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.

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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.

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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 RachaelO@msn.com. 

 

 

Countdown to “One”

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10 Days left until we worship, learn, laugh and connect at “One – a gathering of Chets Women” on August 24. This event has been on our hearts for months, but on God’s kingdom calendar for all time. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but I don’t think so. This is no ordinary gathering. This is a vision-casting event that – we hope and pray – will be a turning point in our ministry.

Oh, do not think that this will be a stale, boring presentation of some strategy. Do not think this will be light and fluffy either. There will be substance mixed with style. 

Here’s how the gathering will unfold…

The atrium will be a time to connect with friends while enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres. There will be an Exhale Zone with chair massages and aromatherapy for only the first 30 minutes.

The worship center will be transformed into a beautiful dining room where you will be served a great meal. Musical worship will be followed by a few short “Chets Talks”, hosted by Laura Wilson. We’ll learn from Jackie Hatcher, Debbi Hoeft and Kelly Miller, who will each share rich life lessons. I will share a message from a passage in the gospel of John (yes, you may just want to bring your Bibles or read John 17 before you arrive). Then, something illuminating will take place before a sweet surprise at the end of the night.

We need every women from every generation at One.

We are hoping and praying for a revolution in women’s ministry. Maybe God has chosen Chets to start? I can tell you after nearly a year of prayer for God to give us direction…and now 8 months of carrying out the plan, the vision He has given us is bold and different. We need women from every generation to arise. We look to the older generations for wisdom.  We look to younger generations for fresh perspectives.  We extend hands to one another to help and serve. Every woman has a role. Women’s ministry is changing.

We are calling all to a gospel-centric, prayer-saturated, Spirit-led women’s ministry for God’s glory.

Will you get involved?

P.S. Tickets are limited and available online at chetscreek.com/women OR at the registration booth this Sunday in the atrium. The deadline to purchase is noon on August 18. We’ll save you a seat.

Introducing Chets Women

We know women influence women. But what are we influencing women toward?

The world screams loudly: Be this! Do that! Own this! Seek that! Loud. LOUD noise creating anxiety, discontentment, insecurities, depression, fear, guilt and shame.

However, in the midst of all the noise, there is the still, small voice of the One True God – our Maker. He says women were designed in His image to receive His love, His peace, His contentment, His security, His joy, His rest, His cleansing from shame and guilt. New life. Complete life with a purpose.

Yet, many women and girls are too distracted to notice. We race after the next position, the next relationship or the next (fill in the blank). We are consumed with comparison or unhealthy competition. (Yuck!) Eventually, we become restless and miserable until our souls are awakened. Nothing mystical, but something spiritual. Awakened to something more.

Enter Chets Women.

We are not your typical women’s ministry. We recognize life is short and eternity is long. Our lives have purpose. Turns out, our Maker is really, really creative. Each woman has her own unique purpose, her own individual calling which produces true joy. Throughout the Bible, God used women to display His splendor in distinctive ways. He still does. All women, regardless of age, have a song to sing, a note to play and story to tell….to bring God glory. Now, THAT’S what we influence women toward in SIX intentional ways…

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We connect women to authentic, deep, biblical community.

Through large and small gatherings, we help women find and develop spiritual friendships that help them love God and love others.

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We disciple women and girls according to Jesus’ instruction.

We offer a three-fold Bible study path approach and robust girls ministry which helps women and girls learn biblical truth in a loving environment.

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We encourage transformed women to be a transformation to those in and around their lives.

Through a grass-roots, Spirit-led triad approach to mentoring, we help women and girls grow in their faith to find intimacy with God until Christ is formed in them (Gal 4:19 ).

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We unleash women to serve Jesus by serving others using their unique gifts and passions.

Through classes and serve days, we help women and girls find their God-designed role in the world.

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We pray for and with women as they learn how to maintain a strong connection & receptivity to God.

Prayer undergirds our entire ministry. We invite God to take over our ministry because it’s really His women’s ministry. We help women learn how to talk with God for themselves and for others. We help women trust God in each moment as we learn He is writing our story.

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We communicate stories that encourage women and glorify God.

Through blogging and other social media platforms, women with the gift of writing and photography provide encouragement, communicate biblical truths, share fun ministry moments, and – most importantly – give God glory for what He is doing in the lives of Chets women.

Chets women is about changed women bringing change. Will you join us?

 

{This article was written by Susan Freese.  Susan is married to her college sweetheart, Brett, and they have two perpetually joyful little men. In 2006, she left her corporate career to answer the call to serve in the women’s ministry through Chets Creek Church.  She also co-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.}