Chapter 3 Application: Build Your Village

Hey Mama, Do you feel like you are going at this whole thing alone? Do you think that life is safer, somewhat easier if you choose to live in isolation? Do you think that cultivating a village of support, a community of friends takes work? Well you are right, it does, but the payoff is so worth it.

We were not created to do life alone, if you don't have a village, build one

An Excerpt from Chapter 3: 

 "You and I, we need people. And not just any people, we need real friends. We were not designed to go at it alone. After all, in the very first scene of humanity, when God created us, He looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” Genesis 2:18. Isolation is where the enemy wants us. We are no threat to the advancing of the gospel when we stay locked in our houses behind a pile of chores or at our desks with our heads down focused on the task at hand. If we can predict and count on just one thing to be true of our futures, it is this fact that we are not exempt from hardships, sorrow, loss or disappointment. This life will have difficulties and when those times come, being able to rely on a person or small group of people is what has carried me through."

Let's Talk about your village:

Chapter 3 Challenges you to start taking inventory of your own village. A village is not just your friends, not just your family, it’s a ring (or rings) of people who invest in your life and you reciprocate into theirs. Our calling in this short life is to make an impact by drawing others to Jesus, and the most powerful way to do that is by being relational. Maybe you’re reading this and still not tracking with me. Or maybe you don’t have your village yet.  I think of my village as a bulls eye, with a core and outer rings. Each level of that bulls eye is equally as valuable but they serve a different purpose

The Core

The Core of your village should be the people in your life who speak life and truth into you. These are the ones who don't bend with the world, waiver with popular opinion or dance around the truth with what you want to hear. These are your accountability partners and your unconditional loving sisters. I have found this core in the stability of my Bible Study Babes for over a decade. If you don't have this, I'm going to give you all the tools to start one. Don't be intimidated, anyone can do this! Just follow the steps below and begin building your village from the inside out. 

Chapter 3 Application: The Bible Babes Challenge

If your village does not consist of a core of believers who will walk with you on your spiritual journey and hold you accountable for truth, I challenge you to start it and I’m going to give you all the tools to do this.

  • Connect: The first step is to connect with others. Pick a day and a time, whether its held in your home or your break room at work. Blast everyone you know with an invitation to join you in a 6 week bible study. This may feel weird, you might worry about rejection or people who may not know you are a believer casting judgments but I promise you for every person that judges, there is a person hiding in isolation just waiting for your invitation.
  • Post this invitation on your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat it, send group text messages, hang up a flyer in your work place if they’ll let you, whatever it takes to let everyone know.
  • Study: Select a study that is relatable to all walks of life, go broad and with not too much homework or depth to start out. I love me some Beth Moore, she is real, she is deep and her studies are like a revival but in my experiences with groups, the intensity can be too much for a new believer or non-believer. Her studies can be challenging to lead as your first go around because they create such deep conversations and questions that might intimidate you as the leader. So make it your goal to work your way to one of those and here are a list of others that are equally as rich in truth without the intimidation factor: o Malachai, A Love that Never Lets Go by Lisa Harper oWe Saved You a Seat by Lisa Jo Harper o Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild o Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley o No Other Gods by Kelly Minter o The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer Each of these studies require your group members to purchase a work book, all of which can be found on Amazon. Encourage them in the invitation to preorder the book. They also have accompanying teaching videos that as the leader I encourage you to invest in. In the back of these workbooks they often give suggestions on how to lead the group time
  •  Show up: On week one, pray over the group. Do not be discouraged if only one person shows up. God tells us boldly that where two or more are gathered, He will be there also. Make week one a time of introductions, lay out a loose schedule of doing the homework and what to expect. Encourage them to show up, FEED them and always pray. For many years we would rush through the ending and skip the prayer and in all honesty its like skipping dessert!
  •  Feed Them: People like food, especially food they did not prepare. My Babes covet Connie’s Coffee Cake. If you can steel away for a few extra minutes to whip some up, I promise you the people will come back week after week just in anticipation of that.

Connie's Coffee Cake**


5 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted.

Prepare the Topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to blend well. Stir in the butter and set aside. (try not to eat it all out of the bowl because it is yummy!)

The Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup canola or safflower oil

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar to garnish

Bake that cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2) Grease and lightly flour a 12 by 17 by 1 inch jelly roll pan.

3) Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

4) Combine the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until well blended.

5) Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not over mix.

6) Spread the cake batter evenly in the bottom of the jelly roll pan and set aside. The batter will barely cover the bottom of the pan. It should look sparse. 

7) Sprinkle all the crumb topping evenly over the dough and press lightly into the batter.

8) Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake rises and the topping bakes into the dough.

9) Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the pan. Trim the edges and cut into 2 1/2 by 3-inch pieces. 

And if you promise to keep serving this, I promise people will show up every week!

**Connie got her recipe from the Foster's Market cook book,  but the original can also be found on their website. We call it "Connie's Crumb Cake" because she is always the one to make it!