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Hess's Headlines 12/28/21

Posted by Chad Hess on

Dear Woodmont,
 
What a year! As we look now to enter into 2022, some will be timid in their expectations for a new year. Over the last two years, we have now learned to enter cautiously, expecting the unexpected instead of setting lofty goals or resolutions. The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, who is depicted as a man with two faces. One of his faces looks to the future, while the other looks behind. A new year provides us with the opportunity to look back and then take what we have learned and look ahead.
As we look back in 2021, we can see God’s hand of blessing and faithfulness to Woodmont Baptist Church. New members have continued to come and invest themselves in the work of God through the local church. The Lord has been faithful to bring new opportunities to serve the local community. For example, recently there was a story told to me about a family that had to find refuge at SafePlace, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence. There was a young adolescent boy in the family that found release through playing basketball. By the Lord’s grace, the men’s ministry of Woodmont had put up a basketball goal at the shelter for such situations. Another example: did you know that there is a Bible Study Connection group that provides birthday care packages for every single student in a local elementary school? When a child has a birthday, they are sure to receive a birthday blessing because a class is intentional with the mission of God through the local church. 2021 also allowed Woodmont the opportunity to partner with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a ministry providing beds for children in our area. On March 12, 2022, the people at Woodmont will build 50 beds. The Lord has planted many discipleship groups, using them to rekindle a desire for the Lord, His Word, and revival. The Lord also allowed us to raise the goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering significantly to ensure that missionaries around the world are still equipped with the resources they need to share the gospel. Your faithfulness in the Lord also provided many Bibles for a drug rehab facility in our area that will help spiritual recovery and healing to take place through the living and active Word of God. Your ministry fed those in jail and ministered to those in their lowest moments. The Lord allowed us to establish a new staff position for 2022, a pastor of missions and discipleship that will continue to build opportunities for people to serve and be discipled in Jesus Christ. While many faced difficult challenges, they were met with the comfort of the body of Christ through their trials. In fact, I would summarize 2021 as one of the most challenging, and yet, incredible years I have ever experienced in Christian leadership.
 
That is what makes our start to 2022 so important. You see, I believe that when the church is mobilized for the mission of God, when the Lord has blessed His church with His resources, and when the church is taking seriously the Great Commission, I believe that the enemy, Satan, is not just sitting idle. In fact, I believe that the adversary, the Devil, would love to attack Woodmont, to divide Woodmont, and to destroy every effort the Lord is accomplishing through His people. His attacks are not always bold and easy to see, the enemy may simply distract us or make us comfortable. That is why 2022’s Bible reading plan and prayer guide is so significant. This will help us read the Word, pray the Word, and unite the church! My prayer is that a revival breaks out like in the days of King Josiah as they listened to the Lord and worshipped. My prayer is that we will be fully equipped in the armor of the Lord just as Ephesians 6 commands. My prayer is that we would be alert and able to see the enemy prowling around like a lion looking for one to devour. More than seeing the enemy clearly, reading the Word and praying the Word will help us to unite under God’s calling to do His work for His glory. I look forward to seeing how God will mobilize His people to serve, how He will use those gifted in teaching to equip, how He will call us to go and where He will send His church in 2022. As we build beds, build discipleship, and build on His work of the Great Commission, I pray that you will be looking forward to 2022 as well!
 
Happy New Year!
 
Chad Hess
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