What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
When have you faced your fears and come through stronger on the other side? Perhaps you’ve experienced a moment when things didn’t go how you had hoped, and it required everything you could muster to push through the situation. But you did what was required of you! That’s courage.
It takes courage to be a Jesus follower. And to be a leader of Jesus followers who are on the same journey takes courage.
Here are 5 aspects of courage:
Strength in the Spirit
When you are with like-minded followers of Jesus, you can often detect a deep sense of connection which is manifested by the Holy Spirit.
There is something mystical about unity in the Spirit: you have sensed it, you know when it is present, you long for it when it is missing. Unity in the Spirit has a galvanizing effect.
Think of your best experiences when working with other Jesus followers. What made it so special?
Questions to assess and build your team’s spiritual unity:
- What are the most meaningful, spiritually rich team experiences you have had?
- What contributed to the spiritual unity you experienced?
- How can you take what you learned and move it forward for your current teams?
Strength in Conviction
It is exciting when you’re a part of something bigger than yourself and share the same resolve with others on your team.
When you are a part of something bigger than yourself you must involve others. But not just anyone: the people the Lord has prepared for the particular mission of your team will have a set of shared convictions that will outlast the challenges and difficulties ahead.
It is thrilling to look back after difficult moments have passed and see the way the Lord has helped your team come together when it mattered most. It can also be humbling to look at the “grit” required. The sense of camaraderie and “sticktoitiveness” builds confidence for the next project, and the next, and the next.
Questions to assess and build your team’s resolve:
- What task are you and your team undertaking that will require high commitment?
- What can you do to free-up your time to give this more attention?
- What is one thing you can do to increase clarity for you and your team?
Strength in the Vision
If mission clarifies, vision motivates.
Churchill made one of the most epic speeches in history when he stated: “This was their finest hour.” It conveyed a message that was inspiring. It also displayed his ability to cast vision when Great Britain and the rest of the allied forces needed it most on 18 June 18, 1940, just over a month after he took over as Prime Minister and after France had sought an armistice on the evening of June 16.
Vision motivates. It describes the “why” behind the “what” and “how.” When you capture the essence of a vision and communicate it in a compelling manner, it can be magical!
Questions to assess and build your visioning capacity:
- When have you communicated a compelling vision?
- What made it so compelling?
- How can you apply what you learned for your team(s) moving forward?
Strength in Unity
The unity you share with your team is so powerful that the strength you embody rubs off on others.
Unity is a powerful force! When your team members work in unison towards a common vision, it is energizing. People love being part of that type of team! Think of your team and how much fun it is when you are operating at your best.
Unity is contagious. When your team functions at its best, the individuals become more and more confident. Other teams take notice and before you know it, your team infects the others.
Questions to assess and build your unity:
- What are the things that bind your team together?
- What detracts from your team’s unity?
- What are some ways to enhance team unity?
Strength in Numbers
When you surround yourself with ministry partners who share your passion, it strengthens the bond you share and gives you confidence that together, you can accomplish much!
Surround yourself with ministry partners who share the same passion! It is sometimes necessary to go it alone. Going solo can last for a season but, whenever possible, invite others into the mission.
Loneliness is a vicious enemy. You can manage these moments for a while, but over the long-term it can erode your confidence, increase anxiety, and result in a decrease of productivity. With a team you can feed off each other, celebrate success and share the struggle. Everything being equal, you will go further faster – resulting in greater fruitfulness.
Questions to assess and build your numbers:
- What are the advantages of working with others?
- Who has complimentary gifts that you like working with?
- How can you bring them one step closer to become part of your team?
What strength can you draw from the courage of Paul, Silas, Timothy and Jason in the following passage?
1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
7 Questions to Take Courage
Following are questions you can use personally (or if you are coaching a group of Jesus followers) to make more and better disciples.
- What brings you the most joy?
- In what areas are you gifted?
- How does this match up with the way you spend your time?
- What changes in priorities do you need to make?
- What can you stop doing and no one will notice?
- What can you delegate
- If you could make these changes, how would this impact you and your ministry?
Do you want to take your team on the disciple-making journey together? The Discipleship Collective helps you mobilize other disciple makers. Take the Disciple Maker Quiz to discover the habits in which you are excelling and the growth points on which you need to focus. Then invite other members of your team to join you. It’s FREE and you can use it as often as you like!
If you want your team to be better equipped to make disciples consider the DISCIPLESHIP COLLECTIVE.