Friends- it’s happening again. We are coming together. We see a generation rising. We have stepped up for God’s glory and the good of others and you have too. I believe in full faith that He will move among us in new ways. Ways that expand our faith and courage even more.
God is real and we can’t wait to see what He will do through His children together- wild and full of faith.
IF:Gathering 2015 is taking shape. We are praying big prayers of a globe lit up with women, who have taken responsibility for their place and gathered their people. At IF we see ourselves as tackle creators. We make tackle for many of you out fishing and doing the real work of ministry. We bring you together and give you tools. That’s it.
The real magic and beauty of IF is that IF is You. This week a lot of the leadership team is interviewing some of you- the real IF: leaders all over the map.
And if you haven’t signed up yet- it’s time. Because we need you to mark your spot and because we are far from paying the bills to even make this happen. In faith we said- pay what you can- and we still have a few hundred thousand dollars to raise just to pay the bills. Register here.
So meet Tami from Minnesota! I got to meet her and a lot of her friends at Catalyst IF:Track a few months ago.
Q: Hi Tami! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a wife, mother, educator, child of God.
Q: Where do you live?
A tiny dot on the map called Fergus Falls, MN.
Q: How have you used IF’s resources to lead in your local contexts?
We started with the IF:Gathering, and hosted a simulcast event on a large scale. From there, we launched several study groups that went through Restless. We have promoted IF:Equip and use our facebook page to encourage dialogue on the daily readings. We have promoted the IF:Table concept and we hosted the IF:Pray event. We use our facebook page to share a good deal of content from IF:Gathering and the individuals involved.
Q: What has been the scariest, most challenging aspect of leading for you?
Women are just such a force to be reckoned with! And this can be an amazing thing when we unite behind the same cause – but it can be scary trying to serve women on this scale! Knowing that we are preparing for 300 women to attend this event, feeling the need to create an intimate space where they feel loved and cared for – there is just pressure that comes with putting something out there for other women. It is a challenge to put aside the worry of pleasing everyone, being compared to someone else’s Pinterest board or having everyone hate the food – because in the end, who cares about any of that – what we need is the Message!
Q: How has God awakened you?
God has awakened me to the need within our own community. There is a hunger within the women here for something bigger, to be a part of something bigger – and I think through IF, we are being pointed in the right direction even if that simply means that we are being reminded that we are a called generation and that we could be the very generation that rises up and takes the promised land. There is so much power when you can bring women together, be it for service in our community or for reaching the world with this truth of our Jesus and His return, and I just want to be a part of that.
Q: How have your relationships with others deepened?
We launched several Restless studies as a follow-up to IF 2014, and God has just blown our women out of the water with this hunger for authenticity in relationships. Following that with IF:Tables in the spring lead to many tears! It is so refreshing and encouraging to see a generation of women rising up and saying enough to the pressure to appear flawless and like we have it all together and just say “come as you are, you are loved”. It is such a mind-blowing idea that as women we should be cheering for each other instead of comparing and competing, right?! But we are just getting real now, and supporting each other in vulnerability and honest dialogue. It is SO great.
Q: How have you seen God show up in your life and the life of the women you are gathering, equipping, and unleashing?
When hosting the initial IF:Gathering was turning from a dream into reality, I was dreaming big – thinking God could move and bring 50 women in. In the end, He showed up with nearly 200 women for that event and the ripples continue. Many women are digging in to the Word daily with IF:Equip, and a few have taken up the idea of IF:Table.
However, what has blown me away is how God is working in our heavily “churched” small community to break down walls and bring people from different churches together. This summer our local IF team worked with 12 area pastors on a project based on the ideas from the Art of Neighboring – and dozens of block parties popped up in our town as a result. People met neighbors they hadn’t known before and very much heard the message “If this is all real, you need to take Jesus at His word and LOVE your neighbor”. It was so incredible to hear stories of people working with neighbors from other churches, talking to neighbors who don’t attend a church and just loving on them.
Now that we have established relationships with so many additional churches in our community, we have no doubt that God is going to do even bigger things with the 2015 IF:Gathering. These churches now know the mission of IF and stand behind it and will promote it to their women – and I am just so hopeful that these changes that have come for many since 2014 will be exponentially more far-reaching now. I think the urgency of the “DO!” part is maybe starting to catch on, and I am praying that it becomes a burning hunger in us this year.
Tami is one of thousands of IF:Local leaders serving God in her place, with her gifts, gathering and equipping and unleashing.
Do not miss this. Make your mark and be a part with us!
Where are you leading?