Questions for Reflection – July 10, 2022

On Sunday, July 10, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Spiritual Gifts – Part 2” from our sermon series“Divinely Designed to Serve”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Think of a time when something you got or bought didn’t fit what you needed it for, OR a time when you discovered something you had that no longer fit. Share a little about it. In a sense, we want our key ministry/serving activities to “fit” with the way God designed us to serve.

2. Bruce talked about the “3 V’s of Gifts” from 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. He mentioned how the “3 V’s” assist us in abstaining from the comparison syndrome. Why is that true?

3. Bruce talked about the 9 Consensus Spiritual Gifts. Which among those nine was a newer idea for you? Did you readily identify with one or more of those nine?

4. Bruce mentioned 3 Fascinating Facets about gifts. Can you recall what those were? What do you think about the idea that all the nine spiritual gifts are designed to be models or prototypes to inspire other believers?

5. How do you sense that the Holy Spirit may be encouraging you to be more active in ministry?

6. Who could you encourage this week as you’ve observed them be effective in ministering to and serving others?

7. When you take the Spiritual Gift Indicator profile, discuss the results with at least one other person.

​​​​​​​8. Take time to praise God for divinely designing you to serve Him and others.

Sneak Peak – Sunday, July 10, 2022

Hey Wildwood Family!

The weather the past few days reminded me of a movie song from the 80’s, entitled, The Heat is On. The chorus is simple
The heat is on, the heat is on
The heat is on
Oh it’s on the street The heat is… on
Yep. Pretty much describes the past week in Norman America. I pray you’ve been able to stay cool!

I’m very excited to move into message #2 in our July series on Divinely Designed to Serve. After week one I pray many of you were spiritually refreshed by being reminded that we are God’s workmanship, His handiwork, His masterpiece. We are investigating the question: How did He S-H-A-P-E us to serve Him and others?

This Sunday we will continue the S-H-A-P-E acrostic by delving deeper into the subject of spiritual gifts. I think you will find the message highly informative and helpful. We also will share how you can take our Spiritual Gift Indicator profile to gain insight to your spiritual gifts.

Stay cool and see you Sunday!

Bruce

Lord of the Church (part 1) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, January 2, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 1:1-8.  This message was the first part in the “Lord of the Church” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 1:1-8
  3. Have you made any “resolutions” for the new year?  Would any of the resolutions you made include some facet of “getting to know God better” in the year ahead?  
  4. Have you ever read or studied the book of Revelation before?  Ever heard a sermon series on this book?  If so, what is your reaction to hearing that we are embarking on a study of this book for the new year?  If not, how do you feel about reading this book together in the new year?
  5. There was a long list of things we learn about Jesus from Revelation 1:1-8.  Of this list, what stands out to you most?  Anything in that list surprise you?
  6. In light of the imminence of Christ’s return, how will you prioritize getting to know Jesus better in the year ahead?
  7. How would your life be impacted if you remembered that Jesus is “near”?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to audio offline, click the link:

Lord of the Church #1 1.2.22

 

To listen to audio online, use the media player:

 

To watch the video, use the YouTube stream online:

 

New Power (part 2) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, August 15, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 5:13-15.  This message was part 2 in the “New Power” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection and group discussion.  You will also find the sermon audio and video to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 5:13-15
  3. We have seen in our study of Galatians that salvation is through Jesus ALONE, not Jesus plus one more thing.  This means that we don’t need to do anything beyond believe in order to inherit eternal life.  Some hear this message and object, “But if you make THOSE the terms of our relationship with God, people will just live terrible lives and continue in sin!”  Have you ever thought this?  Have you ever heard anyone say this?  How does Galatians 5:13-15 address this issue?
  4. Paul’s argument in 5:13 appears to center around WHO we are living for.  Are we living for our own selfish desires or for others?  If you were to do an inventory on your life today, how would you answer the question, “Who are you living for?”
  5. Think of a number of kinds of sins that you are aware of.  How would “loving your neighbor as yourself” prevent you from committing that type of sin?  
  6. Love is not just an emotion, but a commitment to devote yourself to the best interests on another.  What evidence do you see of this type of attitude among Christians you know?  Is this attitude in you?
  7. What are some practical ways you can serve your brothers and sisters in Christ this week?
  8. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here

 

To listen offline, click the link below:

The New Power #2 8.15.21

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the stream, use YouTube online:

 

Questions for Reflection – Sunday, February 28, 2021

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Tough Times – Part 2”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Bruce mentioned one of the key New Testament words for Tough Times was the term “thlipsis.”  It is a rather rich word used 45 times picturing being pressed in on, squeezed, or crushed.  Think about a tough time (maybe now) when you felt pressed in on, squeezed, or crushed by circumstances. Share some about why you felt (or feel) that way.

