By Amanda Hayes
“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:28 NIV). Come, see. Possibly one of the greatest invitations in the history of mankind. Come, see this man. I am not sure of his identity, but I think He may be the Messiah?
The infamous story about the woman at the well from the Bible in the book of John, chapter four is a story that invites us all. Come, come see this man. The Messiah. The One who knows our every sin, yet still forgives. The One who knew us while we were yet in our mother’s womb. The One who has each of us inscribed in the palm of His hand. Come.
And that is the invitation that has been extended to women in Douglas, Georgia, once a quarter since November 2018, by GracePointe Baptist Church. Come to “The Well” -- a place where women meet the Messiah. A place where women bring their burdens. A place where women worship together in harmony. A place where women connect with each other on an intimate level. A place where women are encouraged by testimonies of God’s faithfulness, love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
The vision for The Well ladies’ event at GracePointe Baptist Church began when Reach Director Jordan Calhoun moved to Douglas in June of 2018. As a former intern at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Calhoun gained a passion for women’s ministry, as well as a wealth of knowledge from seasoned event coordinators and women’s ministry leaders.
“I asked the Lord to show me His heart for Coffee County and give me a vision for the plans He wanted to accomplish here. In the months that followed, He began to stir my heart towards creating a place of connection for the women in our community. As I prayed through what spurs genuine community and raw vulnerability, the Lord brought the story of the woman at the well to mind,” recalls Calhoun.
The Well has grown to become a multi-generational, multi-denominational event. It all started with approximately 55 women for its first gathering and has grown exponentially to approximately 230 women at the most recent gathering in February 2020. Ladies of all ages from middle school to middle aged to senior citizens have attended The Well events at GracePointe to enjoy an all-female worship team and local speakers. There are mother-daughter pairs, best friend pairs, groups of ladies from other churches, as well as groups of co-workers from local businesses, all attending this event hoping to fellowship and be encouraged with local girlfriends-in-God from around the community.
Calhoun likes to call this the “ultimate girls’ night out”. She hopes that each lady that attends, whether they are a part of GracePointe or not, feels “connected” and “included”. And in a culture where women constantly battle the feelings of “being left out”, or “not good enough”, this event is certainly one at which those feelings melt away and are quickly replaced with feelings of acceptance, love and community.
The results of The Well have been phenomenal. This event has inspired women to start attending church regularly, come to know Jesus as their personal savior, or start small group Bible studies in their own churches or communities. Pastor Chris Watson says of The Well, “I remember the very first night the ladies met as I stood in the back and heard them lifting up their voices to God. It brought a smile to my face, joy to my heart, and tears to my eyes to see God lifted up. Each event has done the same.”
Pastor Watson also states that this event has inspired the men of his church to create their own “Bro” Ministry. (More details to follow on that in another article. Sorry guys, this one is about The Well.)
GracePointe Church first introduced its “FOR Coffee” community outreach ministry in 2018. The leadership team at GracePointe wants the community to know them by “what they are for”, rather than “what they are against”. The team hopes to continue using The Well as one of its many community outreach efforts, to let the community know they are also “FOR Women”.
Follow them on Instagram @thewelldouglas; or find them on Facebook at The Well Women’s Gathering.
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