Every time we host a ProGrace workshop, I love it. The Holy Spirit moves, and there is so much energy, humility, anticipation– and most of all, hope–in the room. These workshops prove that people are looking for a third option in the abortion conversation, one that represents how Jesus would respond, separate from the political debate that divides us.
To give you a sense of what God is up to at these workshops, here are five of my favorite experiences which show how these workshops help depolarize the abortion conversation:
Workshops provide freedom to share
As we listen to women share about the depth of panic, isolation and shame they experience during their unplanned pregnancy, more women who had previously had abortions feel the freedom to share their stories too. More than that, when they share, they are able to extend grace to their younger self, as they understand what had been driving them to that decision.
Workshops create safe spaces for healing from past pain
People talk about the healing journey God takes them on. Any time people feel the freedom to share their difficult stories in such a large group confirms to me that we are preaching God’s grace fully and accurately. It gives me a picture of what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our churches – create safe spaces for all of us to tell our story fully.
Workshops give no condemnation under grace
There is no condemnation, because we all understand that we as a society have contributed to the negative story that makes women feel abortion is their only option, and that Jesus levels the playing field with the cross. We all need his grace equally, whatever our journey has been.
I am so excited to witness this, because we as the Church must understand these things about abortion before God can use us to bring his hope to this issue.
Workshops remind us “religion” can never save women
As we discuss the story from John 8 about the woman caught in adultery, I’m reminded of a past participant who shared how God highlighted to her that the woman needed to be saved from “religion.” Her life was in danger because religious people wanted to use her as a pawn to trap Jesus.
I am struck by the parallels: how women are hurt when this issue is only addressed through politics, which runs the risk of promoting stereotypes and agendas, and how “religion” can never save women. We need Jesus to step in and deliver His grace in abundance when she needs it most.
Workshops help depolarize the abortion issue in the Church
I hear so many pastors say they had been wanting to talk about this issue in their church for a while, but that the topic is so polarizing, they don’t know where to start. I am excited to see the freedom they experience after the workshop.
The freedom to talk about this in a way that is consistent with the Gospel, stays away from political dialogue, and is empathetic toward people who have experienced abortion. And they want more! They want to know how their church can get more involved.
The consistent responses from pastors affirms that God is moving. He is the one getting His Church ready to provide a third option to the abortion debate – the option of hope and grace that can shift the tide of abortion in our generation.
It is clear that God was moving through the ProGrace workshop, and I am truly humbled to be a part of this movement.
If you’re interested in a workshop, go prograce.org/event and check out the upcoming events in Los Angeles and New York City. We would love to connect with you and learn about you and your journey.