Building Relationships Around a TABLE

How did I end up saying “Yes” to hosting a Chets Women: TABLE? I’d love to share with you!

My name is Rachael and I am a wife and mother of three. I love spending time with my family, getting away for a weekend, and I “worry work” myself whenever I have a free moment.

In the past couple of years my life has really changed. Throughout my adult life, I was a caregiver for my dad and grandmother until they both recently passed away. With this loss, I felt a huge responsibility to fill the time I would normally be taking care of them with something positive and productive. I needed help finding my place. I needed to find my place to serve, to give, and to love. That was when I signed up for a study called Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. The words of the introduction to the book resonated in my heart:

“Our hope is that through our story you might identify where God is leading you. We hope you read something that helps you overcome what is holding you back. And we give you permission to chase after it.”

Around the same time, I started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. This book taught me that baby steps are OK! I felt such a release from the pressure to have everything perfect! I learned to make choices that fit into the goals for my life and family, something the author called direction.

“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.”

When Kelley Hastings rolled out Chets Women: TABLE at our church, I was looking forward to attending. It involves gathering 6 women to discuss 4 questions for 2 hours around a table. In fact, I felt very comfortable attending. But when Kelley gave me that kind, gentle look silently suggesting that I should host a TABLE, I was scared. I was flooded with insecurities. I am very unqualified to be any sort of spiritual leader. I have a huge fear of rejection (I get nervous that my own family won’t show up for Christmas). I make excuses for other people to not hang out with me even before I invite them. In the midst of these fears, God did that stirring in my heart that I had been praying for and chasing after. I used the decision checklist that I learned from Lysa in The Best Yes and I remembered Jen Hatmaker’s quote “Until we are obedient in word and deed we’re just here pretending to be there.” Honestly, there was no excuse holding me back from hosting a TABLE: I had a house, I had the date open, small environments are my favorite, and I felt it in my heart. I pressed through and said yes!

I ended up inviting the girls from my neighborhood. Some went to Chets Creek and others didn’t. A few were good friends and others I barely knew. I invited them on a Thursday night to my house for cheese and dessert. I prepared the TABLE, grabbed the four questions and welcomed these wonderful women into my home. We had a great time. We talked through things, we shared, we got way off subject, we cried, and we encouraged each other. We all loved the camaraderie and being able to talk through things with Godly women. We didn’t want it to be a one-time thing. So, we gathered around a table again, and then we did it again and again.


This TABLE of women has been such a blessing to me. They accepted my invitation with a “Yes.” We show up in yoga pants and messy hair. But we show up for the same reason, to say Yes. To say Yes to Godly friendship, to say Yes to stopping our busy lives to focus on Him, and to say Yes to baby steps that lead us to serve and be closer to an amazing God.

As with most things, it wasn’t the event itself that changed me the most. It was the confidence that came from overcoming excuses and insecurities in order to serve Him. My TABLE wasn’t perfect. Everyone I invited did not come. I felt the sting of rejection. But, I knew God was working in me. I knew if I only had one person, it would be worth it. I knew that God was doing something bigger than just calling me out of my comfort zone. He was leading me into something and I desperately wanted to chase after it. God had a plan and it involved transforming me. So, when I received that kind gentle request from Kelley to serve with her on the Chets Women Connect Team I easily said yes. I knew it would be a challenge worth chasing after and I am excited to see how God can use me.


As we approach another Chets Women: TABLE event, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is this a baby step I should take?” If you feel that desire or stirring, just say Yes. Reach out to those around that you wouldn’t normally “church” with. Invite them over for 2 hours, 4 questions, and 6 women. God will not let you down!

How do you plan on setting your TABLE?

Women will gather around a TABLE all over Jacksonville during the weekend of October 7 at various times and locations. You can sign up to host or attend a TABLE in the atrium on Sunday 9/18 and 9/25. Questions? Contact Rachael Calzada at 



Fall 2016 Bible Studies

It’s that time again! Fall bible studies are fast approaching and registration is now OPEN! We have a great line up of studies to choose from. If you have not participated before, we hope this will be the semester you decide to jump in. With a wide variety of topics, and classes offered on Monday and Wednesday nights and Tuesday mornings, there is a study just for you that will fit your schedule! We promise it will be one of the best investments of your time and the friendships you form will be such a blessing. Feel free to invite a friend or neighbor to join you. Bible studies are open to any and all women. You can register online for classes and free childcare. Or you may visit the Chets Women table in the atrium on Sunday August 21 and 28 to browse books, talk to facilitators and register. Workbooks are $15 each unless otherwise specified.

