Equipped for the Fight – Armor of God Recap

Chets Women gathered this Summer for a powerful Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer. Check out the photo recap below and this great summary by one of our facilitators, Christy Mobley. 


Can you relate?

You’re having one of those absolutely phenomenal, pristine, perfect days with your spouse. One for the records books. But then it happens. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere an argument pops up, rumbling in like an unexpected thunderstorm. Voices thunder and sharp words like lightening strike at your heart clouding with darkness what God meant for beauty.

And you think, what went wrong?

Or, you’ve just come back from an awesome retreat or conference where you had a mountaintop experience, only to come home to live out “Murphy’s law” first hand. Within seconds your mountaintop becomes a sullen valley.

And you think, what just happened here?

What happened is, in reality you’re not fighting with your spouse or “Murphy” whoever. If our hands could pull back the veil to this world, we’d see a spiritual warfare being waged all around us.

For our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

But God gives us weapons with which to fight back – weapons we learned how to use in our Summer Bible Study.

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First we found out Jesus Christ blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. Ephesians 1:3 How cool is that?

Then we were taught how to suit up each and every day with the most protective armor in the universe – God’s own armor.

We choose to put on this protective uniform starting with the belt of truth (God’s Word) buckled around our waist. None of this “God on the go” will do. We need a firm core of truth to hold everything in place.

The breastplate of righteousness (right living) comes next. While perfect righteousness discourages and comparative righteousness deceives, imputed righteousness defines us. We learned the key to practicing righteousness is to daily put off the old and put on the new.

Next strap on the shoes of peace. The go shoes—the good news of Jesus that gives us sure footing when the enemy is trying to trip us up, stir us up, and mess us up.

Remembering what faith is, acting like it is so, even when it is not so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so, we take up the shield of faith which is big enough to cover and protect our heads and our hearts from the fiery arrows of the evil one.

Finally we put on the helmet of salvation (our inheritance in Christ) for comprehensive coverage while taking up the sword of the Spirit.

Now that we have the armor on, how do we activate this high powered God driven equipment to start fighting the real enemy?

The directions say, bathe it all PRAYER. Prayer activates the armor.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18

Amen?!


Here’s the photo recap of all the strong and beautiful, armored-up, Chets Women who attended.

If you missed out, we’ll be offering this study again in the Fall. Check back for details. Registration opens August 11. 


Christy Mobley{This article was written by Christy Mobley. Christy is a girly girl at heart. She has a passion for fashion and decorating which is to say, she loves to shop and move things around her house. She chases tennis balls for recreation and enjoys scavenging the beach for shark teeth. She and husband David of 32 years, are life group leaders and have been at Chets from it’s earliest beginnings. They have two adult sons and two daughter-in-laws. Christy loves sharing God’s Word through writing, speaking and teaching. Check out her personal blog at www.christymobley.com.}

Using the Sword of the Spirit

When Jesus was in the desert being tempted He relied on the Word of God by quoting it and using it as an offensive weapon against spiritual attacks from the enemy. Our Lord was teaching us how important knowing and quoting Scripture is. David said that he hid God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin (Psalm 119:11). We know that the Word of God is powerful and eternal. We know that it is given to us, to help us, but do we utilize it like we should?13709688_10209480565428220_2088099286_o (1)

When I first started discipleship triads and was presented with memorizing Scripture, I’m sure I was like most people I know thinking, “This is hard; it’s been awhile since I had to memorize (not since college) and how am I going to remember where all the verses are from.” I thought I was in for a challenge, but once I found a method that worked for me, memorizing Scripture became a passion. All that “I can’t do this” talk disappeared and the Holy Spirit opened my mind to how important Scripture is to my walk with God.

As Christians we are taught the importance of putting God’s word in our hearts.