2. How was God’s sovereignty and providence displayed in Daniel 4:29-35 and in the story of Job?

3. Real out loud Isaiah 46:9-11.  What comfort and security in Tough Times can we experience when we pause to reflect on the fact that God is indeed “large and in charge?”

4. Bruce talked about how Scripture teaches that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), the Lord is just (Psalm 37:28), and the Lord is loving (Psalm 136). What can we practically gain in the midst of Tough Times by refreshing our hearts with that perspective?

5. Read Psalm 13:1-6. How do verses 1-2 contrast with verses 5-6?  How do you think David was able to make that transition?

6. We are either in a Tough Time now or will be soon. If you’re not in the midst right now, think through those around you who may well be in the midst of a Tough Time.  How might God use you to help and encourage them?

7. God knows we are human.  So, as Bruce said, don’t crucify yourself when you experience times of doubt and struggle. We should do like the Psalmists did.  Take your struggle and frustration and discouragement to the Lord in prayer.  Do that right now.

Remember: His loving face is always facing you!!

The Gift (part 3) Sermon Audio/Video & Questions

On Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Luke 2:8-20.  This message was part 3 of “The Gift” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find audio and video from the message to listen to/watch, download or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Luke 2:8-20
  3. In the Santa Claus story, he only gives gifts to those on the “nice” list.  How is this different from the hope for THE GIFT that we have in Jesus?  
  4. While (at first glance) we have little in common with the Shepherds (i.e. most of us do not raise animals for living), we share a spiritual connection with them.  Based on what you heard this morning, what is that spiritual connection?
  5. Have you ever done something that has made you feel “dirty” and “out in the field”?  How does this interaction with the shepherds remind you that Jesus has invited you “in”?
  6. Jesus’ birth leads GOOD NEWS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE.  In what way is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus “good news”?  
  7. Have you ever struggled with sustaining your belief because of academic concerns?  Have you ever investigate the evidence behind the life of Jesus?  Check out Lee Strobel’s “The Case for _______” series or Moody and Boa’s “I’m Glad you Asked” to explore further.
  8. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link:

The Gift #3 12.13.20

 

To listen online, use the media player:

 

To watch, use the YouTube stream online:

 

 

This sermon is part of the 2020 Christmas series at Wildwood.  We have also prepared a Devotional Book, “The Gift.”  Access the entire devotional and download your free copy by clicking here.

Wildwood has put together a list of Christmas songs in a playlist found on Apple Music and Spotify at the following links:

 

Questions for Reflection – November 1, 2020

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Eternal Rewards, Part 1”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. How often have you heard teaching on the subject of eternal rewards? Why do you think the subject isn’t addressed more frequently?

2. Some people feel that encouraging a believer to make spiritual life choices with the motive of gaining an eternal reward sounds wrong…sounds mercenary-like. Why do you think that is? How does that idea square with Scripture?

3. Re-read 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. What should we learn from such a passage? Elaborate.

4. CS Lewis said this in Mere Christianity: If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the future world, that they have become so ineffective in this.

Pray that God will deepen your personal focus on the world to come—which, indeed, is our true home.

FOR the Next Gen Following Jesus

One of the things I LOVE about Wildwood is our commitment to reaching the next generation for Jesus. Wildwood has invested heavily in this endeavor for years now, and God continues to work – giving us more and more opportunities with young people. This past weekend alone, we had nearly 400 students and children attend one of our programs. This is an incredible opportunity. Now more than ever it is needed. With schools in virtual settings, church is one of the only places kids can gather and interact.

Wildwood has the BEST MESSAGE (the Gospel) to share, and the BEST FACILITY in which to share it (our children’s building & student spaces) … but in order to put all these pieces together, we all know that we need people to serve. There simply is no substitute for a consistent, caring person in the life of a child who intentionally is pointing them to Christ. We have had over 120 people already raise their hands and want to serve in these ministries at this time … but we need more. We need you.

Many of us are saddened that programs have closed or gone full virtual for kids and students. Let’s do more than just be sad. Let’s get involved and make a difference. Wildwood has a place where you can get involved and personally help the next generation in this time of need. Would you join us in this effort?

We have volunteer openings for a variety of ages at each of our 3 indoor Sunday morning service options (9:00, 10:15, and 11:30) … and we also have opportunities on Wednesday nights (from 6-7:30 beginning in September). I write this post, sincerely not wanting you all (my friends) to miss out on the chance of a lifetime … connecting a child or student to Jesus and changing the eternal trajectory of their lives. If you are interested in being involved, please reach out to our Children’s Pastor Brooke Harrison (bharrison@wildwoodchurch.org) for details about serving with children (birth – 5th grade) or Student Pastor Abe Mahner (amahner@wildwoodchurch.org) for details about serving with (6th – 12th grade), or College Pastor Kevin Choate (kchoate@wildwoodchurch.org) for details about serving with college students.

