Earlier this year we collected thoughts from our congregation about what barriers were keeping people from taking their next step to grow in their discipleship of Jesus Christ. I was hoping for easy barriers to knock down like, offer more times for small groups or just tell me where to sign up to serve. Those barriers could be easily addressed with a few small adjustments to what we are already doing at Christ Church.
However, the responses we received back from the congregation were much more challenging. The top reasons people might have a barrier to joining us in worship is that they feel unworthy or that it will be like a past experience with Christians that was hurtful. Barriers to joining a small group were fear of rejection or judgement. Finding a place to serve is tough for some people because they feel like they have nothing to offer.
These barriers are not torn down by adjusting time slots or picking a more welcoming paint color for the sanctuary. These barriers are fears and anxieties that are strongly planted in people’s hearts and minds. These barriers hold people back from connecting at Christ Church, but I also would guess they hold people back from many blessings God has waiting for them.
So starting June 17th we will begin a series of worship services focused on Fighting Fear. Through the music, messages and prayer we will offer opportunities to name and address the fears that might be holding you or someone close to you from all that God has to give. We will discuss those fears of unworthiness, rejection and judgment. We will find ways that God can calm our fears and move us forward with courage.
I do not know that we can live entirely without fear, but I hope when we feel afraid we might hear God’s voice as he said in Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.”
God will help us fight the fears we face. Join us in June as we grow together and knock down barriers by Fighting Fear.