  • Jesus illustrated the importance of Scripture– Scripture was so important to Jesus that He quoted from 24 books roughly 180 times. God calls us to memorize Scripture and in His Word we are constantly told to dwell on it, meditate on it, study it, place it in our heart, teach it, obey it, and talk about it all the time, lest we forget.
  • Scripture renews your mind and it transforms you to be able to discern what is good and pleasing to God. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2. This renewing of the mind is achieved only through the reading and retaining of His powerful Word.
  • It helps us resist temptation, discern the lies of the enemy, live righteously, and be obedient. As Jesus illustrated in the desert, memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God, what He desires from us and for us, how He wants us to live, and what He says about us. God has given us His Word as a weapon to use in spiritual warfare; in fact it is the only offensive weapon on the list.
  • It helps us encourage other believers. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.”
  • It allows us to more effectively share the gospel with unbelievers. We don’t always have our Bible handy when witnessing and presenting the message of salvation. God’s Word, unlike ours, has authority and power. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. And in 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to always be prepared to give an answer for our hope in Christ.

There are many methods to memorizing Scripture, but the most important thing to do when you start is not to be self-defeating by saying, “I can’t do this, I ……”  YES YOU CAN DO THIS!! God would not tell us to do something we were not capable of doing. Here are some suggestions and the internet has multiple sites dedicated to helping people learn the best ways to memorize Scripture.

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  • Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to you about something going on in your life right now.
  • Make the verse smaller by breaking it down into 5 words at a time and when you have memorized those five words, add more until you have memorized the entire verse.
  • There is plenty of science behind the fact that we retain information better when we write it down and say it out loud. Always start with the location of the verse and continue to repeat what you have read as many times as it takes to put it to memory.
  • Use different techniques such as drawing pictures, putting the verse to music, writing it on flashcards, stick it on your mirrors or carry it with you.
  • Don’t give up!  Like any new good habit it takes time to develop a system that works for you and with practice anything will become easier.

FullSizeRender (3)I find for me the flashcards work best. Now when I wake up in the morning, I grab my flashcards of God’s Word and promises and I go through them, adding new Scriptures to the old ones I have memorized. All day long, as I go through the day, I can apply the verses I know to help me with temptation, obedience, trusting God, to give me hope, and to discern lies from the enemy. Just as important, I can recall Scripture to help others in their time of need. I find peace in my struggles and hope in the midst of it.  Start small – one verse – anyway that works best for you. You will never regret it and I know it will change your life.


This post IMG_3250was written by Chelly Brown, a disciple of Jesus and leader of the Chets Women Transform Ministry. Chelly is also a mom of four young men and grandmother to three adorable preschoolers – all boys!  She stays active by taking care of the little ones and attending her teenage sons’ band performances and baseball games. Her superhero power is tap dancing and she will never turn down a fishing trip.

 

It’s time to be BOLD.

I was cut to the core just like in Acts 2:37, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” You see, a few months ago, I took a Disciple-Making class with Susan Freese at Chets. One of the things Susan spoke about was how God can use many different methods of sharing our faith, but the one thing He can’t use is our silence.

I realized that I’ve been silent for far too long.

I’ve tried to love those around me well through my actions (which is important), but I realized that I haven’t been sharing the whole gospel. William Fay says it so well in his book Share Jesus Without Fear, “Christians are in two categories: Those who talk about the lost and those who talk to the lost. Even those who talk to the lost- some are only willing to throw out hints, instead of life preservers to those who are drowning. They don’t share enough information to allow the Holy Spirit to effect a heart change. They fail to tell their friends how to go from a state of death to a state of life.”

I realized that is me! The Lord has shown me that I need to stop throwing out hints! My fear of awkwardness and rejection (which is really my pride) has been limiting me in sharing the gospel more boldly with others in my life. Romans 10:14-16 says,

How can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?…So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

So, I thought to myself. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? Here’s where the Lord has led me so far:

With My Work– I work at a Christian school and was able to share what I’ve been learning during a faculty devotion. Many teachers mentioned how encouraged they were to step out with more boldness too.  Another teacher and her husband even went out and bought Bibles to keep with them so that they will be prepared to share whenever God opens the opportunity.