MONDAY NIGHT STUDIES ~ Start September 12  •  7:00 to 9:00pm

Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE13653223_10210020592412998_4388951582646508299_o

Leader: Kelly Miller  •  No Cost

Have you ever wanted to read the whole Bible for yourself, but easily got discouraged or confused? If so, then the Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE is for you! We will read through the whole Bible together during the upcoming school year (September to June). There is a daily reading plan, videos that explain each book of the Bible, and we will meet together on the second Monday of each month (September 12 to June 12) to encourage each other every step of the way.


Transformed: How God Changes Us13882513_10209980153202043_5844854641544366394_n by Rick Warren

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Daphne Summers •  Cost $13

The world is shouting for our attention with answers to our relationship struggles, solutions to our financial trouble, and explanations to our search for meaning. But the world’s promises leave us empty and searching for more. God’s Word is the only answer that promises to transform our lives from the inside out. Be a part of our TRANSFORMED fall spiritual growth campaign at Chets by being in a Transformed Group. We will look at how God changes us in seven key areas of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, and vocational. This is the same study as we will be doing in LifeGroups and will align with Pastor Spike’s sermons.


Here and Now…There and Then: A Lecture Series on Revelation by Beth Moore


11 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Ali Long • Cost $15

An in-depth study series on the book of Revelation presenting many points of view, allowing women to decide for themselves when the interpretation varies among scholars. She teaches that God is as specific about what He does reveal as He is about what He does not reveal.



Me, Myself & Lies: A Thought-Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild


7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Liza Akley • Cost $15

Words are powerful. Especially the words women speak to themselves. All too often, what they say to themselves when they lie in bed at night or look in the mirror in the morning is not even close to the words God wants them to speak to their souls. What we think about often has a ripple effect on nearly every area of our lives.



The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirerplanning-center---armor-of-god

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Shawna Mills  •  Cost $15

All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you — unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you: your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny. But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you’re tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, this study is for you.


TUESDAY MORNING STUDIES ~ Start August 30 • 9:30 to 11:30am

Discerning the Voice of God13920972_10209995237019129_8885857502484056966_n by Pricilla Shirer

8 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Dee McCollum  •  Cost $15

Have you been in the presence of passionate believers who shared stirring encounters with God’s voice while your own soul overflowed with confusion? How did the saints know God was speaking? No blessing surpasses a relationship with God in which you know when He is specifically calling to you. The more intimate your relationship with Him, the clearer God’s voice becomes. This study provides participants with practical help in knowing whether what you’re hearing is from God. You will become more familiar with God’s Spirit, His character, language, and tone of voice.

Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman13891854_10209995459704696_9114289459881345030_n by Beth Moore

11 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Sherrill Boone  •  Cost $15

If you’ve ever felt inadequate, threatened, or pushed into situations that seemed overpowering, this is the Bible study for you. Just as it was tough being a woman in Esther’s day, it’s tough today. This portion of God’s Word contains treasures to aid us in our hurried, harried, and pressured lives.


Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst


6 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Yvonne Yarbrough  •  Cost $15

This Bible study helps women explore the roots of rejection; the lies we believe as a result; and the truth about who God is, who we are, and what it looks like to live loved.



Transformed: How God Changes Us by Rick Warren


7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Gina Cruz  • Cost: $13

The world is shouting for our attention with answers to our relationship struggles, solutions to our financial trouble, and explanations to our search for meaning. But the world’s promises leave us empty and searching for more. God’s Word is the only answer that promises to transform our lives from the inside out. Be a part of our TRANSFORMED fall spiritual growth campaign at Chets by being in a Transformed Group. We will look at how God changes us in seven key areas of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, and vocational. This is the same study as we will be doing in LifeGroups and will align with Pastor Spike’s sermons.


Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg13920635_10210006425938845_8493492854224218201_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Kristen Veniard  •  Cost $15

Anxiety. Depression. Fear. Loneliness. These are all symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its source of life. Like a flower snipped from the vine, the soul that is not turned toward God can only wither away. In this study we will discover what the soul is, why it is important, how to assess it’s health, and how to care for it so that it contributes to the depth and beauty of our relationship with God and others.

