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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Who Does It Belong To? by Roger and Anna Driskill

Who Does it Belong To?  

 by Roger and Anna Driskill

Luke 12:48: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. 

Let’s face it: this is an affluent church. We have a membership that, compared to many, has money. Despite what we know Jesus said about the rich man and the eye of a needle, we don’t feel guilty about having money, and we shouldn’t, if we have acquired it honorably, and we do with it as God has instructed. But, another saying, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected,” does apply. A pastor from another church once presented it this way:    

At the end of the week, you have a bowl of fruit, let’s say 10 apples. If you acknowledge that God made it possible for you to amass this bounty of 10 apples, you must also acknowledge that God is asking in return for 1 apple, and that you give it to Him with joy and appreciation. And God’s should be the best and first apple, not the small one with the wormhole.    

 But what if we gave back 2 apples, or 3, or more?   

So, “Will a man rob God?” Participating in Catalyst is a challenge to our congregation to sharpen our focus for returning to God what was already His. It is an invitation to participate in joyful, appreciative excess, to be enthusiastic givers of our financial resources, but also to hold our leadership responsible for using our gifts to enrich the lives of others, not just to fill our own storehouses. We are thankful for the ways we have seen congregational participation in this effort conducted with loving hearts, and look forward to seeing the gathered resources used more and more beyond our walls and less and less within them.      

Is God encouraging you to give back more?  What would it take for you to become a 2 apple giver, or a 3 apple giver?
Posted by Terri Soper at Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Stephen Ministry by Carol Kingery

Stephen Ministry   

by Carol Kingery

Galatians 6:2:  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.    

Second Baptist started our Stephen Ministry program in 2004. Our church leadership carefully planned and budgeted for our congregation’s commitment and involvement.  This program has been blessed over the years by good, solid financial support. In our first year, eight people attended the Leadership Training Conference and learned how to implement this life-changing ministry at our church. Upon their return, 10 people joined the first training class to become Stephen Ministers. Since that time, we’ve trained 17 more people. In addition to monetary support, you’ve affirmed us by commissioning Stephen Ministers and Stephen Leaders. You support our Service of Hope each year by bringing your friends and family. Most importantly, you serve as our eyes and ears and refer hurting people to receive Stephen Ministry care.   

Catalyst money is divided into three major areas: Our world, the greater Kansas City area, and the 2BC faith community. Our Stephen Ministry program has cared for 2BC members as well as for people beyond our faith community. We provide one-on-one distinctively Christian care to anyone going through a difficult season in their life. With 27 trained Stephen Ministers, we have touched dozens and dozens of people and made their journey less difficult. Tears of sadness often become tears of gladness. I wish I could tell you stories about some of these relationships, but, as you know, we’re a confidential group. Our ministry is successful primarily because of its confidentiality.   

But that doesn’t stop me from extending a deep and heartfelt THANK YOU for supporting Stephen Ministry. It is your ministry, and your Catalyst contributions make such a difference to a great many people. Thank you, 2BC, for your generosity.

Thank God, that through Catalyst, laypeople are highly trained, and use their training and compassion to meet the needs of hurting people. 
Posted by Terri Soper at Monday, October 13, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : They Comforted Us by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

They Comforted Us   

by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

Matthew 25:35: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.   

During the summer of 2013, we journeyed to Ottawa, Canada, to work in two refugee ministries. Until then, most of our understanding of refugees had been gained from watching the nightly news. During our days at Matthew House, we prepared meals, cleaned, held babies, visited with residents, and sorted welcome kits. At the Furniture Bank, we moved furniture and helped clients select items for their new homes. These duties were rewarding because we knew we were helping others. But the most rewarding part of our trip was the interaction we had with the refugees and staff. We met refugees from Bulgaria, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.   

We learned that we can make friends and have fun even if we can’t speak someone else’s language. Refugees make many sacrifices as they leave their home country. Roda, one of our friends from the Congo, had been forced to flee, leaving her four year old daughter with friends she hardly knew.  She now sends money back to take care of her. Another friend, Cristobel, has begun a new life in Canada, but sorely misses the influence of her mother as she is raising a beautiful boy named Michael. David, who manages the Matthew House and has recently become a Canadian citizen, celebrates his new status and the ability it offers – he’ll be able to travel to see his mother and siblings for the first time in nearly 20 years.  All of his family have now fled Zimbabwe in fear of the dictator Mugabe. Paradis, now a college student, arrived in Ottawa as a nine year old from Iran.  She spent almost the first year of her life in Canada sleeping on the floor of her family’s apartment because they had no beds.  Now she interns at Furniture Bank, insuring that other refugees have such necessities.   

Through it all, what struck us most were the determination and positive spirit that the refugees shared. They ate with us, laughed with us, carried us on their backs, and played soccer with us. They prayed with us, in English and once in French – perhaps one of the more moving moments in our visit. They could have appeared anxious and fearful; instead they were trusting and joyful, comforting us with their spirit.  These friends became living examples that God’s grace is sufficient for all of our needs.   

We are grateful that the SEND initiative of Second Baptist made this trip possible for us.         

As we continue to participate in Catalyst, may we do so with generous hearts from a deep trust and confidence that God’s abundance is sufficient for all that is before us. We pray that our lives are freed from anxiousness, and we continue to dwell in the joy of extravagant generosity.
Posted by Terri Soper at Sunday, October 12, 2014
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