FullSizeRenderWith My Neighborhood– The Armor of God study gave me an idea. I decided that I would invite my neighbors to the summer Bible study. At times, I wanted to chicken out and thought maybe I’d just hand out a few Bible study flyers. Then, I read about the blind woman in India who came to the All In Ministries conference. She walks around and asks to clean women’s homes so she can have an opportunity to share about Jesus. Her story is incredible! After reading about her boldness I knew I had no excuse. She did not let her disability stand in the way of being faithful. I decided that I will not let my fear stand in the way of me being faithful. To the neighbors that I know a little bit more about, I tried bringing them something more personal with the Bible study invitation. One neighbor just lost her dog to cancer, so I brought her a bracelet in honor of her Boston terrier. Another neighbor is about to have a baby, so I brought her the book What to Expect- The First Year. My next-door neighbor’s mom is very ill and at the same time her brother is battling cancer, so I provided her family with a meal. To the neighbors that I’ve never really met, I handed out freshly baked cookies.

image1So far, I have not led anyone to the Lord, but I am excited to be playing a part in planting seeds. I am continuing to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me each day. William Fey also says in his book Share Jesus Without Fear, “Success is sharing your faith and living your life for Jesus Christ. It has nothing whatsoever with bringing someone to the Lord. It has everything to do with obedience. Even if you do not have the privilege to see someone respond the first time you share your faith, you have not failed because you were obedient.”

One thing I learned in last summer’s Bible study Restless is that, “Our God does not separate secular and spiritual. He just wants you to participate in His story wherever you are and with whatever you have.” Whether you are a college student on campus, a stay at home mom at the park, a working mom in an office, or a grandmother enjoying retirement, God wants each of us to have our eyes open to see who we can reach around us. I pray that God will give all of us boldness to make Him known to those He has placed in our lives.

{Ephesians 6:19-20}

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”


FullSizeRender (1)This post was written by Kelly Miller. Kelly is a wife to Ben, mommy to a sweet daughter, and a 2nd grade teacher at Providence. She is an active member of the Stevens Lifegroup. She enjoys studying God’s word and loves to encourage others in their relationship with the Lord. Some of her favorite things include playdates with friends, massages, and iced coffees.

 

Triads, Triads, Read all about it!

 

Women gathered after church today to learn about Chets Women Discipleship Triads – a group of three women who grow in spiritual maturity by centering on the essentials of God’s Word. With the direction of the Holy Spirit, women form intimate, encouraging and accountable relationships with each other.

Chelly Brown shared how this approach to discipleship has dramatically changed her life. For example, a few years ago she didn’t know any scripture, and memorization has never been something easy for her, but now she can. not. stop. sharing Scripture! And the ladies attending from her Lifegroup gave an “Amen!” in agreement to that fact. Scripture memorization is only one component of this disciple-making approach, which re-wired Chelly’s thoughts and transformed her actions. Aside from the personal growth in her relationship with Christ, Chelly has peace knowing that she IS fulfilling the great commission to make disciples and forming strong friendships along the way. The triad approach and the workbook entitled, “Discipleship Essentials” teaches you everything you need to know about multiplication. Chelly now leads the Chets Women Transform Ministry and we had the privilege of hearing from several of her team members and those who have participated in a life-changing triad.

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Chets Women Transform Ministry Team

Triads involve a high level of commitment to the study and the members of the group. Members work individually through a daily curriculum workbook of 25 lessons and meet weekly for an hour or two to discuss the homework. Due to the demands of life, it may take a year to complete the study. As Daphne Summers said, “It doesn’t matter how busy you are, God will make a way for you to get the work done.” The awesome thing about getting into God’s word is that the more you dig in, the more He gives you the desire to do so. Becky Nott said she couldn’t believe how much she looked forward to this special time of the day for her…“I couldn’t wait to get home to read and see what came next in the book.”

Liza Akley has done many Bible studies through the church and on her own, but she pointed out one major difference in being involved in a triad – ACCOUNTABILITY. Occasionally she’d like to skip over the reciting Scripture part during their meeting, but her Triad sisters love her too much to let her miss out on this powerful aspect of a Triad. Of all the books and tools that Liza has used to study God’s Word, she says none has impacted her life the way the Holy Spirit has through this book.

