Over the years I’ve written about my adventures in trying something new. Some have been physically adventurous, such as stepping off a ledge and hoping a zipline would hold me. Getting a passport, and then using it on a mission trip to Costa Rica. Taking surfing lessons just before I turned 50. Other adventures in trying something new have related to choosing a new church, trying a new approach in ministry, and stepping out of my comfort zone in my neighborhood. All adventures. All required a bit of daring.
But sometimes it’s a tiny step that is daring. I know from years in ministry that it’s hard to get people to change. It’s hard to get past the “We’ve always done it this way!” crowd. So if you want to switch to a different Bible study, or have a luncheon instead of a tea, or do a service project outside the walls of your church…you might be accused of leading a revolt instead of being seen as someone simply wanting to try a fresh idea or reach new people with God’s love.
The pressure to keep things the same can be overwhelming. I have recently talked to people who “got in trouble” at their churches for infractions such as moving the piano a few inches, filling out an offering envelope incorrectly, or using a “non-church approved” template as a sign-up sheet for an event. Yikes! If we’re reprimanded for these teensy wrongdoings, how will we ever have the courage to skip the speaker at our next retreat and instead help women form face-to-face relationships, or step out into our communities to connect with women who might never otherwise cross the doorsteps of our churches?
Keep daring! Don’t give up!
As I talk to many of you, I hear your ministry dreams and your challenges in reaching those dreams. I know it’s not easy—but God never promised us easy. He never even promised that other Christians would make our lives easy. As you dare to move in the direction you believe God is guiding, this is my prayer for you, from Colossians:
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.” —Colossians 1:11-12
Amy Nappa, former and much-loved Champion for Women’s Ministry at Group Publishing in Loveland, Colorado.