The Roots Challenge

Join all of Grace Chapel in taking The Roots Challenge
(formerly known as Plug In)
February 5 – April 9, 2017
9 weeks of daily time with God, weekly worship, and small group discussions



Our mission as a church is discovering life with God for the good of the world. God’s deep desire is for each of us to thrive, overflowing with the joy and peace that only He can give. But we can’t thrive without strong roots and healthy nutrition. If we’re not rooted in God—growing daily in our relationship with Him—then we will be of little use to the world. And if we don’t apply our faith to our lives and relationships, then we will be of little use to God.

The Roots Challenge is a 9-week experience designed to help us grow in both of these areas: refresh your passion for God and become a channel of change to those around you. It’s an invitation to engage with God, your family, friends, community, and the world in new ways.

Embrace the challenge to:

  • Spend time with God daily, using the scripture passages and reflections in the Mizizi book
  • Worship weekly at Grace, where Pastor Bryan will address the weekly topics you’re reflecting on
  • Engage in a small group to process what you’re learning, encourage one another, hold each other accountable, and have a greater impact collectively than you can as an individual

Join a Roots Group

If you're already in a small group, that's wonderful! You can go through the Roots curriculum together. If not, you can join a Roots Group assembled specifically for this all-church challenge. Click on the button for your campus to learn more.

Lex Roots GroupsELX Roots GroupsWil Roots GroupsWat Roots Groups


Stay on track with the daily Mizizi readings with this schedule and access the sermon series here.

Sunday, February 5 sermon: Week 1 - Our New Identity
Week 1 daily readings: Monday-Friday, February 6-10

Sunday, February 12 sermon: Week 2 - Encountering God
Week 2 daily readings: Monday-Friday, February 13-17

Sunday, February 19 sermon: Week 3 - Becoming a Christ Follower
Week 3 daily readings: Monday-Friday, February 20-24

Sunday, February 26 sermon: Week 4 - Holiness and Wholeness
Week 4 daily readings: Monday-Friday, February 27 - March 3

Sunday, March 5 sermon: Week 5 - Sharing God's Heart, Part 1
Week 5 daily readings: Monday-Friday, March 6-10

Sunday, March 12 sermon: Week 6 - Sharing God's Heart, Part 2
Week 6 daily readings: Monday-Friday, March 13-17

(Note: We're skipping Week 7: Money Matters because this topic was covered in our January teaching series. If you want to dig deeper into this area, feel free to use the Mizizi readings and journal questions.)

Sunday, March 19 sermon: Week 8 - Shaped for Service
Week 8 daily readings: Monday-Friday, March 20-24

Sunday, March 26 sermon: Week 9 - Welcome to the Family
Week 9 daily readings: Monday-Friday, March 27-31

Sunday, April 2 sermon: Week 10 - The Journey Ahead
Week 10 daily readings: Monday-Friday, April 3-7


Why should I take The Roots Challenge?

There are a lot of good reasons! Here are just a few; perhaps you see yourself in some of these scenarios.

  • Develop a routine of spending daily time with God
  • Refresh your walk with God by changing your normal routine
  • Learn from others whose walks are different than your own, and be a blessing to them
  • Understand your faith story and gain experience sharing it
  • God is calling you to make a difference in your world in a tangible way; this is an opportunity to listen closely.
  • For your friends, family, and neighbors – the good works that God will do in your life will overflow to your relationships with them.
  • Align your heart with God’s heart – are the things that matter most to Him also most important to you?

How do I get a book?

Stop by the Information Desk at your campus to pick up a copy of the Mizizi book. A suggested donation of $10 will help to cover the cost, but if you cannot afford it, please don’t let that stop you from participating. We want everyone who will use the book to take one.

If you can't be at the physical location, either stop by the office during the week or order your copy on Amazon.

Plug In grads: We’ll be using an updated version of Mizizi this season, so we strongly encourage you to use the new version. (Otherwise, you might be missing out on a whole chapter!)

Why are we using the Mizizi curriculum?

