I love being comfortable. While I am willing to take an adventure, and while I like the great outdoors, still I love those times of being comfortable, cozy, and cared for. Yet I have found that on the journey of following Jesus, the times that I have grown most have been the times when I have been uncomfortable.
Ten years ago, it was very uncomfortable to be called by Jesus to plant Covenant Grove Church. It was uncomfortable have to learn to do new things and reach out to people in new ways. It was hard, but I grew so much. After about four years, our church family was getting a little too comfortable. We had grown to about 170 people, we were meeting at a high school, and everything seemed great. But we had lost the fire and passion that characterized the early days. And then we were asked to leave the high school. Suddenly we were uncomfortable again. We went through months of prayer before the Lord opened up another school for us to rent. We were only at the school for two weeks when a property became available for sale. It was time to get uncomfortable again. We had to pray and raise over $150,000 to pay the mortgage. God raised the money and more, and we got uncomfortable as we gave many hours of labor to work on the building and get ready for the next chapter of our church. We started two services and grew even more. It was hard work, and we were uncomfortable – but it was also exciting.
We have been uncomfortable ever since. In fact, we are comfortable being uncomfortable. We have accepted the fact that following Jesus often means that the church won’t be the way we want it to be. This is His church, and we want to follow Him.
We have stayed uncomfortable for the last four years. We ran out of room and started a third service. We ran out of room again and started an Overflow service. We are still running out of room, with an average of over three 375 people coming every week. Now we are willing to get uncomfortable again as we expand our facilities, pray like crazy, give sacrificially of our finances, and raise up our level of faith. We will do whatever it takes to stay on God’s mission.
As a pastor, I just have to tell you that there is nothing more energizing and exciting than serving Jesus with a group of people who are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to follow Him and reach lost people. I no longer want to be comfortable – I am having the time of my life!