Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gathering and Growing in Him

"Come, gather together..."
Revelation 19:17

Our Proverbs 31 Gather and Grow group pictured above had a pajama night when we gathered in February!

Each month, a wonderful group of women gather in our home for a "Gather and Grow" study and fellowship. God has given His life to this special and diverse group of ladies as we come together to seek Him in His Word, to fellowship and pray together, and to encourage each other in our walks with Him.

Currently, we are reading through "What Happens When Women Walk By Faith" by Lysa Terkeurst. At the end of each chapter is a Bible study. We each have been reading the chapters and doing our Bible studies at home through the month. When we come together, it is exciting and encouraging to discuss and listen to all that God is doing in each woman's heart and life as they seek Him in His Word.

We often have a "Make His Name Great" portion of our evening when one of our gals shares her testimony of salvation or something the Lord is currently doing in their life. As glory is given to God for His mighty works in our lives and hearts, our faith roots grow deeper and He knits us together in Him. "Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works in man's behalf!" Psalm 66:5

In February, our lovely Nancy led us in worship before we began our study, which was such a blessing. Here is Nancy (keep in mind it was "pajama night"!).

For me, the real proof in the pudding is when the husbands of the girls in the group say how much the love Gather and Grow for their wives. The husbands are seeing the fruit of Gathering and Growing in Him! One husband has even given a few other names for the group, such as "Hang Out and Sprout" and "Assemble and Resemble"!

Here is what a few of our gals have shared about what "Gather and Grow" means to them:

"The group has been like the Word lived out among women who are free to be real and vulnerable as we read the extraordinary testimonies, encouragements and exhortations from the book and respond from the heart." - Jenn W.

"After attending several Gather and Grow get-togethers, I was reflecting on what makes this group so special to me. Although I love to participate in in-depth Bible studies on my own and with my church, there has been an aspect of my walk that I always seem to put on the back burner. Because of family obligations, my work schedule, and trying to keep my house somewhat clean, I have very few opportunities to simply hang out with other girls who just love Jesus. Meeting once a month has been a highlight for me. The atmosphere is very relaxed which makes it easy to let your guard down and really be yourself. I can already see how the Lord is working in our group and meshing our hearts together." - Nancy C.

"Something beautiful is happening to the diverse group of women my girlfriend has prayerfully invited together to 'Gather and Grow.' What started as a refreshing fellowship time is now after several months becoming a deep heart connection between women. We are being challenged to obedience to Christ in all we do. Thanks to the swiftness of the Internet, we have instant communication for prayer needs and praises. We are not only developing a more intimate relationship with Jesus, but an accountability and closeness with each other. The safety that is being felt by our group is being expressed in the testimonies that have been shared over the past few months.Sharon, who leads our group, puts every detail before God in prayer and yield to His leading. Yet she is able to maintain a structure and proceed with our lessons. The goal of Gather and Grow is more of Jesus and less of me, and yet our Lord blesses me each time we meet with remarkable gifts. I count this time we have together as one of the most precious in my life." - Lucille O.

About 7 years ago, an intimate group of 4 or 5 of my friends began to together to do a book study and seek God in His Word. We started with the book "Woman's Secret to A Balanced Life", which my dear friend Laura had given me as a gift, and which I shared with these girls (and others). God used that book powerfully in my life to gently get my life's priorities in their proper place. While being overwhelmed with the blessing and life-changing challenge of having my first baby, my world had become off-kilter. My dear friend Laura's visit that day with this book and a Coffee Coolatta for me was a moment I'll always cherish. Truly life-changing.

Our small group of women met for several years each Tuesday evening and read through several P31 books that pointed us to Christ and His Word. Now, several years later, Proverbs 31 Ministries began official "Gather and Grow" groups...and that is the perfect name! Indeed, we gather together and we grow in our relationship with Christ, in our relationships with each other, and in His love, Word and truth. Our now monthly gatherings are an oasis of sorts. God is faithful to give us our portion every time we seek Him. Gathering and Growing in His Truth....a precious and wonderful place to be! By His grace, truth and love alone. We look to Him in all things, the Giver of Life.

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

Acts 2:42

"Sanctify them by the truth, Your word is truth." John 17:17


Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Sharon - what a special blessing for all of you!

I know how wonderful it is to be a part of a group of believers that put Jesus first in the relationship and it is an incredible blessing for sure!!!!

Grateful to be blessed by the work in your heart through your blog!

Hugs and love,

Wendy Pope said...

I want to join your group. Can you satellite me in?

Runner Mom said...

How wonderful! Sharon, you have just planted a seed in my little 'ol head! After the retreat this weekend, I may be calling you! THis is an awesome idea! Loved the pj party!!


Still waiting for posts by your huuby to hear about his trip! :)

Chatty Kelly said...

I've been leading a Bible study group for almost 10 years! It has changed along the way and we have different gals, but we always ebb and grow. I love it. We currently have about 8. We've been as big as 20, and as small as 5.