The SPARROW Story
I can still hear their voices, their laughter, their tears. Through mixed emotions of joy and sadness there was honesty and transparency radiating from that quaint living room. They were beautiful and brave.
Not many know but Sparrow began as a church home group for young women. As the leader, I couldn’t have put together a more diverse, lively, eclectic group of women. This group had the markings and signature of the Lord. I could sense He was about to do something far beyond what we set out to do. We were caught up in Him and we were joining in His gospel song together.
Each week as we met, longing for deep connection and truth, stepping out in brave vulnerability, each woman shared their story. These stories were often excruciating- filled with abuse, hurt, regret, perfectionism, comparison, addiction, anxiety, eating disorders, rape, codependency, and homosexuality-you could see God breaking down walls with each word shared. When I close my eyes I can see their faces- the broken beautiful tapestries of God’s love and redemption.
These women were African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, and from different socio-economic backgrounds- you see hurt and brokenness knows no bounds. It takes no prisoners. I got to watch the Lord work miracles that year. Women were experiencing freedom from sin and shame and tasting joy for the first time.
While dealing with the pain of the past, and learning to put one foot in front of the other- we began to dream together. What would it look like for women from different ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and walks of life to join one another for a weekend to worship the Lord and open the scriptures under one roof? What if we provided a place for women to hear truth, experience freedom, wrestle and find their identity in the Lord and realize their purpose? What if we could celebrate and be challenged by each other’s differences? We wanted to reflect the kingdom of heaven. We wanted to ask the Lord to break down walls in our hearts and between each other.
As we were dreaming, this idea of each woman’s significance and value in Christ was a consistent melody in our hearts. “Sparrow” is the name given in the Bible to a bird that was considered to be an insignificant, bothersome creature. Sparrows would gather in noisy flocks, making their nests in the eaves of the temple. However, the gospel of Luke states, “Not one of them is forgotten before God”. If God is concerned about the sparrow and knows its fate, how much greater must His concern be for man. It is interesting that God chose the most common of birds to teach a profound truth: in God’s eyes no one is insignificant. Rightly understanding our significance in the Lord through Christ allows us to rightly love and understand the significance of others.
Significance in Christ moves us to grow in a deeper relationship with the Father and one another. Finding your identity in what the world has to offer will disappoint time after time, but a woman that knows who she is in Christ and is deeply rooted in His Truth, will have an eternal hope and the purposes of God at the forefront of her mind and heart.
In the Fall of 2012 in Denton, Texas our gathering began. We felt God pressing on us to call it Sparrow Conference. Or as some lovingly refer to it as simply, Sparrow. After two years in Denton we made the move to Dallas to serve over 10 colleges, 55 churches with women coming from over 17 states across the country. Although God has been gracious with our reach beyond the metroplex our heart remains to see Dallas changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our heart is for a diverse group of women to be reconciled to God by knowing the Truth of the scriptures, experiencing freedom from their pasts, understanding their Identity in Christ, having undeniable Purpose, and to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) by ultimately glorifying the Lord through loving, serving and being unified with others.
Each of us has an incredible story of death to life through Jesus. As our vision continues to grow, we are honored to share the Sparrow Story God has built and woven into the lives of women in DFW and beyond. Sparrow has become a beautiful tapestry of women rising up in unity and pursuing God TOGETHER. He is building a movement among his daughters. Will you join us in catalyzing the next generation of RECONCILERS?
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