At our very first Q Place we had five new people from our community come! On our second, four more! We were so excited! God was so good!
The following is a story of His faithfulness!
In the spring of 2014, a 9-week sermon series on The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations was presented at our church. That teaching series was reinforced with discussion and practice in an Adult Discipleship class on Sundays and in an evening small group. During the same time frame, our pastor led a group called “How to Start a Q Place.”
Our church was all in for Q Place! One hundred percent! And so many of us prayed and prayed and prayed for the Lord’s leading for this ministry in our church.
Come summer, we formed a Lead Triad (I, Kathy, got to be part of that!) and our Lead Triad offered another “How to Start a Q Place” group informational session. That night, God answered another prayer: Our Q Place Triad was born! It would be me, my husband, Bob, and our friend, Jean. The three of us had served together on the same ministry team and had attended our church’s various opportunities to learn about the 9 Arts, so it was just a natural, organic next step for our relationship. We continued to bathe our new Triad, our efforts, and our neighbors in prayer.
That fall, our Triad attended a Q Place VITAL Conference and Barb joined us! This was exciting! We were now a Quad and soon we would start a Q Place! But now the question was: Who do we invite? As we pondered that, we persisted in studying the Arts, praying, and building relationships in the community.
That’s when we invited Ellen to join us. She was on her own, leading a Q Place in her workplace, and we knew that by asking her to join us, we could support her endeavors while continuing to discern who would be part of ours.
When the calendar flipped to the New Year, I started a Ladies’ Night for my neighbors, and how fun it was that about five came! They shared how much they enjoyed getting to know one another and how much it meant to them to be invited. Success! So we continued approximately every other month, eventually meeting monthly. All the while, my Quad-plus-one continued to pray for the ladies in the Ladies Night, for God to open their minds and hearts, asking the Spirit to show us where each woman was in her spiritual walk.
Fast forward to the fall of 2015! It was hard to believe it was almost a year since we had started to meet, pray, and follow God’s leading on the path to starting a Q Place.
Were we ready?
After a few practice meetings showing the elders of our church what we were about to do, our fears were greatly alleviated and we decided the time had come to set plans in place! We wanted to invite people in our community as well as people that we had gotten to know personally during the past year, so we needed an affordable public space for our group. When we prayed, God led us to a great fit! Calling our group “Coffee and Questions,” we put posters up in the library and the park district facility, and we even had an article in the local newspaper.
For my Ladies’ Night friends and few former co-workers of mine, we made invitation cards so that when I invited them, I could also give them information in print. (Our Qplus membership came in really handy as we reviewed and adapted the sample invites there!) Posters, articles in the newspaper, emails! We covered it all!
And we continued to pray.
Finally it was time for our first meeting! And you already know what happened! Yes! What joy we had! All praise to God as He continues to bless our efforts.
Kathy Erickson and Jean Ward
Friends of Q Place