The Courageous Community

Resourcing resilient, adaptive leaders following a natural disaster

What’s next for The Courageous Community?

After listening to pastors, the focus for The Courageous Community will be expanded to become a digital platform and network.

Visit The Courageous Community to learn more.

We have a even larger vision over time, of targeting first call pastors and pastors in transition, with a leadership intensive and mentoring community. Stay tuned in the next 18 months for news on these new resources that are growing out of the work LEAD has done supporting pastors recovering from Hurricane Harvey. We know that when pastors thrive, so do their congregations.

Join The Courageous Community!

Following a natural disaster, healthy leaders must intentionally care for themselves as they care for others. The Courageous Community is an opportunity for leaders everywhere to be part of the healing community. This effort will be focused on those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey with the hope to expand and respond to other natural disaster needs in the future.

Why The Courageous Community?

Loving your neighbor without the time, space, and resources to love yourself too can be crushing to the soul.

You are invited to give a gift that supports leaders who have been impacted by natural disasters, leaders on the front lines who are caring for others as they care for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the leaders who will receive the money?

Primary leaders in the affected churches (pastors, deacons, youth ministers, administrative staff, musicians, choir directors, preschool administrators, teachers, church council leadership) who covenant with LEAD.

How much money does each leader receive?

The average gift will be $500 – $1,000.

Are there restrictions on how the leader can spend the money?

The money must be spent within a year. Money given for recovery goes to material needs; money given for renewal goes to emotional and spiritual care. Specific purchases made with the money are up to the leader receiving the gift.

Can a leader apply for more funds?

Yes. Whether additional funds are given will depend on the leader’s needs and availability of resources.

Who makes the decisions about gifts?

A small team with representatives from the Bishop’s and LEAD staff.

How much money goes to the Bishop’s staff, to LEAD, or to LEAD staff?

None. The only exception is if a volunteer on the Bishop’s or LEAD’s staff loses their home in a flood. In that case, these people are invited into a covenant relationship like everyone else.

What organizations are partners in The Courageous Community?

The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Lutheran Disaster Response, and LEAD are working together to support leaders through The Courageous Community.

Why is this called The Courageous Community?

There are three primary reasons:

  • Leaders in the church generally focus on other people’s needs. It is a brave (and healthy) move for them to ask for help.
  • We do not know of any other organization that is designed to boldly ask leaders to give money to support other leaders.
  • Those who give do so with confidence believing that leaders in the church are doing the best that they can and acknowledging that we all have vulnerabilities. It takes courage to ask people what they need, without judgement or prescribed answers, and to respond directly to the needs expressed.

How will your gift be used?

100% of your tax deductible gift will go directly to pastors, church staff (including deacons, youth ministers, administrative staff, musicians, preschool administrators, and teachers) or other key congregational leaders who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.*

LEAD and Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod staff will interview these leaders to assess their needs. Gift amounts will be determined based on the needs and the financial resources available through your donations. The average gift will be $500 – $1,000.

The leaders may choose to use the gift for:

  • Recovery of material resources lost in the disaster
  • Renewal through spiritual and emotional care

Reports on how the money is used and short reflections from leaders who receive gifts will be shared online with The Courageous Community.

*LEAD and the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod are donating staff time to manage The Courageous Community

Thank you for your gift to the Courageous Community!

Thank you for the Harvey help!

Thank you so much for supporting us during this during this weird time! It is so wonderful to know that we have people like you watching our backs. It is a caring community that makes the difference between a difficult time and a disaster.

Wow, wow, wow! You were so very generous. We are deeply thankful for your help. Thank for your prayers too. I believe it has really helped us to keep positive.

We are in the re-construction phase now, and I am deeply humbled in the knowledge that some of the fine people working on my house are waiting for their own ruined houses to be livable.

I really can’t thank you enough for this generous gift. Recovery from Harvey has indeed been difficult, as I try to assist members of our church community as well as family members who are still displaced from their homes. As a non-rostered leader in the church, I am very grateful for inclusion and recognition in the Courageous Community effort.

Thanks for the generous gift! I’m grateful to you and LEAD.

Thank you so much for this gift. I feel guilty accepting it because I know there is massive need out there. I am grateful for the help—it is indeed healing—and I am grateful that I can share some of it with a family I know that is hurting. 

For more information:

This blogpost, Leaders Helping Leaders, provides background information about The Courageous Community.

A personal story from Hurricane Harvey.

Still have questions? Contact LEAD.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. –Isaiah 43:1-2

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. Henri Nouwen