It has been a month since our campus hosted the IF Gathering Conference. As we enter into spring break this week, I am embracing the temporary quiet as a chance to re-group, dream for the future and give thanks for how quickly God has moved.
Leading a college football team is more than a full-time job for my husband, and there are many times it is a full family undertaking. We love our lifestyle, and I am so proud of my husband’s commitment to not just coach, but to work to develop our team into men who have a full understanding of who Jesus is, and a full understanding of what biblical manhood looks like. That said, I have cautiously worked over the years with my husband’s full support to follow my personal passion and calling for encouraging college-aged women to pursue deeper personal relationships with Jesus.
Although our time here in the mountains has been short, God’s timing has been perfect, and there was immediate room for me to join women’s ministries on our campus. Things were moving comfortably along; the first semester was about learning our surroundings, the second, attending on-campus ministries, and getting to know students. Summer revealed a change, those in charge would need to transition out and a dear friend and I found ourselves inheriting a bible study in transition as all the leaders had graduated. With this transition, there was also the freedom to shape things to reflect the desires of campus within our own strengths and passions.
Slowly over the fall semester, we sought to create an environment women on our campus would enjoy, but also learn in. A leadership team was recruited entering into this spring semester, and timing-wise we launched bible study the Thursday before the IF Gathering conference. We had been given access to host the conference online and as our small group of women watched fresh off their first leadership meeting vision was cast.
Lessons We’re Learned Hosting IF Local
That first night it was decided we would host IF Table and a further decision was made to spend the semester in a study of different women in the Bible. Our first woman would be Rahab. Within 2 weeks time, we went for a new group of women trying to figure out how to best serve our campus, to a full-fledged ministry with a mission statement, calendar of events, and clear direction. Furthermore, as I watched IF Gathering a sense of urgency welled up. As the women of IF spoke of revival, repentance, and response, I was struck deeply by Jo Saxton’s talk. She said that when we don’t live beyond what we think about ourselves and have faith in God instead of responding to fear the result is weak leadership. Weak leadership in Numbers 13 meant that an entire generation was unable to enter the promised land.
As our team discussed this the following Monday as a fire was ignited in some of our leaders. The resolve was embraced that our campus would not be a generation lost. Unity, truth, and space for women to move within their spiritual gifting would become our new focus.
Fast forward a month, our town has been part of Snowpocalypse 2015, and yet through this short time we have had attendance increasing at our weekly Bible study, women seeking out personal mentoring, and a successful first IF Table gathering.
At the beginning of the IF conference, Jennie Allen posed the question: What would happen if we truly lived like God is real and He could do what He says He can do? For our campus, living this way has meant stepping out of our comfort zones, moving forward in obedience, and making room for God to move on his time-table, and praising God at every turn for it.
We have 2 more IF Tables scheduled for this year and several more Bible studies. We are gathering applications for next year’s leadership team and dreaming big for all next year holds. Next year’s ministry calendar already has IF Conference scheduled. I can’t wait to see all God does before and through next February!