Marie Meltzer said through this experience she has “developed a sincere, heartfelt love for her sisters in Christ.” And this was confirmed one Sunday when her Lifegroup went around the room and described each person in one word. They described Marie as ‘loving.’ Women are transformed through this experience and others take note.

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Marie Meltzer, Diana Bartolec, Chelly Brown, & Martha Pellino

Many of the women who came are ready to get started. They bought their book and now they are headed home to pray. They are praying for God to place other spiritually hungry women on their heart. Then they will extend the invitation to two other women. And after they all take time to pray, when the Holy Spirit confirms, a Triad is born.  The transformation journey begins and deep, genuine, life-long friendships are made.

If you’re ready to take your relationship with Jesus to the next level, while fulfilling your purpose to glorify God by making disciples, then it is time to consider a Discipleship Triad. Ready to find out more? Let us know by checking off “Women interested in discipling others” on the Chets Women website or contact Chelly Brown at Chellbro6@gmail.com.

 

The (in)complete guide to surviving summer

Here it comes: the graduations, the preschool programs, the end of the year parties. All predecessors to the time of year kids look forward to most. Love it or not, SUMMER is {almost} here.

As a child, summer meant endless time with friends outside in the sunshine. In college, it meant a nice break from the regular demands of school and a little extra time at the pool to do some tanning against the recommendation of the dermatologist.

As an adult (and parent), summer can mean all of the above, but mostly it means: WHAT ON EARTH DO I DO TO ENTERTAIN THESE CHILDREN?

So without further introduction, here’s a list of ideas I’ve compiled to help you answer that question without having to do too much of your own independent research.

IMG_22581)  GET IN THE WATER. This one comes first because, Florida. And it mixes great with temperatures in the 90s, which kicked off at the start of this month. Gather some friends and hit the pool or the beach. We are fortunate to have some incredible neighborhood pools in the area, complete with kid splash zones and bathrooms. This option is great if you’re up for a more low-maintenance day that doesn’t require much planning above some snacks, swim diapers, and towels.  

IMG_2257We’re also fortunate to have some great beaches in the area. On a weekday, the local beach accesses in and around Neptune Beach and South Jax Beach offer some great spots to park (for free) with some fun tide pools where the kids can play. Bonus tip: keep it low key and go in the afternoon when the condo buildings offer some shade so you don’t have to lug the umbrella!

2) JUMP AROUND. Okay, this one costs a bit of money, but I’ve found it to be well worth the expense (read: longer nap time forIMG_2261 the little ones). Indoor trampoline parks like Rebounderz and Velocity Air Sports are a super fun way to wear out the kids and get some exercise for yourself, too. Our family typically goes to Velocity, and they have a little kids jump time every Monday through Friday from 9 – 10am where kids (6 and under) jump for $10 and caregivers jump for free. For my fellow non-morning people (we don’t get anywhere by 9), you just have to enter by 10am and the deal is still good. Please note: kids over age 6 can’t jump until 10am, so if you’ve got older kids, keep that in mind. Visit the Velocity website for more information.

3) STORY TIME. Jump in on a story time at one of many locations throughout Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Public Library has numerous branches throughout our city that offer story time for all ages. The main branch downtown has the added perk of Sweet Pete’s being nearby, which has three floors of sugary fun.  

Story times are also available at Barnes and Noble and Pottery Barn Kids. If you’ve got older ones, let them play on the nook tablets in the Barnes and Noble or try their hand at adult coloring in the store.

4) GET MESSY. Spray some shaving cream on a table and let the little ones draw in it. They think you’re the coolest and it wipes off easily when they’re done. Bonus! It smells like you cleaned your house (and your kids). Other suggested messes include water balloons, sidewalk chalk (or sidewalk paint!). For friends with kids who like to explore new things by tasting them, add some food coloring to plain yogurt to make some yogurt finger paint!

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5) WORK IT OUT. Check out local gym options. Ideas for the younger ones include TNT, My Gym, Bay and Bee, and Gymboree. If you’re a YMCA member, take advantage of the childcare and summer camps for the kids and get in a workout for yourself. That option not for you? Check out Strong Fit that meets at Chets Creek Church or Jax Stroller Strength, which offers fun exercise classes at the Beaches, Riverside, San Marco, Mandarin, and Nocatee.

