Blog: From the Pastor Our Blog > From the Pastor

Church Updates and Opportunities

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Danny Wood  |  Posted on Wed Apr 29, 2020

Church Updates and Opportunities

How do we persevere in this season? Take a minute and hear from our pastor.

In his weekly video to our church family during the pandemic surrounding COVID-19, Pastor Danny updates us on the loss of a valued church member earlier this week and recaps last Sunday's ManChurch. He also provides an update regarding ministry operations at Shades and finally makes us aware of an upcoming opportunity to live sent. Take a look!

Full Post

How Do We Stay Together While Apart?

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Danny Wood  |  Posted on Wed Apr 22, 2020

How Do We Stay Together While Apart?

This week, Danny provides several updates to life at Shades during the pandemic. Take a look!

Full Post

4:06 | A Call to Prayer

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Danny Wood  |  Posted on Sat Mar 14, 2020

4:06 | A Call to Prayer

Yesterday leadership within the Southern Baptist family issued a call for unified prayer among the 47,500+ churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. I’m asking that we at Shades respond to this call individually and collectively by committing to pray at 4:06 in the morning or afternoon daily for circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. As we pray, let’s specifically focus on the following areas:

  1. Ask God, in His mercy, to stop this pandemic and save lives in our communities and around the world, particularly in places that are unequipped medically to deal with the virus. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
  2. Pray for President Donald Trump and other government leaders -- international, federal, state, and local -- to have the wisdom to direct us in the best courses of action for prevention and care. (Romans 13:1–4)
  3. Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in this moment of uncertainty.  Pray that those far from God would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God. (Psalm 90:12)
  4. Ask God to protect our missionaries, church planters, and their families around the world, using this global crisis to advance the good news of the gospel to all people. (Mark 16:15)

During our online service tomorrow, we will have a dedicated time of prayer centered around these requests. I hope that you’ll join us at 9:30am by clicking here. Also, as a reminder, you can access the latest information and resources regarding our updated schedule and programming.

Full Post

A Message From Pastor Danny

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Danny Wood  |  Posted on Fri Mar 13, 2020

A Message From Pastor Danny

Church family,

Please watch an important update from Pastor Danny about plans for this Sunday and the coming weeks.

Full Post

Pastors' Conference 2019

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Danny Wood  |  Posted on Wed Jun 19, 2019

Pastors' Conference 2019

As I reflect on the Pastors’ Conference, I have never been prouder of our church and especially our staff. I am proud, grateful and humbled to be your pastor and to have the privilege to serve alongside of you. What Shades did was epic! 

Three strengths that made this "epic." The worship team was incredible. This was a CBC, GIC, and big Sunday all in one! One pastor commented they had never seen a freedom of worship at a PC like this ever before ... and he is right. Talent, love for Jesus, love to worship -- all of this was evident. At times I was smiling, singing, and crying at the same time both because of the message of the song and the joy on the faces of those leading. 

The tech team and creative team. Wow, what can you say? Off the charts! I don’t know if any attendee can even fathom the number of painstaking hours that were involved in the making and editing of the videos and the book that was distributed. It is mind boggling, but all the effort was worth it and was of a quality not just in production value but in messaging that has never been seen before at a PC.

And our volunteer spirit. Over 500 volunteers giving of their time and loving it! EVERY speaker, EVERY program personality, EVERY representative from all the other organizations that we worked with went out of their way to tell me how outstanding our volunteers were. I never had to fish for a compliment because they sought me out and bragged on our staff and our lay volunteers. This is who we are; this is Shades.

Bottom line is that all the work of the Pastors’ Conference was outstanding ... but not unexpected. And that is the greatest compliment of all. What our staff and our volunteers did was a reflection of the quality of work I see every week. I am just glad that the rest of the convention was able to benefit from your immense talents, infectious spirit, and deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Again, thank you church for giving of your time to make the Pastors’ Conference special and meaningful for so many pastors and their wives. I love you and am blessed to be your pastor!

If you want to watch any of the sermons and/or the video trailers, click here!

Full Post

NEXT Update

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Mon Oct 8, 2018

NEXT Update

NEXT is in full swing! As we as a church take this journey together on the NEXT steps in our spiritual transformation and facility improvements, let me point out some resources to help all of us.

  • The NEXT Initiative Devotional sheds additional light on the spiritual components through the Scriptures and prayer. It prepares our hearts to take this NEXT step.
  • The NEXT Commitment Guide is a practical and biblical guide to assist you in working through how to make a sacrificial financial commitment. If you did not get one Sunday, this guide will be available in the worship center lobby and in the church office.
  • The website is a great resource for information on all aspects of NEXT. One new addition is found as you scroll to the bottom of the page and see “Giving Calculator.” This is a calculator that helps translate specific acts of sacrifice into actual dollars. This can be a helpful tool as we prepare to make our financial commitments on Sunday, November 4.

Each Sunday the sermon will focus on a next step that we are to take in our spiritual transformation. This Sunday I will be preaching on “NEXT Stronghold Demolished.” Please be in prayer for this service as we see how we can have victory over those things that constantly defeat us. 

I am excited about all that God is doing at Shades and enjoying taking these NEXT steps! Have a great week!

