Serving Even When I'm Uncomfortable
My name is Bethany and I run ProPresenter during the Sunday morning worship services. ProPresenter is really just a glorified Microsoft PowerPoint, but it sounds impressive when I tell people who don’t know that. I’m the one in the back with the big monitor and the lever that looks like I should be flying the Death Star.
Sometimes I get a kick at how technologically savvy I look sitting in that big black chair clicking one button and occasionally using the trackpad, but most of the time I’m making sure I’ve not forgotten to press “record” before Pastor Daniel has started speaking. While my grandmother sure is impressed with my big screen and fancy program, I can assure you that I still have very little idea of what I’m doing.
Being a teen in this day and age is usually synonymous to mean that I am a master of social media and can use a wireless printer. I don’t have any, and I mean any, experience with computers. I was not gifted with that kind of knowledge in any way. I even learned how to use e-mail only a few years ago. I am the living proof that God can use broken tools to make something beautiful.
I am the living proof that God can use broken tools to make something beautiful.
A Crosspoint staff member came up to me and my brother and told us that there was a need for volunteers in Tech and Stage Production. At the time neither of us were serving full time. My immediate response was, “No way, Jose,” because I was so obviously not gifted in that area. God gives us our talents for a reason. If God wanted me to serve in tech, surly I would have had some sort of natural ability or interest, instead of the absolute fear that came over me when the mention of rolling cables came my way.
Even though I was not interested, capable, or talented, I was available and my church had a need. So I sucked up my pride, and signed up for ProPresenter training.
I learned the program inside and out and was shown too many aspects to remember. I remember sitting during my training and coming to the full realization of how little I knew about computers and questioned if I even really knew what a computer was. I would nod my head and pretend that I wasn’t a complete know-nothing about the whole process. I’d ask, “What have I gotten myself into?” every training and even when I began going solo during services. I was asking as many questions as I could and never remembering the answers to them. I couldn’t help but hate it.
I didn’t like not knowing how to help my church. I didn’t like not being able to remember what cable went where or what an HDMI was. I didn’t like feeling helpless and tired and like a weak link. My team leader did a great job training me, but it’s hard to train a dog to do Chinese arithmetic, which was basically what he was trying to do. Maybe God hadn’t actually called me to this. Maybe I had just misheard Him or heard the message someone else was supposed to get. Running cable shouldn’t have been hard. Setting up a projector shouldn’t have been discouraging. But it was and I was riddled with insecurity.
I can’t tell you how many times I had composed a text or email to my team leader to tell them that I was beyond unqualified for my position. There were month long spans where I would finish my share of tear down and immediately go home so that I could stow away in my dark room and let insecurity drown me. Surely God could not have called me to this. Surely an opportunity would reveal itself to me that didn’t involve cables and monitors and 700+ people watching my every lapse of judgement. I felt as though I didn’t belong. Here I was, the one with an important job, that I obviously had no idea how to do.
But all of that insecurity was a lie. It was a lie from the enemy to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough to serve my church. God called me to be uncomfortable. He pushed me into tech, so that I could understand that serving others isn’t always comfortable for you. I wasn’t called to have myself be glorified for how great I was at tech, I was called to do something that only God could get the credit for, a miracle of me doing tech. When you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re finally paying attention.
Serving others isn't always comfortable for you. I wasn't called to have myself be glorified for how great I was [...] I was called to something that only God could get the credit for [...].
And then there is my team leader, Doug. Doug believed in me enough for the both of us. All my mistakes were forgiven, all my questions answered without judgement. He watched me graduate from high school, listened to me when I was trying to pick a college to attend, and was the first person to make sure I was alright when the longest relationship I had even been in ended. Doug encouraged me to not give up just because I was having a hard time, not just when it came to ProPresenter. The environment of my serving was always so positive and encouraging; I always knew that I could ask for help when I needed it. But asking for help killed me because of my pride. I thought I should be allowed to serve where I’m comfortable. I thought that I should be better at this than I am. Serving was hard for me because of ME, not because of anyone I was surrounded by.
Serving was hard for me, because of ME, not because of anyone I was surrounded by.
It eventually got easier the more I practiced. I started to not feel embarrassed when I needed help. I was called to do what God told me to do, and as long I was giving the task my best, what else should matter. The reason tech was so hard for me, was because I was still trying to make serving serve me. I wanted the glory for my talent. I wanted what I was supposed to be giving God. Pastor Daniel always says that we should humble ourselves because we don’t want God to humble us. God humbled me big time.
I’m so glad that he did. I don’t feel any pressure to be awesome at what I do. I don’t have to be the best as long as I’m running my course. Because that pressure was gone, I was emotionally available to be what He knew I was capable of. God will not leave you alone to drown. He calls us to serve, even if it makes us uncomfortable.