A God-ordained journey into leadership is custom tailored. God prepares good works for each of us that ignite our hearts and utilize our talents. As we embark on this journey, we can’t conceive what God has in store. His plan for us begins in the simplest of ways. We agree to serve and soon discover that God has increased our sphere of influence and is using us to minister in ways we never imagined possible.
My journey began as I sat in a circle of small group participants. I loved the small group experience and bible study came alive for me. While sitting around a circle of friends discussing various biblical topics, God birthed a love for His Word in my heart. My desire to learn grew until I found myself in search of Apostolic written, in-depth bible studies. I devoured the More to Life series published by UPCI Women’s Ministries and I wanted more.
I desired to learn about the political culture in biblical times because I knew this information would shed light on the stories in the Scriptures. I wanted to delve into the original languages and discover more about Paul’s messages to the New Testament Church. I wanted to dig deep into God’s Word and apply what I learned to my life as a wife, mother, and godly friend.
I searched for studies which incorporated the many aspects of learning I was interested in, but I was disappointed by the choices. While there are hundreds of in-depth studies written specifically for women available through other organizations, the offerings through our organizations were few. So, I picked up my bible and began to study on my own.
I had no formal training in bible study, but I trusted God to equip me. Since I desired my study time to affect my life, I thought the godly women in Scripture would make a good starting place. As I began to read their stories, my curiosity and imagination took over. Each time I studied, I found God highlighted something to me and I’d be off in another direction looking for answers.
My study covered a span of one year, seven women, and topics such as obedience, leadership, waiting on God, and forgiveness. As the year approached its end, I felt God prompting me to share what I learned with others. So I gathered my notes and began to type. What God allowed me to write is still a mystery to me.
Pentecostal Publishing House made that first study available, but I longed for as many women as possible to experience the Scriptures as I had. God’s Word ministered to me in personal and specific ways. My desire to help women connect with God through study resulted in Response to Grace (RTG) Ministries. In January 2012, I gifted the lessons to any woman who would have them and led an online study with 80 participants. I was elated and terrified at the same time.
To date, RTG Ministries has provided nine online studies to women (and men) across the globe. As RTG continues to grow, I acknowledge that God called me to ministry. When I reflect on my journey, I feel awe and appreciation for a God who uses flawed people to do His work. I am honored to help women whom I will never meet experience Christ on the pages of His Word. Ministry was far from my mind when I joined that first small group, but He knew the plans He had for me. He has plans for you too!
Tracie Fritcher Johnson is part of the ministerial staff at Crossroads Apostolic Ministries in Taylorville, IL under the leadership of Pastors Jason and Kristin Hoffmann. In addition to ministry, Tracie’s jobs include wife, mother of three, and part-time teaching. Tracie would love for you to join her in study at www.responsetogracestudy.org. RTG will soon host a devotional series, The Church, exploring the experiences which accompany being part of the collective body of Christ.
Tracie has written in-depth, devotional, and small group studies. All are available at the ministry site,www.responsetograce.org, or through The Pentecostal Publishing House. You can connect with Tracie on her personal Facebook page or through the Response to Grace Facebook page where she posts daily encouragement.