It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2022! What a year it has been. A year of transitions. A year of change. Truthfully, every year should be a year of transition when we are following Christ. As Henry Blackaby taught us in Experiencing God, “We look to see where God is working and join Him.” You can’t join God and stay where you are!
I spent some time this week reading blogposts from the past year. Remembering all that God has done. It was a helpful exercise for me. It’s almost like we started the year with a run-oriented, ground-and-pound offense. And we are closing the year with Mike Leach’s wide-open, Air Raid.
The bottom line is that we are getting the ball across the goal! It’s been exciting to have our young families leading us in Advent celebrations during our worship services. At the start of this year, we didn’t have any active young families. And how about our first baptism in almost four years!
Lives are being changed!
The Best Laid Plans
I remember the day that Bill walked into my office. He had been here only a few weeks. I think it was a Monday morning. A Monday after a dreary, cold Sunday. The heat wasn’t working in the worship center. Attendance was down. Bill asked, “What excites you about this place?” After a long pause… honestly, at that moment I wasn’t too excited… I answered, “The potential. I don’t think God is finished with Huffman Baptist Church. Yes, that’s it. It’s the potential!”
Just a few weeks later, God opened our eyes to what that potential could be. You see, at the start of 2022 we made a bold commitment to reach The Next Generation in Northeast Birmingham. I specifically prayed for God to send us one family from the next generation who could then help us reach more families in our neighborhood. In my February blogpost I wrote, “I prayed for one family. And God said, ‘Yeah, your prayer is a bit too small!’ Instead of one family, he is sending us dozens of families among the students, faculty, and staff of Banks Academy.”
In his book, The Purpose Driven Church, pastor Rich Warren challenged us to think about “the church” in terms that exceed those who attend. He wrote about the Core (key leaders); the Committed (members who are heavily involved); the Congregation (active members); and the community (people engaged in or served by the ministries of the church). Based on that definition, HBC’s ministry footprint has expanded exponentially in the past twelve months with the addition of Banks Academy and Urban Young Life and the expansion of Elevate Birmingham!
Our job is to continually engage this expanded community and to move people from the community and towards the core… To make disciples who make disciples.
As we finish this year, I am thankful for all that God is doing through Huffman Baptist Church. He has greatly expanded our community of faith. He has given us opportunities to make Jesus known by literally bringing people into our house! And we are responding. Shortly after the first of the year, we will baptize a number of students from Banks Academy and begin to disciple them!
For so many years, we operated in survival mode. To use our opening analogy. We were not playing any offense. Just defense. But not anymore. To help us finish the year strong so that we can enter 2023 ready to see God do even more than we could ever imagine in the lives he has entrusted to us, would you consider making a year-end gift to Huffman Baptist Church? The easiest way to give is through our online, secure portal at https://huffmanbaptist.churchcenter.com/giving. If you are receiving this post via email, you can login using the email address where you received this post.
Just a reminder that we will be on a holiday schedule after Sunday, December 18th. Worship on Christmas and New Year’s Day will be at 11:00 AM with no Sunday School either day. And we will have no Wednesday activities the last two weeks of December. We will resume all normal activities on January 4th. The church office will be closed Friday, December 23; Monday, December 26; and Monday, January 2. For those wishing to bring a year-end contribution to the church, the church office will be OPEN on Friday, December 30 until 4:30.