Cindy Hawks’ every word drips with intention and points to her passion for the eternal. I spent a glorious hour (that felt like 5 minutes) asking her questions and digging into her thoughts on the topic of living intentionally with an eternal perspective. The effortless stream of wisdom that flowed from her mouth indicated to me that her heart was wrapped firmly around the topic. I couldn’t possibly capture the torrent of quote-worthy insights she offered, but there were two particular themes that permeated our entire conversation…
- Discipleship is wildly important.
- Being “on mission” requires being intentional with a personalized vision.
It’s this “personalized” application piece I love; more explanation to come…
So who is Cindy Hawks?
Cindy grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. She came to faith in High school and then attended SMU where she was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ before attending Dallas Theological Seminary where she met and married Tim Hawks. The two planted a church in Louisiana, then eventually landed in Austin where they agreed to lead a church of 180 people – and they watched God grow it into a thriving mega church of 7,000 attendees. After establishing a clear vision of reaching people with the “life-changing reality of Jesus Christ,” they (and their equally enthusiastic leadership team), went on to plant 23 blossoming churches in the city. For 25 years they have led with a tremendous capacity to teach, equip and unleash full fledged followers of Jesus. Cindy’s role at Hill Country Bible Church (HCBC) is entirely volunteer. She currently sits on the women’s ministry planning team and is consistently invited to serve as a teacher for “Gracepath,” the women’s Bible Study at HCBC (because she and words have chemistry – trust me). She is also passionately committed to continual mentoring and discipling of younger women (some of which are teachers in development, some are young pastor’s wives, some are just younger friends).
Cindy is a brilliant teacher, yet has a healthy perspective on the limitations of her teaching ministry. She leads the Biblical Womanhood series HCBC offers every 4 years; but she made clear to me that her greatest eternal impact was not her experience publicly teaching, but around her passion to privately disciple. “I believe honestly, when I teach, (she says with sweet sincerity) they forget a ton of what I say – except for the nuggets the Holy Spirit chooses to use.”
“I am convinced from scripture and observation of life that disciple making and reproducing is the biggest impact we can have – because investing in people is as eternal as it gets.”
Cindy went on to clarify a distinction: “In ministry; spiritual growth and reproduction of believers becomes a multiplicative result in discipleship as opposed to an additive (and potentially limited) growth result from single efforts.” Discipled believers in Jesus learn how to in turn reproduce believers and disciple, and on and on it goes; eternal impact is exponentially grown. Want to develop a desperate heart for God that fuels your efforts toward eternal impact? “Get discipled. And within your forte, engage in discipling. As a leader in your forte be thinking: ‘Who is coming behind me that I can develop and help function well?’ (This is exactly why she disciples and mentors developing teachers). Quality discipleship has to have a relational element – it must be authentic.” She continued: “Discipleship is tremendously intentional and involves a deep sense of accountability regarding the disciplines of the faith — time with God, growing in prayer life, how to share your faith, how to prioritize life activities so they would reflect the priorities of God rather than personal whims or pressures of society… etc.”
If you want to grow and be grown, you must intentionally consider who has influence with you, and who you have influence with. It’s true in so many arenas that you only know what you know — but doing your best, relatively speaking, is only as good as your wisdom and insight. And that only goes as far as your willingness to grow. Eternally speaking, your efforts at Kingdom growth turn multiplicative when you get personal, when you disciple. I’ll say it again – discipleship is wildly important.
And what Cindy said about being on mission with a personalized vision… wow. I couldn’t squeeze it into one post. Part two is just 24 hours away…