“What About Bob?” or “Getting Out of My Comfort Zone”

by Greg West

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m an introvert—and I don’t just mean that I’m your run of the mill average introvert, I mean introverted in the extreme. I’m also a very shy person who suffers from social anxiety (not all, or even most introverts are shy people or feel awkward in social situations). This is a huge barrier in my line of work as a supported missionary with Engage 360, where it is a goal for each staff member to raise 100% of their own financial support; this is a common practice with many ministry focused organizations. In 2014 I attended a fund raising seminar where I learned that the #1 most successful way to raise support was by one on one presentations. I knew that was going to be a serious obstacle for me. It was then and is even more so today, which is why I do most of my fundraising appeals to my online audience (this would mean you since you are reading this right now).

A few weeks ago while in an Engage 360 staff meeting (conducted online), our CEO challenged each of us to meet with ten people that month to ask for support. I was too embarrassed to admit out loud that I literally don’t know ten people that I’m comfortable enough to sit down face to face with and ask for their financial support. Yes, I’m that much of an introvert. In fact, my late friend and former Ratio Christi president, Rick Schenker once nicknamed me, “The Caveman Apologist”.

My social anxiety needs to be overcome for me to be more effective at raising support for the ministry of The Poached Egg, which in a nutshell is teaching other to make disciples by integrating apologetics with discipleship and evangelism (that’s the short version). So far, overcoming this anxiety has involved (and likely will for some time to come) “Baby Steps”.

If you’ve ever seen the hilarious movie, What About Bob?, you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about. When I think about getting out of my comfort zone, I can’t help but think back to the scene where Bill Murray’s character, Bob (who suffers from a myriad of phobias), is literally tied to the mast of a sailboat while triumphantly exclaiming, “I’m SIALING!!!” Bob may have been tied to the mast, but he had managed to get out of his comfort zone to overcome his fear of sailing.

So while I’m taking these “baby steps” to someday, by the grace of God to overcome this obstacle, I’m appealing to you, my online audience to prayerfully consider becoming a monthly financial partner. This ministry has an annual reach in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, but is relatively inexpensive compared to other ministries with similar numbers. If just 360 people would become a monthly supporter at $10 a month, I would be fully supported. That support would cover operating expenses, materials to help expand this ministry’s reach, and a modest salary for myself. I could write at length to explain why I think this ministry is worthy of your support, but I’ll limit it to one comment I received from a reader (which is just one of many similar comments I’ve received over the years) which sums it up well:

I was at a crisis point in my faith–did I really believe what I said I did? Why? When I couldn’t answer those questions I was terrified. In my desperation I began to search for answers, and I came across The Poached Egg. I was relieved to find a whole DISCIPLINE of Christian ministry that welcomed The Big Questions…and set about to answering them not just from the Bible, but from logic and extra-biblical evidence.

Please consider becoming a monthly partner today. You can sign up to do so at the link here: Greg’s Financial Support Page

 

Yours in Christ,

Greg West

The Poached Egg  Founder and Editor