We started live-streaming our worship services when the Covid pandemic began. We worked hard to do it well and make it interactive. I was proud of what we were able to accomplish. Even though we could not meet in-person, we were able to bring our faith community together. We also welcomed people from other churches that did not have a live-stream available.
After we returned to in-person worship services a few months later, we continued live-stream our services. Almost every Sunday, we have more people watching our live-stream than attending in-person. Some of the people who watch online could attend in-person but they find it more convenient and comfortable to watch online. I had one church member who told me, “Pastor I could get used to watching ‘church’ in my recliner with a cup of coffee.”
I am all for making it easy and comfortable to attend a Sunday morning service. We want to do all we can to make people feel welcome and to be able to hear the good news of salvation.
But you can’t stay there. Your faith should not make you comfortable. It should challenge you and stretch your comfort zone. Jesus does not call us to passively observe ‘church’ but to follow him where he leads. I heard another pastor say, “come as your are, but don’t stay where you are.” If you are going to follow Jesus, you are going to be led to places you have never gone and to do things you have never done. It is most definitely going to take you beyond your recliner.
Your comfort zone is not something you can give up. You will always have a comfort zone. But think about your comfort zone like a balloon. Your comfort zone is something that can expand. And that is the challenge here. Our prayer is that God would help us become more comfortable with the uncomfortable. That he would expand our comfort zones beyond the places we have already been.
Our comfort zones hold us back. They keep us from the experiences that God desires for us. They lead to regrets that we did not take the chance when we had the opportunity. They keep us stuck in habitual patterns that leave us dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
How is Jesus challenging you today? What step of faith is he calling you to make? If you don’t have a challenge of faith that makes you a bit uncomfortable, consider if it is your comfort zone or Christ that is guiding you.