Back LIFE Group Member Spotlight: Bill Choate
August 15th, 2014
What are you passionate about? Movies? Working with your hands? Fashion? Personally, I’m a University of Tennessee football fan. So on top of being a glutton for punishment, I could tell you story after story of fall time in Knoxville—games I’ve been to, some statistics, favorite players. I could wear your ear out talking about the Big Orange.
My experience is pretty heavily weighted around Saturdays, spanning from late August until the New Year. However, if you were speak to someone who actually plays the game and dons the Power T helmet, you’d get an entirely different take on UT Football. You’d get true, experiential stories of the stink of the pads and the spongy feel of the turf inside Neyland Stadium.
There’s a difference between knowing a lot about something and truly knowing something. That’s the goal here at Brentwood Baptist when it comes to our LIFE Groups. Our passion is to connect people to community and God’s Word, so that the words leap off the page as they embody the teachings of Christ in the world around them.
We hope to take people away from notions of just knowing about Christ and His teachings, and take them toward truly and intimately knowing Him on a real level. Special things happen when you get a group of people together and they experience Christ that way.
This is true for Bill and Jennifer Choate, who lead a group of young couples in LIFE Group together.
Recently, I sat down with Bill and asked him to speak a bit about the LIFE Group that he and his wife lead. He spoke of its beginning, initially bringing in specifically young couples and how it has truly blossomed since its inception three years ago. Nowadays, Bill and Jennifer get to pour into the lives of many, spanning across many ages and stages of life.
Bill’s eyes lit up and his voice ran with passion as he spoke of walking with these couples through life—from marriage to ushering in first kids to raising those kids. Bill and Jennifer have loved on a vast number of people and shared wisdom as these young couples tackle day-to-day life.
“Can you tell that we love what we’re doing?” Bill asked with a big smile.
I asked him what he feels makes his group unique. He said, “We’re real intentional about getting into each other’s lives.”
The Choates don’t host a group of somewhat smiley people who sit stoically through a Sunday School meeting. No, the Choates are part of and lead a group of people who share this life together. They sharpen each other, encourage each other, and empower each other.
Bill spoke about how there’s even a men’s group that was born within their LIFE Group that meets on Friday mornings. This is a group that meets together on their own volition, without Bill, to study the word, pour into each other’s lives, and seek out how it is that they can keep each other accountable and love each other well.
There’s such life within this group that they’re seeking God’s will for their lives together. This flies in the face of what some would normally define as Sunday School. This is a band of brothers and sisters who have each other’s back in a fox hole in every single way possible. They study together, go dancing in Centennial Park, serve the community. They truly do life together.
Bill offered stories of his group mobilizing to love on a trailer park in the Franklin area. Together, they’ve tutored kids, hosted sports camps, and mentored kids in that community. Recently, they collected school supplies and came through with resounding success. They have a relentless desire to serve others and make Christ famous. This is the gospel with legs on it.
With passion, Bill spoke about the intimacies he’s afforded by leading a LIFE Group—pouring into those around him and those who have never had strong male influences in life. Bill gets to be a faithful representation of a godly man to so many.
How could this be anything but a desirable experience? Are you on the fence about being a part of LIFE Groups? Are you curious about leading? Let Bill be an inspiration to you.