Andy Stanley talks about courage in his great book The Next Generation Leader. Courage is a necessary but often elusive quality for leaders. It takes courage to take any initiative to move an organization forward from where it is to where it needs to be. Beyond the courage to act, there are three expressions of courage that are absolutely essential…

  • The courage to say no. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. If we don’t choose our opportunities carefully, we will dilute our efforts in every endeavor. (p. 70-71)
  • Courage to face current reality. When someone refuses to face reality, we call it denial. We say that person is sick. The same is true of organizations. Not surprisingly, organizations in denial are usually led by leaders who are in denial about the current state of affairs. But the truth is that there is very little to show for all the meetings, messages, and mothers’ mornings out. The church is making far more dinners than disciples. And while there is a general awareness that things are not going well, the average church attendee is content to show up once a week, do his time, and pretend that all is fine. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. (p. 71-72)
  • Courage to dream. Dream no small dreams, for they stir not the hearts of men. (p. 75)

Do I have the courage to face the current realities in my own life? My family? My church? Am I so busy putting on a good game face that I have lost touch with the stark realities of life? Do I have the courage to dream boldly, declare the dream, and move forward to see it come true? Have I limited God’s ability to use me by limiting my own vision and usefulness?