Think Big This Fall

Whether you’re in the midst of back-to-school shopping or just clinging to these last few days of August, the arrival of fall always seems to usher in transition. Of course, there are the obvious signs: shelves freshly stocked with new pens and pocket folders, invitations for apple picking. But fall brings slower change, too:  lawns and gardens start to lose their green, boots gradually replace flip-flops in the morning swarm to the PATH.

The currents of fall seem to offer an invitation of transformation, of life changes or just a shift outside what we’ve grown comfortable with. The poets and the falling leaves remind us this is a season of maturing, of shedding the old to make room for the new. The colors of parks, farmers markets and fashion shows urge us that this is the season to live life more boldly. The coffee shops tell us to add spice to our lattes. Fall, it seems, is a season for stepping outside our comfort zones, an opportunity to transform our perspectives and embrace new rhythms.

But life’s shifts and our attempts to usher them in (dieting or budgeting, for example) require seasons of transition and intentionality. As Pastor Chris said on Sunday, becoming the people we want to be — and experiencing the shift between feeding ourselves and feeding others — means thinking big. It means asking big. It means pursuing things that are bigger than ourselves. Like fall itself, it’s an invitation to inch outside your comfort zone and live life more boldly — until one day, you wake up and realize the difference. Suddenly, summer is winter. And before you know it, everything has changed.

Here are seven ways to think bigger this fall:

1). Invest in community

As Pastor Chris said Sunday, dinner groups aren’t about what we get out of them — they’re about growing together around one table. Dinner groups are where a dozen or so people weave together their different backgrounds and experiences, their struggles and their celebrations. If you’re not in a dinner group, join one today or next month, when several new groups will launch. If you’re already part of of a dinner group, try focusing more on what you can contribute rather than what you’re getting out of it.

2). Explore your gifts

Serving on a team at Hoboken Grace is a great way to learn more about your gifts and talents, and how you can use them to love other people well. Maybe that looks like making people feel welcome each Sunday morning, as a member of the First Impressions Team. Or maybe that means making an impact in Grace Kids, or through photography, writing or music. How can you use your gifts to love other people? You can see a full list of teams here, or take the Intro to Impact class.

3). Find financial freedom

When it comes to giving generously, oftentimes what holds us back is anxiety over our finances. FPU is for anyone who dreams of finding financial freedom — freedom from debt, anxiety, and any sort of uncertainty about budgeting and financial planning. Former students say the class helped them gain a grip on their finances, but also gave them the confidence to think big and give big.

4). Find your place in God’s story

Dive into a book of the Bible this fall with one of Hoboken Grace’s four Story Studies (Genesis, John, Acts and Romans). These classes are designed to help you engage in God’s word in new ways and see scripture differently. But they will also help you see how these books fit into a bigger picture, and help you uncover your place in God’s story. (One note: These classes are for members only. If you are not yet a member, the CORE membership class is offered once a month.)

5). Take a step forward

Spare an hour or two this fall to take one of Hoboken Grace’s Sunday growth classes. Learn more about getting plugged in at Hoboken Grace (Next), dinner groups (Creating Community), using your time and talents to serve (Intro to Impact), baptism (What Is Baptism), becoming a member (CORE) or establishing biblical habits (Rhythms).

6). Plant a seed and watch it grow

One of the easiest ways to impact our community is by working in the lives of its children. Consider serving in Grace Kids this fall, or just take a tour one Sunday to see a bigger picture of all that Grace Kids is doing.

7). Attend Amplify on Oct. 22

Hoboken Grace’s one-day growth conference is less than two months away! Mark your calendar for Amplify on Saturday, Oct. 22. Growth tracks include Foundations (how to live life more rooted in God’s word), Empower (how to better use your gifts and talents), Story (how to tell you story), various book studies and, new this year, Dating.

To explore even more growth opportunities, check out Hoboken Grace’s Next Steps page here.

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