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April Activate Post: You have to get out of the boat


Last month I was in Florida for an event, and the accommodations were located along the beach. I have only been to an ocean a few times, so whenever I go, I embrace it as much as possible. This means barefoot walks on the sand, sunrises, and swimming. As soon as I overlooked the waves from my balcony, I made it my goal to get in to the water no matter how cold it was.

The sun was shining, and, as I walked passed the shoreline toward the waves, the cold water rushed over my ankles. The further I walked, the more I was tempted to turn back toward warmth, but I knew I would be missing out on an adventure that I had set out to experience. Finally, when I was waist deep, a big wave arose, knocking me off my feet.

In that moment, I was reminded of the power of God and the fragility of myself. There was more strength in a single wave than I had in my whole body. But if I hadn’t left the shoreline, I would not have experienced God’s omnipotent and transcendent nature in this way. Even with salt water up my nose and the embrace of chilly waters, being immersed in His creation left me feeling close to the Creator.

What adventures await you, in your ministry, as you sit along the shore? If we never leave the safety of the shore and walk into waters that are uncomfortable or unknown, we will waste time watching rather than experiencing.

The well-known account of Jesus walking on water paints a beautiful picture of this risk. The disciples cried out in fear as Jesus was walking on the waves toward their boat. He instructed them to take courage and to not be afraid. After Jesus confirmed it was Him, Peter left the boat and jumped into the water toward Jesus, keeping his eyes fixed on Him.

Peter joined Jesus in a miraculous moment, walking on the water. This would not have happened if Peter stayed in the boat. Nor would the disciples have witnessed it. As the Church, we must ask ourselves if we are staying in the boat, never leaving places of safety. Or, are we taking risks like Peter, and doing so to draw near to Jesus and accomplish His mission?

Taking courage and stepping into unknown waters can be frightening, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will sustain us. When we become fearful, He will always be there to reach out and catch us. Joining Jesus in His mission means taking risks, but we are never alone. Jesus will always have His hand extended, and sometimes He will even calm the winds and storms.

If you or your church are interested in taking a deeper step into mission, email us at

Malory Sanvidge is the administrative coordinator for church culture.