08 August 2006

Dung Stinks

i have debated about sharing this email exchange on my blog. but i got pushed over the edge to post it after i started reading some bloggers who are not understanding the heart behind the top 100 churches issue of outreach magazine.

we were blessed to be included in this year's list of fastest growing churches (hpc is #92). they also did a story on hpc - one of the six church highlights they did. below, i've included the email i sent lindy lowry (editor of outreach magazine) after getting my copy. then after that is her response to my email.


    Not many other words can explain how we’ve felt around here today. “Humbled” is probably one of them. Thanks so much for including us in this issue in such a positive light. We are very aware that God has blessed us and that is why anything good that’s happening here is happening. And we’re also very very encouraged by the whole magazine – to see so many great churches doing a lot to reach a lot of people. It’s not about numbers – but it is about people – about trying to make (like you quoted) it hard for people to die not knowing Christ – and the more people we can help with that, the better.

    It’s a very humbling thing to be included in this issue – especially when you consider how we were included. Everyone on staff that came thru my office today that saw it (I made sure all of them did) did the same thing – it starts with a “wow – check us out – we’re in outreach!” but in just a few seconds it turns into a “wow – thank God – what an honor – I can’t believe it – how humbling – where’d this come from?”

    Anyway – I just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement this issue represents to us – and I hope to others as well. You’re doing a great thing for the Kingdom and it’s making an important difference.


now here's lindy's reply:

    I'm so glad you were encouraged by the issue and the coverage of HPC, as well as the other churches. That's what we try to make this issue about, but unfortunately, it never fails that people make it about who's on the lists, what ranking they have, etc. I heard yesterday about one church questioning another church's ranking that was higher than theirs....--it's so discouraging.

    I forwarded your e-mail to our team--something as big as a magazine is only accomplished through a team. Thanks for working with us so well and quickly. I was really pleased with the story and the opportunity to feature you guys. And to think, it all started with one e-mail way back when, saying, "Let me tell you about our church." :)

    Thanks for taking the time to write...


it is pretty cool to get listed among such a great bunch of churches. that's for real. it's very quickly a humbling thing - to think that God has put his hand on us and entrusted so many lives to us.

it can't be that we're better than anyone else. i know me. i wouldn't qualify to be part of something great enough to deserve this blessing. it is just God's sovereign favor. and it is up to us to do all we can to put that blessing to use to help as many people as possible have a destiny-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.

big church or small church - it's all for His glory or it's all a bunch of dung. i'm going for the "to God be the glory" option because dung stinks.


Cheri LeBlanc said...

This is so COOOOL! It even has a picture of one of our Healing Hands clinics at the Spanish Campus. It is truly humbling to reflect on how blessed we are at HPC. God's favor is awesome.

Bryon Mondok said...

Congrats! It's good to see a church with such a heart for missions and the poor on the list...

Chris Jarrell said...


I saw the ranking in Outreach, I am so happy for you all and very excited for what God is doing at HPC. I celebrate with you all. You guys totally rock. Now I definitly know I need to get down to Baton Rouge soon. :-)

As far as those other churches that are complaining, they do stink, because it is not about them.

Chris J.

Amy said...

I find it amazing that churches would be worried about where they landed in ranking. To just know that there are so many churches growing across America excites me. The fact that HPC is on the list truly is a blessing. God has expanded us, its all Him. Since I have been coming the churches has never stopped growing. The story of the disciples comes to my mind. He who serves and is last will be first. Thanks for sharing this.


Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

I also would like to say how much I am blessed by the humility and servanthood that is shown by the HPC staff. As a volunteer leader, I am truly encouraged to live a life of servanthood.

Tim Elzea said...

HPC ROCKS!!!! :) Your humble attitudes/heart shows what you are all about-serving the people. The name "Healing Place" speaks for itself-you all are truly a "healing place" for your community.

The naysayers...please-they can just continue to try to get the glory for themselves...you all are light years beyond that.

I'm honored and blessed to have been able to be with you guys for a whole week. Keep on "lovin' Jesus" and God will keep on blessing you all.

kevin said...

I understand and am very sympathetic to the smell of dung. BUT, can we get over it and have you post again sometimes soon?