Courage in pastors can take on many forms. However, one of the most important ways pastors demonstrate courage is by simply being themselves. Pastors are commonly pressured to have it all together, to have it all figured out, and therefore are assumed to be the experts to instruct everyone else on how to do life. The biblical qualification of spiritual maturity and above reproach can easily slide into this unachievable perfectionistic standard that prevents many pastors from being themselves before their people. Instead, they perform—while souls die inside. God calls a man to step up and be a courageous pastor captured in this way:
Show up as broken, weak, and needy before the church you pastor.
Do not underestimate the power of God to bring life into a church when a pastor lives a transparent, authentic life before God’s people. The reality is that pastors are just as weak, needy, and broken as everyone else in the church. Pastors need to embrace this calling to live an honest, authentic life before their people. Let them see you struggle. Let them know you are hurting. Remind them you are not perfect and are not in control.
The most courageous pastors are the ones who don’t perform, but rest in their identity in Christ and live in the freedom of being themselves before their people.