Sharing our Stories…Steve Rader

April 23, 2010

By Steve Rader

Steve is a Sunday School Teacher, Financial Peace University Small Group Leader, Outreach Committee Chair and Deacon at South Main Baptist Church.

I have to say, living in Houston, one of the things I enjoy most in the hot summer is going to the pool with my girls. There is just something refreshing and relaxing about floating in the cool water amidst the splashing and giggling of kids having fun that is such a contrast to the oppressive hot and busy lives we lead. While I have a lot or respect for those that can arrive at the pool and immediately cannonball into the deep end, I have to admit that I tend to be more of the “ease in over a 5 minute period” type. Sure, later in the summer, when the water is lukewarm, I can wade on in… but the water is not quite as refreshing. No, for the ultimate in cool water enjoyment, I have to take my time. Occasionally, I’ll dive right in… only to have all of my nerve endings revolt for that split second… I think they remember… thus the 5 minute entry most of the time.

I was thinking about how I’ve engaged South Main over the years and I remember first coming here as a young, newlywed couple. I enjoyed the service. Eventually, we started coming to Sunday School… at first just listening… then getting to where I’d enter into discussion. I remember being very tentative about getting involved. I was raised an MK/PK (Missionary Kid/Preacher’s Kid)… I knew that church had the potential to take lots of my time (While I rationalized that “church” would take my time, I knew in the back of my mind that God was the one that would use me if I let Him.) I remember resisting… I barely had time for my new job, my new wife, my existing friends… I just didn’t have time. But still, at least I dipped my toe in.

Over time, I got more engaged in my Sunday School class, started volunteering with the kids as a VIP, went to Missions Day and helped build a Habitat for Humanity house, … Each time, someone at South Main would invite me to this or ask me if I wanted to help with that… The deeper I got, the more I enjoyed it, the more I reconnected with God… One day, I was asked to substitute teach our Sunday School class. I remember distinctly my “Jonah” moment, where I admitted that I’d been trying to sidestep God’s nudge to teach. I had some great excuses too. But when I finally said yes, I discovered that teaching was something I really enjoyed. In fact, it is now one of the things I enjoy most in my life (and, surprise, during Discovery Weekend, I found out that it is in fact one of my spiritual gifts).

I have so many South Mainers to thank for their invitations, nudging, encouragement, and support… I’m not sure I would have come this far without them. Needless to say, God has continued to work in my life and the life of my family, and every time I wade in one more step deeper into the life of South Main, I find a deeper, fuller understanding of God and the richness of the family of God.

Looking back, I wonder what it would have been like if I had just “jumped in”… and I see people who do that and thrive. For me it was a longer journey. Either way, I’m all in now and the water is cool and refreshing and I feel replenished. If you are not all in yet, come on in… the water is great.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010


Buckner Spotlight on Students: Take 1

July 30, 2009

destinyDestiny R. Davis is a native Houstonian and a regular attendee of the Buckner After School/Summer Program. She has a younger brother named Dedrick and she resides with her Grandmother. She has been a member of Jordan Grove Baptist Church since the 6th grade. Destiny will be entering the 11th grade this fall. Her favorite subjects are Science and English. She plans to continue her studies in English, Spanish, Chinese, and American Sign Language in the immediate future. 

What are your plans after graduation?

To go to college to study medicine or law, and a foreign language.

What would your ideal college be like?

Freshmen would have to stay on campus so they wouldn’t miss out on any experiences. Shuttles would be readily available, there would be plenty of work study jobs and internship opportunities, small to medium class sizes, and a greenhouse!

What are your hobbies?

Singing in the church choir, reading novels (fiction, romance, and mystery), writing short stories that turn into long stories, poetry, learning about different cultures, baking cakes, and fusion cooking (like chicken fried rice and quesadillas), and adding to my diary.

What are your favorite foods?

Nachos, hot dogs, chili cheese fries, quesadillas, Mississippi Mud Cake, crawfish, apples, peaches, watermelon, green beans, and cabbage!

Are you afraid of anything in particular?

Flying cockroaches and spoiled milk….sooooo gross!

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

What are some of your favorite things about the Buckner After School/Summer Program?

It’s a good time for social interaction, the atmosphere is friendly, there’s plenty of laughter, two pianos, and I feel comfortable with the volunteers, participants, and the coordinator because she connects with us. But I’m still waiting for her to make more nachos!

What are you looking forward to?

Taking an English course at the Houston Community College (because it’s more challenging), brushing up on Guitar Hero, and more trips to the Galleria!

To meet Destiny and other students, join us in volunteering for the Buckner Summer Program on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-6:00 p.m. Contact Chelsea Wade at or 713-529-4167 ext. 311 for more information.

To learn more about South Main Baptist Church, go to