10.16.2013

What If? Thoughts on the IF: Gathering


Before I even get started, let me clarify that I do not have any special relationship with the IF: Gathering.  In fact, they don’t even know who I am.  I just have felt God moving in this event from the moment I heard about it. 

I really don’t get excited over Christian events.  Especially Christian conferences.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been to so many. I just rarely get thrilled over these types of events.  I love retreats.  Love small retreats of 12-20 people.  That I love.  But Christian events.  Not so much. 

However, from the moment I first heard about the IF: Gathering (to read about it, click here), I have hardly been able to contain my excitement, immediately signing up for their email list, trying to contact them telling them I just want to be involved.  The idea that women across denominations, social groups, and economic status were going to gather together in one location to ask God and each other the question, “If God is real, then what?” gave me chills every time I thought about it. 

Then, I totally lost interest when they came out with their original conference fee.  $245?  No way.  There was no way I was going to pay that amount to go to a conference fully aware that over half the women I know would be totally unable to attend a conference with that as the set fee.  I was disinterested in a conference that, due to price, would make attendance impossible for so many women who desperately longed to discuss that important God question: “If God is real, then what?”  So, I decided I wouldn’t attend…based on principle.

But.   Then it happened.  When the leaders were faced with the reality that the price was a “roadblock” for so many women, they prayed and God moved among them.  Not only did they drop the price, but they also decided to create a webcast of the event so that women everywhere could participate in this gathering.

I get chills just thinking about women all over America…all over the globe gathering together to ask God and each other the question, “If God is real, then what?”  I get tears in my eyes thinking of the women in my community sitting together engaging their hearts in that question and asking God to respond. 

So, I am gathering the ladies that I am connected to together in a home in February to participate in this conference via webcast.  I am forming a prayer team for our gathering.  I am beginning to plan how our gathering will look and feel, how to facilitate genuine connection with each other and with God.  I am asking God to come down into that home and not only answer that question for us as individuals but also for us as a whole community. 

I am nervous because I am putting myself out there to gather my community over a conference in which I don’t even know exactly what the speakers will be talking about.  I am nervous about possible theological differences.  I am nervous about gathering all the women of my community together, women in various life stages and seasons and roles.  Will it go well?  Will we connect with one another?  Will we discover friends among one another? 

Even in the nervousness and unanswered questions, I am expectant of God.  I don’t know what exactly I am expectant of in that, I just know that He ahs been behind this whole thing all along anyway.  I am expectant that when my community gathers with each other to ask one another and Him, “If God is real, then what?” that He will show up and answer that question for us. 

I so very much want all the women that I know (near or far) to participate in this webcast, not because I think the conference itself is so amazing, but because I believe that God is so amazing.  And I believe that God is moving in and around the IF: Gathering. 

So, if you are putting together a house gathering for the IF: Gathering (known as IF: Local gatherings), I’d love to hear your story, your ideas, and what God is doing in your community.  If you’re in the Tulsa area and will be hosting a house gathering as an IF: Local gathering, I’d love to know so I can join you in praying for the women in our city.  Leave a comment below or contact me (click here) to share the story of your gathering near or far!    

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