“The Road Not Taken” is one of the only works I can still recite after two decades of school. I have always been drawn to that overgrown path in the wilderness, even though it scares me a little even now. Truth is, IF:Gathering began as more of a hunch than a vision.
Today, many years since the hunch, IF:Gathering is a nonprofit made up of tens of thousands of women who desire to gather, equip and unleash our lives and the lives of others around the world for the glory of God and the good of people.
A few years before the birth of IF, I was ushered onto the established highway of the business of Christendom through the door of publishing. Influential people in the industry merged me onto the highway because they saw a seemingly sincere and passionate faith in Jesus. But at 75 mph, my sincere faith felt threatened by the business and structure of it all.
All the while, a quiet road off in the distance beckoned. I doubted I could ever build what God was growing within me without the covering of an institution that seemed to be holding up most everything that had ever succeeded.
Jesus certainly traveled the wilderness road and pursued people while He was here: “I am the good shepherd. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice” (John 10:14,16). Jesus went after all kinds of people because all people need Him.
And while the Truth of God and his Word never change, cultures do. The Spirit and work of God continue to move in fresh ways, through new methods. The church throughout generations attests to this. It’s exactly what Paul meant when he said, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (I Corinthians 9:22).
While I wish I were a more confident, rebellious pioneer, God had to nearly force me to the wild, new path He had for IF. I am, however, compelled to call as many of you as possible to the roads less traveled because there are many wandering who may never make it up to the highway. In fact, it seems we are looking at a generation disillusioned—standing off the highway, outside the gates of establishment. And if none of us go build and pioneer in the wild, we could miss an entire generation.