1 Corinthians 12:27 All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it.
Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
However, I do believe the church should hold within it five roles and structure as laid out in Ephesians 4:11
Ephesians 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
So what have I created? Well, first, I haven’t created anything – Jesus, through Holy Spirit has. If I were to place a label on it (doesn’t the human mind love to categorize things?), I would consider it something like a para-ministry. And what is a para-ministry? I’m glad you asked:
A Parachurch ministry is a ministry that operates outside of the confines of a traditional church. While many of these organizations have some type of connection to a church, those taking part in the ministry look at ways that they can give back to the local community and others in need in ways that a church cannot. Reference
This ministry began as a blog in September 2014. You can take a trip down memory lane if you like, by visiting HERE.
It wasn’t until 2016 another direction began to emerge from the blog and I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart about sharing what He was sharing with me with other women. Up to that point, I had been asked by other women to lead a challenge and have an online group, one for encouragement and support. Before I knew it a group of twenty women were joined together for one purpose, and without any self-promotion (also important to me). Even then, I drug my feet. In August 2016, I had reached out to the church leadership at the time, for prayer for direction. A word was spoken I still hold dear to my heart. Prior to going any further in the composing and editing phase, I asked my pastor, with my family surrounding me, what his thoughts were on publishing the book. "Go for it". Ok. My sense coming away from the conversation was that anything I could do would be blessed, because we need to move when God asks us to. I did.
Why was I timid? I had been burned (self-inflicted) before (this has been a ten year journey my friends) and I needed to KNOW God was the One moving me, or my relationship with Jesus, my marriage, children and other relationships were going to suffer.
In 2017, so many things shaped up. While I didn’t host any challenges, Rise Up Devotions was published, along with Courageous Humility and Rise & Pray. “Anything I can do is blessed”. In October 2017, when I sensed God wanted me to minister in person with other women, I really struggled. What would this look like? Who did I think I was? Am I “allowed”? All these questions came to mind.
I sought the council of my closest friends. I sought the council of the Pastor at Times Square Church, as I believed him to be the pastor of my family’s home fellowship. I sought spiritual leadership from a spiritual mother. I sought the Lord in prayer and through multiple requests for confirmation. "Yes". When we visited a new church in our community, the minister spoke about Rahab the Harlot. If He could move through her, He can surely move through me.
Rahab wasn’t educated, trained, or indoctrinated. No. She only had the testimony of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites and would soon have her own. "Shanon, you have my blessing – GO".
When the curriculum was created for the Rise Up Commitment in late 2017, I asked my “spiritual mother” to review and provide feedback. She read, reviewed, and blessed the content. I believed, again, this was blessing and confirmation to move forward.
Even as I moved forward, I was always very upfront with gals, “I did not go to seminary. I am just a woman who loves the Lord and His Word, who wants to see others connect with His Word in the same life altering way I have”. My position? I am learning right along with you in many regards. We can trust Holy Spirit to be our Advocate and make truth known.
With the first commitment going well, I still longed for a covering and continued blessing for what was being done. I was concerned with operating outside of an unsanctioned covering. My spiritual leader was unavailable. The home fellowship pastor was impossible to connect with. Finally, God placed two gals on my heart to connect with. One? An associate pastor, now pastor. The other? One who had once been a mission’s pastor and embarking on a new journey with God. When I spoke with both of them, I simply shared I wanted to be accountable to others and have a covering, and that God shared both of them with me to reach out to. I believe they could sense my willingness to submit as the Lord needed.
My husband and children continued to bless my involvement with the ministry (although they might admit it's not always the easiest to share). My closest friends committed to prayer and correction when needed. My spiritual leader prayed and led when she was available. Gals agreed to cover. God had brought them all to my mind, and I knew I was to submit to them and prayerfully receive any guidance or correction God may lay on their hearts to share.
Para-ministry, that still seems to be the word fitting the best. What God does here is in addition to, a supplement if you will, to the local church and bodies each gal is connected with. Coming alongside women on their journey, with discipleship and growing together, in conjunction with their pastoral care. Many times when meeting on a weekly basis, the gals express to me their pastor spoke something very similar to what we had discussed. Thank you for confirming, Lord.
My focus on women only, is also a good indication this is not a church (in the traditional sense). God has never placed it on my heart to minister to men. His heart for this ministry? Minister to my Sisters in Christ (and soon to be Sisters) well, and they will minister to their husbands and children well, as Christ leads. I’m only a conduit. A conduit who may not hold pastoral accountability, but certainly feels accountable for every Word He places on my heart to share.
My goal is not to have anyone follow me, or rely on me. I’m like Chevy Chase in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation scene where he is connecting the two extension cords hoping to light his house up – I want to facilitate a direct connection to, and hunger for, God’s Word and Holy Spirit so each gal learns to rely on Him as they grow increasingly more sensitive to His Spirit in their lives. Why? So they will RISE UP each day in their homes, communities, church homes, and places of employment as God empowers them to do so.
