Praises Shared | Promises Fulfilled

Church family! 

As we enter into the week of Thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for. Beyond the personal blessings we’ve uniquely enjoyed this year, our church family experienced a most meaningful and memorable year. We fully embraced our plan to live as a blessed people who bless people.

Beginning last January, we narrowed our focus to encourage and equip one another for mission. Through BLESS boxes, family parties, memorable worship, Bible studies, and intentional care, we can now see the increase in both our health and happiness. As the year progressed, we turned our focus outward to BLESS those where we live, work, and play. From the excitement of Back to School Splash to the simplicity of sharing meals, we used our time, talents, and treasure to reach people where we live, work, and play with the good news of Jesus. As we enter into the last month of 2019, let’s finish strong what we prayerfully started. 

First, let’s fulfill what we’ve promised missionally. December will be our month to emphasize sharing. We will equip you with strategic resources to fuel your sharing efforts. What better season than Christmas to share the good news of Jesus with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family! 

Secondly, let’s fulfill what we’ve promised financially. In January 2019, we unpacked our vision for this year that included the financial strategy to achieve these goals for BLESS. You prayerfully and intentionally set personal and familial goals for giving. Based on your collective responses, we establish a giving goal of $176,800. As of last weekend, we’ve received 89% ($157,498) of our yearly budget. For those of you who turned in a ministry plan response card, you’ll receive a reminder of the commitments you made for 2019 of your time, talents, and treasure. Thank you so much for giving faithfully and generously! Your sacrificial giving has not only blessed countless of people where we live, work, and play, but also provided for the Allamon and Thompson families. 

Finally, let’s fund a plan to send our very own missionary! Garrett Messineo is working with the International Mission Board to go on a five month trip to Nepal (see below for more information). As you’re well aware, Garret spent a week in Nepal this past July. Currently, Garret still feels called by God to declare the gospel to the unreached people groups of south Asia. Consequently, I believe our church has a divine opportunity that will take the good news of Jesus to reach the people of Nepal.

When we pass our established goal of $176,800, our leadership prayerfully desires to use any additional giving to fund Garret’s trip as well as contribute towards the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through the SBC. Since the cost for Garret’s trip is $5,000, we believe it in our capabilities to reach this amount and even beyond. Many of you established a systematic giving plan based of your 2019 commitment. Would you prayerfully consider how you could uniquely bless Garret and fuel the spread of the gospel beyond your current giving? 

As you celebrate Thanksgiving and anticipate Christmas over these next few weeks, please pray that God would bless our financial resources to multiply the efforts to delight in, display, and declare the good news of Jesus in Tampa Bay and in south Asia.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

God Bless,

Pastor Ken

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Listen Intentionally

September BLESS Emphasis | Listening With Intention

Two ways to fulfill this goal:

Discover Your Neighbor | Discover Your Neighbor Worksheet

Over the next few weeks, use the “Discover Your Neighbor Worksheet” as a guide to connect with those where you live, work, and play. This simple tool creates a path for deeper conversation and meaningful prayer. Even if you already can answer many of the questions on the worksheet, consider taking time to learn more about those around you over a cup of coffee, a meal, or even a just passing conversation. (Click here to download worksheet)

Bless Your Neighbor | BCF Birthday Gift

On our BCF Birthday Celebration (9/29), we want provide you with a gift to give. Ideally, you would take these next few weeks to learn more about someone where you live, work, or play, and then use this gift to bless them. We will provide the materials and resources for you to show and share the good news of Jesus. 

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Sharing The Good News Of Jesus

June Emphasis | Sharing The Gospel & Your Story

Three ways to fulfill this goal: 

Read | “What Is The Gospel?” Booklet

In your box, you’ll find a booklet entitled What is the Gospel?. The greater we understand and believe the gospel the more comfortable we will be to share this good news with others. This short and poignant resource will give you an opportunity to dive into a healthy explanation of the good news of Jesus Christ. You will also be given a tool to help you collect your thoughts and to reflect on what you read. Please make time to utilize this dynamic resource. 

Write | Your Gospel Story 

After you’ve read through the booklet, access the worksheet again to write out the gospel in your own words and how the gospel is changing you. This will be a helpful means of gaining clarity in both your understanding of the gospel but also in your ability to share what God has done in your own life. 

Share | Your Gospel Story & A Meal

Finally, use the Chick-Fil-A gift card to share a meal with someone in our church. When you meet, share what you’ve written in your worksheet. This experience will not only strengthen your faith and love for God but also will prepare you for future opportunities to share this good news with others. 

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March B.L.E.S.S Emphasis | Listening…To one another and the Spirit of God

Four ways to fulfill this goal:

1. Listen to the words of others | Starbucks Gift Card & Conversation Guide
Invite someone from our church to enjoy a cup of coffee using the gift card provided. Then, make plans to utilize the conversation guide: a source of pointed, meaningful questions to learn more about their story.

2. Listen to the words of God | Psalms on Dwell Audio Bible
Starting on Monday, March 4, you are encouraged to begin a 30 day journey through the book of Psalms. By visiting or searching for Dwell Audio Bible in your phone App store, you can download the application to utilize this plan. We will work through the Psalms together and hear the words of God.

3. Listen to the words from God | Spend a day with God
You’ve been given a candle and an insert to spend a day with God. Essentially, block out an entire day or approximately 10 hours over the course of the month to spend with God. The candle serves as a means of tracking your time with God. Also, the insert will give you direction and ideas for how you can best utilize this time.

