Looking Up – Conversations in an Elevator


Dear Hope Church,

We walk in silence down the short hallway to the Enterprise Center’s elevator. Once inside, we push the button and the door closes. Our barely suppressed words erupt like a volcano.

“Well that went in a direction I never saw coming!!!”
“I know! And wasn’t that unbelievable? She saw Jesus’s actions in a way I never have.”
“And can you believe that moment where she was like, ‘Wait, Jesus is coming back?’”

Conversations like these capture the beautiful picture of our Thursday mornings at Pivot Ministry’s Bible Study. Pivot is a local Christian non-profit where a small group of women come together because they want to make a “pivot” in their lives. These are women who have experienced difficulties like abuse, incarceration, addiction, poverty, or joblessness. Every Thursday for sixteen weeks, they gather to learn about things like identifying their own gifts, managing money, writing a resume, managing relationships, and taking responsibility for their lives and actions. But each Thursday, they begin their day by exploring God’s word together, knowing Jesus better, and learning what it means to be part of his Kingdom.
Since 2019, they’ve called us the “Bible Study Teachers.” But the truth is that we have found ourselves fellow travelers, learning along with them as we walk the gospel road together. What we never expected, but have learned to treasure, is the gift of seeing Jesus through their eyes. Whether they are reading about Him for the first time or seeing Him through the unique lenses of their own challenges and experiences, our time together reveals something so new, so lovely. With the widely varying perspectives of so many different ages, neighborhoods, financial situations, races, and church experiences, we’re surprised every time. We can see Jesus as we’ve never seen him before.

And to deepen our joy, they love it! For many of them, this comes as quite a surprise. There are so many questions. They wish it could be longer. The joy is absolutely infectious, and the adventure binds us and connects us.

If we’re honest, there are definitely days we’d rather not have this to do. It’s just another thing; or, it feels like such a weighty task for which we have little bandwidth. But every time we open the Word together and journey through the Gospel with these women, our hearts are lifted. We are reminded of the beauty of Christ and his Kingdom, and the thrill of being their sisters.

It’s such a privilege to get to respond and invite others to engage in questions like these:

“Y’all keep talking about these numbers, like chapters and verses. What are you talking about?”
“Ok, help me understand this part. I’m asking this because Jesus said it and he meant it and he’s not playin’!”
“Yes, Jesus didn’t heal him all at once. You know, His timing isn’t always our timing.”
“Hey, can I teach next week?”
“Who are these prophets they keep talking about?”
“Are you saying that it was written down all those years ago that this would happen, and then it did??”
“Wait…are you saying… He is God?”

So, come on. Join in what God’s doing through Pivot Ministry on Thursdays. There are so many opportunities! Just follow this link to learn all about it.

Five amazing women have put in sixteen Thursdays. And today, LaTonya, Sinethia, Dusty, Emma, and Donna will have their Graduation Day, complete with “Pomp and Circumstance.” Please pray for their flourishing! That the Lord would continue to deepen their faith and give them joy, that their lives might reflect his own beauty. And pray for the next women who will get to be part of all this in the fall. We can’t wait!

Julie Bell and Shannon Burgess