Getting Over the FEAR of Water Hazards

I was fortunate enough to attend the US Open last week at Pinehurst, just a couple of hours from my home. I enjoy seeing the best in the world play golf, and in fact this is the third major championship I’ve attended with only the PGA Championship left on my list. 

I’ve also always been a pretty good golfer, and at my best I could play in the mid 70’s pretty consistently. I’m far from being as good as the professionals, but as good as they are on the PGA Tour, there are hundreds if not thousands of golfers who have the physical talent to be successful, but haven’t mastered the mental game. 

I noticed when I was at Pinehurst that the pro’s have a different approach to the game. While they understand the obstacles on a given hole…the water, sand, trees, rough, etc…instead the focus for each player is on exactly where the ball should go. If the ball does go into a hazard, they don’t let it affect their approach to the next shot. That’s a huge difference from an amateur who is hoping the ball doesn’t find a hazard and somehow ends up in a good spot. If the ball does find a hazard for us amateurs, we’re often scared to hit the next shot in fear that it will happen again. 

While out walking the course by myself I was able to think about how some of my church partners focus on what’s next in their ministry. Some church leaders see the obstacles ahead and are aware of them, but they are focused on what God is calling them to do, and the impact their church can make if they take bold steps. However many churches I speak with are worried about landing in a hazard, and are not willing to take the chances that will move their ministry to the next level. 

So where are you? Worried about who might get upset, what might go wrong, or waiting for God to just do it so you don’t have to make the effort? Or are you taking everything into consideration, while still following through on what you’ve been called to accomplish? 

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So imagine if you will, walking into a Bible Fellowship class (Sunday School for those old schoolers) sitting in a chair, only to have it break. Yes, I’ve seen it happen in my class.

I have a fantastic church that is doing great things, but we have neglected many parts of our building. The old chairs in our class were dirty, some had metal parts hanging off, and many had fabric torn. Now as you might assume from the blog title, I’ll sit in those dingy old chairs. It’s my church, my family, my friends…I’d sit on the floor if I had to!

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But yesterday we walked into a room of new chairs. Certainly a welcome surprise, but they weren’t for us. They were for the couple (who shall remain nameless) who visited our class for the first time. Would they come back to our class if we still had the old chairs, maybe. And who knows, they may not even come back with the new ones. But by having new comfortable chairs, we’ve removed one more roadblock to welcoming them to our church.

My monday words of (hopefully) wisdom…remove one more roadblock to visitors who pass by your church everyday. A clean appearance, easy to read and follow signs, welcoming smiles, and yes even comfortable chairs can go a long way to making your church a place that someone might just take a chance on.

So tell me, what does your church need to change to create a welcoming space?

P.S. Actual chairs not pictured, I wasn’t smart enough to take one before they were gone

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