After watching a TED Talk which went viral several years ago, I’ve been following the work of sociologist Brené Brown. In one of Brown’s books, Daring Greatly, she draws on research and personal experience to point out what one reviewer calls, “the paradox of courage”: we become strong by embracing vulnerability; we dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear.
Ministry in the twenty-first century requires us to dare greatly!
When I sit at a local coffee shop wearing my collar, working on a sermon or newsletter article, I admit feeling a bit self-conscious at times. (Okay, if truth be told, I feel self-conscious most of the time.) I wonder if I will be accepted or even confronted for my faith. “Dare greatly,” Brown says.
When we as a congregation try new things like walk in the neighborhood with door hangers advertising Vacation Bible School or offer an online Bible study where anyone can join in and comment or have faith conversations at a pub where other people can hear us or pray outdoors on a street in Alexandria, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. “Dare greatly,” Brown says.
We dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear. Exposing ourselves as Christians in today’s world takes such courage.
It isn’t easy for me either – and I’m a pastor!
Where do I hope you’ll be brave?
- I hope you’ll bravely join us in September or October on the First Thursday in Del Ray at the Good Shepherd “pay it forward” table.
- I hope you’ll bravely introduce yourself to someone you don’t know or whose name you can’t remember every week at worship.
- I hope you’ll bravely share events and activities from Good Shepherd on your Facebook page or through your Twitter account.
- I hope you’ll bravely sign up for a service project for God’s Work Our Hands Day of Service even if you don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing.
- I hope you’ll bravely use Facebook Live during worship for a choir anthem or faith story (or even a sermon!) J
- I hope you’ll bravely serve on a team of Sunday School teachers even if you think you don’t know enough about the Bible.
- I hope you’ll bravely see a ministry you’re passionate about and help get Good Shepherd involved.
- I hope you’ll bravely seek help for an addiction or be honest with someone about your parenting struggles or ask a doctor about symptoms of a mental illness.
- I hope you’ll bravely offer to say a prayer for a colleague who is going through a tough time.
Reaching out, being brave, daring greatly is how we will #feedmoresheep in the 21st century.
Be of good courage!