**This study begins on Tuesday, September 13.**



Made to Crave with Whole30 Methods by Lysa Terkeurst13886918_10209980104680830_3888514050579450702_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Book Study

Leaders: Marie Meltzer and Diana Bartolec

Cost: $10

Journey with us as we learn to satisfy our deepest desires with God – not food. The course will combine Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave study with an effective nutritional approach using Whole30 methods.



Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell


6 Weeks, DVD/Book Study

Leader: Cathy Kaplan

Cost: $10

Failure, rejection, sickness, losing a loved one, being alone – the fears we carry are many and heavy. Fear can be a tyrant, a bully we can’t hide from. It can paralyze our spirit, damage our relationships, and hinder our faith. When we’re struck with fear, where do we turn? Can God really be trusted? In this course we will explore our fears and how those fears impact their relationships, self-esteem, peace of mind, and walk with God. We will walk through Scriptures that show God’s love and strength when we are afraid and His faithfulness in times of trouble.


Mom to Mom: Heart Talk on What Really Matters by Linda Schultz Anderson

12 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study1797383_10210006481100224_7360943609068483819_n

Leaders: Emily Ramsey and Jessica Brothers

Cost: $15

Mom to Mom is a Biblically-based parenting program designed around the Titus 2:4 concept of older women teaching and encouraging younger women in their relationship with their husbands and children. Through small group interaction, growth occurs not only in our parenting skills but also in our wholeness as women – intellectually, relationally, and spiritually.


Transformed: How God Changes Us (Spanish-speaking Women) by Rick Warren


6 weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leaders: Gladys Franco and Adriana Brinkman

Cost: $13

Transformados es una campaña de siete sesiones, que guiará y hará crecer su iglesia mediante la exploración de lo que la Biblia tiene que decir sobre cada área esencial de nuestra vida: Espiritual, Física, Mental, Emocional, Relacional, Financiera y Vocacional. El mundo está gritando para captar nuestra atención con las respuestas a nuestras luchas con las relaciones personales, con soluciones a nuestros problemas financieros y con las explicaciones a nuestra búsqueda del significado. Pero las promesas del mundo nos dejan vacíos y en la búsqueda de más. La voluntad de Dios es la única respuesta que promete TRANSFORMAR nuestras vidas desde dentro hacia fuera.

Register online today or in the church atrium on Sunday, August 21 & 28.

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.


One step in the same direction

As I run my hands across blank calendar pages, I wonder what lies ahead. So much anticipation. So much wonder of what this year will bring.

Yet I know there certain things that will happen this year regardless of whether they are on my calendar – lives will be changed and God will receive the glory.

You see somewhere along this journey I was taught that it’s the “long obedience in the same direction” that makes the difference. (Pastors Spike, Glenn and Kitty’s ministry commitment to Chets is a great example).  Naturally, this truth can apply to anything…hobbies, goals, relationships. For Chets Women, we are committed to the long obedience of seeing women Changed to Bring Change.

So as we look forward to what will happen for Chets Women in 2016, we can look back and thank God for what He has done in and through us. (Find your photo below!)

In 2015, many women decided it was time to take their relationship with Jesus to the next level and formed a Discipleship Triad – a group of three women who focus on the essentials of God’s Word together. They commit to meet weekly and in doing so develop encouraging, accountable relationships with each other as they become disciples who are capable of making disciples!


Discipleship triad meeting at church

(Interested in joining a triad? Contact Chelly Brown at or 904.508.2864. Visit for more info.)


In March, women gathered in 16 homes across Jacksonville for a 2 day, life-changing event. We listened to amazing speakers and inspiring testimonies. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we connected. We left inspired, with a solid rock in our hand and ready to put our faith into action!

Best BS


Better BS


(If you’re interested in learning more about hosting a 2016 IF:GATHERING at hour home, contact Kelley Hastings.)


This is the first year we all joined together for a summer Bible study and it was GOOD!  Using Jeannie Allen’s book, Restless, we studied the life of Joseph and identified the threads of our life and how to intentionally weave them together for God’s glory and purposes.


