Thursday, February 26, 2009

Without fear

If you missed President Obama’s speechTuesday night I hope you’ll go online and read it (that’s what I did – there’s a transcript at I especially like the last few paragraphs:

We are not quitters.

These words and these stories
[before this section he told a few great stories] tell us something about the spirit of the people who sent us here. They tell us that even in the most trying times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a generosity, a resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres; a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.

Their resolve must be our inspiration. Their concerns must be our cause. And we must show them and all our people that we are equal to the task before us.

I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.

And if we do -- if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered." Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Whatever your politics that is a great speech and a sentiment and conviction that our nation needs to embrace.

And I would suggest that one line in particular also defines what is required for those of us who lead churches: to confront without fear the challenges of our time.

Perry Noble, pastor of Newsping Church in Anderson, SC tweeted this on twitter earlier this week and I read it on my tweetdeck (there’s a sentence I never thought of writing):

If a leader is paralyzed with fear...the organization he leads will be as well.

It makes me wonder: Where are the places and what are the issues I need to confront without fear? How about you?

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