I know it is a little cliche adopting such an obvious song title for a post, but it was so fitting that I could not resist. A few weeks ago I was given the assignment of preaching at my home church for the first time since joining the ministerial staff. I must go on record as saying that preaching there was the furthest thing from my mind! We have dynamic pastoral leadership as well as an incredibly talented ministerial staff, so I had settled comfortably into my role as minister and not necessarily preacher where my home church was concerned. Now I know when you read the blogs of preachers, they usually talk about the privilege of preaching and rarely mention fear or nervousness. Well I happen to be transparent to a fault and I don't mind telling you that I was straight up- SCARED! It wasn't the 48 hrs notice or the size of the congregation, for I had stood before that number of people before having only 24 hrs to prepare. Yet fear gripped me so intensely that morning that I actually left the house with literally my Word and my robe- that means no purse, no license, no money, no i.d. At this point in my ministerial journey, I have been preaching for 9 years and I've had the opportunity to preach in a number of different environments. However I can honestly tell you that not even on the day of my initial sermon did I feel this kind of anxiety.
In the end the Lord blessed both me and the people in the preaching moment. Once I heard my voice coming through the monitors, I found joy in the place where I've always been most comfortable and felt most like myself- in front of other people. In hindsight, I realized that the fear I felt was sent by the enemy and I allowed it to take root by my reluctance to move beyond my comfort zone. I had become comfortable in my role and how others in that environment perceived me, even if it wasn't entirely authentic to who I really am as a person. This experience reminded me that people are ultimately best served when you willingly walk in the fullness of who God created you to be and allow Him to use you.
Here is an excerpt from that moment and you can see the entire message here.