I invited Erica Wiggenhorn, an awesome AWSA sister who also writes and teaches Bible studies, to share some insights from her new study on Acts. Welcome Erica!
You, dear one, have been issued a divine invitation. Beckoned by the King of Kings for the grandest adventure of your life! But you cannot come alone. You were not meant to. This invitation calls you to community- to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself: The Unexplainable Church!
God issued His divine invitation to Paul and Barnabas in the middle of church worship. They already followed Jesus and chose to serve Him many years prior, saying, “Yes, God! We deeply desire An Unexplainable Life!” Yet the divine invitation- the call to begin the special work prepared just for them- began at this moment. Acts 13 opens with this beautiful scene where God speaks saying, “Set apart Paul and Barnabas for the special work I have chosen for them.” Isn’t it interesting that He didn’t speak to Paul and Barnabas directly? Instead, God issued His invitation to these two men through the unexplainable church.
The Power of Community
By God’s design, we receive, accept and become equipped for our own divine invitation within the context of community. God Himself is community. No wonder He desires that same togetherness for His children! Could it be that so many Jesus followers search for the wonder of God in their lives and the purpose for which He created them, because they are trying to follow Jesus all by themselves? Not that they lack relationships, but they have yet to experience the community of The Unexplainable Church the way God intended?
Wounded, Wandering and Wondering Women
As I made my way through Acts 13-28, three women came to mind. Maybe you can relate to one of them. Or maybe all three. These women love Jesus. They want to serve Jesus. They have yet to open or experience their divine invitations.
The Wounded Woman
Somewhere along the way, someone, either within the church or who represented the idea of church, inflicted a wound upon this beautiful soul. She pulled away, put up walls and kept her distance. She continues to pursue Jesus, yet shudders at the idea of community within the church for fear of getting hurt again.
The Wandering Woman
This precious soul searches for her place. She pursues Jesus through His Word, books, podcasts and music. She loves Jesus and wants to serve Him, yet has not found that place within a local church body. She comes and goes, meets and greets, yet battles a loneliness for connection while there. Instead of finding community within her church, she wanders from place to place, trying to find her purpose.
The Wondering Woman
Committed to church. Believes in church. Actively serving in church. This woman wonders how to build community among the women with whom she regularly worships. What does it look like to cross generations and follow Jesus together? How does she embrace the wounded and wandering women bringing others into The Unexplainable Church? She desperately wants to, but she doesn’t always know how.
In nearly every church Paul establishes, Luke makes certain he mentions the role of women. Unexplainable women make a church unexplainable! Women committed to building and fostering community within their churches, uniquely living out their divine invitations. Those who witnessed these churches were filled with awe and wonder, resulting in many receiving the gospel message with joy! The loving community evoked wonder in those who witnessed it.
Wonder Women. Our divine invitation calls us to receive the grace of the Lord Jesus and uniquely create community within our churches. We won’t all do it the same way. We won’t all share the same roles. God issued unique gifts to each of us, but the results will be the same. Our lives will become unexplainable and those who witness the community of our church will become filled with awe and wonder.Dive into The Unexplainable Church #Bible study and discover your own divine invitation. Click To Tweet
Who’s ready to RSVP?
To which of the women above can you most relate and why?
How can we help build community within our churches and why do you think this is so important?
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Meet the author: Erica Wiggenhorn is the founder of Every Life Ministries believing God created every life with purpose, power and promise. She is an award-winning author and loves to speak to women at conferences and retreats. Her latest study, The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers released by Moody Publishers, is an expository study covering Acts 13-28. An Unexplainable Life: Recovering the Wonder and Devotion of the Early Church, covers Acts 1-12. To connect with Erica, visit www.EricaWiggenhorn.com.
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Ann Musico says
Absolutely beautiful and spot on! I can definitely relate and know many other women who can as well. I will certainly share this!
Erica Wiggenhorn says
Thank you, Ann! My prayer is that this study will encourage others to begin to look for the relationships God has placed before them, and together, we will discover and embrace our Divine Invitations!!
Henni Towler Corbin says
I most identify with the wounded woman. I have been a wounded person all of my life, but I have tried to shoulder it as best I could. My heart goes out to all the wonderful women in this world who have been pierced by the thoughtless comments of others.
Erica Wiggenhorn says
Dear Henni- thank you for your rare and raw honesty! My prayer is that you may find connection and community with another sister in Christ along life’s path- while you are walking and waiting, may Christ’s companionship and peace sustain you! Blessings dear sister…..
I feel I relate with both the wounded and the wandering woman. I feel I am not connected with others at church and not sure I will. Am more motivated now to work on this. Find my personal time with devotional and reading better than my experience at church.
Erica Wiggenhorn says
Sarah, I think there are many women out there who feel exactly as you do! Praying for you to find godly connections!