Get Connected

holdinghandsI know we get in our little patterns and traditions. It’s hard to try something new. You probably remember trying Embrace Grace for the first time and you might have felt really worried about what it was going to be like. I’ve heard girls say they thought it might be weird, they thought the leaders might be judgmental and tell them how they were sinners, they thought they might not make friends and feel alone.

And of course, none of those were true. 

What cool classes and even regular weekend services could you be missing at your home church because you have a worry that might not even be a valid one? There are awesome classes out there you gotta check out! Going to church and getting connected with a body of people that have one Heart for the Kingdom is so awesome. I always leave church feeling inspired and motivated to dive into the word on my own throughout the week and spending time with God in His presence. I also always love worshipping with a large body, with the band and worship team: uniting our hearts and voices to worship our King.

Also, check what classes are offered during the week at your church. Gateway has Monday night Single Families (GSA/RE), and Tuesday night is Young Adults (Seven). Wednesday night is Equip where they have great classes that take you deep into the Word so you can grow spiritually like Prayer tool classes, Leadership classes, and even Parenting/Marriage classes.  The freedom classes are amazing like Forgiveness, Disappointment with God, and Hearing God. These awesome classes are right there fully accessible and even offer free childcare! Dive in! Grow! Learn and then move on what you learn!

My friend, Irini said to me once that sometimes she felt like it was easy for women in the body of Christ to be all comfy in our nests, just waiting to get fed with the Word and just getting fatter and fatter when it’s time for us to get up and fly! It’s time for us to spread our wings and take what we learn from all these amazing resources at our fingertips and start serving in the body of Christ! Try new things and see what doors God opens for you!

Some major pivotal moments in my life happened enclosed within the 4 walls of a church. When I first started attending Gateway, I remember the first time I signed up to “volunteer” for something. I was a little nervous about it but I thought, hey I like to decorate, maybe I could just decorate for the women’s conference, Pink Impact and serve in that way. It sounded like fun! I went to my first meeting and was brainstorming with some other volunteers when the leader looked at me and said, “You’re going to lead all decor for Pink Impact next year.” I was like, “Wait what?” Fast forward a few months and sure enough, I led decor for the next year and had SO much fun.

That year I led decor for Pink Impact at Gateway, was the year God downloaded my vision and His heart for Embrace Grace into my heart at the very same conference.

Two years later, at another Pink Impact conference that I led decor at, God downloaded His heart to write a book and what it would be about, into mine.

Last year at Pink Impact, on the first day of sessions, I sent my proposals off to literary agents with a hope and a prayer. A few weeks later I landed an agent … and the rest is history.

Sure God can speak to us anywhere, in our home, in our car, at work, everywhere. But sometimes, hearing a fresh word, getting a new perspective, and getting our hands dirty serving where is needed, helps us see and think differently and spark a new desire and dream in our heart!

“You are called to greatness. Not to small things, but to incredibly great things. You know you weren’t created for something ordinary. You know there’s something on the inside of you. God put you on the planet for something extraordinary. There are many things that are going to rise up out of this house that will impact the world, because it’s a great house. God attaches you to that greatness for a purpose. All of us can do a whole lot more connected to a bigger thing than trying to run off and do our own thing. Connect yourself to what God is doing here, and you will find your place. “ -Christine Caine (Pink Impact 2008)

I love that quote from Chris Caine that was spoken at a Pink Impact conference! I remember that she said that if she wasn’t under the covering of Hillsong, under their spiritual authority and covering, that she wouldn’t be able to minister to all the people that she does today and to connect ourselves to what God is doing in this house.

Starting Embrace Grace under the covering of my church was the best thing we could have done for this ministry. They took 2 girls that had never led anything in their entire lives, gave us all the tools and training to take our dream and make it a reality, they equipped us with God’s word and practical applications to make our dream successful. They pushed us when we needed a push. They slowed us down when we were going too fast. They prayed over us. They blessed us. They financially covered the costs of the class. They helped promote all of our outreach. They help us when we have girls that have some issues that might need additional and deeper counseling. They help us work out any dissension within the midst if there is any. They lead with a servant’s heart. A leader is a servant. Gateway taught us that. (We are not on staff at Gateway so no, this is not an obligatory compliment – I’m just a normal girl like you that had a dream.)

If we were not under the spiritual covering and authority of a church, and tried to do this all on our own, I’m not sure we would be where we are today.

GET CONNECTED. STUDY. GROW. LEARN. Wherever your home church is, get involved and join hands with your brothers and sisters. One person can change a life but a group of people in unity and following God’s heart, can change the world. 

Pastor Morris says that Vision is not dreamed up, it’s dreamed down. God downloads a vision into our heart and when you KNOW it’s God, it leaks. It’s contagious. People hear the vision and say, “Yes, that’s God. I’m in!” Pray and ask God to dream down a fresh vision into your heart and then join hands with your church and take the steps to make God’s dream a reality!

Written by Amy Ford

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