Stepping outside of our comfort zones can be challenging, but as Christians, it is often necessary for growth. Here are some key ways Christians should be prepared to move beyond their habitual routines and expand their faith:
Being Open to God’s Call
God often calls us to new ventures that require courage and faith (Joshua 1:9). This may involve something as simple as visiting a sick neighbor or as monumental as moving overseas for missions. We need open ears to hear God’s voice and willing spirits to follow His lead (Isaiah 6:8). Though we may feel inadequate, God equips those He calls (2 Timothy 1:7).
Stepping outside our comfort zone is usually necessary if we want to serve others as Jesus did. This could mean volunteering at a homeless shelter, praying for strangers at the hospital, or sharing our faith with unbelievers. Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), which inevitably involves personal sacrifice. However, serving others blesses us too (Acts 20:35).
Sharing the Gospel
Every Christian is called to share the good news about Jesus with others (Matthew 28:19-20), but doing so can be intimidating. God does not expect us to evangelize in our own strength, however. He empowers us through His Spirit (Acts 1:8) and gives us the right words to say if we trust Him (Luke 12:11-12). As we courageously step out in faith, we can watch God move in people’s lives.
Forgiving people who have hurt us deeply often requires moving outside our comfort zones. But Scripture commands us to forgive as God has forgiven us (Colossians 3:13). As we let go of bitterness and resentment, we’ll experience freedom and the capacity to show grace to others as God has shown us. We must trust God to bring justice in His timing (Romans 12:19).
Using Spiritual Gifts
God gives each believer spiritual gifts for serving others (1 Peter 4:10), which sometimes necessitate leaving our comfort zones. For example, those gifted in hospitality may need to open their homes to strangers. Those gifted in teaching may need to prepare diligently. As we use our gifts, we rely on God’s strength rather than our own abilities (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Stepping out is an act of faith.
Breaking free from unhealthy habits like addiction or materialism requires courage and determination. But transformation is possible with God’s help (Philippians 4:13). Christian community provides much-needed support and accountability during the difficult process of replacing old ways with new life patterns. Change may feel uncomfortable but results in freedom and growth.
Following Jesus is inherently risky, requiring complete commitment without full certainty of the future. Like Abraham, we are sometimes called to obey God without all the details in advance (Hebrews 11:8). As we move forward in faith, we discover God’s faithfulness in new ways. Jesus assures us that risking much for His sake is eternally worthwhile (Mark 10:29-30).
Persevering Through Trials
Painful experiences like illness, grief or persecution stretch our faith. Yet God uses trials to refine our character, deepen our trust in Him and equip us to comfort others (Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). By embracing difficulties rather than avoiding them, we mature and discover God’s amazing sufficiency (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). He promises to be with us through it all (Isaiah 43:2).
Submitting to Leaders
Submitting to church leaders, parents or government authorities when we disagree can be extremely challenging. Scripture calls Christians to respect those God has placed over us unless they direct us to disobey clear biblical commands (Hebrews 13:17; Romans 13:1). A submissive spirit demonstrates humility and frees us from bitterness. Obeying God may require respectfully communicating our perspectives.
Admitting our sins to God and asking forgiveness from those we’ve harmed brings cleansing and freedom but is difficult. Pride and shame hold us back. Yet Scripture urges us to confess freely, accept Christ’s cleansing and turn away from sin (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). God treasures honest humility (Psalm 51:17). This opens the door to healing.
Letting Go of Control
Surrendering control to God runs counter to human nature but is the key to peace. Only God sees the full picture and knows what is best. As we yield our wills to Him, acknowledge His complete authority and trust His perfect love, anxiety lifts. “Let go and let God” is more than a cliché; it is an antidote to fear and worry (Matthew 6:25-34).
As followers of Jesus, we adhere to God’s truth but also stay flexible regarding nonessential matters of personal preference and approach. We make space for others who encounter God differently than we do. Holding plans loosely allows room for the Holy Spirit to guide and surprise us. While God’s character never changes, He often leads in unexpected ways.
Change can be uncomfortable but is inevitable in life and faith. We can resist it or embrace it as an opportunity to trust God in new ways. Though God never changes (Malachi 3:6), He seems to enjoy doing new things (Isaiah 43:19). As we courageously follow Jesus through seasons of change, we’ll encounter God’s freshness and find joy.
Making Lifestyle Adjustments
Seeking first God’s kingdom may involve simplifying our lifestyles to free up resources for ministry. This could mean downsizing our homes, cutting back discretionary spending or taking pay cuts to pursue vocational missions. While this goes against cultural trends toward indulgence, sometimes living more simply allows us to generously support kingdom work.
Cultivating Diverse Friendships
Building friendships across lines of ethnicity, language, special needs and social status reflects God’s inclusive kingdom. It requires moving beyond our comfort zones but results in growth, exposes blind spots and displays Christ’s love across barriers. Jesus himself practiced radical hospitality with diverse people, setting an example for us.
Traveling for God’s Glory
Traveling to serve others domestically and overseas is a calling for some believers. Leaving home involves sacrifice and risk but provides opportunity to see God’s worldwide church firsthand. Short-term trips can stretch participants spiritually while meeting pressing needs. We must prayerfully consider costs, respect local believers and act humbly.
Trying New Things
Attempting unfamiliar activities for the sake of advancing the gospel demonstrates flexibility and trust in God’s enablement. Like the early church leaders who gathered at Pentecost, we move forward in faith, believing God will use our efforts. Stepping out through evangelism training, drama classes, music lessons and more expands our capacity.
Moving Beyond Fear
Every believer faces moments when fear threatens to constrain faith; the solution is boldness through Holy Spirit strength (2 Timothy 1:7). Scriptural examples like David facing Goliath, Joshua claiming the Promised Land and the apostles continuing Christ’s mission despite persecution inspire us to move past fear into vibrant trust.
As we can see, stepping outside our comfort zones is pivotal for Christian growth. It expands our faith, love and capacity for kingdom impact. While not easy, embracing this call positions us for God’s power and adventure. What new venture might God be inviting you into today?