Today’s post is by Marcia Kercher, coordinator of the new Connect Team.
My heart is full of gratitude when I think about the area of ministry I have been asked to launch and participate in. Pastor Bobby and Julie have heard my family’s faith story that has taken place over the past five year. It began shortly after we left the North Shore in 2010 and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Our story (too long for this blog) centers around our experience at Station Hill Church, a brand of Brentwood Baptist, located just south of Nashville. God used the pastors, the people, and its ministries – particularly youth group (for Meredith), worship team (for Steve), and a small group (for me) – to heal us, transform us, and give us a greater love for Jesus. It also gave us the desire to one day serve others the way we had been served. God worked a miracle in us. Bobby heard my heart for reaching people and my desire that they would be known and cared for by the church, and that we would provide a place where they can grow in love with Jesus and where their gifts can flourish. The Connect Team at NSCBC is trying to do just that by helping people to feel welcomed and get plugged in to our church community.
Through the Parking Ministry, we are providing a more intentional welcoming presence that all will receive as they enter the parking lot on a Sunday morning. Paul Couture and Mark Horvath are using their gifts to help this ministry get started strong. We can always use more parking assistants. Please contact one of us for more information.
The Welcome Centers in the lobby and foyer provide a place for visitors to be personally welcomed by our volunteers. We provide resources on each weekly ministry and upcoming events, including Sunday School, Middle/High School youth, AWANA, College Ministry, Men’s First Praise, MOPS, and seasonal events. Much of the material is designed by Lori Maggiacomo. I’m personally blessed with having so many who have volunteered to join in this ministry. Deb Piotrowski, with her heart for engaging new visitors, will soon be taking on the role as Welcome Center Team Leader.
CONNECT I takes place periodically throughout the year and is a first step in learning more about our church vision and mission. It will provide a more personal and informal setting to meet Pastor Bobby and other ministry staff. Church membership is discussed with the hope of showing how membership in the local church provides a greater opportunity to invest each person’s gifts for the purpose of growing God’s kingdom.
CONNECT II is the follow up meeting for those who want to commit to the process of membership, and discover in more detail NSCBC’s core beliefs, purpose, history, and leadership structure. We are still developing the next stage that follows CONNECT II. This is where we invest even more in helping many discover their spiritual gifts and discern the best environment where those gifts can grow and serve others. This will be implemented through a ministry called PLACE, as a part of the membership process. We desire that everyone in the church participate in what God is doing on the North Shore. Connect Ministry will partner with other ministries to facilitate that.
Let me leave you with a great takeaway point from a recent sermon I heard:
In all four gospels the story of the feeding of the five thousand is told. Looking specifically at Mark 6:30-44, the disciples came to Jesus to explain that the people are hungry and must be sent away to get food. Jesus responds, “You give them something to eat.” The disciples explain that it would take about 200 days of wages to feed all these people. Jesus asks, “What do you have?” They respond, “We have five loaves and two fish.” Jesus took these, looked up to heaven, gave thanks, and passed it out to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. The people were fed until they were full. What can we take away from this story? Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd, and when they say they can’t he asks, “What do you have?” Sometimes it seems like what we have to offer is too small. However, Jesus comes and takes our small offering and provides more than what we need. Even if we feel empty, wounded, and broken, Jesus will use us to bless many, just as He did in feeding those who were hungry. Let us offer what we have and watch Him provide.