As Dr. Cox said in the clip from the link above fear is good, you just can’t let it paralyze you.
And yes, fear is good. It is a good motivator. It can bring about much needed change. It can help people accomplish great things.
But fear also can motivate people to absolutely hold their ground and not embrace the new things that are happening.
Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the future. They can hold a church hostage. Instead of propelling us forward, it anchors us to the ground of yesteryears. I guess that’s what Dr. Cox would mean by having fear paralyze us.
And we’ve all experienced being paralyzed by fear. Like, you’re about to perform and the spotlight hits you and you forget all the words or lyrics or what you’re supposed to do. Or, you know what the best decision is, but you’re afraid to make it so you let the moment pass.
However, as a church, fear should not be our greatest motivator. We shouldn’t use fear to make people believe in God. We shouldn’t use fear to bring about the changes that we want. What kind of church would we be if we employed scare tactics?
Especially if we believe that perfect love drives out fear.
Grace. Hope. Love. Those things are compelling enough to bring about the best in people and in churches. Not fear.
After all, Jesus used hope, grace, and love to draw people to him. Not fear.