Our Journey to Becoming ProGrace
A Conversation. A Prayer. and a Dream.
2005 – Beginning work with a pregnancy organization
Our journey of developing the message and model of ProGrace began when we joined the staff of a Christian pregnancy organization. The journey involved
Listening to women facing unplanned pregnancy
Asking questions about the current Christian response to abortion
Engaging with both pro-life and pro-choice advocates
Having theological conversations with pastors
Praying a lot
We were bothered by the way the conversations around abortion made us feel like we had to choose between being for the woman or for the child. As God revealed his heart for both of them to thrive, we began to dream of how He could bring His solution into this debate.
Through this journey, we have come to believe that God’s pathway to change this issue is to raise up Christians who:
1) Value the woman and child equally
2) Extend a grace response toward their situation.
2007 – Shifting the model of a local pregnancy organization
With this theological framework, we changed the programs of our organization to communicate God’s heart for both the woman and the child, and his unconditional grace. women received the acceptance and support they needed to have hope for their pregnancy and their future. Only one thing was missing – being able to connect women with the local church for ongoing support.
2009 – the launch of the first church-based Connection group
We prayed, and God answered as a young mom asked her church if she could start a support group which was modeled after the group she was participating in through our agency. Willow Creek Community Church said yes, and we watched as God began to work great transformation in the lives of the women in that group. They began dreaming for the future, making healthy decisions, and becoming part of the church.
God was showing us his solution to the abortion debate – women and children in a church-based community where they can thrive during and after an unplanned pregnancy.
2010 – ProGrace Approach goes international
We were amazed as God then opened doors in Africa, through one amazing pastor with a heart to support women facing unplanned pregnancies. Through this partnership, we have trained over 100 pastors and leaders in Uganda, and 62 Ugandan churches are now serving more than 3,000 women with the ProGrace approach.
2012 – Piloting the ProGrace workshop
In order to see more churches be positioned to offer this type of acceptance and support to women facing unplanned pregnancy, we realized they would need to go on the same type of journey we had been on. We created the workshop to be experiential, exposing Christian leaders to the same type of grace conversations we had that began our journey, and inviting God to reveal His heart for extending grace to both the woman and the child.
We developed the ProGrace workshop and piloted it with leadership teams from several Chicago area churches.
Since that first pilot in 2012 more than 1,400 people have been trained in the ProGrace approach, and organizations in Chicago and Arizona are now partnering with ProGrace to reach out to women in their community facing unplanned pregnancy.
2016 – ProGrace was founded as a non-profit organization, with a goal to expand the movement across the country
We believe that if Christians embrace a new way to think, talk and act around the abortion issue, and create pathways where both women and children can thrive in our local churches, God can shift the tide of abortion. If this resonates with you, we invite you to come on the journey with us. You can play a key part in bringing this type of change through.