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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Welcomeness by Greg Mees


by Greg Mees

Psalm 122:1:  I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”   

Do you remember the first time you stepped through the doors at Second? Were you nervous, excited, or moved? What did you experience? Did people introduce themselves, invite you to a Bible Study class, or show you to the sanctuary? Why did you come back? Was it because you felt accepted and knew you could grow your relationship with Christ at Second? The answers to these questions determined if you returned to Second and still determine if visitors return to Second. How our church community welcomes visitors is a critical component of hospitality. Hospitality involves all of us, not just the greeters and the ministerial staff. Jesus said in Matthew 25:35 “…I was a stranger and you invited me in.” I truly hope that after a visitor attends an event at Second they do not feel like a stranger but feel invited in to our community of faith. Over the next several months, Second will be working to improve our already-strong hospitality plan and we will need everyone’s help.   

Visiting Second was a life-changing event for my family and me. It is my desire to help continue and even strengthen the impressive culture of “welcomeness” that I experienced when my family first visited 2BC on Sunday, April 14, 2013. I want to thank those of you who interacted with our family on our first visit to Second.  We were greeted with a smile as we entered the Welcome Center, escorted to and introduced to Maria Rucker and Gwen Phillips in the nursery, taken to Steve Guinn’s Sunday School class where we were greeted warmly, and finally taken to the sanctuary where at least three couples approached us and welcomed us. After the service, we picked up Hannah and Lauren from childcare, where we met Marilyn Buhlig and other caring, helpful teachers.  Becky Gossett later arrived at our house to thank us for attending and dropped off bread for us to enjoy. As we closed the door of our home after briefly visiting with Becky, we knew we had found our church home. Though you might not remember talking with me that day, thank you for your hospitality; you changed four lives for the better as you helped start the Mees family on our journey to Believe. Belong. Become. . . . at Second.      

How can you become a welcoming presence to stranger (and future friend) that walks through doors of Second Baptist Church?
Posted by Terri Soper at Monday, October 27, 2014

Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Be Intentional by Abby Bland

Be Intentional 

by Abby Bland


1 Timothy 4:12:  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  

Brent's backyard was the place. Horseshoes was the game. The sun was low; the air was cool, and the sky soft pastels. Mosquitos zipped away from slapping hands and horseshoes alternated between thudding in the grass (mine) or clanging around the pole (Brent's). There was laughter and conversation and fun. It was nothing short of beautiful. It was nothing short of community.   

We were in Bridger, South Dakota, a place I have been many times. In the last couple of years, with the SEND initiative, I have been able to travel with many students and friends who had not been before. It is a very unique, and somewhat precious, experience to share a place that has been so formational to me and remains so near and dear to my heart.   

It has been of particular interest to me to see the student ministry of Second develop such an intentionality in being an active part of the partnership between 2bc and Bridger. Watching the faces of the students light up when they meet the children of Bridger, or when I see them invest the better part of an afternoon listening to the stories of the community adults, or when they get down and dirty in the various projects, my heart is glad. These are things that I know make a community. These are things that I know speak of Christ and show him to the world. I am so thankful that SEND allows students the chance to experience new places and to see expressions of God's grace and love in other parts of the world.

Is God calling you to go to a new place?  Thoughtfully consider how you can be a part of the SEND Initiative, either by going or by giving.

Posted by Terri Soper at Sunday, October 26, 2014

Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : What If to What Is by Chris Thompson

What if To What Is

by Chris Thompson   

Acts 2:44:  All the believers were together and had everything in common.   

Changing “what if” to “what is” may merely be the change of one letter, but it can also be the difference between justice and injustice; between health and happiness and misery and disappointment; between dreams deferred or denied, and dreams realized . . . between death on a cross, and resurrection.   

One year ago, I and others meeting in the most diverse square mile in the United States, where more than 60 languages are spoken, began to ask “what if?” We began to wonder, to explore the possibility for refugees and others marginalized by economic and political persecution. We visioned together, dreamed together, and decided together, the future of this community and the use of the community’s resources—decisions too often made by so-called experts, by politicians, bureaucrats, and outsiders.   

We asked, “what if the community invested resources in a common fund for community transformation? What if every resident could join in a process to decide the use of those community funds? What if the process was one of consensus, not competition, of dialogue and deliberation, not advocacy and argumentation?”  With those questions in mind, an experiment in direct democracy—the community trust—was born.   

On a night in August, nearly one hundred individuals speaking ten different languages and representing a variety of ethnic groups and nationalities met in small groups of eight to ten in the hallways, commons, and classrooms of a local school to share visions of a safe community, an educated community, a housed community, an employed community, a connected community, and a playful community.  They spoke in Somali, French, Farsi, Arabic, Nepali, and English, to name a few of the languages.  They discussed potential areas of community focus—areas needing resources and attention based on their shared visions of community; and they decided—together.      

When results were announced . . . participants in the room smiled, laughed, clapped, and cheered on that August night . . . Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu; Somali, Bhutanese, Burmese, Congolese, African-American, Afghani, Ethiopian, and others. 

What if?   

Catalyst 2.0 will offer the opportunity for our community to discover the greatest needs in the Kansas City area.  Begin thinking now what those needs are and how best to respond.  And be willing to participate in the process.
Posted by Terri Soper at Saturday, October 25, 2014