How Your Courage as a Leader Can Draw Unbelievers to God


You can't be effective in ministry (or in any other area of your life) if you don't work well with other people.

Otherwise, you'll spend much of your ministry unhappy.

"Cultivating a life in common" takes work. Like a garden that requires cultivation to bear fruit, your efforts will bear the fruit of happiness and strong relationships.

What do you need to learn in order to work well with others?

Sometimes it's hard to stand up for what you know God wants and expects while everyone else just scoffs.

But when you do, you'll draw unbelievers to God.

You see this in the life of Daniel.

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When Daniel bravely stood up for God and publicly prayed to the true God (instead of worshipping King Darius), he got tossed into a den of hungry lions.

But God rescued Daniel—and King Darius took notice.

The Bible says of the pagan king:

"Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: 'May you prosper greatly! I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.' So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian" (Dan. 6:25-28, NIV).

Pagan kings don't issue decrees like that.

It's obvious that Darius became a follower of the one true God.

Daniel showed courage and stood up for God in the midst of a very difficult situation.

And Daniel's witness for God led to Darius' decision to follow God.

It's tough to stand up for what God wants when it feels as if everything is being pushed back in the other direction.

But when you stand up for God in your context as a church leader, other people will take notice.

Courage—real, God-honoring courage—draws people to God.

Plus, as a leader, you'll encourage others in your church to do the same.

Courage is infectious.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Pastor Rick started The PEACE Plan to show the local church how God works through ordinary people to address the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy. You can listen to Daily Hope, Pastor Rick's daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at He is also the founder of, a global online community created to encourage pastors.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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