Nina Nozzi grew up in the church and has participated in quite a number of Bible studies and small groups during her spiritual journey, but for some reason Rooted sounded really special and unique. Because it was ten-weeks, she thought that it would cover a wide variety of topics. She decided to give it a try.
Nina says that throughout the whole ten weeks, the leaders facilitated a super comfortable environment - a place to feel safe and grow in your faith.
Nina's favorite part of Rooted was getting to know people and building new relationships. She had been attending Ventura Missionary for nine months, and Rooted helped her to meet new people, including people her age, people who had been going to the church longer, and leaders who guided her through some "stuff."
Part of Rooted involves hearing the stories of others in your Rooted group. Nina says this component was great because of the different perspectives and outlooks. It was an opportunity to hear how others viewed God and how they navigated different life seasons. She says, "It is important to see other people's life experiences so that I can be more teachable and can learn more and grow deeper. Hearing everyone's testimony was a huge bonding time."
Nina went through Rooted during COVID. In spite the restrictions brought on by that reality, Nina's Rooted group was able to participate in a serve experience at the City Center, a transitional home in Ventura. She says, "It was a really beautiful night. We got to sit down with some ladies and just share a meal with them and hear what's going on in their life." She continues, "COVID brought up a few challenges, but it was still nice to just sit with people, and even though you have masks and you're a little bit further apart, you can still talk to people and get to know them."
About half-way through Rooted, the group participates in something called, "strongholds," which can sound intimidating, and maybe even a bit weird, but Nina describes it as a powerful experience. She says, "Everyone gets the opportunity to share something that they feel they've been struggling with or something that has been hanging onto them, and they just need to release it to God. Everyone prays over each other. Our group felt light as a feather afterwards. We felt like a burden had been lifted off of us."
Nina is still reaping the benefits of her journey through Rooted. She says her prayer life has deepened. Once mellow and kind of shallow, it has become a meaningful time of being able to share anything with God throughout her day. She also says that she has developed some great, solid friendships.
Nina says, "I would definitely say to sign up for Rooted, because it's a great opportunity to expand your community, and reveal more of your purpose in life and in your faith. If someone was hesitant, I would say, 'Just step out and do something out of your comfort zone, and consider the bright and good things that can come out of it.'"
Our next Rooted Discipleship Experience will take place on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, starting March 24, 2021. For details and to register, click here.