I love Mondays. I don’t know where it came from but I finally realized this week that Monday has become one of my favorite days of the week. As I browsed through everyone’s facebook statuses of “Oh… Monday we meet again” and “Monday, bloody Monday” it occurred to me that I wake up each Monday looking forward to the rest of my day, mainly because God has given me the opportunity to be His student on Mondays more than any other day of the week. It’s like my boot camp day to get me through the rest of the week.
My usual Monday I work for about three hours and then I find a place to grab lunch to go so I can take it up to the church. I sit on the pavers and watch the water flow down into the baptismal pool while I eat. After I’m done eating I head upstairs to the offices so I can meet with Pastor Chris and discuss everything going on with MiX, my vision and progress, and my life. He challenges me weekly and gives me the resources to dive into the church. When I leave his office I head down the hall to visit with Chris and Will for a bit and get the update on their lives and ministries. Then, I have a little bit of me time before my homie Damian gets to church so we can talk more about MiX and life… in fact MiX has pretty much become my life… and that’s totally okay with me. At 5 o’clock the ladies from my leadership class all meet with Kristin Bonham and get her insight as well as discussion time on what it’s REALLY like being a female leading ministry. (Trust me, it comes with its own set of challenges.) And then when we’re done we head up to our Next Level Leadership class with Pastor Dean.
Let me just tell ya’ll, this class is changing my life. These people are changing my perception of God and what it looks like to be daily walking with Him. There are about twenty of us who sit together every Monday night solely to learn from, challenge, and encourage each other. It’s beautiful. We are twenty people who want nothing more than to grow in relationship with Christ and each other and fill in all the gaps that exist in the church. We’re there to learn to be leaders, but the real lesson comes in the act of servant leadership.
This week was a little different than usual. This week I had to give my fifteen minute sermon to the rest of the class. I’ve been planning this sermon with Pastor Chris since January and was absolutely certain that I’d speak on Hannah and her persistence in prayer and faith. God had other plans. Let me rewind by saying that a few months ago I felt like God told me to speak to Courageous, our men’s ministry. It wasn’t really high on my priority list so I never spoke to anyone about getting involved, but over the past three weeks God has shown me verses (some I had never seen before) on father-child relationships. As much as I love my dad, I can say I don’t really feel like I know much on this subject, but I let God lead me and a week before I was supposed to speak my message God made it pretty clear I’d be speaking on the verses He’d been showing me rather than speaking about Hannah.
“But God… Hannah is safe! Hannah is easy for me! I’ve been planning this for months! I’ve got it down perfectly and I know where to put all my dramatic pauses!”
Yes, this was my basic argument. When I realized that arguing with and fighting the whisper meant that I wasn’t being obedient I gave in. So I re-wrote my entire message in a week, and God guided me through the process.
When it came time for me to get up and speak I was so nervous! I’m an actor, I’m a singer, I’m a rapper! Where did all my confidence go? I asked one of my leaders to pray with me and he asked how I was feeling. My word: vulnerable. “That’s good! That’s really good! That means people will see your heart in this!” I hadn’t thought of it like that. I was right, Hannah was a safe subject. Now I was in a spot where I was forced to lean on God to get the words across. I had to expect for this to hit home wherever it would because He sent me this message. I had to stop worrying about me and really focus on the fact that God wanted someone to hear this. This wasn’t something I ever would have brought up on my own.
So I spoke. Or should I say God spoke through me. All I can pray is that my words were heard and that people saw the sincerity in the message. I have a feeling I’m going to have to get used to this feeling of vulnerability if I really want God to be able to use me. When I get to the point where it’s not even a little scary to be sharing my story with others, I probably need to put the mic down because it has become too rehearsed. I don’t want this to be routine. God didn’t ask me to be comfortable.
So even though Monday has become an amazing routine, I want to feel challenged and uncomfortable every Monday night when I drive away from that church. Because if not, where’s the growth?