Stepping Out Of The Boat

Tuesday 20 October 2015

A few weeks ago our topic in Youth Fellowship was about making disciples. It was about spreading the Good News, about telling people about Jesus. This is the greatest mission that a Christian faces, to share the Gospel with others and make disciples.

During Yf we break up into small groups so that it's easier to have more of a discussion and chat about the topic, maybe following some 'guiding questions' we've been given. This particular evening, my group all agreed that they would love to talk to others about God but only if someone else brought him up first. They said they would love to have the courage to talk about him, but that it's hard to know how they would be received. Some have friends that would completely shut down any attempts to talk about God, and would actually be really nasty to anyone who believes in him. Others are lucky enough to have friends that respect their beliefs, even though they themselves don't share them, which I thought was amazing! One boy said he enjoys debating with his friends because they are all interested in what each other has to say and they hold enough respect for him to allow him to have his own beliefs without mocking or belittling him for them. He is 14 years old!

It got me thinking about myself and this blog. I'm one of their Youth Leaders, trying to show them Gods love, telling them about the Bible and what it says about our lives, encouraging them to not be afraid of sharing their faith with their friends, and yet here I sit with a perfectly good platform that I rarely use to talk about my faith.

What kind of message does that send?

That I'm ashamed to call myself a Christian?
I'm not.

That I'm trying to hide that I believe in God?
I'm not.

That I'm scared of sharing my faith?
...Okay, maybe a little.

Maybe more than a little.

It's a difficult thing to come to terms with; being afraid to share your faith. It was a couple of weeks ago that I realised I was genuinely nervous about posting about my faith, but it's one of those things that I think has been lurking in the back of my consciousness for a good few months, at least. I've just never acknowledged it, but it's been there.

Sure, I've mentioned that I believe in God, I've mentioned church and my youth group in passing. Around Christmas last year I wrote about the Baby Jesus and that picture of vulnerability, of Jesus lying helpless as a babe in a manger. But I kept thinking that it wasn't enough. I need to do more than just casually mention my faith because it makes up such a huge part of who I am. And to be perfectly honest, God is bigger. He is bigger than my fears, than my worries, he is bigger and worth more than just a casual mention in passing.

My YF said that they would hold back from talking about God because they would be scared about how their friends would react. But, they also said that they would happily talk about him if someone else brought him up first.

I can't help but think that I am in the same boat as them. I'm scared to share my faith here because I don't want to offend anyone. I hold back from talking about God because I don't want people to unfollow me, or to laugh at me or to be annoyed at me. I worried that people would think differently of me. I realised that I would rather keep being a people-pleaser, by staying in the middle, nice and lukewarm, not making a fuss or rocking the boat, than actually live out my faith and sharing Gods glory.

Well friends, it's time to step out of the boat! I'm making the decision to trust Jesus wholeheartedly, to step out of this comfort zone I have created.

Realising that I would rather build up my follower count than share what I discover in Jesus was like a kick in the teeth. My worth doesn't come from how many people read my blog, I don't need to be so concerned with watching those little numbers creep up or so disheartened when they fall back down. I don't need to try so hard to fit in with all the amazing blogs out there.

Believing in God, means that I am not meant to fit in. God doesn't want me to be the same as everyone else, he doesn't want me to follow the crowd. He only wants me to follow Jesus and that's what I'm trying to do.

If you're reading this and don't like what you see, I can only apologise but it's not going to change. God is too big, too amazing for me to just brush over, mention once every few months and then tuck him neatly away again. He's here to stay.

At the same time though, I don't want to sound like I'm preaching at people. I don't want to use my blog as a way of shouting about God, I don't want to shove it in your face in the way those ever-annoying street preachers do.

I just want to share my heart, life, thoughts, questions and experiences.

So what better place than here? What better time than now?

I'd love it if you would let me know what you think? And if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments! Or, you can always contact me through social media/email!