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2017 Pastoral Reflections from the Lead Pastor | Wellspring Church

By Pastor Dwayne Bond in Wellspring Church 4 months ago | 1529 views Link: https://goo.gl/ftN5eE

Dear Wellspring Family,

As 2017 came to a close and we entered into 2018, I wanted to share some highlights with you from our year of growing Upward and Outward.  We started the year off with the two back-to-back books of First and Second Thessalonians, exploring what it means to have gospel intentions and motivations, standing firm and unshaken in the Lord’s truth, and how to engage in “woke living.” In the midst of those two books, we celebrated Easter Sunday and looked at Galatians 2:20 and how the gospel of Jesus Christ is a “Right Now Gospel.”  After our hearts were convicted and encouraged that we have been called to woke (and lit) living, we spent the summer Encountering God in the Psalms. What a beautiful reminder of how God sees us and loves us no matter what is going on in our lives and how we can be honest with Him about everything we think and feel. Before ending the year with Advent, we spent some good, rich time in the book of Hosea, getting an up-close view of our unfaithfulness, idolatry, sin and suffering, and of God’s relentless love and never-ending faithfulness. We saw how His love for us does not change, how He places hedges in our lives to protect us from falling deeper into sin, and how He always stands ready to dispense grace to an unfaithful people He called to Himself and forgave them instead of unleashing His justified wrath. We saw the most wonderful and unimaginable picture of a just, faithful and loving God.

And we needed that this year. In the midst of our growing upward and outward, there has also been national and international unrest, exposing of sin, as well as suffering, grief and loss. Some of us have had ill family members or experienced health crises of our own; others of us experienced the death of family and close friends. Some have lost jobs and homes, while others have moved away, moved on, or declined to engage in a process of reconciliation.  And through it all, God has been good and He has been gracious. He has comforted us, wept with us, sustained us, protected us, encouraged us and added to our family through new partners and beautiful births.

One of the most amazing and humbling ways that He encouraged us and reminded us of His faithfulness to Wellspring was the celebration of our Tenth Anniversary this year! What a time of remembrance and celebration of God’s unmerited favor and love toward Wellspring. As we reflect on 2017, we also got to reflect on everything God has done over the last ten years. We have been spurred on to woke living for the next ten years and beyond as well! 

The Children, Tweens and Teens

Our children, tweens and teens continue to grow and learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the character of God in the Kidz at the Welle-Kidz and student ministries. Our teachers and helpers have been faithful in coming alongside parents, presenting the gospel and its daily application to life Sunday after Sunday. The result is more of our children heeding the call of the Holy Spirit early in their lives and truly living for Him.

We are seeing them encouraging one another, sharing prayer requests, praying in church and gospel communities, and growing deeper in their relationships with the Lord and with those around them.  We are thankful to the Lord for the dedication and service of those who have faithfully served our children this past year. It is a sweet thing to see and hear our children articulate the gospel, live it out, and share it with others! Is your heart drawn toward our youth? If so, please pray and consider serving in our children’s or student ministry.

Church Growth

While we have seen some attrition this year, we have also seen the Lord’s faithfulness in continuing to grow us. There has been a surge of guests attending our gatherings and engaging in community with us!  Praise God!  

He continues to deepen our understanding of the gospel and is expanding our core of faithful believers. He has been raising up people in our midst who are all about growing upward and going outward! We have added 20 partners this year and also experienced the baptism of one of our youth! We expect to add several more partners early in 2018 and hope to see many more baptisms as people come to Christ and identify themselves with Him.

2017 saw the appointment of Marissa Nichols as Wellspring’s Director of Hospitality and Krista Mow was appointed as the Administrative Assistant to Pastor Bobby. What a phenomenal job both of these ladies have been doing in their respective roles!    

We also witnessed the expansion of the worship team, welcoming vocalist Emily JohnsonKamin Bond on the keyboards and Matt Mow on the guitar and vocals. The worship team also blessed us this year with some original music. The imagery of our need for God and His faithfulness to us was wonderfully captured in a Wellspring original song based on the book of Hosea. They also connected our hearts in a special way to the Wellspring mission with another original song that encourages us to be satisfied in Jesus. What a tremendous blessing our worship team has been to us and they are looking to expand again. Are you a skilled vocalist or instrumentalist? Please pray and consider joining our worship team.

And last but certainly not least, the Lord has seen fit to grant us a building! What an incredible demonstration of God’s faithfulness and commitment to Wellspring! We started out asking the Lord to provide us a place to worship and set down permanent roots, hoping to lease a building long-term, possibly with an option to buy. But God saw fit to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think and in December, we purchased a building. We are looking forward to the next level of ministry God has for us to engage in a community where there is currently no church. That’s saying something in a city of over 700 churches!

God is uniquely positioning Wellspring to share the love of Jesus through His gospel and we need your help. Now that we have the building, which was an adult daycare in its previous life, we have to up-fit it into a church. And that takes money. As you consider your financial contributions for 2018, will you pray about increasing your giving to help us reach our goal of $500,000? This is what we need to up-fit, furnish, replenish reserves and begin occupying the building. Along with financial giving, we will also have some opportunities for people to give in the form of sweat equity. Get those hammers, paint brushes and power tools ready!

