Have you ever done something you felt very uncomfortable doing?
We, as a staff, spent last week at the Exponential conference in Orlando, Florida. The theme for the week was The Great Collaboration. And the whole conference centred around this idea that we are better together.
Well, during one of our evenings we decided to do the most American thing possible, so we went to the local shooting range. We picked out a handgun, got instructions, and I mean like a crazy crash course on weapon safety instructions, and then were given a box with our handgun, ammunition, safety goggles, and headphones. When we got to the range I was shocked to find that there was NOBODY supervising the range in person. There were cameras everywhere, but all the employees were up at the front. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I guess I thought there’d be someone hanging around, like a lifeguard at the pool. We had been given 30-45 seconds of gun safety instruction, then given a gun with live ammo and sent on our way. I felt really uncomfortable.
Thankfully we were travelling with someone who knew something about guns, and safety. Because after hearing, and honestly, feeling, the first round being fired. I was ready to turn around and leave. It’s not something I was prepared for. The fact that you feel the gun being fired, even when you’re not the one holding it, just didn’t feel right. But, the longer we were there the more I adjusted, and then it was my turn to take a shot. I think the only reason I was able to do this activity is because I was there with someone who knew what they were doing. They coached me through all the steps of loading the magazine, keeping my finger off the trigger until I was ready to fire, and all the ins and outs of what we were doing. Without them, I’d have been scared off.
Why am I talking about this?
Well, there’s a ministry principle that I took from this experience that I want to encourage you with.
Just because you’re uncomfortable, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
I think we say this to ourselves too often. I know I do. “Oh, I don’t know how to do that, so I won’t”, or “Oh, I don’t feel comfortable with that, I’ll leave it to someone else”.
How comfortable do you think Peter felt when he stepped off the boat to walk out onto the water? He’d never done that before, he’d never seen anyone do it before Jesus, yet he takes a literal step in faith and asks Jesus to call him out onto the water. Peter’s not dumb, we know the disciples had a fearful respect of the seas. But he looks to someone else doing it, and he says “guide me, and I’ll do it too”.
I’m willing to bet there’s something you’re not doing because you’re uncomfortable with it. What is it? Who could you get to come along side you and show you how it’s done so it’s not so scary, not so frightening, not so uncomfortable? What step in faith could you take to serve in a way that seemed too big to handle before?
I want to live a little more like Peter. Sure, Peter had Jesus as his guide. But, we’re also not trying to walk on water. We’re talking about serving in Children’s Ministry, Facilities, Calvary Connects, Seniors Lunch, Ushers, Student Ministries. Who can we ask to teach us about these ministries so we can have a healthy understanding that we CAN do it?
When we work together with other people we will do things we otherwise thought we couldn’t. Because it’s true, we are better together.
Mike Sanders, Director of Youth Ministries
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