There is courage and then there is Courage. I can stand up to a bully today, but I often couldn’t when I was a child. That’s not courage, that’s just the confidence that comes with growing up. I can jump into something that I’ve never done and know that I’ll figure it out, that’s not courage either, that’s a mixture of experience and sometimes foolish bravado. Real Courage, the one with the capital C, is stepping into the unknown, with nothing more than the tug of Christ at your heart saying “come and follow me”.
What I am talking about is less about balls and more about a secure faith in our Savior, a knowledge that His path is always better than any we could make ourselves. A life lived in absolute dependence on, and desperation for, Christ and his Kingdom is one of true Courage. It is a absolutely humble life and one entirely absent of the stupid bravado that I can sometimes summon. Its different and its rare.
Take everything that could possibly mean anything to you and throw it blindly at the foot of the Cross, then I will call you courageous. That’s a life that I am jealous for and that I crave from the bottom depths of my gut. I’m closer than I used to be but still miles from getting there.
Several years ago I heard about a guy from California who was the pastor of large and growing church. He had planted the place and it had grown into something that thrived and was inhabited by God. What more could a pastor want, right? Growing, thriving, comfortable, and most importantly, blessed and upright. That was all true but there was a tug at the guys heart to do something else. Jesus was right there speaking into his ear saying “come and follow me”. So, following Abraham’s example, he did. He took his wife, children, a secure & comfortable future, and he threw it all at the foot of the cross. Courageously and humbly, Francis Chan walked away and blew the minds of leaders across the country. For him, following the tug of his Savior was far more important than anything that could be found in a comfortable life. He set an example that showed me what real Courage is all about.
I’ve recently seen this same example in two men and their families that I know personally. Jack Magruder and Rob Wegner have been friends and mentors of mine since very early in my walk with Christ. They are leaders of the highest caliber that took a personal interest in a nobody kid on the brink of destruction, me. Both of these guys have helped to plant thousands of churches around the world in one way or another. These guys are years ahead of most western churches when it comes to Missional thought and the groundwork needed to go from thought to action. They are generals and strategy gurus on the front lines of where the Kingdom is advancing. And they loved me towards Christ like I meant something when I felt like I meant nothing. They saw what Christ saw, value and worth, and they loved like he does, unconditionally and thoroughly. And the best part about it, I am not an anomaly, I am just one of who knows how many. It’s just how these guys roll. The hands and feet of Jesus are ingrained in the very skin and bone that make them up.
Both Jack and Rob have been vital leaders in the vision and life of Granger Community Church. Both have been blessed and seen their work bare massive fruit around the world, from Granger Indiana to far-flung India, and beyond. They are awesome husbands and fathers who from the outside appear to be massively successful. And they both felt “the tug”. In past weeks both Rob and Jack have announced that they must move on and leave the comfortable and established to set out and follow wherever Jesus leads. Setting aside security, they are in the process of throwing it all at the foot of the cross. They’re showing Courage with a capital C.
These men, and their equally or probably even more so, courageous wives, are doing it. They are living all out for Jesus. ALL OUT! No reservations, desperately chasing after His Mission.
They would be the first to tell you that all the glory goes to Jesus. They would also be the first to admit their short-comings and faults, to give personal examples of their own growth and trials, and to thank God for his grace in their lives. They’re not supermen, just ordinary guys with a humble Courage that could only come from God himself.
I am so very thankful for their friendship and for the chance to be discipled by them. Jack and Rob helped me let Jesus begin a transformation of my heart. Their Courage will continue to inspire me and invigorate my faith for a long, long time.
I will be keeping them on my short list of people I pray for regularly and I invite you to do the same. I am excited to see how God uses them.