“Restless” Bible Study


“Restless” Bible Study


Summer also brought Chets Women together to enjoy a few spontaneous meet-ups, including a day at the beach and a few groups who saw the War Room movie together.  We Chets Women know how to CONNECT!

War Room After Party

War Room Movie ‘After Party’


Bible Studies! There’s nothing better than pursuing God’s Word with other women through these intimate, life-changing groups.  It’s definitely one of the best investments of your time that you can make. We promise!


Some of the Fall Bible Study Groups


A few more Bible Study groups!

(If you ever have any questions about our Bible Studies or if you feel God is calling you to lead one, please contact Cathy Kaplan!)


On September 24, Chets Women joined together with women all over the world for an incredible night of prayer and worship.


IF:PRAY @ Chets Creek Church


In October, Chets Women gathered around 22 Tables to share a simple meal and dive deep into Christ-centered conversations. It was a time for a whole lot of laughter and a few tears, but time spent that left us with glad hearts. Full hearts. Grateful hearts.


Chets Women: TABLES

(For more info about the 2016 Chets Women: TABLES contact Kelley Hastings.)


To get the word out about Well Fed, Chets Women’s annual large gathering on October 18th, we took “Fork Selfies” and showed our silly side!


Well Fed Fork Selfies!


At Well Fed we all came together for one incredible evening of dinner, fellowship, worship and the Word.  We examined the life of the woman at the well from a different perspective (watch the powerful message here). We also heard from the Connect and Unleash teams and four beautiful, brave women who shared their hearts and prayed for ours.

well fed


 (See more pictures on the Well Fed Photo Recap blog post. Did you attend well fed?  If so, there’s a good chance your picture is here on Chets Women Flickr. Check it out!)


In 2015, we had many opportunities to come together and serve our community, below are just a few of the highlights. (If you want more info about our 2016 SERVE DAYS contact Michelle Arguello.) 

We gathered and packed food for families in need at the Christ Church Food Pantry. We also had the opportunity to pray for many of them. A blessing for all involved.

CC Food Pantry

Christ Church Food Pantry


The Gabriel House of Care is a place for those undergoing treatment at Mayo Clinic and their family members. We brought and made dinner for the guests on multiple occasions this year and had the opportunity to talk and pray with them.

Gabriel House

Gabriel House of Care


Gabriel House of Care


Chets Women went above and beyond when asked to help set up an apartment for a refugee family from Burma and donated more then enough supplies, their time and many prayers for the family.

WR apt set up

Apartment set up with World Relief


We had the opportunity to bless the Florida Baptist Children’s Home host families and staff by organizing a the storage shed and donation room on campus.


Florida Baptist Children’s Home


We also served in many places during our church’s annual IMPACT JAX event. Chets Women showed up at the Kidz Xtreme block party to share a meal, fun times, and the love of Jesus with disadvantaged children and their families.

KX 2

Kidz Xtreme Block Party


The women of Chets Nocatee have also had a great first year together! We prayed fervently together during the months before the official campus launch, we experienced IF:Gathering and IF:Pray together, we’ve helped develop community through LifeGroups and regular prayer/accountability/fellowship gatherings, and we’ve grown together in mid-week Bible studies. We’re grateful for a happy and healthy first year!


This year, as we stay on this same path, we pray for more…more changed lives…more harvest hands….more glory to God. Will you consider joining us and serving God by investing in Chets Women? There is no greater thing to give your life to! Opportunities to serve are endless, from blog writers, study leaders, prayer warriors, triad leaders, community ministry liaisons….we want you to serve where God is working in Chets Women.

You are invited to get involved. Now that is something to put on your calendar!

For His Glory,

11953519_1897125350511728_3716059687598039577_o{This post was written by Susan Freese, who leads the women’s ministry at Chets Creek Church. She is married to her college sweetheart, Brett, and they have two perpetually bouncy little men who keep them hopping from one sport to another. In 2006, she left her corporate career to answer the call to re-launch in the women’s ministry through Chets Creek Church. She also founded All In Ministries International to serve women across the world. Susan is passionate to see women know Christ and be changed by Him in a way that will change the world.}


Fall 2015 Women’s Bible Studies

You’re invited to pursue God’s Word with other Chets Women. We need to know God, His character, His commands, His heart, in order to know what we are called to be and do. We have a two-fold emphasis by meeting you where you are and encouraging you to the “what next.” Did you just accept Jesus as your Lord, and you wonder what to do now? Are you a Christian who has been stagnant for a while and would like to move on? Are you stuck in a season? Are you in a new season? Are you experiencing a new thirst for God? We have a Bible Study for you! Please check out these studies. Think and pray, and then jump right in!

