Category Archives: Celebration

The Contents Are Wonderful.

P&P PicPosted by Tiffany Cooper

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because the outside is different doesn’t mean the contents aren’t wonderful. ~Esther Causey

It’s easy to put labels on people. I do it, you do it, we all do it. What we view on the outside leaves us with a limited understanding of the person. On more than on occasion, my judgement about a person has been corrected after spending time with them and discovering their true “contents”.

I LOVE that no matter who you are or what your ministry looks like, you are welcome and loved at Leading and Loving It. Diversity in all forms is celebrated. You’re not excluded because of a label you wear, whether it’s a label you’re proud to display or one that involves shame. We’re in this journey together, for better or worse. The thousands of Leading and Loving It women represent:

  • introverted and extroverted personalities.
  • some who are passionately pursuing their calling and others who aren’t sure what to do next.
  • lace and pearls, rock’n’roll, comfy causal, high heels and big hair…you name it, we see it.
  • small and large churches.
  • differing denominations, or no denomination at all.

Last week I sat in my hotel room after retreat and reflected on how unique and wonderful it was to have so many of my friends in one place. They come from different parts of the country, different denominations or church groups, and different friend circles. Some have been life long friends, others are newer friends who have forever marked my heart. They’re different in so many ways but I love the wonderful contents each of them possess. Even more, I big-time love that my friends have found a place to thrive at Leading and Loving It.

If you’re already a part of Leading and Loving It, I’m so happy. If you’re new here, you are welcome and invited to join this group of amazing women who celebrate one another.

In honor of loving each other for the unique “contents” we possess, tell us one thing that distinguishes you from others and makes you wonderful. I’ll start: I feel more extroverted with one-on-one discussion and large group discussion, smaller groups (like 5-15) bring out my more introverted side. Now it’s your turn!

 

 

Easter Urgency

Posted by Tiffany Cooper

… As Easter weekend approaches, churches are preparing to reach as many people as possible with the redemptive message of Christ. Many are planning community outreaches, special services and utilizing creative elements. It’s a time of anticipation and excitement!

For some of you, this may be your first Easter in a ministry role. I remember my first Easter as a church planter. Want to know what I remember about that first Easter? It’s not what you think! Although most of that Easter is a blur, I clearly remember trying to decide what to wear. The decision was not made lightly. Oh no, much thought went into that first Easter ensemble.

I came from a more traditional church where special Easter dresses were an event. As a church plant, we were purposefully making decisions to reach people in the city who were outside the church walls, people who may never have entered church walls. Every decision mattered, even what I was going to wear for Easter. I didn’t want to be too dressy because I wanted everyone to feel comfortable. Embarrassing enough, I even remember thinking that I should at least wear an “Easter-like” color if I wasn’t going to wear a dress.

It seems a little silly now but that’s how passionate I felt about reaching people far from God. Every decision set the tone. Today, I don’t lose sleep over my Easter outfit but I do feel incredibly passionate about reaching people with the amazing truth of God’s love. Although my Easter experiences vary, they all carry urgency for life change.

Whether this is your first Easter in a ministry role or your 50th, it matters in the kingdom. What you do, whether big or small, will make a  difference!

Leading ladies, we would love to hear one of your Easter memories.  Something on the lighter side, like an outfit? Something powerful, like life change? Favorite memory?

26 People … 50 Years Later

Posted by Lori Wilhite

Jesus + Twenty-six people + an audacious faith = Fifty years of life change.

A few weeks ago we celebrated our church’s 50th Birthday. We celebrated God moving in people’s lives over the last 50 years.

Central started with twenty-six people. Twenty-six people who had no idea what God was going to do, but were willing to step out in faith and sacrifice to follow Him wherever He would lead. Twenty-six people who didn’t have a pastor but had someone better, they had Jesus. Twenty-six people who believed that if they anchored themselves in the Bible and dedicated themselves to sharing the love of Jesus Christ maybe, just maybe, God could make an amazing difference in Sin City.

If your church is in the launch phase, has recently launched, is a few years old, or is decades old, be encouraged. God took the acts of faith of twenty-six ordinary people in one of America’s most unlikely cities and used them in incredible ways. You never know what God is going to do through His church, you and your team. You never know the plan that He’s already working in your ministry. Hold tightly to the calling God has on your life. Cling to the vision that He has for your ministry. Work hard, serve humbly, and love well.

We’d love to hear about your church! How long has God been using it in your community? What do you know of its history?

It’s Officially … Official

Posted by Lori Wilhite

Over the last month, we’ve been dancing around some big news that Brandi and I have been waiting to share.

Yes, we have JustONE starting Monday. Monday!! We’re excited to kick it off!

And, we have new Virtual Community Groups launching Monday as well! If you aren’t in a group, well, you’re really missing out. They’re fantastic.

And, before we know it, we’ll be Road Tripping to Retreat … and really hope you’ll be able to join us!

But, today we get to announce our other piece of news that we’ve had tucked in our pockets.

Because …. It’s officially official.

Brandi and I are currently writing our first book for Pastors’ Wives and Women in Ministry, in partnership with the fabulous team at Hachette and Faith Words. We’re tackling the challenges of leadership that keep ladies from embracing the joy that they can experience in this call that God has on their lives. Our hope is that we can encourage women to … dare I say it … lead and love it.

We would absolutely covet your prayers during this time as we work on this project.

Please pray for God’s guidance in the creative process so that we can clearly communicate the message that He would have us share.

Pray for lots of energy and caffeine as we attempt to write around our kids’ school and bedtime schedules.

And pray that God will multiply our efforts many fold as we seek to continue to serve our families, churches, and this community well.

We love you ladies and have been so blessed and inspired by you over the last (almost) five years.

We’re now accepting lots of writing advice and pep-talks! 🙂

From our Families to Yours …

We pray your families have an incredible Christmas as you worship, serve, and share Jesus. We love you ladies and will see you again in January. Have a blessed few weeks!

Pete, Brandi, Jett, Gage, and Brewer Wilson

Herbert, Tiffany, Cale, Cade, Caris, and Case Cooper

David, Lisa, Charlie, Victoria, and Zane Hughes

Bil, Jessica, Mason, Cole, and Sophie Cornelius