There’s No Living Without Paying Prices

Living with heart and vulnerability is an act of courage. Some would argue that living with your heart fully engaged, fully invested, and fully in play is costly, reckless, and dangerous.

I agree.

But to live with your heart withheld is also costly.

There’s no living without paying prices. Give your heart; there are prices. Hide your heart and other prices are exacted. So, let’s examine prices that living with heart requires. Just to be clear about it.

Whenever you care about anyone and anything, you invest some of yourself. The more deeply you care, the more of yourself you invest

C.S Lewis writes “Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one…”

To live and lead with courage is to love so much that your heart is vulnerable to being “wrung and possibly broken.” And yet, when your heart is wrung or broken you can choose to keep it engaged.

Silencing your survival instincts, trusting God to heal and strengthen your heart, you keep giving yourself – fully – to your life.

This is no small matter. If it were, the world would be full of powerfully courageous leaders.

Imagine if the Church was a gathering place, an equipping place, and a sending place for leaders like this.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship


Made to Love

As humans, we were made for love. Made to love. Built to access and share affection readily, easily, and generously. Like little kids do.

Living with and among imperfect human beings, I’ve been hurt and I’ve seen others hurt, over the years. In the movies we see characters that give the appearance of being deeply satisfied, fully alive, and relationally connected without the risk of hurt and heartache that actual love requires.

Smooth operators.

Cool customers.

Cold lovers?

I once taught myself to live that way. Denying what I was, and what I was made for until Christ captured my heart and taught me another way: a risky way, a vulnerable, dangerous way. Since then, there’s been an accordion-like opening and closing, expanding and compressing of the affections my heart was meant to exude.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

How’s Your Love?

Francis Frangipane asks in “The Three Battlegrounds:” “Is your love growing and becoming softer, brighter, more daring, and more visible? Or is it becoming more discriminating, more calculating, less vulnerable and less available? This is a very important issue, for your Christianity is only as real as your love is. A measurable decrease in your ability to love is evidence that a stronghold of cold love is developing within you.”

Paul, with all that was at stake in Corinth, shepherded his heart so that it remained wide open, and his affections so that they were not withheld from them.

So rigorously and generously did he give his heart to them that he was able to call them to reciprocate— his leverage coming from his having gone first! He called them to a “fair exchange” of affections.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

An Exploitable Heart?

Most pastors would say they love their people well, sacrifice for them, work tirelessly, try to be accessible, etc. Yet, Paul speaks of his heart being wide open to them. [2 Cor 6:11] That’s intense.

A heart wide-open!

A big, gaping opening that can be exploited, disappointed, rejected, maligned. And, I write this not just for the young, wide-eyed church planters who haven’t yet taught themselves to distrust their congregations and bury their affections behind a mask of professional, religious propriety.

This applies to you: the veteran of betrayals, abuses, attacks, and back-stabbings… by many who you’ll no doubt find in Heaven.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

Heart Wide Open

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christ-followers Corinth: “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.” [2 Corinthians 6:11-13]

In all affairs of the heart, there is risk. One question is always: “Who goes first?” Who gets to be first to love, to risk, to be vulnerable?

Paul settles the issue for those of us in ministry: I get to go first! In doing so, I model the way of love for those around me. “We have opened wide our hearts to you.” Paul says. “We are not withholding our affection from you.”

Of how many in Christian leadership could that be said?

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

Your Perfectly Un-tidy Life

Because God is absolutely sovereign, nothing is “wrong” with my life. In fact, I have exactly the life I’m supposed to have. And, I’ve learned that my often disorderly, untidy life needs me.

More precisely, it needs Jesus.

Jesus is present when I bring all of me.

Dozens of times I’ve faced situations for which I had no solution. Each time, I’ve done my best to trust God and leap. And, God has always been there, in the midst of the difficulty, confusion, and pain.

When we are fully at stake, with our eyes wide open and yet we are still “all in,” we are inviting others in, as well. In fact, when our hearts are fully engaged, we exude an almost irresistible magnetism that pulls others to get in with us. We and those we inspire become fully alive.

The glory of God.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

The Glory of God!

In AD 185, St. Irenaeus of Lyons in his theologically important treatise “Against Heresies” is said to have written: “Man fully alive is the glory of God.”

When you take your heart out of your chest and extend it at your arm’s full length to those you have affection for, are you not becoming more fully alive?

When you put your heart in play, at stake, at risk for some great, worthwhile endeavor, do you not become more fully alive in the process?

A human fully alive is the glory of God.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship


Insights about Courage

What is courage?

Dan Tocchini, a friend and mentor, defines courage this way: “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving forward in the face of fear.”

So, what is it that moves one forward in the face of fear? The answer, I think, can be found in the etymology of the word itself.

Our English word “courage” comes from the French cor, which means “heart.” Courage literally can mean “with heart.” To live courageously is to live with your whole heart.

Your whole heart engaged.

Your whole heart invested.

Your whole heart at stake.

Your whole heart exposed.

Your whole heart vulnerable.

–Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

Courage and Leadership

Courage is integral to leadership. The link between the two is inseparable. To attempt to lead anyone, without employing courage, will undermine the possibility of the enterprise you hope to lead others in.

Management is another bird entirely. A manager does not a leader make.

I hold an advanced management degree. In graduate school we learned and practiced sophisticated problem-solving techniques. We became proficient using multi-faceted analytic tools such as market, cultural, financial, logistical, and competitive analysis. Most importantly, we developed our abilities at strategic reasoning and planning. In no way is my objective to denigrate management or management education.

Yet, leadership is an altogether different matter.

See, leadership is the visible employment of courage in a way that changes people: their thinking, behavior, and the impacts of those changes.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/

#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

Heaven’s Ours!

I’m inviting you to consider the amazing provision for those who are God’s own. I’ve experienced many setbacks and failures in ministry. There have been many heart-wrenching times in my life, and I’m sure you’ve experienced them too.

But, you and I can have absolute confidence that these experiences haven’t disqualified us from ministry. In fact, you and I are bound for glory.

There can be no other outcome for our lives. No matter what happens here, our mortal existence will be subsumed by a spectacular life reserved in Heaven for us. [2 Corinthians 5:1-4, 1 Peter 1:4]

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at www.KirlinCoaching.com/blog/


#leadership #courage #courageousleadership #leadershipcourage #Jesus #pastor #discipleship

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