BY HANNAH STAPLETON, GRACE ATTENDER
I’m pretty new to Grace. I moved to Indianapolis from Cincinnati in May 2017 to be closer to my now-husband. We got married in October and knew we wanted to start getting plugged in, beginning with a Life Group. Dave was talking about Rooted a lot around that time and he mentioned that it was a great first step to joining a Life Group. It seemed like a nudge from God. My husband and I signed up for the Winter session and just finished two weeks ago.
Joining Rooted took a leap of faith. I like to have a plan and I like to know what to expect about things. But I didn’t actually know that much about what Rooted was going to be like. I’d heard the stories of people whose lives were changed by Rooted, but that was all I knew. Maybe you’re like me—on the fence, but not sure what to practically expect from Rooted. Maybe you’re just curious about Rooted—what is this program that people keep talking about?
Fundamentally, Rooted is a ten-week small group experience, centered around discussions, devotions, and other experiences, with the ultimate goal of showing you that you were made for more. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a Christian since the womb or are trying to figure out who Jesus is. Rooted is for you.
What you should know about Rooted is that it is not a Bible study. Instead, you get a devotional book that is organized around these different topics:
Who is God?
How does God speak to us?
Where is God in the midst of suffering?
There is an enemy
How can I make the most of my life? (this covers two weeks)
How does God view money?
Why and how should I tell others?
Why is the Church important?
Each week has five daily devotionals. Five days makes keeping up with the reading pretty easy (and no shame if you’re doing it all the night before. We’ve all been there, I promise). Each day has a reading with Scripture woven in and then some prompts for further reflection and prayer. The book includes a few pages for writing, which is really convenient.
When your Rooted group meets weekly, your leader has some questions that help guide your group through whatever the topic is for that week. This was my favorite part of Rooted. It was so rewarding to hear other perspectives on things and get to absorb all of the wisdom and life of my group members. Through these ten weeks, every time I felt alone in something and asked for prayer, one of them had been through it and spoke life into me. On our first day, we all shared what we wanted to get out of Rooted. I shared one of my primary reasons: to get into the rhythm of faith, of practicing my beliefs daily and not just when things were hard. I was scared to share this with people I didn’t know, but nearly everyone else said the exact same thing. Knowing that we were all in it for the same thing was so encouraging. This, plus the Rooted devotional encouraging me to establish the rhythm of daily devotions, has helped me create that habit of daily faith. It’s not always easy, but I do my devotions and prayer every morning and I can feel the difference.
Along with the devotions, there is also a prayer experience and a service experience. Your group will decide what to do for each, since there are a lot of options. My Rooted group went to Grace’s monthly prayer meeting for our prayer experience. It was a really powerful night and showed me a facet of Grace that I didn’t know existed.
For our service experience, we served at the Grace Care Center. It was great to see the Care Center firsthand after hearing so much about it in service and meet the people who run it and our neighbors who use it. Hearing their stories, praying for them, and really just getting to see how God is using the Care Center was absolutely incredible.
At the end of week 10, everyone, from all of the campuses, gather together for a celebration. You eat dinner and fellowship with your group and then go in for the Worship part. There is praise and baptisms, just a bunch of people praising God and taking steps to follow Him.
At the Celebration
Real talk: I was nervous about Rooted. I’m an introvert. I didn’t know what to expect. I was scared. I remember praying on the way to our first meeting, God, please just let me make a friend. Please. Just one friend. God had something SO MUCH BIGGER IN MIND.
Rooted brought me radically and fundamentally closer to God. While I have been a Christian for nearly 11 years, Rooted offered me a perspective that I hadn’t thought about on topics I had been aware of for years. God used Rooted to force me to confront my deep-seated perfectionism. He used Rooted to pull me close, to remind me that I am deeply and powerfully loved. As always, God gave me so much more than my one, small request.
In my first week post-Rooted, I was reading my Bible before work and I came across this verse in Colossians:
Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Friends, that’s what Rooted is about, more than anything else. About growing deep into God, letting your roots seek a place of stability and enrichment, a place where Nature can’t tear them asunder. Grow strong. Grow firm. You will overflow with the abundance of our God. Rooted is everything you keep hearing it is and then some.
Plant your faith.
Is God Leading You To Rooted?
If you’re ready for community and want to grow in your relationship with Jesus, Rooted is for you. You can sign up here. There is a $40 per person application fee (which covers the cost of your devotional, materials, and the celebration. Childcare is available for $30 per child (while I am not a parent yet, I’ve heard parents love this because each Rooted time is about 2 hours so that’s 20 hours of childcare for $30…just something the moms and dads might want to know😊). If you’ve been feeling a nudge from God to go deeper with him, find community, or discover more about your own journey, I highly recommend Rooted!
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