesus.
In Him,

Make Room

Prior to a training we recently had for our community group leadership – we were asked to have a 4 hour time of solitude spending time abiding with the Lord. This request brought up many different thoughts & feelings from excitement to being overwhelmed. Many of us were challenged by this request. However, after the time of solitude and processing the time in small groups the common thread was that it was definitely a significant experience that we should do again. 
For me, it was making room for Him in a different way than I had before. I have my daily disciplines of prayer, reading scripture and journaling (that can take a significate amount of time, but this was different). This time of solitude was very eye opening to me and I was convicted in certain areas that I need to let go to make room for what He wants from me. Which is hard, because many of these things are “good” and I like them – but are they truly what God is calling me to do? And the hard answer is “no”, they are not in-line with what I hear Him calling me to do. Which ultimately to me, translates into disobedience. Wow! That was hard to confess; but now you know better how to pray for me!
This past Sunday we sang “Make Room” by Community Music. The song is a powerful reminder of the importance of surrendering our lives to God. The lyrics speak of laying down our burdens, lies, and doubts, and making room for God to do whatever He wants to. I want to encourage you to listen to this song and schedule a time of solitude to abide in the Lord. I am confident that you will hear from Him and pray that you “make room” every day that you wake up and He gives you breath!
If you would like to talk with mePastor David, or Pastor Tim – reach out! We are here to help you in taking that next step of Faith! Love you all.
Your Sister In Christ,
Community Groups & Connections Director
713.202.1395 call / text

Join A Group

You are not alone. So many times in our lives we can feel alone though. We can feel like no one understands. We may even feel like no one loves us and maybe even God doesn’t love us. This is why HFC has Community Groups.
Community Groups exist to create an environment for you to grow in spiritual maturity and to help others do the same as we build relationships with and love each other. You were never designed to figure out how to follow Jesus by yourself and Community Groups are an incredible way to grow deeper in the Lord with others who have the same goal.
You may have also heard about New Groups. This is specifically for people who have never been part of a Community Group but it is also for people who might just be looking for a new group. In New Groups you will meet with a small group of people for seven weeks and learn together how and why we set up Community Groups the way we do through a discussion based Bible study format.
Here’s the logistics for New Groups. Childcare will be provided all seven weeks. The first week is Sunday, September 17 after worship and on that first Sunday the church will provide a meal for all those in New Groups. When you come you will select a group that fits best for you and your schedule. Then during those seven weeks you and your group will work together to determine the best location and time to meet after the seven weeks at the building are over.
If you are interested or have questions about Community Groups or New Groups feel free to let us know at hfcog.org/connect or email Naomi. Who will you invite to join a group with you?
In Him,

Shine Jesus’ Light!

Sunday we wrapped up our last day of VBS! It was wonderful to celebrate with our whole church family! Thanks for celebrating with us! Each day at VBS, we had a Bible point:
When life feels dark, shine Jesus’ light! (John 8:12) 
When people don’t get along, shine Jesus’ light! (Romans 12:16)
When good things happen, shine Jesus’ light! (Psalm 100:1)
When people are sad, shine Jesus’ light! (John 14:1)
When people need help, shine Jesus’ light! (Matthew 5:16)
We had so much fun, making new friends, playing games, eating snacks, and learning all about shining Jesus’ light! We had 41 registered students, and 67 volunteers, the highest numbers for both we have had since returning to VBS on campus in 2021! We also had 4 first time decisions from students who gave their lives to the Lord on day 4 of VBS!! Praise the Lord!! God is SO good. He provided all we needed, and He filled any voids.
Thank you all! Thank you for praying for this event. Thank you for helping pick up set donations. Thank you for serving as station leaders and assistant leaders and crew leaders! Thank you for donating funds and purchasing supplies! You guys are amazing! We could not have done VBS without you! THANK YOU! God moved on hearts of kiddos, volunteers, and parents. Please be praying in the coming weeks as God continues to move and people continue to respond. 
Many Blessings,
Pastor Sarah

