Welcome to It Takes Courage – Part 1

Are you praying for courage? Or are you grateful you found a little bit of courage tucked in the back corner of the glove box in your car? Do you appreciate courage in others, but aren’t sure you have courage within you? Do you celebrate the bravery shared in news reports? Or maybe your approach to courage is to study it from an arms length distance?  

If you said yes to any of the questions above, let me welcome you to being human.

You see, inside each one of us is a hunger, a desire, to be brave. To be brave or courageous is really about speaking one’s mind by knowing one’s heart. No capes or superpowers necessary for this study. You’ll find you already have plenty inside you.

Courageous Disciples

Over the course of the next five weeks we’re taking one step each day on the journey of becoming courageous disciples. It will mean living with our whole hearts, recognizing ordinary courage, facing darkness, and discovering the wisdom and power to serve others. It will also mean embracing how hard it can seem along with exploring shame and blame, empathy and grounded confidence.

If you’re thinking, “I’m not sure what all that means” or “I’ve never done a Bible Study like this.” Again, welcome to being a courageous disciple. We’ve never written a study quite like this. 

Dare to Lead

Brené Brown has studied shame, vulnerability, and courage for nearly two decades.  This exploration of courageous disciples places Scripture alongside the research from Dare to Lead. We’ll explore the foundational element of courage – learning to rumble with vulnerability. It invites you to integrate you who are as a person of faith with becoming a wholehearted, courageous leader. 

And by leader, we’re using Brené Brown’s definition –

“A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

From parents to spouses, from boardrooms to laundry rooms, from baseball diamonds to starbucks coffee lines, from classrooms to courtrooms and everywhere in between, the world needs brave and daring leaders who not only have faith, but practice faith.

Here’s what I can tell you: I’ve experienced the same thing with Brené Brown’s work as I experience when I study the Scripture. I’m invited to become more of who God created me to  be. There are moments that cause me to pause. There are moments I’m overcome with love. And there are moments I wonder what in the world I got myself into following Jesus. 

So, yes, I understand. Because I have a bold, courageous, God-fearing desire for you in this study. That by the end of these five weeks you’ve not only encountered Jesus in the Scripture, you’re also practicing rumbling with vulnerability. 

If you just said, “Aww crap. I don’t know that I want to do this.” 

I’m right there with you.

Your Call to Courage

That was my thought when I submitted my application to become a Certified Dare to Lead facilitator – it was something I wanted so badly but at the very same time didn’t want to do. Why? Because I knew it would mean learning a new way to show up in my personal relationships, at church, and with my family. I knew I would be challenged to be more of the leader Jesus needs me to be in this time and place.

Combining the transformative power of Jesus with the decades of research from Brené Brown will change lives and transform communities. We’ll encounter uncertainty, and discover, confront, and be changed by one very simple request: your call to courage. 

But the only way transformation will happen is if you’re willing to enter the story – your story, God’s story, and your community’s story. Together, these stories create the facbric for you to live out what it means to be a courageous disciple and actively engage in a becoming a courageous church.

I look forward to being on this journey with you.

In Christ,

Sara Thomas

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of light.”

The Gifts of Imperfection, p.6