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My secret workout plan? Youtube. There are TONS of channels that offer fun, high-quality workouts of all types for all levels. I’m currently hooked on Yoga with Adriene, which has added a a nice element of exercise to my day.  My son also enjoys doing “down dog” with me, since I told him he gets to pretend that he’s a pup from Nickelodeon’s “Paw Patrol”.

6) Keep an eye on Jax Moms Blog. No need for me to reinvent the wheel here with a comprehensive list. Jacksonville Moms Blog has numerous resources for summer fun. They’ve also got neighborhood groups (i.e. Southside Moms, Beaches Intracoastal Moms, etc.), so be sure to join your respective group or groups on Facebook.

A few tips on top of the above suggestions:

  • Don’t forget the SPF. It is already HOT out there and the bright sun is beautiful, but can do a number on your skin. We remember our kiddos, but are we lathering ourselves, too?
  • Strength in numbers. Beach with 3 kids sound like a chore? Text a few friends or put a shout out on the Chets Women Facebook page to encourage others to join you.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you put on real pants to go to the store, that’s a win, but you can’t always be a winner, you know? And, let’s be honest, sometimes a trip to Target in my yoga pants is all the energy I’ve got for the day, and that’s okay. The children will live.

Hope you kick off your summer with a lot of fun!  Add to the conversation and share your own tips in the comments and/or on our Chets Women Facebook page. Cheers!


12014987_10106673537993213_9060993253906575158_o{This post was written by Laura Wilson. Laura is wife to Aaron, mommy of two cutie pies, and a speech language pathologist at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. She serves on the Chets Women Communications team. As a mom, she carries an artillery of goldfish and toys everywhere she goes. She loves learning more about the Lord from his word, her family, and Starbucks.}

Grandma found at Chets

When I was asked to share this particular story, my knee-jerk reaction was to wave it away, not because the story is anything less than truly amazing, but because this is not the type of thing I usually do. In the past, I’ve tended to be very personal with my faith and only recently am I truly beginning to grasp how important it is to share this aspect of life. After some thought (and much-needed encouragement by the ladies in my bible study), I felt this was something I was being led to share.

My husband and I are relatively new to Jacksonville and Chets Creek – we moved here last July for my husband’s job, away from, quite literally, everyone we knew. Up until November, I worked outside of the home as well, but we then made the decision for me to stay home with our two children (3 and 1) hoping it would help with some of the challenges of being in a new area. We weren’t truly “connected” at Chets until January when we joined a Life Group and I decided to sign up for a Women’s Bible Study. I decided I was going to sign up for one long before I decided *which* one (admittedly, one of my primary reasons was to get more connected with women outside of my Life Group). Despite always wanting to do a Beth Moore study, I was inexplicably led to select Fingerprints of God by Jennifer Rothschild, along with 7 other ladies.

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Throughout the first month of study, we discussed God’s individual touch on our lives as well as how He uses extraordinary and individualized means to make Himself known (Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc). So here we came, to our fourth meeting as a group. We were discussing feeling God’s touch with gratitude and exploring the barriers that we have to thankfulness/gratitude. One thing that I have struggled with very much since our relocation has been social media. I see pictures of our nieces with my parents-in-law and instead of thinking, “Wow, this is so cool that we live in a day and age where we have a privilege to be a part of that remotely,” I find myself thinking, “Awww, I miss all of that. I wish our kids could see family more often…” (Cue the pity party.)  

I shared this with the ladies in my group. I shared how my biggest hurt in my heart is for my kids. I shared about my sorrow in taking them away from family who loves them dearly. I tearfully shared my feelings about how they are missing out on those treasured grandparent relationships. Just thinking about it always makes me an emotional mess so sharing it with the group was a big deal for me.  

