What exactly does it mean to be bold?
Dictionary.com would describe being bold this way:
So what exactly does it mean to be bold in your faith?
Recently, I attended a conference through Athletes in Action. Athletes from all over Ohio and other near states, D1 to D3, came together to dive deeper into their faith and came hopeful to strengthen their own personal relationship with Christ. The first night was awesome. We sang worship and got to listen to a message from an amazing author and pastor.
So, I’m expecting this weekend to go about the same as every other weekend retreat I’ve gone to… sing, listen to a speaker, learn, meet new people, and have fun. This Athletes in Action retreat nailed all of these things on the head but added one aspect that I was not expecting.
They called it an outreach.
We were all gathered together, and one of Athletes in Action staff members told us that we were going to be grouped with different colleges and they were going to send us out into the community to share the good news of Jesus. You would think that I would be really excited to do this… but I was not. I actually was angry. This isn’t what I signed up for. I just wanted to come, get my fire burning for Jesus again, and go home. There’s no way that I can just go out into the community and talk with people about Jesus. They went on to “train” us on how to do this but I still felt nervous, unprepared, and unwilling. The group from my school was paired with 3 or 4 other colleges and we were sent off to a church near by.
Ugh here we go…
We walked into the church and were directed to a small auxiliary gym, big enough for a basketball court and not much room for anything else. Kids started showing up a few at a time, and we just got to hangout with them. Once they all got there (all 15 of them) , we set up an intense game of dodge ball. It was a blast! College kids integrated with middle school-elementary school kids attacking each other with soft, colorful dodge balls… what’s not to love?! I got out (more than once haha) and I just thought to myself how cool it was that we got to hangout with these kids. I remember being that young and really looking up to college kids, and now I get to be that college kid that they look up to. This is where my attitude for this outreach really changed. After our fun game of dodge ball, we all huddled up together and got the privilege of listening to one of the college soccer players tell his story. His testimony. It was extremely encouraging and hopeful. His willingness to share and vulnerability really got the kids ready to open up and talk about Jesus. We then split into pairs and were given two or three kids to sit and talk with. It was absolutely incredible. We got to just sit and talk with these kids about their lives and their hearts and their journeys with Jesus and we got to share a little bit of our own journeys and God’s truth.
Remember when I said that I was angry that I had to go out and do this? This outreach actually ended up being my favorite part of the weekend.
This is where I feel like God touched and tested me the most.
God calls us to be bold!
Bold: courageous or daring in the face of actual or possible rebuff
So again, what does it mean to be bold in your faith? It means that we need to have courage and need to be daring even knowing that there is a possibility that we will fail. That we will be rejected. This is where my disobedience before the outreach was rooted. It was rooted in fear of failure, not daring courage. My selfish heart was more concerned with strengthening my own relationship with God, and less concerned with sharing an unconditional relationship like that with other people.
God will never ever put you in a place where you will be overwhelmed by those fears. In Him we may have total faith and courage to speak his truth. He finds great joy in your obedience to get out there and share his love and his hope.
When following Jesus you should never feel 100% comfortable. Yes, 100% loved, forgiven, redeemed, and joyful… but never comfortable. In a broken world it will be awkward, difficult, and sometimes scary to share the truth of Jesus. That’s a promise. So God calls us to step out of that comfortable place with him and get out there and share his amazing love with the world. Whether you start with a friend or a family member, or you go on a mission trip to another country… news as great as his should not be kept to yourself. It needs to be shared, and we need to be bold!
Pray for boldness:
Ephesians 6:19-20 (MSG)
And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.