LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS
REV. JAY HANSON
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Did 2020 seem like an untamed wilderness to you? Did it feel like a dry wasteland? How is 2021 so far? If you’re like me (Anne), it feels like more of the same!
Isaiah 43:18-19 is my life verse – the one I come back to in seasons of wilderness and wasteland. The promise of God’s faithful work and innovative nature help me look beyond my circumstances and get in tune with where God is leading and working. Even in the midst of what has seems like chaos, I have seen Him making a way in the uncertain wilderness of the world and filling streams in the barren wastelands of the church. Have you perceived it?
In February of 2020, Gracie Martin and I started Becoming More, a new women’s ministry at The Chapel. We wanted to help women develop a personal faith with God through spiritual disciplines as they grow to become more like Jesus for the sake of others. And just weeks into our new group, the world shut down and churches seemed to become empty wastelands. As everyone scrambled to claim their space and voice online, Gracie and I heard from the women in our group that they wanted to continue in an online capacity. So, we started a Facebook group and began posting daily devotionals to keep our women grounded and connected to the Word and in community. As we began, we realized God had something more in store! God was doing something new! He was making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland!
Just weeks into our new Facebook group, women started inviting other women to be a part of Becoming More. Gracie and I started talking about it to other women who weren’t even located in our town and weren’t a part of our church. Some of them weren’t even a part of any church! As we led our growing group through daily devotionals and Facebook Live check-ins, we realized this was creating connections with women who were feeling stressed, lonely, and isolated. We saw how God was using this as a pathway to draw women closer to Himself and together in community. God was expanding our influence and growing our group.
Now, a year later, we have more than 800 women in our Facebook group and more than 650 of them are actively participating in posts, videos, and interactive live videos we post. More than 100 women (plus more we are not aware of) are moving through in-person and online groups offered in multiple communities and churches across the U.S. Entire churches have moved to adopt Becoming More as their women’s ministry so they can reconnect with women in their communities and congregations. God is doing a new thing and we are seeing lives being changed!
Where is God working in your community? How is He creating new pathways in the wilderness? Do you see where He is causing streams of living water to flow through places of barrenness?
God’s not going to move in the exact way He did before. If you look for the same answers in the same places, you’re only going to see what you’ve seen before. God invites us to look in places we would have dismissed in the past; explore opportunities where we did not see potential before.
God is always working but we don’t always see it. Sometimes we are too focused on what we can’t do instead of what He is doing. We miss joining in the work He is doing in the world.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Let’s commit to becoming more perceptive in 2021.
Want to connect with what we’re doing at Becoming More? Connect with us at www.becomingmore.online.
Is God calling you to hybrid ministry? Let us share what we’ve learned through creating and growing Becoming More!
Jay Hanson, Lead Pastor, and Anne Bosarge, Multi-Campus Director, serve at The Chapel Ministries. They love sharing about the ways God is moving in their church. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.