One of the things I want in life and can’t have is to grow and to be comfortable at the same time.

In an odd way Sunday’s message left me feeling uncomfortable. And I am realizing I need a new imagination for areas I need to grow. I have no conflict with the idea that the table is open to everyone and there is room for more. The challenge for me comes in being the one extending the invitation.

I’ve had some experiences with evangelism. At college I was part of an open air street evangelism ministry. Using methods forged decades earlier, we went out to street corners and bus stops at a city near campus, armed with tracts of the four laws, and asked strangers if they knew what would happen if they die. Over the course of a couple years of this, I was able to lead a number of people through a prayer of salvation. I doubt however, that I made a single disciple. In similar fashion I’ve invited friends, classmates and coworkers to church. Nothing has felt more unnatural and uncomfortable to me. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a particular positive experience doing this. It all feels like writing with my non-dominant hand.

The easy cop-out here would be to say that evangelism and hospitality simply aren’t my gifts, and I can focus on other roles like maybe teaching or shepherding or serving, and I’ll leave the evangelism and the hospitality to other people. And maybe there’s truth to that. But I don’t know that I should let myself off the hook that easily.

Part of me just wants to put my head down, let the sermon pass by, and hope enough other people step up to make it happen. This isn’t really my thing. Let me know when something a little more up my alley comes by. And I realize as I thought this over how much I judge things based on whether or not they make me feel good and comfortable.

So what do I do? I think part of it is that I have to keep coming to the table too. I need to receive a fresh perspective and a new vision. I need to pray for new wine and new wine skins. Somewhere in this discomfort lies the answer.

by Steve Lamp
Steve and his wife Melissa began attending Kingsway in 2014. Not normally prone to public displays of emotion, he wept during the first worship service and knew he had found home. As an avid reader, Steve believes the ideas we allow into our minds are critical to our spiritual formation. He enjoys exploring nature, playing and spending time with his two young sons and over-quoting his favorite authors, C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard.




no categories