In My (Dis)Comfort Zone

In My (Dis)Comfort Zone

Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community by Brett McCracken

Together Empty Church is embracing the uncomfortable. Join us as we dig into Brett McCracken's new book Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community and uncover all the parts that make us uneasy about our faith, uneasy about being friends, and uneasy about building a church that realizes that comfort is not the goal of Christiantiy.

In The Zone

I'm not an athlete. Not even close (just ask Josh). And while I do enjoy watching the Mets play with my family, I wouldn't consider myself someone who closely follows sports. That being said, I am aware of something known as "the sweet spot" or being "in the zone". I've seen home run derby's where a player will hit run after run because he's found the “sweet spot". I've watched basketball games where a player will consistently make a basket because he’s “in the zone”. They have found a comfort zone that allows them to excel at what they do.

I, unfortunately, cannot say the same for myself. After following Jesus for almost 30 years, I would have hoped to find my "sweet spot" by now. I would have expected to be "in the zone" with my Christianity. A place where I consistently make time for prayer, bible reading, and reflection. A place where I can confidently proclaim my faith. A place where I feel comfortable not only with who God has made me but also sharing that with others. But I am not "in the zone".

Growth Isn't Comfortable

While do not believe that I am "in the zone", I recognize that I have become comfortable with my faith. But not in a good way. I've settled into a pace that doesn't push me forward. I have, in many ways, become complacent. I've known this for a while, and while I don't like it, I suppose I don't like the idea of becoming uncomfortable even more.

Reading through the first chapter of Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community this week, one line really stood out to me:

Anyone who has ever grown in a skill—a sport, an art form, a job—knows that growth doesn’t come by way of comfort. Growth happens when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and allow our confidence and assumptions to be shaken.
— Brett McCracken

I have to embrace the discomfort (oddly enough, the title of chapter 1) in order to grow.

What makes me uncomfortable?

There are a number of things that make me uncomfortable:

  • The feeling I am unprepared for an event.
  • The idea of speaking to someone I do not know.
  • The thought of sharing the things I don't like about myself with others.

These are just a few examples and they apply to any situation, although—for whatever reason—they feel much more daunting in church situations.

What would it be like if I embraced the discomfort?

What if I didn't let things that made me uncomfortable hold me back but rather I embraced them?

  • I wouldn't be afraid to speak or act, even if I didn't feel fully prepared to do so.
  • I would be able to meet new people, maybe even form new relationships.
  • I would be able to embrace what God has and is doing in my life and maybe share that with others who could benefit from it.

What would it be like if I stopped searching for my "sweet spot" and instead allowed myself to live in my discomfort zone? I'm honestly scared to find out, but I'm willing to try.

About the Author | Sarah Schaidt
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I love web design, my family, photography, traveling, music, Jesus, sleep, and Food Network (not necessarily in that order).

This American Church
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.

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