By Rich Robinson

This is the fourth in our 6-part series of blog posts on the Cairn values. This week, Rich explores what it means for us to be courageous…

So often the word courageous conjures up an image of a fallen hero. A bloodied solider on a battle field. A leader triumphing against the odds. A heroic act of great love or sacrifice. Close your eyes. What do you see…….

Do you think of Jesus?

When we think of Jesus, and think on Jesus, courageous looks different. There is a face. There is a story. And it goes against what the world celebrates, champions and promotes as courageous.

There are four things that I see in Jesus that define courage:


Sacrificial. To be courageous is to be sacrificial.
Jesus was courageous to give himself to humanity. To allow himself to be broken, even to death. Allow himself to be known, loved and connected to broken disciples. In giving himself on behalf of those who persecuted, misunderstood and rejected him. To those who killed him on the cross. Allowing people into his life, journey and ministry. He wasn’t a ‘one man show’. He wasn’t an island. He wasn’t self-sufficient.

It takes courage to sacrifice and is courageous to be sacrificial in relationships. He gave himself fully, to all and for all. Nothing held back.

The embodiment of a God who held nothing back, even His only son.

New. It takes courage to see beyond the status quo.
It is courageous to call people out of the current field (known, safe and secure) to the ‘greener pasture’, knowing there is a deep dark valley to journey through. It’s so easy to settle for comfort. To choose to dream, speculate and ‘go’ is courageous. To set out on the journey. It is courageous to call more out of people. To be courageous is to live to a higher standard personally, and invite others out into the adventure God has for them. To help them to realise and release the Kingdom potential God has put in them. To encourage and enable people to come off the bench and play in the game.

Being courageous is to journey with people into the new and next that God has for them.

Humble. It is courageous to make things about others, not yourself.
Being courageous is humbling yourself for the good of others and with others. To live counter to the world driven & defined by consumerism (what I want) and individualism (what works for me). The picture of Jesus, with a cloth around his waist, washing the disciples feet. He knew he was ‘strong’ and ‘powerful’, but postured himself to prioritise others. To serve others. Being courageous is about our posture not our position. Being humble isn’t about thinking less of ourselves, but thinking about ourselves less.
Choosing to invest who we are and what we have for the cause of another.

Action. Being courageous is to live out the hope that you have. It is shifting your values form being aspirational to embodied. Being courageous is being in the arena, not sat in the stands. Being courageous is living the future you see in the present you have. It is seeing beyond and still stepping out in the moment.

There are many people with good ideas and huge potential. But a leader is one who is going somewhere and has people with them. We didn’t just get a ‘Heavenly instruction manual’. We got a person. A person who lives, loved and led people. Set an example through action and lifestyle. You can dazzle form a distance but you disciple in the dirt.

Potential is just that. Potential. A courageous leader is in the process of reshaping reality and resting the future By being present. By being proactive By being with people.
Being brave enough to step out into the new, regardless of whether you’re understood, acclaimed or accepted.


Living sacrificially.
Seeing the new.
Humbling ourselves
Acting on our convictions.


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