Full Post

Our Next Initiative

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2018

Our Next Initiative

At a church business meeting on Sunday night, April 22 our church family voted to approve the proposed Worship Center repurposing; and move forward in an initiative to raise the needed funds to complete the project.  The total amount authorized for construction will not exceed the amount pledged and previously committed without the prior approval of the Finance Committee, the Deacons, and the church body as a whole.


Full Post

A year of Community Engagement

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Wed Dec 13, 2017

A year of Community Engagement

At the beginning of this year we introduced our vision for living sent in our community. It was a bold, multi-faceted vision that would be led by Dr. Steve Browning (he doesn’t get to use the “Dr.” much, and so I wanted to include that earned designation!), our Minister of Community Engagement. He attacked the vision with passion and energy, and the first year results are beyond anything any of us expected!

This month, Vestavia Hills Magazine did a feature article on Shades and our community engagement in this area. I have included a link to the article and strongly encourage you to read it and be aware of some of the incredible ministry that is taking place right here in Vestavia Hills. And as you read the article also keep in mind that we are also doing life changing ministry in Hoover and Bluff Park!

I am proud of Steve and his leadership and all our staff working with this and the hundreds of lay people volunteering their time to live sent in the community where they live and work.

Read story

Full Post

Recalulating

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Mon Aug 14, 2017

Recalulating

It is great to be back home at Shades! Janice and I are thankful for the six-week sabbatical that you gave us. It was a very restful and enjoyable experience, but now I am fired up about getting back to work.

First of all, two shout outs. A huge thanks to Chad, Steve, and Jacob for their excellent preaching in the sermon series “In the Wilderness." 

And thanks to the Shades family for the hundreds of personal letters and notes that were typeset and bound in a beautiful book. Wow, what a way to start a sabbatical by reading so many affirming and touching messages! I feel deeply loved by the Shades family and thank you for taking the time to express your appreciation.

This Sunday I will begin a new sermon series titled “Recalculating.” 

We set our life GPS on love; hope; happiness; meaning; and purpose and head in the direction we think best, but then things change and often we are faced with “recalculating.” Sometimes it is life situations that create detours and force a recalculating that we have no choice over, but we do choose the path to take; options are the world’s definition of recalculating or a biblical response of recalculating. Other times we are faced with life situations that expose the fallacies in our current path, and we have to choose whether to continue down that road or to accept recalculating and head down a different path and redefine our goals in life.

This is a great Sunday to invite a friend. All of us (believers and non-believers) have to deal with “recalculating” so extend the invitation!

This week I hope you take advantage of the post cards we distributed Sunday and take a few moments to write a note of encouragement to your children’s teachers. It will be a time of refreshment for the teacher and could open the door for you to share about your relationship with Jesus. We have extra cards in the office if you missed them or need more.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday and seeing what God’s Word has to say about recalculating!

Full Post

Pray, Go, Give

Posted in From the Pastor  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Thu Mar 16, 2017

Pray, Go, Give

The Global Impact Celebration is now three weeks behind us and we are still getting great feedback from the missionaries and church planters! We are lining up short term mission trips for our people to be boots on the ground resources to assist them in their work. For a listing and description of mission projects, go to http://www.shades.org/ministries/mission-projects.

Praying and going are important and so is giving. It is your giving to Make Jesus Known that provides the financial support for these ministries that helps them continue to do their work of advancing the Kingdom of God. If you have not completed a pledge card, I encourage you to do that sometime these next couple of Sundays. We are attempting the largest goal ever ($1.2 million) for MJK and it will take all of us to make this a reality. Pray about it and make a commitment knowing that you have nine months to complete it. Thousands of missionaries and church planters are depending on us.

On the topic of giving, a number of our members support The Big Oak Ranch and its founder, John Croyle, and now his son, Brody. We have had John come and speak numerous times to Sunday School classes and most recently to Man Church. The Dave Belcher Scholarship Fund at Big Oak Ranch was established several months ago by his friends in the Businessmen’s Bible Class at SMBC.  The Fund will provide a $2,500.00 (initially) scholarship each year to a young man or woman to be selected by Big Oak from their class of graduating high school seniors. Dave cared deeply for the young people at Big Oak, and this annual scholarship will be a continuing tribute to him. If you are a regular contributor to this ministry or want to begin, I encourage you to support this scholarship fund.

This week through April 15, Scott Heath, our Executive Pastor, will be taking a well-deserved four-week sabbatical. Our Employee Handbook provides for ministerial staff to receive sabbaticals at 5-year intervals once an employee reaches ten years of service. Scott celebrated his 15th year of service with Shades back in November. I know many of you are shocked that Scott has been here 15 years because he does not look to be over 30 years of age but I can assure you that we did not hire him when he was 14 years old!

This Sunday I will begin a new sermon series Transformed and continue it until April 23. Our mission statement is “Sending transformed people to influence their world for Christ.” We have focused a great deal on “sending” and now I want us to look at what it means to be “transformed.” Bottom line is transformation is an ‘outward reality of an inner work.’ This is a great time to invite your friends, neighbors and coworkers to join you at church as we lead up to Easter Sunday. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a number of tools to assist you in making the invitations.

I believe Sunday will be a glorious day as we kick-off the new sermon series and learn more about the transforming power of a relationship with Jesus Christ!

Full Post