Where Courage Grows

By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Bruce Riley
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Amy Owen
By Jill Asibelua
By Madi McGraw
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Jeremy Varnell
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Alban Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Don Robb
By Mike Pope
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Shannon Lewis
By Chase Studdard
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Lindsey Sobolik
By Scott McClellan
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

I have visited a lot of living rooms as a pastor. In fact, since I joined IBC’s staff seven years ago, I estimate that I have visited the homes of more than 100 IBCers for meetings of Home Groups or Missional Communities. 

I always leave encouraged. 

That’s because courage grows in circles. When the people of God gather around the word of God and open their hearts to God, they are shot through with courage. Almost without fail, they leave those living rooms inspired to pursue Jesus, to love their families, to bless their neighbors. 

In the introduction to his new book, The Way To Brave: Shaping a David Faith For Today’s Goliath World, Pastor Andy writes this:

    Courage is not a singular virtue that can be sought in isolation. Rather ... it’s a by-product of authentic community, a bonus benefit that we receive in the package deal of love-induced discipleship focused on bearing one another’s burdens and, as the church, being with God for blessing the world around us.

Andy nailed it! A community of believers is the venue God uses to sharpen us, refine us, mobilize us, and encourage us. That is why, on the night before his crucifixion, Jesus spoke his final charge to his community — a circle of his closest friends. 

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Ryan Sanders

We need those circles now more than ever, because it takes more courage than ever to live for the gospel in America. As Barry Jones has preached many times at IBC, our culture is becoming an increasingly inhospitable place for followers of Jesus. Increasingly, we are separated into religious ghettos. Increasingly, we are misunderstood by our secular neighbors. Increasingly, our beliefs are mocked in the public square. And so, increasingly, we need courage to live as ambassadors for the Kingdom of God. 

Let me tell you how that courage is being cultivated in living rooms across our city. 

In Coppell, a community of courage gave Chelsea the pluck to roll down her car window and introduce herself to a neighbor. That introduction has led to a rich discipling relationship. 

In Corinth, a community of courage helped Cheryl knock on the door of “the mean neighbor” across the street who turned out to be more wounded than mean, and Cheryl has helped her cope with life’s travails. 

In Irving, a community of courage completely renovated the home of one neighbor with terminal cancer. 

In Las Colinas, a community of courage is taking over the Crest Apartment complex every Tuesday night with food, drink, friendship, and laughter from about 80 people. 

In Valley Ranch, a community of courage is using hot chocolate and tailgating tents to overcome racial, cultural and religious barriers. 

And online, a community of courage is helping two IBCers organize projects that reach out to fellow “tech geeks” and employ their talents for the kingdom. 

Over and over, as IBCers gather in Missional Communities, they are given the great gift of courage to live as missionary disciples in an inhospitable culture; the courage to love one another and bless their neighbors; the courage to be transformed and, in turn, transform a city. 

Circles are where IBC’s vision takes deep root, because circles are where courage grows.

Learn more about MCs

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