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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : A New Season by Jason Edwards

A New Season

by Jason Edwards

Today is the first day of a new season at Second Baptist Church. Today is “First Fruits” Sunday. Today is the beginning of Catalyst 2.0.   

 Today I am eager.  I am eager because I know that God has some exciting things in store for our congregation over the next 24 months. As we continue to grow in our ministry of hospitality I know our ability to welcome new people into meaningful, Christ-centered community will only become more robust. As every one of us becomes more equipped and motivated to serve in ways God has designed us, I know that we will continue to embrace our longing to live out a whole-life faith. As we dream together through our Collective Action Initiative, I know God is going to stir something tangible in us that will continue to help us pursue our desire to bring glory to God as a transforming, missional presence around our world.   

And I am also grateful.  I am grateful for the generosity that has brought us this far. So many of you have chosen to allow God’s generosity to flow through you over the past 24 months. You have given of your time, your talents, and your resources in ways that have enhanced our church’s ability to pursue the dream of God together. I am grateful for the mark you continue to allow God to make upon you, our city, our region and our world through the spiritual practice of generosity. And I am also grateful for the mark you have made upon me.   

At the beginning of our Catalyst journey I was privileged to hear many of you share with me what you planned to do during Catalyst. I left those conversations inspired and challenged: So challenged, in fact, that Christy and I changed our own giving plans.   

You may remember me sharing this with you. Before Catalyst we tithed, we gave 10% of our monthly income to the church. We also gave money to the renovation fund and another organization we support on top of that. Finally we planned an additional monthly giving amount for Catalyst. We felt good about our plans, but after being inspired by some of you, we prayed about it and decided to double the additional amount we had planned to give for Catalyst.   

Now I have to tell you, giving this amount of money was not easy for us. Sometimes we weren’t sure we were going to be able to follow through. But on faith, we did. And through this process, God has been faithful to supply our needs. Somehow or another, there has been enough. And that enough has been multiplied. Sacrifice always leaves a mark. It’s transformative. Your sacrifices have left a mark on us, leading us to practice generosity in a way that has continued to mark us. And for that I am grateful.   

My hope and prayer is that a mark will continue to be left as we move through this next season of life and ministry together; that we will continue to feel the marks of God’s generosity on us; that we will continue to be impacted by the generosity of others in our community; that our world will continue to be marked by our generosity; and ultimately, that through all of that, we and our world will be transformed.   

Today is a good day for us. Let’s move forward from it with eagerness and gratitude as we seek to become catalysts for God’s dreams to come true.   

How have you decided to participate in the dream of God with our faith community over the next 24 months? Will you pray for the wisdom, direction, and courage to be daring and committed for Christ’s sake in the months ahead?  
Posted by Terri Soper at Sunday, November 2, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : We Dreamed a Dream by Ashton Wells

We Dreamed a Dream!   

by Ashton Wells

1 Corinthians 12:4–6:  There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.   

When the Catalyst initiative started, Tyler Tankersley was the Youth Pastor at Second Baptist. He was invited to “dream big” about what more funding could provide for the student ministry. Tyler reached out to volunteers and students to dream with him. We dreamed up a budget that would allow for meaningful summer trips, service opportunities, parties, informed speakers, and more. A budget that would allow our student ministry to go from something that simply served our inner core of students to a ministry that reached out to the local and global community.   

Our student ministry is blessed to have people contributing in a number of ways. We have great parents who volunteer to be present, provide meals, transportation, and support in a variety of ways. We have a congregation that values our students, empowering them to be leaders in our church. Our volunteers attend weekly events, overnight excursions, and week long trips. And our students are always willing to serve, to be present at events, and to contribute to whatever is happening in the student ministry.  

The funds that Catalyst provides, along with all of the nonmonetary contributions listed above, allows our student ministry to grow more into the ministry that we dreamed about two years ago with Tyler. I, for one, am excited to see the student ministry that exists two years from now thanks to the generosity of everyone at Second Baptist. I know it will be a student ministry that has purpose and vision and continuing dreams for their contribution to God’s work in Liberty, Missouri, and the world.

Contributions are not always monetary.  Beyond your financial contribution, what else could you give?  Talents . . .  time . . . ?    
Posted by Terri Soper at Saturday, November 1, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : When We Look Back We See God's Work by Ron Whited

When We Look Back We See God’s Work

by Ron Whited

Romans 10:14:  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?   

Becky and I were on vacation in Chicago, summer 2009, and wanted to tap into worship at 2BC on Sunday morning. We managed to locate our radio broadcast on the Internet and listened in. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could see and hear the service also?" "What about the camera mounted on the balcony for providing video to the Welcome Center?"   

In the ensuing months, I began to work with Allan on understanding the camera. 2BC had a laptop and we captured video of the worship using a simple interface. From there we moved forward.   

In 2010, we experimented with capturing Standard Definition to a laptop, develop a media website, and enlist 5–10 camera operators.   

In 2011, we provided DVDs of services to 2BC members and positioned 2BC for on-demand video.  

In 2012, we replaced the laptop with a hardware server, ran a connection to the Internet so that anyone could view delayed worship services, and positioned 2BC for live video streaming.   

 In 2013, we installed commercial media server software and began to live stream 2BC services.   

In 2014, we expanded live streaming through Amazon web services to allow more viewers and installed four new cameras and video equipment to provide multi-camera feeds to the Welcome Center and the internet in high definition.   

Thanks to Catalyst and the hard work of many volunteers we continue to reach others with the Good News, and look forward to enhancing the media ministry among us.   

In our lives, little steps move us to greater places in our walk with the Lord.  Along the way, let us be faithful; bathe our lives in gratitude; and find ways to love others along the journey.  Then as we look back, we will see God at work, and rejoice!   

Ask God to share with you new opportunities to share the Gospel with others. 
Posted by Terri Soper at Friday, October 31, 2014
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