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Influencing our World for Christ

Posted in Missions  |  By Tim Wheat  |  Posted on Tue May 12, 2020

Influencing our World for Christ

This past weekend, we participated in a Food Drive-Thru to help restock the food supply for Christian Service Mission. What an incredible experience! Not only was it such a blessing to see some 350 cars of smiling, waving people, it was an even greater blessing to see the amount of food you provided. 

All in all, you gave 12,561 pounds of food. That's more than six tons of food which will go to feed thousands of individuals in the greater Birmingham area. The food drive is an expression of what it means to live sent. Through the simple act of buying and bringing food, you all showed the love of Christ in a real and tangible way.

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Food Drive-Thru

Posted in Missions  |  By Tim Wheat  |  Posted on Wed Apr 29, 2020

Food Drive-Thru

On Saturday, May 9, we're holding a food drive-thru in partnership with Christian Service Mission.

Church, you've done such a phenomenal job finding ways to live sent during COVID-19, but this is an opportunity for the everyone. And you'll get to see our staff team! We'll have familiar faces at each drop-off location waving to you and unloading your groceries.

The team at CSM is running low on food to distribute to the needy, so we're encouraging every family to go to the store and purchase groceries (canned and boxed grocery items are acceptable). They've met food needs for approximately 5,000 people to date during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to honor and support their efforts in loving our city!

There's no limit to the amount each person can bring, so let's join together to support this wonderful ministry!


  • Any canned or boxed food that is non-perishable … baby food, children, adults is accepted. Specific items are: canned beans, canned vegetables, canned salmon, tuna, chicken, canned soups, chili’s, stews, fruits, canned ravioli, spaghetti, rice, oatmeal, grits, peanut butter, jelly, cereal bars, pop tarts, protein bars, snack items, coffee, and tea. However, any food will be accepted as long as it is contained and sealed. Items in jars are least preferred because of potential breakage.
  • Please have items boxed or sacked in a trunk or tailgate for easy unload.
  • You can drop off your items from 10 a.m. to noon on May 9th at the two following locations at Shades!

Two locations to receive food:

  • North Entrance
  • Preschool Drive-Thru

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Missional Living with Shelter-in-Place

Posted in Missions  |  By Tim Wheat  |  Posted on Wed Apr 8, 2020

Missional Living with Shelter-in-Place

Hey Shades,

What an incredible season we are in! How history records these days can be largely shaped by how the church responds in both faith and action. God is using you to advance the mission in amazing and powerful ways as you live sent in your neighborhoods -- keep it up!

In addition to your stories, below are a few simple ways to engage in the mission of God beyond the neighborhood in these days of social distancing and restrictions. 

Even with the recent “Shelter-in-Place” guidelines, we have the ability to continue to serve in specific ways. Religious and non-profit organizations that are serving the essential needs of the community are permitted to carry on those functions as long as they don’t violate the state mandate of no more than 10 in a gathering and six feet of separation when you do gather. We, along with our partners, are adhering to those guidelines. Our services of providing food and other essential items to our mission partners who are serving the physical and emotional needs of the community allow us to continue to serve them in the ways we list on our website.

Our greatest response during COVID-19 may actually be the hundreds of stories of how individuals and families are living sent. Whether it be chalk drawings to pray, making cookies for health care workers with notes of encouragement, or prayer walking your street to meet neighbors to invite to join you in one of the three online services … you are living sent and the mission of God is advancing. 

We are partnering with a number of local mission groups to serve the greater Birmingham area. Here is a sampling of what Shades members have done, and are doing, as a church family:

  • Each Friday 75-125, “weekend sack lunches” are prepared and delivered to Green Valley Elementary School to provide meals for children through the weekend. 
  • Three times a week (M,W,F), at least 50 individual sack lunches are prepared by Shades members and dropped off that goes to feed the homeless population in Birmingham through Urban Purpose. 
  • Twice a week (T,Th), sacks of groceries are bought by Shades members and being dropped off, repackaged, and boxed up with enough food for four to five individuals. These are then distributed to churches and groups who are serving families in lower income areas and the elderly through Christian Service Mission.  
  • Working alongside our church plant, Antioch Community Church, we've begun intentional efforts to serve and care for the health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19. A number of ideas are being organized such as encouragement notes, providing for childcare needs, prayer teams focused on different specialties, goodies like cookies delivered to the offices, maybe even “favorites” given out, etc. 
  • Additional opportunities each week are also available in partnership with Serving You Ministry.
  • Finally, each week for Shades supported missionaries and church planters are contacted for updates and prayer needs. Join others who are praying for them on a regular basis through their updates found here!

These serving opportunities are updated on a weekly basis on the Volunteer site of our web page. Would you pray and ask God what you can do? Then check out the page and select a time and way to serve our community through one of our partners. 

Personally, I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful family of believers who have been led well "for such a time as this!" Our world has changed, but His mission hasn’t. This season of crisis is to be the church's finest hour. May we embrace this opportunity … may we be the church … may we live sent!

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How to LIVE SENT in a Quarantined World

Posted in Missions  |  By Tim Wheat  |  Posted on Thu Mar 19, 2020

How to LIVE SENT in a Quarantined World

Although the world of personal connection and ministry seems to be literally changing every day, our mission as followers of Jesus is still the same. “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you…” are words that have relevance across time, culture, and place. This pandemic did not catch the Father off guard so we can trust that He has a plan and desire to use it for His Glory and our good. So how are we to live as “sent” people in a world that is shutting down, quarantined, and becoming more isolated? Below are suggestions intended to provide some initial thoughts. These suggestions are not to contradict the wisdom of officials and leaders in regards to gathering in groups but simple ways of how best to live our lives while still loving our neighbor in the midst of these days.

