How do we grow our faith? It’s a pretty simple question that creates a multitude of answers. God has forced me to pull and stretch in a number of ways, but all of them have required making me completely vulnerable and uncomfortable.
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached in church by the woman who is in charge of Sunday school volunteers. She asked me if I would be interested in helping with children’s church. My mind went wild with excuses of why I wouldn’t be able to, but none of them came out.
Instead, my mouth let out “Yeah that would be great! Let me give you my information.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. Babysitting is one of my favorite things to do. In church there has been announcement after announcement for the need of teachers. Every time, I only gave the idea a passing thought. I was convinced that I was learning more by listening to the sermons. After all, these were very intelligent and uplifting messages from my pastor. So why would leaving this environment of teaching help me? Right?
Through divine intervention or my inability to say no, I was roped in. God blind-sighted me with the presentation of this new experience. At first, I was completely overwhelmed. I never stopped being overwhelmed, not until my lesson actually started anyway.
Doubt started to cloud my mind, and I was definitely way out of my comfort zone. I have never done any sort of Sunday school for fourth and fifth graders. I can handle very small children, and I’m awesome with high school age students. For some reason, the middle ground scared me the most. They’re hyper, easily distracted, and not as mature as the people I’m used to interacting with.
I considered telling the leaders I couldn’t handle the responsibility, but with every doubt, I felt a little guiltier. With my conscience weighing down on me, I decided I would try the first week and see how it went.
The night before my first week of teaching, I reached a level of panic. I began texting one of my closest friends about the day to come. “What’s the first thing you do? When do we sing the song? What do I talk about before the song? What if I don’t know the actions for the dances? We break into groups after the movie?”
By asking all about the routine, I thought I might feel more prepared. Wrong again. After a small amount of soul-searching, I realized that I wasn’t afraid of ruining the order of the lesson. I wasn’t even afraid of running out of things to talk about. What really, truly, and deeply frightened me was the creeping thought that I might teach the kids nothing. Wasn’t there anyone more qualified than me? Smarter than me? Better than me?
When God approaches Moses and tells him that he is to confront Pharaoh on behalf of all the Jew, Moses feels unworthy of the calling. He even asks God “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
God responds “I will be with you.”
10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3
Moses and I were in the same place. We felt inferior to the calling of God. Both of us even wanted God to send someone else. That’s exactly the problem. God isn’t asking someone else. He’s asking me. I can’t wait for someone to step up. I need to be the one willing to take risks.
Just as God paved the way for Moses, he will pave the way for me. I have faith that God will part the Red Sea. If he is calling me to change and touch lives, he will straighten the paths before me.
For those of you who are wondering how Sunday school went, it was amazing. Absolutely incredible. It is hard to tell with kids if they are truly comprehending, but I have total faith that God is changing hearts. I just have to realize that I can do nothing; it is God who does everything.
I encourage all of you to face new an uncomfortable challenges with strong hearts. Remember that God uses everyone, even if you don’t feel worthy.