Thankfully, there was a tissue box nearby. The ladies with me were tearful, too, and sought to comfort me. Then, Jennifer, the woman sitting next to me, said, “I can be a surrogate Grandma.” There were head nods all around in agreement. For me, this was indeed touching, but I had no idea what to say. So, knowing myself, I would have been likely to think, “Aww, how sweet! Ok, well, I’ll see you next Tuesday!” and not end up following through on anything. When it comes to social situations, I tend to be all talk and no game. Just as I was about to retreat, Jennifer said something that stopped me in my tracks, “By the way, my grandma name is Nonni.”

All guise of holding it together went out the window as I tearfully explained that my mom is Nonny.  

Neither of us have ever known another Nonni/y and were shocked at this revelation. We hugged for who knows how long as the tissues made their way around the table, and she kept whispering in my ear, “This is God,” and “God is good.” It’s as if God had used her revelation of being Nonni to snap me out of whatever funk I was trying to dive into. God used her to say, “Pay attention! This is Me! You need to follow through on this!”

I am very happy to report that the first time we got together, my children immediately took to Jennifer. It has been a blessing for my children and I to get to know Jennifer. I am so thankful that God brought us together and for this beautiful example of His personal touch on my life.  

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I feel so thankful that God allowed me to be a witness to His work in this circumstance. God really showed His compassion to Sydney through Jennifer and how kind He is to allow the rest of us to witness His work so individually and specifically just as we were all studying how God touches our lives. It was as if He lovingly and gently said, “Yes ladies, what you are studying is true and I will demonstrate it to you right now!” That special moment in class, while Sydney and Jennifer were hugging, I looked down at my study guide where we left off and I read what I had written earlier in the week to ask the ladies – “Who does God send to touch us?” ~ Eve Huntly

IMG_3179I am so thankful to our Lord for bringing Sydney and I together. My mother, Velma, passed away at the age of 58. She was beautiful, loving, friendly and generous. She loved the Lord, served others and she impacted my life abundantly! My daughters were very young at her passing and I was heartbroken they wouldn’t get to grow up knowing their Grandma. I needed to honor the precious wisdom and love my mother shared. God is so GOOD and has given me multiple ways to honor my mother and serve Him by serving others. I am so blessed by this opportunity to visit with Sydney’s precious children…what joy fills my heart!  ~ Jennifer Hackenberry

 


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IMG_3099{This post was written by Sydney Frank. Sydney is a wife and mommy of two, Aria (3 years) and Brand (18 months).  She and high-school-sweetheart-now-husband, Ryan (married almost 6 years) are new transplants to Jacksonville, originally from Minnesota.  She is slowly adjusting to becoming a stay-at-home mom and spends most of her time trying to keep up with her kiddos, fueled mainly by coffee and the all-so-rare nap.}


If you’re ready to get connected with other Chets women, join us for our Summer Bible Study on Monday nights from 7:00 – 9:00pm beginning on May 16th. Register here and invite your friends. Pass on the details using the Facebook Event.

Chets Women Ministry Spotlight: Unleash Team!

thumb_20160408_013733_1024{This post was written by Eugenia Willard. Eugenia, her husband Micah, and 3 year old daughter Abby, recently welcomed baby Josiah to the family. Eugenia serves on the Chets Women Communications Team and loves to stay busy. A recovering workaholic, Eugenia is learning how to find fulfillment in Christ alone and how to balance the new demands of being a stay at home mom- or, as Micah puts it, a domestic engineer.}


In 2013 the leaders of Chets Women prayed for a God-given vision for our women’s ministry. The answer, as many of you know, is a collection of smaller ministries, each focused on a particular aspect of discipleship; Connect, Disciple, Transform, Unleash, Pray and Communicate. But, you may ask, what are these teams really meant to do in the church body and the community; and who are the trailblazing leaders chosen to head them?

Today we wanted to shine a spotlight on the Unleash team to introduce you to your hosts for Chets Women Unleashed Night on April 11. The Unleash team is focused on serving Jesus by serving others using their unique gifts and passions. I was able to correspond with Michelle Arguello, the leader of the Unleash team, to ask about the team itself, their focus and how to become involved. Michelle’s answers left me in no doubt that the team is appropriately named. The word ‘unleash’ is defined ‘to begin something powerful that, once begun, cannot be controlled’. The prayer of this team is to do just that; to start you on the path of using your God-given gifts to fulfill your unique purpose in this world.
 