We feel deeply blessed and privileged to use the Mizizi materials for many reasons:

  • Provides excellent overview and balance of the “big rocks” of Christian discipleship
  • Focused on putting Christian faith into everyday life and practice
  • Multi-cultural, as is increasingly true of our congregation and our vision
  • Written and developed by God’s global family—from Nairobi, Kenya
  • Stretches us regarding justice and compassion issues and involvements, and speaks frankly about issues that aren’t always easy for us, e.g., prayer, fasting, money, evil strongholds, witness, social justice, etc.
  • Quotes from a wide range of Christian authors
  • Works for a broad range of people, wherever they are on their spiritual journey—we never outgrow our roots!

We also realize that Mizizi isn’t perfect. It’s fine to disagree with or dispute aspects of the book, but we ask that you avoid getting bogged down in them. Simply acknowledge the flaws, then move on and focus on listening to what God has to say to you.

How can I go deeper in my daily time with God?

Check out the resources section at the bottom of this page for supplemental scripture readings and journal questions, an expanded version of the readings and questions listed in the Mizizi book.

What happened to Plug In?

We decided to rebrand Plug In as Roots because 1) it’s the translation of Mizizi, the title of the curriculum and 2) putting down roots in our faith and relationships takes time, as opposed to the “instant on” of plugging in. However, the curriculum and small group context have not changed much.

What if I’ve already taken Plug In?

We’re glad you asked! Our hope and prayer is that you will have a fresh encounter with God. You are in a difference space of life, even if you took Plug In recently. We believe that as we walk through this experience together as a community with others who have not, God will stoke the fires of our faith and re-ignite our passion for Him.

Also, Roots is more about putting our faith into day-to-day practice than it is about knowledge. While there may be some aspects of the Christian lifestyle that I am doing well now, there may be other practical aspects that I have let slide or disappear. These practices need to be revisited and refreshed, like a car’s regular oil changes. So we humbly submit ourselves to go through this challenge together, sensing that God is calling us to be more loving, gracious agents of His Kingdom.

Finally, The Roots Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for you to guide others through this journey. You can live out the Great Commission by helping to make disciples in a very practical way by stepping up to a leadership role this season.

My Life Community meets once/twice a month. What does it mean for us?

We challenge all LCs to meet as often as you can (weekly is optimal) from February 5 – April 9. Prior to February, have an honest conversation in your group about your hopes and realities for this season, and come to a decision together. The continuity of weekly meetings will make for a rich and deep experience, but you can also have an effective experience on a biweekly schedule.

Is this really a safe experience to invite my unchurched friends to?

Yes, from a curriculum perspective. The readings start at a foundational level so non-churchgoers have a good entry point, but they also get practical very quickly. In fact, we’re pausing Alpha classes during this time so that everyone can take The Roots Challenge together. However, the “seeker-friendliness” of the experience is ultimately dependent upon the climate of your group. If you are an established small group, have a conversation about this possibility prior to February and, if you want to invite unchurched friends, discuss how you might be attentive to their perspective as “outsiders.”

What if my work schedule prevents me from joining a small group? Can I still participate?

Our desire is for as many GC people as possible to take The Roots Challenge this season as a church-wide journey, and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to do so. However, if this is untenable, we encourage you to still attend the services/watch them online, and definitely do the daily readings from wherever you are—God will meet you. Because the full experience is received in community, consider signing up for the fall session of Roots.

I missed the start date. Can I still participate?

Yes! Groups will remain open throughout this all-church Roots experience, so newcomers are always welcome.

What do you see as outcomes of The Roots Challenge?

There are four things we’re trusting God to do among us:

  • That each person’s faith and personal walk with God will be refreshed—and that there will be a return to passion and immediacy in our walk with God.
  • That each of us will find or engage more deeply in Christian community.
  • That each of us will more intentionally invest in the spiritual lives of others. We are being equipped to bring spiritual transformation wherever God places us in the future.
  • That our homes, neighborhoods, towns, Greater Boston, our country, and ultimately our world will be tangibly changed for the better as individuals and groups from Grace Chapel bring their faith to bear on all sectors of life.

Where do I ask a question or leave feedback?

This is a new season for Grace Chapel, so we appreciate whatever comments, questions, concerns, or encouragement you may have for us regarding The Roots Challenge. Send an email to , and we will be glad to engage with you.

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