Friday, December 28, 2007

true courage

They're common images. You see them on billboards, in magazines and on television. And they tell you that true courage looks something like this: a plunge down a waterfall in an easy-to-roll kayak, traversing snow an ice on the side of a mountain, or maybe it looks like the football player who makes an incredible catch only to be knocked flat by his opponent. These are the pictures of true courage.

But a couple nights ago, I got to spend time with some people who re-define 'courage'. We were on-staff together at a church in Plymouth, and they now live in Chicago. Dave and Angie moved to Chicago because they felt God was leading them to start a church there. So, three years ago, they sold their house and away they went. They didn't build a "church planting team", they didn't raise support. They just moved, and focused their time and energy on building relationships with the people in and around their neighborhood. Now, three years later, incredible things are happening. There is a church where before there was none. But it's not a typical "Sunday service" type church. It's simply a gathering of people who are trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Some have made decisions to become followers, others haven't yet. But each week, they get together to talk, encourage and challenge one another. Throughout the week they eat together, their kids play together, they study the bible together. It's a true community.

Sitting and talking with them on Wednesday night, I heard story after story that gave evidence of God's hand in their work. From Dave's job to the remodeling of their house to the ways they came in contact with certain people; it's a 3-year declaration that God will come through if we're willing to be truly brave. Dave and Angie take more risks than just about anyone I know, and each time they do, God does something awesome. Of course, the other half of the equation is that - not only are they willing to take risks - but they are also willing to let God work things out in whatever way He thinks is best.

Their way of life means that they often have unique perspectives on everything from work to ministry to relationships. Perspectives that are refreshing and encouraging, and challenge me to take more risks in my own life.


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