Maybe you’ve seen this term thrown around on social media lately, after all, it’s creating quite a buzz. But you don’t have a clue what it means. IF:Military? If what?
This cryptic title has a very simple mission: connecting military-affiliated women in authentic relationships through small groups and conversation about life and faith around the table.
If God is Real, Then What?
IF:Military is a new branch of IF:Gathering, a place where women can come together, regardless of age or denomination, to worship Jesus. In its sixth year, over 4,000 women attended IF:Gathering in Dallas, TX February 8-9th, 2019.
Years ago, Jennie Allen, author and founder of IF:Gathering, asked the question, “If God is real, then what?” What resulted is the annual conference, which is also available as a livestream into people’s homes and churches through IF:Local. All with the clear belief that discipleship is God’s primary tool of changing the world. In other words, building authentic relationships with other women who are actively seeking God in their lives is important.
Technology has allowed this message to spread to more than one million women in 179 countries.
And now, through IF:Military, you’ll be able to connect to a group of your own. Over 70 military-affiliated women met in Dallas for this year’s IF:Gathering, where speaker after speaker proclaimed the need for relationships and connection among women desiring to follow God.
The need is great among military spouses: to connect and be known. Because we know that attending a command-sponsored barbecue or even a local church service does not always lead to solid friendships. You can leave those events surrounded by people, but feeling lonelier than ever.
How Do I Find a Group?
IF:Military leaders are bringing the message home to their duty stations and will be organizing a one-day event and also on-going groups through IF:Table.
The one-day event, held March 2nd, 2019, will be a condensed version of this year’s IF:Gathering, streaming into a hosted space, typically a home or chapel. Go here to find a location near you, so you can hear the inspiring speakers and connect with friends in your area.
IF:Table is an on-going event, hosted monthly, designed to foster authentic relationships around a shared meal. These meetings are structured for 6 women, for 2 hours, with 4 questions.
First of all, going into someone’s home and eating food that you didn’t have to cook might be enough to get you through the door. Also, it’s only 2 hours, for you introverts. You can be social for 2 hours. Finally, guided questions mean you are guaranteed to have the opportunity to share and hear from others. Many of us are craving to truly be seen and known, and IF:Table provides the opportunity for such relationships to form.
Even if you attend local church, and that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s comforting to be around other women who get the unique challenges of the military lifestyle- because they are living it too!
To connect with a table near you, visit IF:Military Facebook page where over 1,000 women have joined and get yourself plugged in today.
You are Welcome Here
The IF:Military leaders are passionate about reaching women and building relationships through shared life and encouraging one another in faith.
IF:Military fills a void that many are aching for. Research continues to point out that military spouses are lonely. But even without the hard data, we know how challenging it can be to make friends at a new duty station. How lonely deployments can be. How difficult it is to bear the emotional burden alone. And how nice it would be to have a friend. Someone who could pray with you. Have dinner with you. And offer those two little words we’re all desperate to hear in tough times, “me too.”
IF:Military Moves With You
Many military families live outside the gates, move frequently, and haven’t taken the time to form meaningful relationships. You know those jokes and memes about asking the cashier to be your emergency contact? It’s funny cause it’s true.
And when you PCS? Guess what? An IF:Table will be waiting for you at your new duty station and you can pick up where you left off. A community of women is waiting for you- a community ready to dig into questions about faith and life with God at the center. Around the table with probably delicious food. What could be better?
Maybe you’ve shied away from groups like these in the past. Community, real day-to-day living with women who truly know you, is a beautiful thing. Maybe this is the year you try again, and take that courageous step and say, “I’m in.”
Photo Credits: Marissa MacDonald Photography and Unsplash