"Five Questions" is a feature on the N-Sider Blog where we interview Northsiders about missional living, practical theology, and life in community. We kick off this series with Five Questions With Jenn Critser, who is one of the key people who plans, organizes, and serves Northside Ladies:
Why do we do Ladies Gatherings at Northside?
In a word, the purpose of the ladies gatherings would be to equip. I’m not a lady of few words, though, so for me, it comes from a desire to facilitate relationships, encourage one another, hold each other accountable, foster friendships, and having a place where I can come and be authentic and vulnerable and then go back out to live my life on mission.
For a newbie, what can one expect at a Northside Ladies Gathering?
What a great place for a newbie! Its a chance for you to get to know someone new and that happens almost every time whether you're a newbie or you’ve been around awhile. There is always laughter, coffee, great food, and my favorite part is that I feel refreshed. I get to hear the heartaches, struggles, victories, and the sweetness of personal relationships with the Lord. I need to hear that I am not alone in any of these things that we all experience.
Why is it important for women to gather together (without kids, outside of Sundays)?
It is such a completely different experience from a Sunday morning or even a community group. I can come without responsibilities and with a purpose of gaining wisdom from women who are walking in the same season or who have already walked it (Prov. 13:20), I come with an expectation of encouragement (Ecc. 4:9-10), and to sharpen and be sharpened (Prov. 27:17)
How has your life been changed by the friendships you have with other women at Northside?
Friendship is such a sweet gift from the Lord and I am grateful for the abundant friendships I have with ladies at Northside. They are walking with me, calling sin what it is, challenging me to love my husband and family well, to seek to know Him, to share the gospel with those around me. Change is hard and I for sure fight it with all of my being, but it happens regardless. The Lord has used ladies at Northside to change me for His good in my life. Wow! I mean just WOW!
How can women at Northside pursue deeper friendships?
Be intentional! Come to the Gatherings, join a community group, plug in and serve on Sunday mornings. Pray and ask God for eyes and ears to see and hear who He wants you to pour into and who He might have to pour into you. It's a game changer.