By a member of the Disciple Like You Mean It online training.
I was scared and excited at the same time! That’s how it usually goes for me when I step out of my comfort zone and into an adventure zone of asking Jesus where he is moving in my heart. So I invited my neighbors to our church’s “Family SundayFunday” to have an enjoyable afternoon with them and to get to know them better.
And they said yes!
As the worship service began, I was painfully aware of all the things that were not normally part of our regular Sunday experience. Oh, no! What will my neighbors think!? Look at all the things that are wrong about this morning!
- First of all, it was Reformation Sunday!! And my neighbors were Roman Catholic!
- Our main worship leader was the only one doing the music! (Our usual team, which always adds a measure of energy, had the day off so they could worship with their families.)
- Our pastor wasn’t giving the message! (Of course, I was hoping to introduce my neighbors to our pastor, but we had a guest preacher that day.)
- There was a Children’s Message! (Which was fine, but normally there isn’t.)
Oh, no! What are my neighbors going to think!? This is not a “normal” church service at all!
I found myself fidgeting in my seat. I kept shifting my weight. Every time something out of the ordinary happened, I would steal a glance at my neighbors to see how they were responding. It was awful!
I was feeling responsible for my neighbors’ happiness and their experience at our church.
I felt myself getting more and more stressed out about it, until I finally said to myself, “This is not my job or my responsibility! It’s in Jesus’ court now! I can relax and be a part of the worship service!”
After that, I was able to enjoy the service and the time spent with my neighbors. My stress level dropped to zero. After the service, we had a chance to visit more at the “SundayFunday” activities. They also spent some time talking to my pastor and got to meet some other people from our church. In fact, my neighbors stayed all the way to pie-eating contest at the end!
I was nervous about their experience, yet afterward, my friends said they enjoyed it all thoroughly! They even had a good sense of humor and laughed about the fact that I invited them on Reformation!
I am learning to depend on Jesus more and more.
Looking back, it’s clear to me now: this is his House! Of course, he’s going to be there with us! (Even when things don’t go as I expected.)
I am so glad that I didn’t keep listening to my own misgivings, but listened to the invitation to see what the Spirit might do! That took the pressure off and allowed me to participate, and even enjoy, something outside of my expectations and outside my comfort zone.
I’ll have to remember the adage: “Plan the Event, not the Outcome.” And I’ll also have to remember that Jesus is able to do way beyond I could ever ask or imagine! It was a great morning!
Editor’s note: this post was written by a member of the Disciple Like You Mean It online training from Justin Rossow and Next Step Press. Her experience reflects the attitudes, tools, and goals of that course. For more information, check out dlymi.findmynextstep.org.