I love opportunities to unleash people to chase dreams Jesus has placed on their hearts, and that is my role in Flourish. If you are unfamiliar with Flourish, it is an opportunity for Public Church to serve the ladies of our community through one simple vision:
Inspire all women to thrive through authentic relationships.
In his book Visioneering, Andy Stanley says, “Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” As my wife, Whitney first began praying and talking to me about a dream in her heart to help create a unique type of women’s ministry, I joined her in prayer and dreaming together. As she prayed, Jesus placed a similar dream in other ladies’ hearts, and soon they formed a Flourish Leadership Team. Their first task was to articulate their vision, and Andy Stanley also says that every vision is a solution to a problem. Consequently, they had to determine a problem for ladies in order to determine what could be. As they prayed and talked, these ladies realized the pressure on women in today’s world. A lot of this pressure revolves around being the woman that everyone else says you should be. Dress like this, pursue this career, spend time with these people, etc. In the midst of all this pressure, it is so easy for women to lose their identity in an effort to please everyone else. Criticism is so common that it’s scary to be genuine, real, and vulnerable, which is a real problem; however, what is so scary for ladies is exactly what they need.
Ladies desperately need environments that foster authentic relationships where they are genuine, real, vulnerable and ACCEPTED as a result. As the Flourish Leadership Team saw this problem, they also saw that women thriving through authentic relationships could become a reality. Not only could it happen, it should happen!
Ladies who are reading this, c’mon, isn’t this what you want? When you are gut-level honest, don’t you long for relationships where you can showcase the real you and still be accepted with all your flaws and talents? Would you not grow in the roles you fill—whether you are single or married, in school or in a career, with or without kids—would you not thrive in these roles if you had authentic relationships as a regular part of your life? Flourish exists to provide that for you.
What I admire most about our Flourish Leadership Team is their devotion to the vision. Every event is completely different, yet all are singularly focused on implementing the vision. In November 2017, they hosted a Bonfire where ladies gathered on blankets to discuss a story in God’s Word. As I watched these ladies laugh with each other, listen intently, and talk about Jesus, I saw their vision come to life right in front of me.
Ladies, if you are tired of pretending, worn out from trying to portray this perfect image of what culture says a woman should be, then Flourish is for you. Come and be refreshed by an environment where you will hear ladies talk about their failures and their successes. I do have a warning for you. One of our Public Church Behavioral Values states, “I prioritize relationships knowing that true life change occurs through authentic relationships.” The warning resides in this value: if you show up and either build or deepen authentic relationships, you will not walk away the same. If you are open to Jesus changing you, come on.
There is a community of ladies waiting to invite you in and be changed with you.