If It Was Easy, It Wouldn’t Be A Calling
So, Brent asked the bloggers this month to write about stepping out of our comfort zones. I told him this was a dumb topic, and then I stuck my tongue out at him in the hall (because deep down I’m 10-years-old). His reply was that all of ministry is stepping outside one’s comfort zone.
Well, Brent is right.
…don’t tell him I said that.
So in response to our blog topic this month, and with the understanding that ministry truly is stepping outside one’s comfort zone, here's a list of all the parts of ministry that make me uncomfortable:
- Youth Ministry: Gathering consent forms, making contingency plans, and planning for emergencies stress me out. Standing in for a kid’s parents is a big responsibility. Although, the food is pretty great.
- Worship Leadership: Public speaking and I have a strained relationship. I’ll read from a script or do a skit, but trying to impart wisdom and Holy Scripture? Scary.
- Pastoral care: What if I say the wrong thing? What if I get my wires crossed and miss something important? What I traumatize someone and chase them away from their faith?
- Mission Work: Because rarely does mission work involve working with people who are just like me. And I haven’t found work yet that doesn’t involve time, effort, and faith.
- Prayer & Spiritual Disciplines: Sure, prayer is easy to say, but nurturing a personal relationship with Jesus is challenging. I’m a complex person with complex feelings, Lord, is that really okay? Am I allowed to pray when I’m hysterical, angry, or scared? Does God mind that I’m such a mess, even in my own head?
So there you have it. Ministry is uncomfortable. But uncomfortable is not bad. It’s like stretching – how the act might feel different at first, and might cause you soreness later, but it’s good for you and makes things easier in the future.
All ministry, from the “ordered ministry” of professionals to worship attendance, evangelism to Christian education, hospitality to fellowship, has elements of uncomfortable stretching. Your ministry requires you to step out of your comfort zone, too. If it was easy, then it wouldn’t be a calling, now would it?
But that’s why we do it. We answer the call. We follow the example and charge of a man who lived and died over 2,000 years ago.
We demonstrate our gratitude to a God who is not only loving, merciful, and ever-present, but also a little confusing and sometimes downright counter-intuitive. (Seriously, LOVE your enemies? That’s pretty scandalous.)
Together, this week, let us search our minds and hearts for ways to serve the Lord. Maybe there are some ways we haven’t thought of just yet. Maybe there is a call you’ve been putting off. Maybe we’ve been prioritizing our calendar over a call to serve.
Whatever you do, and in whatever way it makes you uncomfortable, know that you go with God. God is with you snuggled up in bed. God is with you when you’re terrified you’ll say the wrong thing. God is with you (and me) when you chase down teenagers and beg them to make good decisions. God is with you always. At least that part is comfortable.