With a new year comes a new semester of small groups. This means, a new opportunity for you to find “your people”, get out of your comfort zone, and get further connected to the church body at TFH. To some this may sound exhilarating, to others, exhausting. That’s why we wanted to share the story of a woman, just like you, who took the leap and ended up overcoming fears, hurdles and misconceptions through her very own IF Table – One of the many small group avenues we have at The Fathers House. Enjoy Ari’s story!
The premise for If Table can be intimidating. Invite 4-6 women, preferably women you don’t know or don’t know well, to your home to share a meal and answer questions about Jesus together. The catch to these questions is that they take you from shallow to deep at rapid pace. If you are anything like I was when I started out, the thought of that makes your pulse quicken and look around for the nearest exit. On top of that, in the promo videos and some of the IG posts, the homes and tables are expertly decorated. With fresh florals, and clearly a meal that has been prepared from scratch. Queue nervous sweating from yours truly. But as I listened to the promo video, I could hear the Lord soothing my soul and whispering that this was exactly what I needed. I was walking through life holding my cards real close to my chest. With a toddler and barely 4 month old I was drowning, silently. I so desperately needed community but didn’t know how to create it, and here this promo seemed to be outlining perfectly. I should also mention that I saw this promo and the kick off of the Propel chapter, that I showed up to by myself, because I was desperate to meet women.
Fast forward a few weeks, andI get the email to attend the training to host a table. I decided that I believed what the Lord whispered to me, so I RSVP’d and showed up solo to the training. And before the night was over, I invited a mama I met there to my first table. Then she brought a friend. I invited another new friend I met in our membership class. Then I invited another gal who had welcomed me into her home. The development of this table was so Jesus woven together. These women have walked with me through the darkness of depression and celebrated every victory. We have wept for our children, our husbands and each other. I have realized it’s not that I needed others to carry my burdens. I needed them to help me lay it down at the feet of the only one who could take the weight from me.
We had been at TFH for 2 years before this, and like so many we checked in and checked out on Sundays. We were satisfied to be lost in the crowd, until life gripped us hard with struggle and we realized we could no longer live a life for Jesus outside of a life-giving community. If Table has so beautifully constructed a fool proof formula for breaking down the barriers we so often allow to block the depth we need to hear Jesus through others. These barriers, when broken, allow a flow of the Spirit that is life changing. If you’ve been on the fence of starting or joining a table DO IT. And if you haven’t heard of the ministry find out more. And start it where you are. You just need a table, at your house, a restaurant, coffee shop, a picnic table at a park, anything. I can guarantee you a few things, it’s going to push you outside your comfort zone and it’s worth it. And so are you.
If Ari’s story has you interested in IF:Tables make sure to stop by the lobby before Propel tonight and get more inforamtion on how to sign up!