featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Making the move from fearful to fearless

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

My grandkids are amazing! They are so much fun and such a joy. I also learn a lot from them!?! Like how fearless they can be. Now, fearlessness is not the absence of fear but the leveraging of fear to press on…to move from fearful to fearless. One grandson came over to our house and I noticed his arms were a bit scratched up. I asked what happened. He said he was trying out a new move on his trampoline and had fallen on his arms a few times, well, a lot of times. I asked if he figured out the new move. He said not yet but he was going to try again tomorrow. I suggested he may not be ready and might want to wait until he was older. He sharply said, “No Papa, if you’re going to try new things, it’s scary and it’s going to hurt, but you have keep trying.” Wow, great insight from such a little guy. He was making the move from fearful to fearless.

Another grandson came over with scraped up knees. I asked what happened and he looked at me and said, “I fell, Papa!” But the look was one of those expressions like I should have known. He saw the questioning look on my face, and before I could ask why he fell, he stood up, threw up his hands, and said, “I got a new skateboard.” He went on, “And you know, you’re going to fall a few times before you get good. I’m not that good yet!” He went on, “It doesn’t hurt much now, but it did when I first fell. I cried. But I got back up because I can’t get better if I just cry and don’t keep trying.” Again, wow! Some incredible wisdom from a kid who has not lived that long. He went from fearful to fearless. He knew this venture was going to be painful, but he chose not to let fear inhibit him but to empower him to press on. Yes, from fearful to fearless.

God knows life will be full of painful, difficult, and fearful experiences and circumstances. Some are horrific. I know I have had a few of those experiences and it sure has helped to get counsel from a wise friend or professional counselor. Other circumstances can be more of the level of the fears of everyday life, like learning a new skill or craft, achieving well at our job or school, being a good friend, participating in our families, dealing with the economy, political and social issues, and even in our faith journey. In all this, God challenges us not to let fear hold us back as we move from fearful to fearless.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

One of the reasons my grandsons continue to move on fearlessly is their parents are right with them, encouraging them. Sure, comforting them when they have a setback or a fall, but also encouraging them to get up and get back at it. When we put our faith and trust in God, He will comfort us, encourage us, and help us get back out there. For in the wise words of my grandson “I can’t get better if I just cry and don’t keep trying.” I don’t know what has knocked you down and skinned your knees, but you can move from fearful to fearless.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Church can be a place that emboldens and builds our courage. If you do not already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to be more fearless along with you,

Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church