When I feel awkward in church

I try to hide my cringe under a neutral, static but pleasant-looking face. My eyes are darting chameleon-style to see if anyone else is feeling the heat of this embarrassment.

The clumsy jokes keep coming and I laugh awkwardly with the rest of the congregation. The tension eases slightly in the collective chuckle.  

He finally finds his way back to his chair and I’m surprised at my relief.

We’re so unprofessional. No wonder people aren’t flocking to our church, I conclude while robotically exchanging pleasantries with those around me during the uncomfortable greeting time.

We’ve got unsure greeters, fumbling musicians, awkward leaders… Surely we can find gifted people with the right talents to fill these positions and people will be drawn to our well-presented God-experience. Right now it’s just an amateurish muddle.

I’ve witnessed proficiency in churches. Skilled quality. Mastered worship. Talented people. Polished. Outstanding. World-class.

Like often happens, my hurtling thoughts are stopped by His gentle but firm Hand and He floods me with the Truth.

And I find myself easing into the awkwardness. Relaxing into the amateurish muddle. Worshipping enthusiastically with the committed but far-from-perfect musicians.

Because I am awkward. Because I am ordinary and amateurish. Because I am unqualified and unpolished.

What an awesome message our church is sending to the world!

You don’t have to be professional to be a part of what God is doing in the world. You don’t have to be especially talented. You don’t have to be world-class or exceptional.

You can just be you. Cracking awkward jokes the kids don’t understand. Stumbling over your words as you lead. Singing off key. Forgetting people’s names as you greet.

You can be flawed. Like Moses. And David. And Peter. And Paul.

Because God will use us anyway.

It is never about us – it is always about God in and through us.

Oh Lord! Your Kingdom is so roomy. There is so much space for us every-dayers. There is so much love and hospitality for us all. I praise You that Your arms are so far-reaching and all-embracing. Thank You.