This Ain’t Our First Rodeo!
Lori Champion | Celebration Church | Georgetown, TX
Women do something that men NEVER DO! When we go to an event we’ve never been to before or take a trip to a new place, we collaborate on what to wear. I’ve never heard my husband call his buddies and say, “what are you wearing to the conference?” On the other hand, If I’m not physically shopping with a friend, I’m probably sending photos from a dressing room to a group text of fashionistas, taking a thumbs-up or down vote on my finds.
I learned the necessity of this type of collaboration the hard way. Moving to Austin, TX without a launch team (we were 6 months pre-ARC) and without knowing anyone in our new city, I ventured to the hallowed grounds of Texas’ capital city’s rodeo, and there, I experienced the biggest fashion faux pas of my life!
We weren’t just ordinary ticket holders; we were given VIP tickets from a company we did business with. We had VIP Club access, where Texas who’s who socialized before and after the rodeo. Now, this is long before the days of Pinterest, where there are boards of fashion ideas for any occasion. And for some reason, I thought…” Rodeo… let me be as comfortable as possible.” I like to be cute, but I’m not going to suffer for it!
So, we walk into the VIP Rodeo club, and I’m blinded by bling! Rhinestones adorn every possible clothing item that exists: boots, big-as-your-face belt buckles, and BIG Hair. There was hair for days to match the make-up for days! “Everything is bigger in Texas” is a true statement, and that was confirmed to me that night!
And what did I wear, you ask? An Adidas track suit!
Yes, I bounced into that club, looking like I took a wrong turn on the way to Jazzercise!! I didn’t know there was a uniform for a rodeo! Those cowgirls took one look at me and said, “This really IS her ‘FIRST RODEO!’”
Where am I going with this? When it comes to ministry, there are many “first rodeos”. I was in the right city, exactly where God called us, and yet having awkward moments while trying to fit into a new location, in a new role, without the comfortable surroundings and friends I’d grown up with to that point. How different would that experience have been if I’d had even one rodeo-savvy friend who could say, “That outfit ain’t workin’ for ya, sister!”
We need each other, girls! We need women in our lives to be honest and encouraging, to let us know how they have navigated awkward and difficult seasons. We will never reach the potential of our calling without collaboration. The greatest component built into the economy of God before time is evidenced in Genesis 1:26 “Let US make….” God even functions in COMMUNITY.
I think what many of us don’t realize is that our community gives us confidence for our calling. The world would have us think that the best way for us to “get to the top” is by pushing past those around us, but we actually gain the confidence to get where we are going by the community around us.
This is why I’m forever grateful to the friends (or “framily”) of ARC! The greatest community of people who’ve “been to some Rodeos (of ministry and life)” have surrounded and supported us and prayed with us and challenged us for almost 18 years. It has been proven in our lives and in the lives of so many others that we truly are “better together!”, and the ride of ministry is so much more fun and fulfilling when we aren’t doing it alone.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Community is a DISCIPLINE. Stay connected! Let’s not give up on texting each other our outfits before the rodeo, calling each other when we need prayer, opening our hearts to be challenged by each other, sharing our darkest valleys and greatest victories with each other, because our community is what will give us the confidence to carry out the call!