Sometimes Discipleship Means Being Re-Rooted
Today’s post is a beautiful discipleship testimony from Christina Bailey of Browncroft Community Church in Rochester, New York. It originally appeared on the Browncroft Blog.
Ask any plant: Being uprooted and transplanted to a new location is hard. I discovered this for myself this past year when I moved to Rochester from Seattle. It wasn’t like other moves I’ve done – it was a complete uprooting, and it has been very hard. But God has been unbelievably kind to me in this season. One of the clearest examples of His kindness is a lifelong friend who lives here. She is like a sister to me and has helped me in so many ways since I moved to Rochester. In fact, she is the one who brought me to my church, Browncroft Community Church.
She and I began attending just before the holidays last year. While we both felt comfortable and welcomed at Browncroft from our very first Sunday, we knew that if we wanted to really connect, we needed to get to know others in the church at a deeper level than is possible during a Sunday morning service. So we decided to sign up for Rooted.
If you aren’t familiar with Rooted, it is a ten-week discipleship journey where new or already established community groups walk through the core tenets of our faith. It’s more than just “this is what we believe.” It’s “this is how we live it out.”
My friend and I weren’t the only ones craving deeper community — there were ten of us women sitting around the table together. What I love about the Church is that the kind of people I meet don’t fit one narrow demographic. We were the very definition of intergenerational — ranging in age from 20-something to 70-something. Life experiences ran a wide gamut as well. And yet, at heart, we had so much in common. Hurts and mistakes, amazing stories of God’s grace, and, most of all, a desire to know others and be known by them.
Over the ten weeks of Rooted, we looked at what God’s Word has to say about how we are designed and called to live out our faith in this crazy world. One way we did this was by listening to one another’s stories. This deeper level of sharing distinguishes Rooted from many other small group studies. It sounds a little scary, especially for those of us who are more comfortable sitting towards the back of the classroom, but we found our group to be a truly safe place to talk about hard things. We saw how God could redeem even the parts of our stories that seemed irredeemable.
Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything — a time to uproot and a time to sow. Rooted gave me a way to begin to sow authentic community. And day by day, this transplant is finding the strength to grow again.