Stephanie Worden has been a part of Citylight for many years and has served the Church faithfully. She has served from kid’s ministry on Sunday mornings, to Bible studies to working in a church office. She loves the Lord and His people and has wanted to share Jesus with others. With two grown kids launched into the world and a faithful husband who worked devotedly, Stephanie recognized she had some free time. Something she didn’t have up to now. She also considered that God had given her strengths and gifts that weren’t necessarily being used.
Three years ago, she considered a City Group but didn’t necessarily know how or what. She hadn’t been in a small group in a very long time and knew her husband’s schedule wouldn’t be conducive for a City Group together. So, she asked the Lord. Being a married woman, what would this look like, with whom would she lead, and where? With the burden and desire to be obedient, she began to pray. She prayed a lot. Several months later, an impromptu invite to meet with another woman from Citylight took place. What started out with two strangers meeting in a living room with a common conviction, ended up with the launch of a brand new City Group. Having both the desire to lead and seeing a need for women who were married, single, divorced or widowed to gather and to learn more about Jesus, the two strangers, now sisters in Christ, launched the Women’s City Group serving both Midtown and West locations. Stephanie recently sat down and shared encouragement and truth to others who are in a City Group or considering one.
What do you love about your City Group?
The women. Their vulnerability, authenticity and love. They are amazing. When I talk about people I love, I want to cry so I’ll try not to right now. (laughing) I can’t imagine my life without them. It’s family and true family.
What has God revealed to you through a City Group?
That we don’t and shouldn’t do life alone. I can call someone up and say ‘hey do you want to go to lunch,’ and we plan it and do it. The women share thoughts, ideas and burdens that I never thought Christian women would share. But that’s what we do. It’s family.
How have you grown in this family, this City Group?
I’m more confident in sharing my own struggles. Even as a leader I still struggle and I am not perfect and I know that. But, I don’t want to share those things necessarily. If they are willing to be that vulnerable then I can be that way too. To show them that I trust them as much as they want to trust me. I have grown in that. Also, the confidence in saying that God had this City Group planned and planned for me to be a part of it and to own it.
How would you describe a City Group to someone and why they need to be in one?
We all need people in our lives that will speak the truth to us in love and back us up 110% with everything that we go through. That is important. The Bible tells us that we need community. We wouldn’t have the Church Body if we didn’t need community. God wouldn’t use the analogy of the Church as a family. God is a God of relationship. It’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are in a relationship and started one before we ever were here. If it was important for them to be in relationship, then why would it not be as important for us as His children to be in relationship? Also, what you get out of City Group will be far more than what you will ever put into it. It’s all about that family connection. Even though it’s not blood relationship, it’s still family. We have all been adopted into His family through Jesus and that is what we project when we are in community. It’s something I look forward to every week. I get to go to City Group! It’s an enjoyment.
What can a person expect if they came to your City Group?
They will be welcomed. We open the Word of God. That’s important. We dive into it and we challenge each other on what is being said. We learn from the Word of God and we’ll call each other out on it and learn from it. We pray as a group. God wants to hear from us and we want others to know we are praying for them. We are lifting them up to the One that can answer all of our questions and all of our troubles. There’s also togetherness. We bring our troubles to the table and talking about it openly and honestly and about life. The joys, the highs, the lows, it’s all there. Once a month we share a meal together and eat and converse. I think of Jesus and His disciples at the table conversing and just sharing life. We do this as a City Group. We sit at the table talking, laughing, communicating, enjoying food that we have prepared for one another... that’s what we experience.
What are you celebrating or want to share about City Group?
I think because we put God first in our City Group, we know He is looking down and is content with what we are doing as a group of women. It makes me feel so loved. It’s extraordinary without a doubt because He is an extraordinary God. We’ve been doing this for three years and I can’t imagine not doing City Group.
What would you say to someone who says they can’t lead a City Group?
You can and you will if God calls you. It’s not necessarily about leadership, but rather loving on others. Having compassion on others. Wanting them to know about Jesus as you do. Showing them how to love others as Jesus loves you. Leadership is serving the Lord.
For more information on city groups, please visit citylightomaha.org/citygroups.