We have received so many great questions from women who are interested in gathering through IF : Local. We love your enthusiasm! This is our first time doing this, so we’re giving you answers as best that we know them at this time. We will have clearer details as we get closer to the gathering.
Also, you may just want to join us in February alone before you entrust to us your church, your Bible study, your people. We understand. We invite you to come check IF out first and then get your larger community involved in November.
Here is our best shot to answer some of the most frequently asked questions…
What should I expect in February?
February 7th, 2014 we will gather all of the voices, all of the ideas, all of the people, all of the passions in one room for the very first time. We have never done this before and we are going to go live and public in our vulnerable first few moments. But we believe God moves through weakness, imperfection, unknowns and faith…. expect all of that. And together we will dream and pray for God to move and unify us. This is a call to pray.
Our advice to you is: keep it simple, keep it laid back, keep it loose.
There are so many unknowns we think it would be wise to keep February informal- we wouldn’t make a big production or plan your entire women’s retreat around this event.
What we do know is that we will stream all things happening on stage — this includes teaching and worship — when there times for discussion or local participation, we will provide prompts to do that in your groups.
How do I get a group going?
There are several ways to do this, and we trust that the Spirit will guide you to the people that you need to invite. However, here are some ideas:
* Invite your Bible Study or Women’s Group from your church or Christian organization
* Ask the teachers and moms of kids in your children’s classes to come over
* If you’re gathering a larger group, create a Facebook group or page to communicate with a larger audience than just your community
* Use social media to identify women who are interested
If you are a leader and want to open your group up to women not already connected to your community, we will have a map where you can publish your group and contact information.
This is a gathering intended for women only. There will be plenty of women who come to your gathering that are distant from God. We hope they come. Please know that we will not shy away from prayer and candid speech about God.
How do I get connected to an IF:Local group?
In early November, we will release an interactive map that will allow you to search for gatherings in your area. With each local gathering, there will be contact information for you to reach out and connect.
Are there official IF gatherings in my city?
The IF:Local gatherings are organic groups sprung up by the Spirit calling and leading women in their communities. Do not feel pressure that there is supposed to be only one gathering per city.
How do I handle registering the women in my group?
We want each individual who is participating in IF:Local to register through our website. This will allow women to receive special offers and communications. If a woman comes to your IF:Local gathering and she has not registered, please have her come. We would just ask for your help in registering as many people as possible.
What will IF:Gathering provide for local gatherings in February?
Here is what IF will provide:
- Live webcast (running on Central Standard Time)
- A PDF that has ideas and resources to make your gathering vulnerable, simple, deep and humble.
- A very short list of recommended materials so that your gathering can participate as best as possible in IF:Austin
- A downloadable poster and a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram graphic to promote your IF:Local event
Here is what we will not provide:
- Training by our staff and leadership
- A line-by-line program schedule and list of speakers
What is the schedule?
There are four sessions. On Friday, we will begin at 2:00 PM Central. We will have two sessions with a long break for dinner in between. On Saturday we will have another two sessions beginning at 9:00 AM and ending at 5:00 PM. Again, we will have a long break in the middle of the two sessions for lunch. Meal times are long enough where you have a lot of flexibility. Our desire is that you will spend those lunch times together building community with one another.
What should I know about the program for February?
We are working on the program, and we will give you information that you need to know as we have it. We are praying the Holy Spirit moves.
We are going to ask the question “If God is real… THEN what does that mean for our lives?” This isn’t a traditional conference. We will build in time throughout the sessions for deep conversations, prayer, confession, and worship.
How does the webcast work?
We will email you information on how to access the webcast on the morning of February 7th. In order to have a great livestream experience, we recommend using the strongest internet signal available. The best way to connect to internet is to use an Ethernet Cable.
If you have a larger group, we would recommend also connecting your laptop to a projector or television using VGA or DVI cables.
How do I communicate and promote our event?
We would highly encourage you to create a Facebook group and email distribution list so that leaders can communicate your specific local event. If you create your own Facebook page, we ask that you please include the following disclaimer somewhere within the page or group description:
This is an unofficial IF:Gathering page or group. IF:Gathering is not responsible for any communications or materials posted here. For official communications visit https://www.facebook.com/IFgathering
Can we charge for the event?
Our hope is that you will follow the culture of IF:Gathering and not charge for women to attend your IF:Local event. Instead, we encourage open giving.
We are trusting that you will help us register all individuals who participate. Our heart behind this is that we will be providing equipping materials in the future, and we want to give women who have attended IF gatherings special opportunities to receive those.
For churches, would recommend setting up a laptop at your IF:Local event and asking people at the door if they’ve registered. If not, then you can provide them an opportunity on the spot to do so. In order to complete the registration, we have a $1 minimum donation, however, we ask that people give what they can to the IF vision.