Why Should They Have to Overcome Their Fear?

Sally wrote a letter to the Executive Director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis after several volunteers worked at her home. She is a collector of what some might call junk. But to her it is a source of income.

Here is how a part of her letter reads:

The thought of 20 people who I never met before were all going to be mad at me or think I was rude or unappreciative and just wanted to collect junk. And then they would be telling all their friends about it and oh my gosh what an embarrassing terrible mess this would turn into…Sally

Her fear was real. She lived in fear of judgment and rejection. Many who live in isolation, poverty, depression or (fill in the blank) live in fear of how others will receive them.

Sally overcame her fear and agreed to allow the volunteers to work at her home.

Read more of her letter:

I want to thank each and every one of you for coming…I didn’t see one person get upset over me saying something about what to throw away and what not to. Everyone was as nice and friendly and helpful as they started. That is very, very rare. I was impressed with everyone. Thank you so much for all your hard work.Sally

Why do people like Sally live in fear of rejection?

Sally is just like many who live in our communities that become isolated from neighbors, friends and family. Yes, some if not most struggle with depression, addictions, mental health. However, for many, fear prevents them from connecting with others.

Sadly, most of us Christians shy away from those in our communities that seem to have “issues”. Either that or we simply don’t notice them.

Our churches spend thousands upon thousands of dollars attempting to attract “stable” people to attend their churches. If you happen to not clean up so nicely, or have trouble leaving your home, you might have to wait until the next “project day”.

You know, that day once a year or if you are lucky once a quarter when some churches “go outside the walls” to serve others.

No wonder people like Sally live in fear of judgment or rejection.

It seems to me that our church culture resembles too closely the religious culture of Jesus’ day. We are all about our big budgets supporting fancy buildings, large staffs, and top-notch programs while people like Sally continue to live lonely, isolated lives.

I wonder where Jesus would spend His time if He were here today? Who would He seek to find? How would He treat a person like Sally?

Maybe we focus our resources in the wrong place.

And on the wrong people. I don’t mean to say that just because you live in a nice house, your family looks like it has it all together, and you have two incomes that you should be ignored.

But, I do think the church decides who to “target” out of the general population through a lens clouded by worldly success metrics.

If our true desire is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, maybe we should spend more of our resources where people are desperate for hope, acceptance, and freedom.

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”Mark 2:17 NLT
Disclaimer—I am the president of the board of Partners in Hope Lake Travis.

Thankfully, organizations like Partners in Hope catalyze believers who want to live lives sent to people like Sally. Churches can and should do the same thing.

Yes, church on Sunday morning will look different. Discipleship will look different. Budgets and staff will look drastically different.

But should it not be us who overcomes our fear?

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Why Should They Have to Overcome Their Fear?

  1. Kenny. Great blog! When any farmer is planting seeds, he does not plant them in the barn (the church). He goes outside the barn and plants them in the soil (community). Sometimes it takes years to prepare the soil so that the planting can take place. Thanks to Partners in Hope for tilling hard soil. I know some of your seeds will fall on soft hearts and grow. May God continue to bless this outreach ministry.

  2. Amen and thank you! And church program decisions and focus areas are many times made (or perceived to be made) by those in the church with the deepest pockets, so those without great means often stay silent about these needs because they feel that their voice will not be heard and their opinion does not carry the same weight. Just a thought that we must all speak out and address these many needs and neglected brothers and sisters.