Collaboration: Courage

I’m preaching on courage this Sunday morning, using Acts 4 as my text. I’m looking for your input, though. The past few times I’ve had the chance to preach, I’ve tried to use my blog as a tool to engage in “collaborative preaching”. The idea is simple: members of a collaborative team spend time reflecting on a particular concept or passage of Scripture. They contribute these ideas and discuss them in community. The “preacher” takes these ideas, concepts, suggestions, anecdotes and weaves them into a sermon that is more reflective of the body of Christ. I’m really intrigued by this idea and I invite you, my dear readers, to collaborate with me for this Sunday’s lesson.

Tell me: How would you define courage? Who is the most courageous person you know? Stories of courage that inspire you? Definitions of courage you’ve read? I like to get the input of several people when it comes to ideas / concepts like this. Hopefully, this will help me deliver a “truer” message on Sunday. Thanks for your input.

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20 Responses to Collaboration: Courage

  1. Scott says:

    Martin Luther King who exemplified true courage by remaining steadfast in his commitment to nonviolence even when those around him said it would never work and even when his own life was jeopardized. I wrote a piece about it last year:

  2. jakebennett says:

    Watch the beginning of “Saving Private Ryan”… then you’ll know what courage is. They put their butts on the line for everybody regardless of racial background, sex, wealth, etc. They went through what hardly any man could. They gave an absolute sacrifice just so you and I could experience ANY of the freedoms that THEY provided us with their lives. They gave their lives for something bigger than them without understanding it knowing death was breathing down their necks. To me, that is courage…

  3. mike the eyeguy says:

    I would say Tony Dungy and his grace during the crucible of his son’s suicide, his simple but eloquent nod to God in the wake of his Super Bowl victory. You could even call him a “Christian” as opposed to a “religious person”–that would take some big brass ones on your part.But then again, judging from the reaction in some circles yesterday at the mention of Dungy’s name, probably better to just leave well enough alone. No use in starting any riots or anything.

  4. RK says:

    I have always admired people whose faith remains steadfast no matter what. They are the ones who know that God is ready to work in there lives, and all they have to do is plant seeds. Planting seeds is easier said than done for most of us. It requires some effort on our part. Instead, we want God to come down and bless us just for being good boys and girls…and don’t want to work for anything. Courage is acting on your faith, instead of being a bystander.

  5. Jason says:

    Mike, I noticed. Sad.

  6. Jason says:

    Scott & Jake,It’s interesting that you two chose examples of courage that are so different. Both King’s nonviolent advocacy and the soldier’s duty to country spring from conviction. Just thinking out loud here, but the same is true in the Acts narrative. The early beleiver’s conviction in the lordship (and even more specifically, the resurrection) of Jesus is the source of their courage as they face the Sanhedrin in Acts 4. So conviction always precedes courage.

  7. Jason says:

    RK,I’m sure like me, you think of our dear sister April and her faithfulness and courage that we were privileged to see. We miss her, but she was a true example of courage for us, wasn’t she?

  8. Kenny Simpson says:

    This may be over-used in cofC, but David comes to mind. Conviction led to courage there as well. Heres one: What about a father searching through his house looking for someone to make sure it is safe for his wife and little one. That was two weeks ago at the Simpson house.

  9. Jason says:

    I know that was traumatic for you guys, Kenny. I can only imagine. Courageous indeed, my friend.And you’re right about David. I love the image of him running to the battle line to face off with Goliath. Supreme conviction that Yahweh was on his side.

  10. Jason says:

    By the way, Mike, do you think anybody’d mind if this Sunday we had a “20 Second Sermon”?

  11. jon says:

    You also have courage in actions ( ie soldiers, David) like the random guy who jumped infront of the subway train on top of the kid that fell on the tracks and held him down to let the train pass over them. Replay that situation around the country and the news story turns out quite different. The guy remarked that his military training kicked in. Which begs the question – is it natural to be courageous for people other that your own family ( ie Kenny searching a house were someone might still be)…And as I told you Sunday, April, facing the cancer head on and steadfast with the Lord by her side. To me that is courageous to have that news, possibly know deep down it was terminal, and yet find solace in songs and scripture that God is never changing and ever constant…don’t know how I would react in her ‘shoes’…and now watching Mrs. Mann and her battle.

  12. jakebennett says:

    That’s so true, Jon. We need more people in this world like the subway guy who will take the time to consider others without thinking. Helping people in a time of need should be a REACTION or REFLEX, not a chore. But not everyone’s guilty of it. You can find it in everyday things, too. I see my dad as an example of courage for several different reasons such as just being the man of character he is, and I’m sure you all have similar examples such as that. The thing is, he’s displaying courage to me as well as others without even realizing it. Doing the obvious things can be easy. Not to put down ANYTHING that our soldiers do. I don’t want it to seem like that, but what my dad does… to me, THAT is true courage.

  13. jon says:

    Here is a quote that is quickly becoming my all time favorite – from Theodore Roosevelt-It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.And from Maya Angelou – One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

  14. RK says:

    I suppose it comes down to the giving up of our own “perceived” power over circumstances that define courage. For example, having the guts to walk away from a job, friends or family, that may be hindering you spritually. To have courage is to have fear. Everyone is fearful, I believe, but courage separates the chickens from the faithful.

  15. mike the eyeguy says:

    Jason, I would be disappointed if yours was only 20 seconds.

  16. Sunny says:

    Mike, you’re too kind.RK, I love your quote: “Everyone is fearful, I believe, but courage separates the chickens from the faithful.” I love the definition of courage as an amalgam of both fear and faith. You’ll hear that again on Sunday.I appreciate all the comments, guys. This kind of thing is so helpful to me. I wish all our preaching was rooted in this kind of communal dialogue. Let me know if you have any more thoughts on this.

  17. Jason says:

    I hate it when I post as Sunny.

  18. jon says:

    Great!!! Now women are preaching on Sundays!!!! AAAARrrggghhhJust Kidding 🙂

  19. Jason says:

    It’s a slippery slope, man. Next thing you know, we’re handling snakes.

  20. bigsis says:

    My favorite quote on the subject, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to do right in spite of the fear”

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