Register for classes & free childcare ($15 each – unless otherwise specified) and free childcare online at or visit the Chets Women table in the atrium.

Monday Night Studies – beginning August 31, 7:00-9:00pm

The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  (by Beth Moore)

10 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                         Leader: Ali Long

Come along for a study through Genesis – the Book of Beginnings. Discover God’s pursuit of a relationship with man, and marvel as His plan to bless all people unfolds. Full of twists and turns, ruin and redemption, revelation and mystery this Bible study keeps participants captivated by the God who stars in it! Explore concepts such as blessing, covenant, and promise, and the bearing each has on a New Testament believer’s life today. Group members will also study the Hebrew names of God introduced on the early pages of Scripture.

Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything  (by Jennifer Rothschild)

7 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                             Leader: Kristen Black

The book of Hosea—it’s a deeply personal and passionate love story, yet it’s a difficult story. As an account full of harsh judgment unfolds, we find in its midst a rare and pure gem: the truest and purest of loves. The book will challenge us with judgment so harsh it will singe our hair—an unheeded sermon warning of devastating doom shortly to come. But it will show us the kind of love we dream about. Be amazed by the love of Hosea for his wayward spouse—and more amazed by the unfailing love of God for His wayward people, and for all people. Hosea showers us with hope—hints and portents pointing to the coming of the promised Messiah.

Transforming Discipleship

6 weeks, workbook study                                                                     Leader: Leslie Layton

Jesus made disciples by pouring His life into a few men and women. Today, disciple-making is done when we intentionally walk alongside others in order to grow toward maturity in Christ. By gathering together in twos or threes to study the Bible and encourage one another, we follow Jesus’ example with his own disciples. This course helps you establish authentic relationships that are based upon the truth of God’s word and mutual accountability. The result is transformed lives.

Magnificent Obsession: Embracing the God-Filled Life (by Anne Graham Lotz)

7 weeks, Book/DVD study                                                                   Leader: Susan Johnston

In The Magnificent Obsession, gifted Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, shares her journey from a restless spirit searching for something more, to finding her answer in the amazing story of Abraham. Through personal anecdotes and unforgettable stories, you’ll draw closer to God, who longs to call you ‘friend.’

Tuesday Morning Studies – beginning September 1, 9:30-11:30am

Transforming Discipleship

6 weeks, workbook study                                                                     Leader: Leslie Layton

Jesus made disciples by pouring His life into a few men and women. Today, disciple-making is done when we intentionally walk alongside others in order to grow toward maturity in Christ. By gathering together in twos or threes to study the Bible and encourage one another, we follow Jesus’ example with his own disciples. This course helps you establish authentic relationships that are based upon the truth of God’s word and mutual accountability. The result is transformed lives.

Faith Lessons: In the Dust of the Rabbi (by Ray Vander Laan)

7 weeks, DVD study (no cost)                                                               Leader: Diane Coelho

This study will help you experience Jesus’ life up close and personal. Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God’s Word to life with astounding relevance. By weaving together the Bible’s fascinating historical, cultural, religious, and geographical contexts, teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan reveals unique insights into the Scriptures’ significance for modern believers.The DVD was filmed on location in Galilee, Priene, and Didyma. These illuminating “faith lessons” afford a new understanding of the Bible that will ground your convictions and transform your life.

Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman (by Beth Moore)

9 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                            Leader: Gina Cruz

If you’ve ever felt inadequate, threatened, or pushed into situations that seemed overpowering, this is the Bible study for you. Just as it was tough being a woman in Esther’s day, it’s tough today. This portion of God’s Word contains treasures to aid us in our hurried, harried, and pressured lives.

Testing of Your Faith (by Dr Bruce Wilkinson)

12 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                          Leader: Paddy Creveling

Join us as we study what happens when God sends a test of faith into your life, and how to stand firm and allow God to bless you through these tests.

Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have (by Natalie Chambers Snapp)

8 weeks, workbook study                                                                   Leader: Elsa Garcia

Friendships with other women are as important to our mental, physical, and spiritual health as rest, exercise, and prayer. We don’t just want friends—we need friends. Yet sometimes they can be as difficult as singing a song without the lyrics. If you’ve ever been hurt by a friend, struggled to balance friendship with everyday life, or seen a friendship end too early, Heart Sisters will help you be the friend you want to have.

Wednesday Night Studies – beginning August 26, 6:30-7:30pm

Keep it Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All (by Karen Ehman)

6 weeks, workbook/DVD study (cost $20)                                          Leader: Cathy Kaplan

If you want to learn how to tackle the hard subjects of gossip and speaking the truth in love and the power of your own words, all from Biblical standpoints, then this class is for you. Humorous look at how to handle what comes out of the mouth.

Purposeful Hospitality

6 weeks (cost $10)                                                                               Leader: Donna Hastings

In our rapidly changing culture, the most strategic turf on which to engage those who don’t know Christ with the good news of Jesus may be the turf of our own homes. Invite them to dinner! Join us as we study what the Bible says about practicing hospitality, discuss the difference between hospitality and entertaining, and learn easy and effective ways to develop relationships with the people you come in contact with everyday.

Living Like You Belong to God    (by Kay Authur, David and BJ Lawson)

6 weeks, workbook study/no homework                                               Leader: Robin Bedwell

God calls us to a life of joy, obedience, and trust. He calls us to be different from those around us. He calls us to be holy. In this rich study, you will discover that holiness is not an arbitrary standard within today’s church or an unreachable goal of sinless perfection. Holiness is about pleasing God—living in such a way that it’s clear you belong to Him. Holiness is what makes you unique as a believer in Jesus Christ. Come explore the beauty of holy living and see why true holiness and true happiness always go together.

Thursday Morning Studies – beginning October 8, 9:30-11:30am

Keep it Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All (by Karen Ehman)

6 weeks, workbook/DVD study (cost $20 – no childcare)                       Leader: Glenda Harris

If you want to learn how to tackle the hard subjects of gossip and speaking the truth in love and the power of your own words, all from Biblical standpoints, then this class is for you. Humorous look at how to handle what comes out of the mouth.

Why I Love My Discipleship Triad

Have you heard of life transformation Triads?  Want to know more about what they are?  Type “triads” in the search bar on the right of our blog or start with Leslie’s 3 part series by clicking HERE.  But for now, check out a great testimony by Chets Woman, Lauren Bedwell, about her experience with a Triad.

When you think of the commitment involved with a discipleship Triad, it is easy to “say no” and not get involved.  Granted, many of us are already involved in great communities like life groups or women’s Bible studies.. BUT after doing a Triad for the last year, I encourage you: do not write it off yet!  For me, it was totally worth it and needed!

I have been going to Chets for the past 5 years and most of that time I have participated in women’s Bible studies with my adult life group. This has been a sweet, sweet time of developing friendships with girls in my same life stage. We have started families around the same time and are facing similar obstacles. It is amazing to have people in my life who are going through the same things I am going through. With that said, in a large group Bible study, you miss a certain accountability that can be found in a discipleship Triad. I was feeling like I wanted to go deeper in my spiritual walk, and I had questions on some basic spiritual truths that I wanted to learn more about. When I heard about the book “Discipleship Essentials” and the discipleship Triads being promoted by Chets Women, it caught my attention. I found two women who were not in my life group (this isn’t necessary, but it worked out that way for me), we looked over the covenant to complete the study together, signed it, and then started meeting on a weekly basis.

It is awesome to dive into the Word with on a weekly basis with two other women who are seeking God and seeking to grow in their relationship with Christ. The beauty of the Triads is the “in your face” accountability to study God’s Word and complete the lessons each week. I mean – if I am being honest – in a large group Bible study, if my week gets crazy and I am tired, I can leave a couple of pages blank and no one will likely notice. But in my Triad, we go through each question one by one and there is no way to “fake it til you make it.” There have definitely been weeks that I have slacked off and the night before I am up until midnight because I know that I have to complete the lessons because the other two women are counting on me to have finished. I LOVE that about my Triad, because it keeps me in the Word and keeps me growing and on the path of becoming a disciple. I believe most of us want to be growing closer to Christ, but it has catapulted me forward knowing there are two ladies beside me, cheering me on. Psalms 119:11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I totally agree with this verse, but it is so hard for me to memorize scripture and store it in my heart! Typically, memorizing scripture (unfortunately!) gets pushed to the back burner when life gets hectic. In our weekly meetings, one of the first things we do is recite the scripture we have learned over the past week. Not to sound like a broken record, but it keeps me accountable and keeps me memorizing scripture.