That’s it. That’s my hope and prayer.
The avenue to doing so is by meeting women where they are on their faith journey to becoming whole in spirit, soul and body, and then to teach, encourage and facilitate some degree of healing as His Word and Spirit leads me to do so, through the gifts He has blessed me with. This avenue has transitioned from an online platform to in-person, which is something many yearn for in this hyper connected era.
My prayer is also to continue to respond to His leading in all things... prayer, guidance, next steps - ALL THINGS - and be open to going wherever He may lead next. I hope that is your prayer as well.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. And as always, I am happy to meet you where you are and join you over a cup of coffee or via a message, prayer or chat.
If you have never read it, I suggest you do. I then read about John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth. Leonard Ravenhill’s Revival God’s Way struck my soul to pray, as did Eric Ludy’s Wrestling Prayer. This was meaty stuff! Couple these words with God’s word to study the subject of LOVE and pray as I was learning – I was all in. My life finally became Jesus Christ’s FULLY! I have no doubt this set the course of the past ten years, regardless of the “giants” and challenges, and led me to this place, a modern day testimony taking place over the past couple of years I would like to share.
September 12, 2017 – Sent an invitation to all pastors in Whitley Co.
October 9, 2017 – Prayer Event
October 19, 2017 – Shifted focus to developing Rise Up Commitment
October 27, 2017 – Received a reply to connect with someone from the Prayer Room, to which I placed in my "back pocket"
November 3, 2017 – Dr. Ronnie Floyd President of the National Day of Prayer announced 2018 theme Pray for America – UNITY, based upon Ephesians 4:3
February 2018 – Moved to reach out to a female pastor in our community
April 28, 2018 – Meet a gal hungry for Holy Spirit and connected to NDP
May 3, 2018 – Attended 2018 NDP – I sat beside the gal I just met and learn she will soon to be lead for our county’s NDP chapter
June 13, 2018 – Current NDP lead and I meet in the prayer room in our community and discuss NDP
February 2018 – Two gatherings, one heart: prayer and worship for the glory of God and discipled souls in our county
PRAYER IS POWERFUL! And not just my prayers. This is not a rundown of what God is doing through me alone. No, it is a testament of prayers that have been prayed YEARS before I was probably even thought of. It is the testament of others who have prayed fervently for years since I was born. It is a testament of God’s desire to have His people humble themselves and pray. It is a testament God will unite the folks He has called to pray, and who are RESPONDING, in one accord for His purposes. It is a testament of hope for things to come. Revival. Freedom. Deliverance. Unity. An outpouring if His Spirit and Love! It is a testament that it is time to pray, and allow Him to transform our burdens to building as He leads for HIS Kingdom.
As we continue to focus on prayer in the Rise Up Community and Beyond experience for the last eight days of February, I want to encourage you to PRESS IN. I want to encourage you to lay everything else to the side and see what God has to say. Pray selfless prayers. Pray to know the heart and mind of God. Pray for Jesus to be seen and known through your life. Pray for Holy Spirit to intercede when you don’t know what to pray. Simply, pray.
Would you like some transparency?
I have a box of snotty tissues full for you.
I’m breaking. Breaking in a snot won’t stop, “God what is wrong with me?!” – breaking kind of way.
We don’t talk about breaking. We especially don’t talk about breaking for those leading. Leaders don’t break, right? Well, if that is a title or role or responsibility assigned to me, I’m going to be real and open and authentic and raw, we break – and I won’t pretend or fake.
There is a heavy on my heart and mind, coming from all sides. I’m grateful for the rest I found in January, because if I weren’t nestled into the heart of the Father right now, oh it would be worse.
My heart is breaking for the church.
My heart is breaking for what goes on between brothers and sister in the church.
My heart is breaking for the deceived.
My heart is breaking for the truth to be seen, heard and to reign.
My heart is breaking for the soul comfortable with malicious behavior and acts towards others.
My heart is breaking for the children who will never get to take a breath and live their calling for the pleasure of our King.
My heart is breaking.
My heart is breaking for wives whose husbands are unable or unwilling to love them the way Christ would.
My heart is breaking for men unable to receive FULLY the love of God and be led, to lead.
My heart is breaking for every child whose burden became so big; they chose to end their lives.
My heart is breaking for all the parents who miss their children so badly words are ununtterable and tears are the soft whispers many won’t hear, except the Father.
My heart is breaking for the families whose presence is taken for granted and screens and scrolling and schedules replace genuine time together.
My heart is breaking.
My heart is breaking for the woman, young and old, desperately trying to cover up the open wounds or scars of emotional and physical abuse, deception, ridicule; being called stupid or fat or dumb; rejection or promiscuity; addiction to food or binging or starving, approval, drugs, alcohol; and decisions made from lack of trust fueled by self-reliance, that led or is leading only to heartache. I have the same scars.
My heart is breaking for every woman living with the pain and disappointment of divorce.