Q&A with Michelle Arguello

Tell us about yourself.

I have bee10407478_10202910105824711_2810681246982978537_nn attending Chets Creek Church for about 9 years. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 13 years and have two young children. I love reading and I can’t survive without coffee! I recently had to cut off my Pinterest addiction in an attempt to spend my time more wisely. But more importantly than those details of my life, I have a passion for helping women grow deeper in their relationship with God and discover their unique purpose.

What brought you to serve as the Unleash team leader?

I am extremely honored to be leading this team. I would never have pictured serving in this capacity before God flipped my spiritual life upside down about two years ago. I asked the question many women ask, “What do I have to offer?” I really wanted to know the answer to that question, so I signed up for a book study called Restless. Through that class God showed me that I have value and that he uses all the pieces of my life to create a unique calling that He designed just for me. After attending Restless, God opened up doors for me to use my newly discovered gifts. I was obedient to a series of serving opportunities that eventually led me to this team. It was a process of one small step of obedience followed by another.

What is the overall purpose of the Unleash team?

The goal of the Unleash team is to walk alongside women through the journey of discovering their unique gifts and passions and then continuing to walk alongside them as they live that out in service to God and others.

What do you consider the team’s greatest strength?

The greatest strength of my team members is definitely their true passion to inspire women to get more involved. They want to do more than exchange emails. They want to get to know you, encourage you, pray for you, and plug you into serving opportunities that are a good fit for your gifts and your life.

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Unleash Team at Well Fed: Bonnie Brogle, Kristen Black, Michelle Arguello, Liza Akley, Rachel Alonzo, & Thais Varzoni. Not pictured: Kristen Santinga, Adriana Brinkman, Gladys Franco, & Hilary Windsor.

What is the vision for the Unleash Team’s impact in the women’s ministry and our communities?

We want to dream BIG! We pray for women to have a stirring in their hearts for more…more of God and a deeper relationship with Him that overflows to others. We envision many Chets women taking a step of faith to move outside of their comfort zones and try something new. We would like to have a serving team for each of the organizations we partner with, as well as, ongoing classes to assist women in discovering their gifts.

Speaking of serving teams, where do these service projects originate?

We have a list of vetted organizations that we partner with for serve days and other events. These are organizations connected to Chets or someone who attends Chets. However, we are always open to adding new opportunities to the list. So, please contact me if you would like to discuss an organization you already volunteer with, know of, or work for.

Are service projects open for anyone to serve or is there a process?

I love this question! The Unleash team strives to NOT be a closed group or a clique of a few select women who try to accomplish all of God’s work alone. We are open to anyone and our events are created with diversity in mind. There is no prerequisite to serve and we encourage women to jump in and get involved. If you are hesitant, like I was, because you aren’t sure where you fit, we would love to help you figure it out. There is something for everyone. There are service opportunities for every stage of life and every type of schedule.

Is there any schedule or calendar where we can see the upcoming service opportunities?

At this point there is not a calendar of events. We are working on putting that in place. However, there will not be an exact calendar with everything planned out for the whole year. There will be certain main events planned, but we want to leave room for the Holy Spirit to work. In our busy culture it is important to remember that sometimes opportunities happen spontaneously and we need to leave margin for God’s plans.

In closing, what would you have a Chets Woman take take away from this article?

Our team verse sums it up:

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

We are all called to serve and God has uniquely gifted each of us and equipped us to do it. If you feel restless or like there is something more, it’s because there is!! We are not saved through works, but we are saved for works. We are made to show and share God’s love to a hurting and lost world.  I challenge you to prayerfully consider your next step in serving.


Join us tunleashhis Monday, April 11 from 7:00 to 9:00pm for our first Chets Women Unleashed night at the Hodges Campus, Fuel Station (Room 223).

RSVP on the Facebook Event page.

For more information contact Michelle Arguello.