Thanks for your prayerful consideration!!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

We Need Your Help!

August 6, 2020

Dear Wildwood,

What a joy it was to gather together as a church family and worship this past Sunday.  It was so good to see your face!  Our children’s ministry loved having the kids back, our student ministry had an awesome kick off to the new year, our adult classes relaunched and loved connecting in community, and it was so amazing to worship with so many of you in one of our 4 in-person worship services + the online stream … what a great weekend!

As we head toward this Sunday (August 9) I wanted to invite you all to help us welcome our community as we follow Jesus together to the glory of God.

With our commitment to creating the best environment in light of the ongoing pandemic, we have reduced the overall capacity of our worship center (this has been evident to any who have been present with us over the summer in our worship services).  With the extra legroom, you probably have felt like you were flying first class, but the move is to allow adequate social distancing, not just a luxury experience (HA!)  In order to accommodate all who desire to worship with us at Wildwood (and in light of our reduced seating capacity), we have 4 in-person worship services:  9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 (inside and with children’s ministry and adult classes running during all 3 hours … and student ministry running during the 9:00 and 10:15 services), and an 8:00 AM outdoor chapel service.  This has added two new worship service options from what we were running back in March when the pandemic hit.  This is to help us spread out, while also creating space for future growth.  

This past Sunday, our attendance was highest at the 10:15 service (where we were nearly out of seats), while there was plenty of capacity at our  9:00 and 11:30 services.  We know that the 10:15 may be the most convenient time for your family, and if that is the only or best option for your family, then PRAISE GOD!  See you at 10:15!  However, if you are able to shift your attendance to 9:00 or 11:30, then you would help create needed space in the 10:15 hour.  We will have an overflow seating option available for the 10:15 service this Sunday if the Worship Center fills again, but the BETTER option would be to have many (who are able) to join us at 9:00 or 11:30.  We are doing all we can to help all who are interested and able to join us for worship in this season.  Now (more than ever) we need each other … and we need Jesus!

Additionally, we want to invite all of you to join with us in serving this ministry year.  We have opportunities during all services (and during the week) and we need your help!  If you want to explore opportunities (and let us know your availability and interest) visit wildwoodchurch.org/serve

Thanks friends!  We cannot wait to see you again this Sunday as we continue our “Five Follows” series together.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Kicking Off a New Ministry Year Together!

July 30, 2020

Dear Wildwood,

Hello church!  We are just a couple of days away from starting a new ministry year together.  On this wild ride of 2020, aren’t you ready for a new start?  I know I am!

At Wildwood, as we begin a new ministry year together we are implementing a new schedule, launching classes for children, students, and adults, and kicking off a new sermon series … all this Sunday!  Here is what to expect:

Schedule:

Worship Services:

    • 9:00, 10:15, 11:30 AM – Worship Services (in the Worship Center)
    • 10:15 AM – Livestream at wildwoodchurch.org/live
    • 8:00 AM – Outdoor Chapel Service (in back parking lot)

Classes:

Children’s Ministry:

    • For all children (birth – 5th grade)
    • Meets during the 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 services
    • In Children’s Building
    • Unique hours of programming helping your children learn to follow Jesus!  Children can participate in multiple services while their parents worship and/or attend Adult classes or serve

Student Ministry:

    • For all students (6th – 12th grade)
    • Meets during the 9:00 and 10:15 services
    • In the Fellowship Center (downstairs)
    • Programming is the same both hours, allowing you to choose the option that best fits your family’s schedule
    • Students are encouraged to attend the worship service with their family or serve if they attend multiple hours.

College Ministry:

    • For all college aged students
    • Meets during the 10:15 service (beginning August 23)
    • In Room 5 downstairs (currently being renovated and expanded!)

Adult Ministry:

    • Classes for people in all different stages of life
    • Classes meet during 9, 10:15, and 11:30 worship services
    • See table below for the location and time of your class
    • Looking for a place to start?  Join us for Starting Point in Room 4 at 10:15 beginning August 9

New Sermon Series:

This Sunday, I am kicking off a new sermon series called “5 Follows: Growing in your faith along life’s road.”  This Sunday, we will look at Philippians 3:17-4:1 as we begin this journey together.  Can’t wait to see you Sunday as we launch this new series … invite your friends to join us!

Staying Healthy:

As we start our new ministry year, Wildwood has instituted a variety of plans to try to keep us healthy related to COVID-19.  You can read more about those plans and policies by clicking here.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark