Rooted: Only 6 Weeks InůSee What God is Doing Already!

Rooted: Only 6 Weeks InůSee What God is Doing Already!

Posted on April 28, 2018

BY KRISTEN RAVES, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA & GRACE ATTENDER

Six weeks ago, the Grace staff kicked off Rooted. Six weeks ago, I didn’t know half of the people in my group the way I do now. Six weeks ago, I had no idea it could be as life-changing as it is…

When asked to be a facilitator for one of the staff Rooted groups, I was full of mixed emotions. I thought, “I have a counseling degree, sure I can do this. Wait, this is staff…how I am supposed to share my deepest darkest secrets? Ummm, what, I have a Pastor in my group that I’m supposed to be leading. What if I say the wrong thing and the judge me? What if I say the wrong thing and mess someone up? What if my entire group feels like this is forced family fun and no one says anything (just so you know, this kind of silence is my absolute nightmare)?” Then something happened, God reminded me of what I can do well…I love listening and sharing, showing up for people, praying for them, and encouraging them. Plus, they were pairing me with another awesome facilitator (shout out to Josh Hayward!) who had tons of strengths I didn’t and could fill in all my weaknesses. I got over my fear and said, “Yes, of course, I’ll do it!”

We met week one and something clicked. I realized that half of the people at our table didn’t know each other. They might know one another’s name, but being a staff of 100, they didn’t really know the person sitting next to them. I immediately got excited and realized that this is just one easy way to bring our staff AND our congregation closer together in unity (just like Barry talked about a few weeks ago)! So, we met. We did an icebreaker (hey, we provided candy so at least that made it less awkward) and people started sharing.

The next week we talked about who God is and I learned so much about everyone. Literally, everyone in my group had such a different background. Most of us are in different life stages and NONE of us had the same upbringing or experiences. In that first week, I immediately realized how incredible it was to see the ways God weaved our stories together so that we would be all together at that moment in time.  

We entered into week three…the week you get to experience an extended time of prayer. One entire hour of complete solitude and silence to be exact. I’m not sure about any of you, but I rarely do this. And, yes, I work at a church (insert shocked gasp noise here). I’m a full-time working woman, a full-time mother of two toddlers, and part-time volunteer in two places (shout out to Little One’s Way and Brooke’s Place). Plus, I’m in a Grace Group and have a social life that I still like to keep up with as though I don’t have small kids. Additionally, my husband is in grad school while working full time…you get the picture, we’re busy people. So, an entire hour of complete silence both excited me and scared me. But, we got to group and were able to experience some time together to help us prepare. Then, we moved onto our individual prayer time. I can tell you that nothing major happened to me. I don’t feel like I heard God’s voice in any particular way (I can tell you this did happen for several others in my group!). But, it did get me to a place where I could receive God. And, it encouraged me to try to do this on a more regular basis.


Week four was heavy, yet joy-filled, as we talked about suffering. Again, this was a week that helped our group grow so much closer together. At one point or another, almost every single one of us cried. And that felt great. It felt honest. It felt like we were finally letting go of things we’d been holding onto for a long time.

Our week five curriculum centered on strongholds and where the enemy is at work. (It’s worth noting here that if you’re in a mixed gender group, you split up this week.) Now, I didn’t grow up churched, so much of this enemy talk was new for me when I came to Grace (and even in the past few years). But, I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed firsthand the lies satan’s told my students in Teen 180 that would drive them to suicidal thoughts. I’ve seen it with people I’m close to who have been hurt by the church and no longer have a relationship with God. I’ve seen it from my friends who believe they should be perfect moms and continually feel like they are failing (even though they are clearly not). I’ve seen it in my own life as I feel crushed when someone doesn’t like my work or I think I’m not doing enough and I over commit to please everyone else (even though that’s not what they want). But, satan sneaks in and his lies become our truths. So, this week was moving as we were able to share the deepest parts of our souls that we don’t reveal to many. And you know what, many of the women in my group were experiencing the same feelings I was. It was such a breath of fresh air to know I wasn’t alone and to have other strong women walk alongside me.

Next week, we head into our serving week. I’m excited to see what that week holds. Every week has been so powerful that I can’t imagine how it could get any better. But, I know it will! Stay tuned for a follow-up blog in the coming weeks as I share the rest of my Rooted experience. My desire is that if you feel isolated in any way, you will join us in the fall for our Rooted kickoff. We want you to be known. We want you to be loved. And, we want you to experience all the glory that God has in store for you!

So what now?

You might be thinking, I’m not sure that’s for me. Well, if you’re breathing and you’re a human…it’s for you. Seriously though, if you are not a part of a group, this is a great way to connect deeper with God, the church, and our local community. If you’re already in a Grace Group (men’s, women’s, small group), we encourage you to go through Rooted together. It can ignite your group in ways you never thought possible. As a member of a current Grace Group who has been together for 10 years (yay!), I can tell you that it took us years to get to some of the deep places we’ve been in just 6 weeks of Rooted.

You might be thinking, what’s in it for me? I’m here to tell you…more than you could ever imagine. At Rooted, you’ll find community, friends, joy, hope, laughter, tears, honesty and freedom from the things in life that are holding you back. It’s a place to grow and learn more about God, yourself and your calling.

You might be thinking, this sounds awesome, I want to lead! Well, friend, if that’s you, just contact Harrison Bottorff and he’ll help you get started. Plus, they’ll give you all the tools and training you need to take away the fear and jump into leading a group.

Learn More About Rooted