I love what Jerry Seinfeld had to say about this:
I think we see this fear at work at Faith Church during Sunday worship almost every week. We want our want our worship service to emphasize participation. Rather than spectators, we want everyone to get involved. So we include a brief open mic sharing time most weeks right after we sing praises to God. Some of you have no problem grabbing the microphone and sharing a story of God’s work in your life or a prayer request. Some of you will share only if the situation is urgent. Others, however, would never, never share. It doesn’t matter if you had the worst week in the history of bad weeks. You will not share.
Why do we hate to speak in public? All the attention is on us. We’re afraid of being humiliated if we mess up, and all those people are looking at us and they’ll see it. That will feel awful! And what if we are boring and no good at it? There are so many other GREAT speakers, who are we to try? We’ll never come anywhere close to being like them. So forget it.
We think we’ll end up like this:
And then there is the fear of death. A few years ago I had a period of 7 months where I officiated 8 funerals, including at least one in each month. It was like death kept being thrown in my face over and over. I’ll admit that I didn’t handle it well. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it really affected me emotionally. I remember watching an NFL game during that stretch thinking “these guys are so vibrant, but they will all die.” Every time I got in the car, I thought about how many accidents people have. It took a long time to shake the fear of death. Though I have faith in Jesus’ wonderful promise of eternal life, I still struggled, and sometimes still do, with the fear of death. Studies say that many of you feel the same way.
In the passage we’ll be studying on Sunday, Luke 12:1-12, Jesus addresses both the fear of death and the fear of public speaking. What he says is quite interesting. These two fears matter. These two fears impact the work of his kingdom. If we cannot address these fears properly, we could be putting ourselves into a very risky situation.
So join us at Faith Church on Sunday as we’ll take a look at how Jesus teaches his disciples to avoid that risky situation.