I was raised to be a coward. Imaginatory danger and self-imposed threat lurked as life appeared to be a bated snare for weak wimps like me. While I wanted to accomplish something in life which greatly mattered, my basic instinct was to survive unscathed from criticism or injury. To discover myself a leader in a church was a shock of varying degrees to my life system; but most importantly my cowardice. The cross was suddenly now my motto…my real unimaginary motto…and I had survived thus far on merely surviving. Now the wolves will have me over for lunch…to be their lunch.
Could I tell you that one of the remarkable blessings Memorial encounters nowadays is the great unity? And such hinges on the fact our elders developed great courage? Their leadership is remarkable. Our people are safe. The flock is loved, but not doted over in our childishness. Our shepherds expect us to encounter injury, endure the pain, and allow the Wounded Healer to touch us while portraying lives rich in mercy and forgiveness toward on another. It takes great courage to say to a person face to face, “You, my friend, are not thinking right.” Our guys do it. Sometimes I’m the guy they say it to.
Oft times they see the flock make pleasant and productive progress. At other times we get self-centered and whiny and suffer setback. But the point I want every young leader to grasp today is that bravery and courage are needed if you are going to fight the big battles on the big playing field. Wimpiness and cowardism simply gum up the hope of young and old alike. If the leaders won’t bravely stand up to any who oppose The Life, ultimately the little children are left to the wolves…..for lunch.
Don’t be afraid. We live in a danger-laden kingdom. If we are the church, we are surely at risk. Dare to risk.