Community Life and Missions

Our growth groups and gospel communities continue to flourish. People are digging in deep with community, serving one another, meeting practical needs, providing support, and engaging visitors. If you are not yet engaged, please prayerfully consider joining a gospel community group in Ballantyne, Mint Hill, University, or Monroe/Weddington. Stay tuned for the launch of other gospel communities in 2018.

Wellspring continued its partnerships with Common HeartJustice Ministries and Sedgefield Middle School, and established new partnerships with Love Life Charlotte andLeaders’ Collective. We also partnered with Mosaic Ministries and Union County Department of Social Services again this year to provide Christmas stockings to children in foster care in Union County.

Overseas, the Haglers continue to serve in Kenya and we look forward to welcoming them home for an overdue period of rest early in 2018. The Kejrs recently returned from Kenya and we can’t wait to reconnect with them during their time home! We also welcomed the Mallers back home from Ghana, as they gave birth to sweet baby Emma. We have enjoyed having them home and will miss them when they return to Ghana later this month. The VanderWals continue to serve in Papua New Guinea, translating and recording God’s Word into languages and dialects where people can now understand and see the Bible come to life in their native tongue!

2017 has been a year of recalibration, growth, and new direction. We anticipate great things to come in 2018 as we live on mission with Jesus and commit to spreading His gospel to those in need of salvation, healing, reconciliation, satisfaction and life. What a privilege to be used by our Savior on His mission!

Prayer Requests

As you pray for Wellspring, please pray that God would continue to bring about spiritual maturity in His followers and that the followers of Christ will continue to spread the Good News of the Gospel throughout Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

Please pray for the elders of Wellspring, as they are on the front lines daily dealing with all kinds of spiritual warfare as they press forward in advancing the kingdom of our Savior. Please pray for them as they seek the Lord about the direction of Wellspring and appointing leaders.  Please pray for the safety and protection of the elders’ families, as the enemy will always try to attack close to home in order to distract from the advancement of the Kingdom.

Please pray for the deaconate and ministry leaders of Wellspring and their families as they support the elders in carrying out the vision and mission of Wellspring for the glory of God.

Please pray for those that don’t know Jesus Christ; that their hearts would be prepared for a personal encounter with Him and that they would be discipled. Please pray for those that think they already know Jesus Christ but really don’t – they are the most deceived and most difficult to reach.

Pray for our children, that the Lord will show Himself to them at an early age and that their fire never goes out. Also pray that the Lord will raise up people to serve in the children’s and student ministries that are passionate about seeing our children and students grow spiritually.

Please pray for marriages in general, as marriage is the cornerstone of family and the enemy continues to try and make it obsolete.  Please pray for those that are grieving from the many losses that occur on daily basis. Please pray for those that are hurting and grieving, that they may seek help as needed and experience healing and/or restoration.

Please pray for wisdom and boldness for each believer to engage in the culture as Christ has called us to, and to speak the truth in love with words that are seasoned with grace but are firmly rooted in truth. Please pray that He would show each one of us personally how to make disciples that make disciples. Pray for our ministry partners and fellow church-planting churches and their continued service to those in need in their spheres of ministry influence.

Please pray for our leaders in this country from the president down to local town councils, that their hearts would be turned toward God and that they would be used for God’s glory.

Please pray for those in our church community who are engaged in missions – local and international – as they answer the call of God to serve at home and abroad. Please pray for racial reconciliation within the body of Christ and that Christ followers would be leaders in race relations in the Charlotte region and across our country.

Please pray for the leaders as they seek to refine systems and structures of Wellspring. Last year, we asked you to pray as we continue an intense search for building; God has answered that prayer in a glorious way! We ask your continued prayers for the financial provision needed to up-fit the building, occupy it, and bring on Wellspring staff as we seek to establish a presence in our new community.

Please pray for our worship team, that God would continue to knit their hearts together and that our worship leader would stay close to the heart of God. Pray for their planned expansion in 2018.

Pray for the church of God to be unleashed in our communities, city, and world.

Thank you so much for your service, prayers, giving and support. Wellspring would not be where it is if not for your faithfulness. Your financial contributions and labor in prayer have been a sustaining force in the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the Charlotte area.  We are just getting started!

 

Happy New Year,

 

Pastor Bond

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Comments

Deaconess Roslind Moore

Thanks for this Pastor B. Good has truly been good to us.

On Jan 9, 2018 16:16, “Pastor Dwayne Bond on The City” <
(email address removed)> wrote:

Talya Hooker

Thank you for the overview. It was helpful, especially for newbies, like us!

Pastor Dwayne Bond

Amen Deaconess! Thanks Talya - I’m so glad! Welcome again to the family.

Michael Coleman

Praise the Lord! This is awesome. Thanks for the update Pastor Bond.

Pastor Dwayne Bond

Amen Michael! Thanks for reading it. You’re welcome.

Sent from my iPad
On Jan 10, 2018, at 10:04 AM, Michael Coleman on The City <(email address removed)> wrote:

Deacon Vladimir Sylvestre

To read and see what God did in 2017 is amazing! Looking forward to 2018 as He Unleashes the Church. Thanks for update.

Deaconess Roslind Moore

@DV – YEAH MAN!!

On Jan 10, 2018 1:11 PM, “Deacon Vladimir Sylvestre on The City” <
(email address removed)> wrote:

Pastor Dwayne Bond

Amen to that!

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