My heart is breaking for every woman living with the loss of a husband passed too soon.
My heart is breaking for every woman living with the loss of a parent or loved one.
My heart is breaking for every woman fighting some debilitating disease – seen and unseen.
My heart is breaking for every woman feeling alone, lost, unseen, unheard and uncared for – I care.
My heart is breaking for every woman sleeping in a jail cell – physical or mental – I’ve slept there too; freedom can be had.
My heart is breaking.
My heart is breaking because there are folks around the world living without clean water and food.
My heart is breaking because there are people living without health care for their wounds.
My heart is breaking because there are souls without much who will give richly out of their poverty.
My heart is breaking because I have touched the faces of babies and elderly in the worst of places, left to be unloved, waiting to die.
My heart is breaking.
My heart is breaking because my oldest will be leaving soon, and the youngest will follow not long after.
My heart is breaking because the days were long, but the years were shorter, and now here we are – asking, “Where did the time go?”
My heart is breaking because I know, and I can’t get them back.
My heart is breaking because I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT I KNOW NOW! God I wish I would have known – twenty years ago! I wish I would have been equipped with the knowledge of what only learning the “hard way” in the wilderness and fire has taught me.
My heart is breaking because many a child will grow up knowing and choose to toss the truth aside.
My heart is breaking because many a parent will teach with their lips, but not live a life aligned.
My heart is breaking because families fall apart seemingly without desire to reconcile.
My heart is breaking because this is only a glimpse of what God sees.
And it breaks me.
My heart is breaking, because there is a gift, an answer, many won’t receive.
Holy Spirit – Healer, Comforter, Teacher, Truth, Life and LOVE.
My heart, while breaking, KNOWS there is healing; healing coming from the anointed ointment of the presence of the Spirit of the living God, welcomed and free to come in and mend, heal and sooth like a cool salve.
And I am hopeful. I am hopeful because like with Nehemiah, the weeping and breaking leads to burden which leads to fasting and prayer which leads to building – building as He leads and provides and makes so.
Weeping endures for a moment (or maybe days), but joy is sure to come in the morning! Such joy will lead to Holy Spirit building in a way where no enemy from hell can stop the plans of a living God fixed on saving every soul through the blood of Jesus Christ.
I pray Holy Spirit in all His manifestations is welcome in our lives, healing is received on the other side of breaking, and joy unspeakable is manifested in a way only Jesus can create!
I love the people in my community – especially women who have wrestled, or are wrestling, with worth and feeling discouraged or unsupported. Trust me when I say – YOU ARE WORTH BEING LOVED BY GOD – and He finds your love worthy. You are also worth being supported and encouraged by others, regardless of where you are on your journey.
Now that you know who I am, here’s a little about what I do.
In day job one, I do orthopedic product design and have for nearly nineteen years. That is so weird to type! I honestly don’t feel like it’s possible for that much time to have gone by. Before that, I was a graphic designer for a sign company. Before that, I loved creating art, school and learning – I still love art and learning.
In day job two, I do internal digital communication efforts for medical missions within the organization I also design and develop product for. It is such a blessing to connect with patients, write their stories, and communicate testimonies of the underserved in a variety of ways. This role is a direct result of my obedience in the ministry God has raised up in my life the past four years.
In addition to my marriage and children, God has called me to the Rise Up ministry: to meet women where they are on their faith journey to becoming whole (spirit, soul, body), teach, encourage and facilitate healing along the way. I take great joy in meeting with our local community of gals in person on a weekly basis. I have also been blessed by the recent interest for monthly gatherings. Of course, I am grateful for where both began, online via blog and social media.
With the online portion of the ministry you, and women like you around the world, can be encouraged, equipped and empowered with a variety of resources. You may enjoy the Shanon Roberts Podcast, both on Stitcher and iTunes. You may also enjoy or prefer the YouTube channel. Or, you might like to complete one of the two online devotions found on YouVersion’s Bible App: Courageous Humility and 12 Days of Thanksgiving. I have also been honored to share as a Christian speaker at a few events. Finally, you might like a copy of one of the eight self-published books made available via hardcopy or Kindle, on Amazon.
Heads up! I know my weaknesses and you might appreciate knowing them too. My grammar is not the best. I talk fast, stammer and use my hands A LOT when I’m REALLY fired up with God’s thoughts and heart. I have had a pretty intense walk with God, but I haven’t been to seminary and have no degree (although I am now an ordained minister – TOTALLY a God thing!). I sometimes have to cease an activity I thought was God, in order to do what He actually needs me to. Because I’m human, I continue to learn to discern His voice. When it is Him, He provides the way – when it isn’t Him, I stress and strive.
I pray you are blessed in some way by the ministry and content here (regardless of comma placement and the occasional misspellings ;) ) and I look forward to meeting you where you are. God is SO GOOD. Always!
PS – if you are great at grammar and are led to help a sister out, I would love to hear from you :D