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Antioch Community Church | An Update

Posted in Missions  |  By Kevin Naylor  |  Posted on Wed May 22, 2019

Antioch Community Church | An Update

“Plant a church at UAB.”

Those were not words I ever expected to hear from God.

Yet here we are four months in to watching God do something amazing. The call came in March 2018 followed by months of prayerful consideration and assessment. In October 2018 we shared publicly with the Shades family the vision and invited you to pray about joining us. And on January 20, 2019 we held our first Core Team Gathering. 

What We've Been Up To

Over these past few months God has assembled a Core Team of 41 adults and 10 children. All life stages are represented in this team which was a major answer to prayer. Our desire is to be a multi-generational church focused on reaching the next generation. 

Continuing to meet every Sunday afternoon for worship and missional training we moved into our initial outreach phase in March. We launched Antioch Families. These are our vehicle for missional engagement. One of the convictions God has given us is the importance of attractional communities not simply attractional events. Jesus said, “ By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) So, we want to give those far from God the opportunity to see the gospel through the body of Christ in a non-threatening atmosphere.

An Antioch Family is a co-ed group of 10-20 people that meets in a home and includes two things: dinner and conversation. It provides a welcoming atmosphere for those far from God to belong and it provides an easy ask for us with our lost friends: “Want to come to a dinner party?” 

As people are invited to belong we invite them to believe through reading the Bible together and hearing the gospel.

Since we launched our first three Antioch Families in March we have seen 20 unchurched or de-churched people visit a Family. Of those 20 people include students from India, Nepal, and Taiwan. By God’s grace we are even beginning to see lost people bring other lost people. And God has led one lost student to begin reading the Bible with one of our students. 

God is also beginning to answer our prayer for a cultural diverse church. We recently just had a student from Ghana join our church! 

How to Get Involved

  • Join our Prayer Team. There are 60+ people praying for Antioch everyday.  We know that church planting and making disciples is not suited for human wisdom. We need God’s presence, leadership, and wisdom. Would you consider praying for us on a daily basis?
  • Volunteer. Throughout the year there will be opportunities to serve with us through set up and tear down as well as helping with events. 

Let us know here if you are interested in supporting us in either of these ways. 

How to Pray

  • Meeting space. We are on the hunt for God’s place for us to gather for worship this fall. Pray for God to provide the right place. 
  • Relationships with the lost. Pray for God to continue grow our heart for the lost. Pray for opportunities to build new friendships and deepen current ones. Pray that we’d see many students far from Jesus come to know and love him. 

Shades Family, thank you for your prayer, encouragement, and support. I am grateful for you.



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Ed Traverse and Greg Ott

Posted in Missions  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Wed Mar 14, 2018

Ed Traverse and Greg Ott

Global Impact Celebration is a week of connection, encouragement, learning, and renewal for all of us. But sometimes, there are God-ordained moments that make the week a memory for both missionary guests and church members. Below, you'll read recollections from Ed Traverse, pastor of Lifepoint Church in Westerville, Ohio and Greg Ott, a member here at Shades, about a unique connection between them.

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Live Sent

Posted in Missions  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Mon Feb 26, 2018

Live Sent

I grew up in the age of Girls in Action (GA’s), so I always knew what a missionary was.

We heard stories of people who traveled to other countries to tell people about the love of Jesus. However, my first real touch with missions was when I was about five-years-old and my Paw-Paw, who was a Southern Baptist preacher, came home from a trip to China.

My Paw-Paw loved Jesus with every fiber of his being, and he loved to tell people about Jesus! He could do this at a restaurant or he could do this in China. I grew up knowing this not just because of his words but also because of his actions.

I took a mission trip to Trinidad the summer after I graduated from high school. I understood that we were there to share about Christ, but I never felt a passion for the people we were ministering to. I had never experienced an all-consuming desire to reach out and see hearts and lives changed. Missions were just an exciting trip we did. A church thing.

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Summer Missions at Shades

Posted in Missions  |  By Jordan Cox  |  Posted on Mon Jun 20, 2016

Summer Missions at Shades

If you’ve been a part of the Shades family, you likely know this. If you’re new to Shades, you’ll find out quickly:

Living a life on mission is the core of who we are.

Summer is a great time to leverage our resources and gifts for the Kingdom of God. We send out more teams during the summer months than at any time during the year. We also see generations spanning one another to impact our world for Christ.

Through mid-June, we’ve sent out eight teams. We’ll commission and send out five more through August. 13 teams in the span of four months. Missions isn’t a value or call we’ve had to buy and sell; as a church family we’ve heeded the importance God placed in Scripture of taking the gospel to the nations.

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Advancing the Kingdom

Posted in Missions  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Sun Feb 28, 2016

Advancing the Kingdom

Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post for our Global Impact Celebration 2016. Due to security purposes, the author must remain anonymous.

I have a passion.

I love to fly. I especially, like to take people flying that have never flown in a small plane before.

Normally, I will take them with me as I walk around the plane and do the pre-flight checks showing them all the things I am doing to make sure the plane is in good shape to fly.

Next, as we get into the cockpit, I describe to them the sequence of events that are about to unfold as we take flight.

I will be talking on the radio to make sure that other traffic know what we are doing and to keep aware of other traffic around the airport. We will then taxi to the end of the runway and I will point the plan into the grass and give it power.

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Chapters Update | Living Hope

Posted in Missions  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Thu Nov 5, 2015