The first time I attended Hoboken Grace, I was terrified. I dragged my friend along for moral support, but I was still anxious. Was I going to fit in? Would there be anyone there like me? Looking back, I laugh at how nervous I was, because from the moment I walked into 301 Garden I was made to feel right at home. I quickly signed up for a dinner group, went to a mission trip information session and joined a team.
When my friend moved away, some of the old anxiety returned. But soon I was sitting in my first dinner group, eating fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese as we shared funny stories from childhood. And then I began serving with the Communications Team, and felt so blessed to be able to help people share their stories. When I decided to get baptized, I had an entire community cheering for me and my new beginning, and nothing has ever felt more wonderful.
When it comes to our relationship with God, we can’t grow without moving forward. You have to take that next step, whether it’s joining a dinner group, serving on a team, joining a Story Study or getting baptized. The first step is always the hardest.
I asked a few people at Hoboken Grace what “next step” had the greatest impact. Here is what they had to say:
Jennifer Thomas: “The step that really helped me get connected was being brave enough to go to a connection event, even when I didn’t know anyone there. I introduced myself to someone, and the next time I went to an event, I made sure she was going, too. We have a great friendship now.”
Jeff Knorr: “When I joined a dinner group it helped me dive deeper into the conversations and form a community of brothers. Serving on the production team helped me apply the talents that I’ve been given and gave me a sense of purpose.”
Candace Maloney: “Joining a dinner group and serving as a greeter helped me step out of my box. I enjoyed being encouraged and motivated to be the best version of myself, and I was taught to do the same for others. It has been great to be on the same journey in following God, through our similar struggles.”
Mariel Moquete: “Taking the step of baptism was the most important step for me. It was the moment in my life where I finally committed to God. I committed to actually building a relationship with God, instead of just saying I was Christian because I grew up in the church. After my baptism, saying I was Christian actually meant something deeper. It was my choice and not my mom’s or my pastor’s or someone else’s, but my own.”
What’s your next step? What will you commit to?