Letters from the Intern
Finding the Courage to Lead
I wanted to start this blog post off with a thank you because I have officially been at St. Andrew for 6 months! Isn’t it crazy how time flies? I only have 16 more months with you, and I am determined to let the Holy Spirit lead us through it; showing us God’s grace and love each day.
As you all know, I am still a student. Part of my schooling is to explore leadership and what it means to be a leader in ministry. Just recently, I started listening to the audio book, Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown. She is one of my favorite authors who’s writing is authentic and captivating. In this book, Brené dives into why being a leader takes courage and vulnerability. She says, “The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”
Now, I know this sounds nerdy, but I couldn’t help it. After hearing this I immediately thought of the 12 Apostles. Among the miracles and parables, Christ led these 12 through, what I can imagine, were some of the most challenging times of their lives. They traveled all over the place and followed Jesus, not really sure what was going to happen next. Even though they couldn’t predict or control the outcome, they continued to show up.
Now I want to be clear, the Apostles were not perfect people. They were sinners and broken folks just like you and me. They knew that about themselves. They knew that without Christ they would be living their lives ignorant to the blessings and grace God gives us. But no good leader leads thinking they can do it all on their own. The Apostles relied on God to lead them so that they could lead others. After Christ ascended into heaven, the Apostles were left as the faith leaders for the world. Talk about feeling the pressure! Christ told them to go out and make disciples of all nations. They knew they didn’t have all the answers, but they allowed themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. They continued to share the Word of God with everyone, even when they were rejected.
In a letter from the Apostle Paul, 2nd Corinthians 1:8-10, it says, “My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. In fact, we felt sure that we were going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God…”
Although we may be in different situations compared to the early disciples, the command still stands for us. We continue to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us go out and share the Word of God. So, what does this look like? Did you know the number one reason that people start coming to church is because a friend invited them? It’s true! When people like you invite others to come and experience Christian communities, you are inviting others to hear how much the are already loved and accepted by God. What a gift! But inviting people to church takes courage and vulnerability. It takes vulnerability to reach out, but it takes courage to listen to their response. Sometimes you will be met with a joyful “YES!” and sometimes you will get a no. That’s okay. Respect their decision, but remind them that invitation is always open.
Let us pray,
God, be with us as we go through this day. When we are tempted to give up, help us to keep going. Grant us a cheerful spirit when things don't go our way. And give us courage to do whatever needs to be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.