Beyond the actual spiritual truths that I have learned through this study, I have developed deep friendships with the other two women in my Triad. When we meet on a weekly basis, we hear each other’s struggles and help each other walk through life. It allows us to have a transparent, honest relationship with each other. Triads are about accountability and consistency, but in our Triad, there has been grace when life happens – interruptions because of children, sickness, the holidays, or moving may happen, and weeks will go by where we have not met. Even in this absence of meeting, I believe we have developed a friendship where we are still pushing each other forward to Christ and encouraging on another.

I cannot say enough positive things about my Triad experience and I highly recommend everyone to get involved in a Triad!  Pray about the ladies with whom you’d like to develop a Triad, and then talk to Chelly Brown ( or Susan Freese ( and they can help you get started!

{This post was written by Lauren Bedwell. Lauren is married to Jeff, and together they minister to middle school students at Chets Creek Church. She is mommy to a sweet toddler boy who keeps her on her toes. Lauren also works part-time as an ER nurse here in Jacksonville. Lauren loves the beach, hanging with girlfriends, and Greek food. She’s always up for playing fun games, and you can lure her in with any kind of dip – think salsa, sour cream and onion, buffalo chicken.}

Triads – Now What? (Triad Series: Part 3 of 3)

Progress in living the Christian life may have been steady and incremental throughout a believer’s life to this point, but with entry into a triad there is a gear shift to warp speed.

Greg Ogden

Ogden says we are in the “Holy Spirit’s Hothouse of Transformation” when the following three ingredients are present: 1. Open hearts and transparent trust; 2. the truth of God’s Word; and 3. the spirit of mutual accountability.

So, let’s say you’ve got two other women and you are ready to embark on your Triad. Now what? It’s very easy………simply utilize the preferred curriculum, “Discipleship Essentials”, by Greg Ogden. Then just take it one week and one chapter at a time.

Always remember that Disciples are not made quickly. When the Triad is built slowly and solidly it promotes an atmosphere of honesty, accountability and vulnerability. As a result, the ensuing relationships provide a safe place for intimacy, personal care, deep friendships and spiritual bonding (Ogden, page 127). The overwhelming majority of women who have completed a Triad report that they are sweet and beautiful times of deeper study and fellowship.

Since Disciples are not made quickly, your Triad covenant should include the agreement to wait on your sisters. Let’s face it – Life happens! People get sick, go out of town, and have deaths occur in their family. When these things happen it may be necessary to postpone a weekly meeting until the following week. That is okay. You are all three committed to completing this study so you will pick back up the following week. Or, you may decide to meet on another day for that particular week so that you can remain on your weekly schedule. Whatever works best for your three is most important.

Triads are not support groups in and of themselves, but make no mistake… support for one another comes naturally with the growing intimacy of the relationships! Some women with whom I have done these triads have been going through some “major stuff” in their lives – even to the point that they have doubted whether or not they could commit to such a study. Yet, in nearly every single situation, a triad has a been the very thing they have needed the most!

Disciple making and transformation are fanned by the biblical pattern of investing in a few at a time. Triads are a practical strategy for these investments. They provide hope that we can truly fulfill Jesus’ mission statement for the church, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19, Ogden, page 18).

I highly encourage each of you Chets Women to become actively involved in a Triad. If you still have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to email me at I will be praying for each woman within our ministry to be transformed in a beautiful way as the result of a Triad.

{This article was written by Leslie Layton.  Leslie left the corporate world to pursue women’s ministry and she obtained her Master’s Degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  She hopes to help women of all ages through her writing and her volunteer work.  Leslie oversees the Transformation and Discipleship portion of the women’s ministry leadership team.  She is currently involved in two discipleship Triads and she facilitates a Bible study on how to convene successful Triads.  Leslie has been married to her husband, Charles, for over 10 years. She and  Charles have 3 grown daughters from his first marriage and they are parents to 2 special needs dogs, Chester and Gracie.}