Shelby Goss

“My motivation is that I am now involved in a Missional Community and a part of the shared leadership. I want to be better equipped to do this well. My vision is that I will grow in confidence and knowledge to be there for women who want to learn more about Jesus. I think as a single woman I have an awesome mission field to other single women who might be struggling with the same things I do.”

Shelby’s Story

I was born and raised in a Christian home. I grew up attending Sunday school, Bible studies and AWANA. I witnessed my parents and grandparents host a weekly Bible study in our home for my entire life. At a young age my sister asked Jesus to come into her heart at church. When we got home she was quick to let me know that if I didn’t do the same thing I would go to hell. I obviously accepted. As I grew I understood what that meant to me, and what I intended to do with my faith. At the age of 9 we built a multi-generational home with my mother’s parents. We lived communally (sharing all living spaces except bed rooms) together and this is a big part of who I am. I was given godly examples on a daily basis from four adults. My grandfather spoke truth into my life every evening over dinner and on the back porch. When I was a sophomore in high school we had a girl from Nigeria come to live with us. Her name is Shola. This was a difficult transition for me personally. We had the space in our home and she needed one. This relationship taught me about unconditionally loving those who grew up different than I did. Shola has been a part of my life for almost 10 years, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. In the 5th grade I was challenged to read the entire Bible by the time I graduated High School. That seems like a long time, but I did accomplish that goal. I would stay up late my senior year just trying to complete the task. I wanted to know that what I had been taught I truly believed for myself. The way to do this would be to read every word of the book I believe in and pray for discernment.

I chose to attend California Baptist University in southern California. The first year was a bit of a culture shock for me. I always felt like I wore the wrong thing and said the wrong thing. After the first year something clicked, and I made some of the best friends I will have for life. This was largely from the Christian community I found as well as the church I was involved in. I attended Orange Crest Community Church. They were mission minded and committed to see God move in our city. I learned a lot and got to know some strong Christians that helped me grow and challenged me. I didn’t want to leave my time in a college town never having left campus. A church in a local neighborhood was the way to most effectively do that. The Lord was working in great ways, and I wanted to be a part of it during my time in California. After I graduated in May 2013, I took a job in Santa Barbara, CA.

Life in Santa Barbara was the biggest test of my faith. I got a job at a marketing technology company right out of college. I only knew one person in Santa Barbara and decided to move anyway. I am confident this is what the Lord wanted me to do, but it was extremely difficult. I lived there for two years and never felt like I had much of a community. I loved my non-Christian friends and enjoyed our growing friendships, but we lacked the commonality of faith. This was draining for me because I had no church community, even though I attended the same one weekly. Having my relationship with Jesus as a constant in my life was the biggest blessing during that time. I was worshiping the weekend before I moved, and I thought, “Even though everything else is changing, my relationship with the Lord will always remain constant.” After about a year and a half I decided I needed to find a new job. I was working 70 hours a week and could not keep up that pace. I met Dana Allin who offered me a job with ECO. I then had the opportunity to move back to Colorado Springs and work from there. I saw the Lord’s provision during this whole time and I am so thankful for where He has led me.

My goal now it to love the city I am in and grow in community with the people the Lord is placing in my life. I am involved at First Presbyterian and a missional community group. The reason I want to take this training is because I want to be better equipped to dive into relationship with those around me. Discipleship and multiplication is a big part of missional communities and the Great Commission requires I do that. I am looking forward to being challenged and growing in my knowledge of Scripture.