You'll Be Encouraged

Posted by Danny Wood

In this week’s update, Pastor Danny highlights one of our missions partners, previews our upcoming church year, and encourages us to look back at some stories of how God has worked in his people. Take a look!

Hello Church!

This past week, Tim Wheat our Pastor of Missional Living, shared with our staff a video from one of the church planters that we support, Yale Wall at Living Faith Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. With financial support from Shades and lots of hours of work from our people, Living Faith was able to transform a rundown building in their neighborhood into a ministry center with a space for meetings, discipleship, and even a medical clinic. In the video from Yale, you can see the space come to life and you can hear Yale’s sincere gratitude. He, his wife Autumn, and the folks at Living Faith aren’t just names on a spreadsheet receiving funds from Shades, they are missions partners with Shades. He and his wife Autumn have been GIC missionaries for the past several years and have come to Birmingham with their three children in tow, connecting with our people, making friends, telling us about their work in Indianapolis. And we have gone there! Several Shades teams have headed north to clean and paint and encourage and support. We work together; we’re partners! Folks, missions is about relationships … relationships with people who are far from God and relationships with people loving on the people far from God. Be sure to check out the video from Yale Wall at and to pray for Living Faith Church!

In just four weeks, we will launch a new church year with a complete schedule of activities for every age group on Sundays and Wednesdays. It’s exciting to ramp back up to full speed! There is a way for everyone to plug in and connect with others. There are numerous ways to participate and ways to serve. Some options are:

  • Find that Sunday School class, 
  • join the choir or orchestra, 
  • participate in a DGroup, 
  • sign up for worship care, 
  • be a greeter, 
  • teach children, 
  • volunteer in Hand in Hand, 
  • learn to operate a camera; 
  • you might even want to put on a reflective vest and help direct traffic.  

When I say there’s something for everyone … there is something for everyone. Head to regularly for the most current information about the fall schedule and then head to to find a complete list of opportunities to serve. God has equipped us all with gifts and talents … let’s put them to good use!

This Sunday, I will continue the sermon series "Forty for Forty" with a look at Numbers chapter 21 and the miraculous way the Lord creates fear and awe in the enemies of his people. I have never preached on this passage and you have probably never heard a sermon on it so this should be a great Sunday! Throughout this series we have looked back at stories of Shades people who have experienced firsthand a miracle from God.  In addition to the five you’ll see in this sermon series, there are dozens more available on our website at These are powerful personal testimonies from people you know. Check them out—I promise you will be encouraged!

Friends, it is a special blessing to be your pastor, to serve alongside people who love the Lord, love others, and impact the kingdom every day! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, either in person or online.