It’s Not About Me

Youth Camp 2023 was absolutely an amazing experience. While I was excited to be going with 3 of the young ladies from HFC, I started to question saying yes as I was packing; was I the right person? Could I really do this? Packing for camp when I was twelve versus packing for youth camp at forty-eight was quite a bit different. I remember “younger Naomi” just throwing some clothes in a bag and barely remembering the other suggested items on the packing list if at all. This time around, the items in my bags reflected all the what if scenarios I imagined in addition to what I needed. The trunk of Gracie (my car) was about ½ full before anyone else added their stuff. I have learned over the years how to pack things well and we made it all work with a little room to spare.
Over the 5 days we had combined worship, breakout sessions, games, meals, & quiet time. We got to know each other a bit better, but more importantly experience God in a way we never have before and grow closer to him. The youth at camp (not just our HFC youth) need the Lord, in a big way. I was able to talk with youth that are hurting and longing for love, acceptance, and truth. Our God is exactly who they need in their lives, and they are open to having a relationship with him. We (you and I) need to do everything we can to demonstrate the love of Christ so that they see a better and different way.
I’m so glad I trusted God in going to camp. He gave me exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it for His glory and honor. It is not about me (us), it is all about others and most differently about Him! This week in addition to praying for VBS, please pray for the youth.
Your Sister In Christ,
Naomi J. Dingle

Q&A Celebrations

Monday night your staff hosted another HFC Q&A which was richly beneficial. We discussed incredible questions like:
When is our next baptism service?
Why are we looking at using an accounting company?
Why did all the staff go to the Church of God Convention?
When are we going back to Kenya?
What’s up with those Oreo Brownies?
It was a great time of conversation (while we ate Beth’s dairy-free Oreo brownies) and a perfect set up for the annual business meeting coming up this Wednesday, July 19th at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. In this meeting we will further discuss the proposal by the Elders to begin using an
accounting company starting in August (but sadly we will not have any brownies).
If you have registered to vote in the business meeting please be sure to attend as we do have minimum participation requirements in order to conduct business according to our bylaws. If you still need to register click here to fill out the online form.
See you Wednesday night at 7:00 pm!
Pastor Tim

Special Called Worship Meeting

The Elders and I have called a special business meeting of the church to consider the approval of an expense beyond what was already approved by the congregation in November of last year. This would provide accounting services for HFC at a rate not to exceed $950 per month for the remainder of 2023.
So why are we even asking for this? It is important to recognize that before I became the pastor with HFC a paid staff member maintained financial records, ensured that bills were paid, ensured the accuracy of offerings each week, reconciled accounts, and worked with the benevolence team to address any financial needs that the congregation may be able to help with. The Treasurer—a volunteer position ratified by the church—would provide an additional set of eyes as a measure of checks and balances. Presently Naomi takes care of the offerings (most of which are now online) and Cindi Sims was hired to handle the bills (although she has been asked to assist well beyond that). The responsibility for everything else has fallen onto the Treasurer with HFC.
While those who have served in the role of Treasurer over the last eight years have been gracious to volunteer more time than the role should have required the Elders and I have recognized that we need to do a better job of protecting the position that is ratified by the church. It is designed to be a role that provides checks and balances to our financial systems but it has become a role that is responsible to produce those systems.
As the Elders and I begin to work on the 2024 budget in August we will make financial arrangements for these things to be covered through an outside accounting company. The extra-budgetary expense that we are asking you to prayerfully consider would allow us to make the transition within the next month or two rather than waiting for January.
When we gather together for the HFC Q/A on Monday, July 17th and for the Special Called Business Meeting on Wednesday, July 19th we invite you to prayerfully discern with us the way of wisdom moving forward. In the Church of God we believe heavily in the unity of God’s Holy Spirit as we all come together in a posture of listening and submitting to him. That makes this time together an opportunity for genuine worship in which we might all experience a move of God.
If you have any questions in advance, please do not hesitate to email me at pastortim@hfcog.org . Let’s all pray in advance for clarity, discernment and wisdom.
In Him,
Pastor Tim
You can register for the Special Called Business Meeting HERE, but if you registered for November 2022 meeting, you do not need to re-register.

New Challenge

We just got back from the Church of God convention last week and let me tell you, it was a blast! Not only did we get to meet new people, worship together, receive the word of God every single day, but we even ended the conference by having communion together. To me, that was awesome. One take away and a question that is still resonating with me is the fact that the conversation might be over, but we still have work to do.
My favorite quote from the first conference was “step into your influence ” There is a lot of work to be done for the Kingdom of God.” Yes, we are saved, but what about those around us, our families, friends, etc? They also need Jesus. That is why we need to stand in faith and in our influence, so that they can also know our Lord and Savior.
If you are asking yourself or maybe you are even wondering “What can I do or who can I reach?”, let me tell you, only you can reach the people you know. God has placed you in a place where you can influence others, you do not need to be a theologian, you just need to be you and God will do the rest.
Thank you for praying for the staff as we were in Tampa FL, for the convention. We got to process different things happening during this convention. Even being part of the general assembly was fruitful. To know that there are people paving the way for the next generation (stepping into their influence) was a great privilege.
Step into your influence.
With love, Pastor David