Filled with Courage
Believe it or not but courage is not something the mind produces on its own. From time to time we can find courage on our own, but those times almost always include dark moments of isolation. Courage is something that must be given and passed on. Think about some of the classic movies filled with speeches to inspire men and women to greatness. What if William Wallace said, “Okay guys… go find some courage and be back here in about ten minutes… alright?” NO WAY! Those men would have run back home as fast as their feet could carry them.
Courage needs to be given, installed, and cultivated in the hearts and minds of children. They need to learn this practice from us so that they can do the same in the lives of their friends.
Courage must be given. It’s a gift. Never swat your hand away or block your ears from the gift of courage. Words of courage pull the heart away from the ropes and back into the fight. These are sacred words filled with love, grace, and truth. Don’t be afraid to step in a child’s life and give them the gift of courage. They might not yet know what to do with it, but you have no idea the power your courageous words can have in their life.
Courage must be installed. It’s not enough to simply give a child courageous words that are empty of action. Look at some of the great leaders our world has seen. After speeches that lifted the heart and unleashed the imagination, the leader took their place. Where? At the front! They led men and women against armies and into battle. They didn’t run to the rear to watch. They were the first ones to step out in front of the enemy. Want to install courage in your kids? Then be the first to step out and lead them into battles. Be with them. Let them follow you by watching your example. For courage to be installed the children you serve must witness courage in action. Your actions.
Finally, courage must be cultivated. I love these moments. These are the get-up-off-the-mat speeches. When you’ve been beaten and bruised by life. These are the moments when you’re bloodied by a broken world and you keep moving forward. Your kids are going to get knocked down. They will have days when they want to give up even when they have been given gifts of courage and had that courage installed in them. However, courage must be cultivated. As a leader you’ll need to pick your kids up and stand them upright. You’ll need to continue to sow seeds of courage in their life. This is a daily practice and a relentless pursuit of growth in their lives. There are no vacation days when it comes to building a fortress of courage in a child’s life.
One of the best jobs of a children’s ministry worker is to give, install, and cultivate courage in the lives of children. When your kids have graduated and your hair is gray let the kids you lead tell stories not just about how funny you were or about those crazy games. Give them the opportunity to tell and pass on stories of courage. Being funny and crazy creates a lot of memories, but courage is what creates leaders.