**UPDATE** Registration for If:LasVegas is now open! If you plan to join us at Advance Church on February 7th and 8th, we need you to go here and choose the LV event on the map. Once you click that, an option will come up to choose “attend this gathering.” Click on that to complete your registration and donation information so that we know who you are and that you plan to attend. Our leadership team is looking foward to hearing from you!
I’ve never really fit in.
When I was almost six, a wealthy California family asked my modest, cash-strapped Iowa parents to move into a home less than a mile from their multi-million-dollar ranch so that my dad could train their horses in Montecito. Oh, I suppose we’ll go. Two weeks later, I stood on the kindergarten playground with Jane Seymour’s daughter and Kenny Loggins’ son asking them what “soda” was. Apparently their nannies never served them “pop.”
Then there was the time the music teacher insisted that all the girls wear frilly party dresses to the winter sing and I was all like BARF ME OUT. Not gonna happen, Beethoven. Dresses are for prissy rich girls and I am neither of those things. I’ll be wearing this nice looking (but not too over the top or expensive) jumpsuit, thank you very much. If you have a problem with it, you can fight my mom and you’ll lose (that happened, BTW). Fast forward to the library at my middle school where I sat–nearly every day–eating my lunch and doing my homework instead of putzing with makeup and boys outside in the quad. I was training more than 20 hours a week after school as a gymnast and didn’t have time to waste on being a “normal girl.”
What a weirdo.
This pattern of not fitting in continued through high school and college, and it most definitely followed me to Minnesota (Call it soda, people. And that’s a c-a-s-s-e-r-o-l-e, not a hot dish, you ding dongs). Somewhere along the way I also developed a severe allergic reaction to:
– women’s ministry
– gatherings of women in any size greater than five
– the word “fellowship” (like, gag me with a spoon)
It’s true. Getting together with women has always made me feel out of place. Just watch me mingle in a group sometime. I always eventually end up on the guys’ side of the room despite my awkward, half-hearted attempts to make conversation with the ladies. And the moment anyone brings up “women’s ministry,” this pastor’s wife disappears to the bathroom to take some deep cleansing breaths.
I’ve just never been able to relate, you know.
I am beside-myself-excited to announce that this global gathering–hosted from Austin, TX and broadcast live to If:Local sites around the world–is a fresh, deep, honest space for a new generation of women to wrestle with the essential question: IF God is real… THEN what?
Hosted here in Las Vegas by a team of Advance Church women whose hearts are bigger, softer, and
braver than you can imagine, this 2-day conference will gather dreamers, doers, makers, mothers, and everything in between to equip, empower, and mobilize women to discover and leverage our unique callings regardless of where we live, how much money we make, or whether we’ve fit in or stood out all our lives. We’re going to cross boundaries, broken and poured out, united by a singular focus: to make Jesus known in our time and in our cities.
Will you join us? Register here for If:Local and give what you can (even if it’s only $5) to support this movement. Then tell us you’ll be at Advance Church February 7-8 by linking arms with us through our Facebook group where we’ll be posting additional details. If you aren’t in Las Vegas or Austin but are itching to get in on this, check this map to connect to a gathering already taking shape in your city. Don’t see one near you? Then, by all means, START YOUR OWN!
Look at me, ladies. I’m standing on your side of the room, ready to do this with you. Let’s gather in our party dresses and jumpsuits this February to pray and begin to dream about the things God wants to do in and through us as a generation of women. Because you know what? Look around. The heroes of our faith are gone. Jesus says we’re up. So let’s embrace what he’s formed in our hearts and use what he’s placed in our hands to advance his kingdom as wide as our arms can reach and as far as our eyes can see.
We’ll get started at 12:30 PM on Friday, February 7.
I’ll pick up the soda if you want to bring the pop.