In the summer of 2016, Ashley West moved to Fort Worth from Atlanta to begin a year-long master’s program in Developmental Trauma at TCU. Although the anticipation of a new phase of life was exciting, Ashley was nervous about leaving her home in Atlanta to live in an entirely new environment. She says, “I knew Fort Worth was where I needed to be but moving halfway across the country and not knowing a single soul was scary. I literally knew no one in Texas.” After the move, Ashley began to search for a church home. Within the first couple of weeks of doing online searches, she discovered Doxology Bible Church, and it piqued her interest. She says, “I saw that Doxology had shuttle services for TCU students on Sunday mornings. I thought, ‘If there is a church that cares that much about college students, I want to be a part of that.’” She emailed Jay Felker, who introduced her to Eikon- the singles ministry at Doxology. “I went to my first class at Eikon, and then went out to eat with the group. I was sold. I thought, ‘THIS is where the Lord wants me.” Soon after, Ashley joined Eikon’s women’s community group. Ashley got more involved in the community group and the group began to grow. It soon became apparent that God was calling Ashley to stay in Fort Worth. She says, “I thought I’d only be here a year while I was getting my masters, but midway through the school year, God began to impress on my heart that I was going to be staying here. Our community group was getting to the point where we were needing to multiply. I felt God asking me to consider leading a group as we multiplied.”
Beginning a new community group brought feelings of both excitement and uncertainty. It was clearly evident that the group needed to multiply, but it was difficult because the group had grown so close- and splitting the group felt as though it would threaten those deep relationships. Ashley says, “Multiplying, while exciting, was super hard because the community group was really close – these were people that we do life with and that we see 3 or 4 times a week. But, in order to make room for what God is doing in our community, we needed to take this step.” However, it was still difficult for some to buy into the vision for their group. Ashley explains, “It was hard. Some people were frustrated and couldn’t see the reasoning, and a couple people ended up walking away. I began to question our decisions – Did we do the right thing? Is this the right path? We had to trust that God was going to put the right people in the right group. It was scary because we didn’t know what that was going to look like, but we knew this was the right decision and we were hoping to see growth.” The new group started off small with the same 3 or 4 people meeting every week. Through uncertainty, the group persisted and continued to meet.
By August of 2017, the group began to grow and consistently have 6 or 7 people. It was during this time that Logan Nettles moved to Fort Worth from Orlando, Florida. She, too, moved across country without knowing anyone and left behind a rich and vibrant church community. After visiting several churches, Logan ended up coming to Doxology and instantly it felt like home. Logan says, “Everything from how I was greeted, to the worship songs, to the instant connection I felt in Eikon, all reminded me of the close knit community I had in Orlando.” Logan began attending the community group Ashley was co-leading and found many of the other women shared similar stories. Logan explains, “A lot of women have moved here from other places, totally different states, who now feel comfortable and feel at home here in our group. I was scared at first to be somewhere new, but it was absolutely incredible to connect so quickly. Over this past summer, we took a couple weeks to share stories. It was great to hear where they’ve been, where they’re going and how we can help. We’ve experienced vulnerability and connectedness that allows us to actually be a family- these girls are my sisters.” Ashley adds, “There’s been a lot of freedom found in our group. Everyone is finding their place in our community. It’s allowed us to do real life with each other. I can’t imagine life without these women. They inspire me and push me to do better. We are intentional to continue to meet with our old group, and we celebrate what God is doing in both of our groups. It’s been so cool.” In August of 2018, Logan joined Ashley as a co-leader in their community group. Even further, Ashley and Logan invest the lessons they’ve learned from multiplying their Eikon community group into their group of 7th grade girls at the Bridge on Wednesday nights who are also considering multiplying.
To those considering multiplying or starting a new group, Ashley says, “When you make room for others, you make room for the Lord to show up, and He does show up, even when it’s hard. If you let your fear keep you from making room for others, you could be missing out on what the Lord wants to do. A group that’s different is not necessarily bad! We can celebrate that other groups are different, and we can be open handed enough to encourage people to try out other groups that might be a better fit. Just because people are not in your community group doesn’t mean they aren’t part of your community.” Logan adds, “We had so many questions: Will people want to come with us? If they don’t, is that because of us? It’s hard when you want things to stay the same and stay comfortable. We have all of these fears because we don’t think God will move. The same group dynamic doesn’t always allow new people to connect. We prayed a lot through the transition, and God was faithful. It’s about believing that God is so powerful and so faithful that we can trust Him to do this. Believe it’s going to be amazing. Expect the best because we have the best God.”
Eikon meets in Room 202 - on Sunday mornings at 9:00am.