4. Listen to the words about God | Spotify Membership
We want to provide you an uninterrupted means of listening to words about God. By visiting, you can indicate your interest in a Spotify Membership. You will then be sent instructions on how to access to your free, premium subscription.

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Begin With Prayer

February Emphasis | Begin With Prayerfor one-another

Three ways to fulfill this goal:

Read—“Beginning A Praying Life”

Beginning a Praying Life is a booklet based on the bestselling book A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. This handy, pocket-sized primer is an easy way to inspire someone who is new to prayer, or to reignite passion in someone who is stuck in attempts to develop a consistent prayer life. It identifies six cures for cynicism in prayer, and each one becomes a bit more challenging: (1) Be warm but wary, (2) learn to hope again, (3) develop a childlike spirit, (4) cultivate a thankful spirit, (5) practice repentance, and (6) develop an eye for Jesus. Personal stories are woven throughout, and often the author showcases his own lack of faith to prove his point. Beginning a Praying Life makes for a practical handout to begin a lifelong change of heart about why and how to pray (taken from the website).

Write—BCF Prayer Journal

You’ve been given a journal to accompany your journey in prayer. Use this journal to jot down what the Lord is teaching you, to scribble thoughts that come to mind throughout the day, and to incorporate names of people that God leads your way within our church. Even if writing is not a strong suit of yours, make time to put down how God is using this emphasis on prayer to change you.

Pray—Personally & At Prayer Gatherings

Consider starting and ending your days in February with prayer. Use your prayer journal to pray over people in our church that God brings to mind. Consider asking and then praying for the following:

    • Where is pain? Pray for healing and grace to endure
    • Where is brokenness? Pray for restoration and reconciliation
    • Where is a lack of resources? Pray for faith and provision
    • Where is sin? Pray for confession and forgiveness.

Also, make your plans for the following Payer Sessions:

    • Facebook Live Sessions: 2/6, 2/13, 2/20 @ 8:30 pm
    • Prayer Gathering: 2/27 @ 7:00 pm. Location TBD

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Strategically Eat

Eating is one of the fastest ways to move a relationship from acquaintance to friendship.

Who can you eat with (or have a coffee with) that’s far from God? A co-worker over lunch? A neighbor during the day? A friend or family member over the weekend?

Here are some helpful tips for strategic, gospel-focused eating: 

  • Keep it simple. Don’t feel pressured to create an elaborate meal or to break out the fine china. Invite people into the life you are already living.
  • Just ask. You would be surprised how open your co-worker or neighbor would be to join you for a meal or coffee.
  • Think ahead. Before you ask someone out for a meal or coffee, try to think through not only the place where you are going but also the person you are asking. There are definitely better places for conversations along with understanding any dietary concerns.
  • Pray in advance. Make this a matter of prayer. Ask that God would use this conversation to build a deeper, meaningful relationship. Don’t feel pressured to share the gospel at your first meal. Give that person time to know you and then trust you as well.
  • Ask again. Once is not enough! Keep your relationship going by connecting again. Use discretion and prayer to look for more opportunities.

(Content and questions adapted from Beulah Alliance Church;

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Intentionally Listen

“God, how do you want me to bless the world today? Help me to listen to and discover the needs of others and where you’re at work.”

Listening with purpose:
Before you can help others find Jesus, you need to listen to them first – their hopes, pains, challenges and dreams. In your interactions with others, take the posture of a learner. Lay down your assumptions, and practice being present.

Listening with preparation: 

  • Before you engage with the person you are trying to reach, pray for them.
  • In your BLESS Journal, create specific questions based on the individuals you are trying to reach
    • For example, if they have children, ask how the start of the school year is going.
    • If they love sports, ask them questions about the NFL preseason or College Football beginning.
    • If they love dogs, ask about there favorite places to take their dogs for a walk.
  • After you speak with the people you are trying to reach, record any mental notes you took. Pray for them and then follow up with targeted questions. Be listening for areas of concern.

(Content and questions adapted from Beulah Alliance Church;

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Beginning With Prayer

“God, may your kingdom come and will be done.
Please provide me with an opportunity today to bless someone or someplace. Help me be aware of your presence and your leading today.”

Praying for people:
Who do you live, work,and play with that is far from God? Pray that God would create spiritual curiosity in them, and then spend time with them.

Praying for places:

Where does pain exist here? Pray for healing.

Who makes the decisions here? Pray for integrity.

Who throws the parties here? Pray for community.

Where are the pennies spent here?Pray for provision. 

(Content and questions originally from Beulah Alliance Church;

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A Vision for Blessing Others

The vision of Bay Cities Fellowship comes from Hebrews 11:10. The author of Hebrews portrays Abraham longing for a city designed and built by God. Just as Abraham longed for this city whose builder is God, we long for that same reality today. Yet, our dreaming of this celestial city should prompt us to live differently where we live, work, and play. In Genesis 12:1-3, God promises Abraham that his seed will bless the world. The future family of Abraham will be a means of bringing change and hope to the cities of this world. Interestingly, Galatians 3 reveals that God’s promise to bless the world remains intact today by the family of Jesus Christ (i.e. His Church). Thus, as part of the Church, we consider the following: how can we bless the cities where we live, work, and play?

The mission of Bay Cities fellowship is to reach every street with the good news of Jesus Christ. This mission aligns with the hope of seeing cities transformed to reflect the aforementioned vision of Hebrews 11:10. For any real transformation to begin, we must intentionally reach others. We are excited to begin our B.L.E.S.S. Campaign as a means of fulfilling the biblical expectation of not only sharing our lives wth others but also sharing the gospel as well (1 Thessalonians 2:8). 

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