19 Ways to Recognize a Hero

By Jennifer Johnson

Real heroes don’t wear capes. They can’t fly or leap tall buildings or breathe underwater.

Real heroes wear khakis and polo shirts. The younger ones wear jeans and untucked Diesel button-downs with pockets on both pecs. On good days they wear waders in a baptistery.

Heroes answer the phone at midnight and change back into the jeans before driving across town to sit with a grieving family.

04_JJ_hero_JNHeroes still get up early the next morning to have breakfast with their kids.

Heroes are strong enough to unite opinionated volunteers and gentle enough to dedicate new babies.

Heroes shave their beards or shave their heads when the VBS kids make an offering goal.

Heroes prepare 20 hours to speak for 20 minutes.

Heroes take criticism about the church from people who don’t give time or money.

Heroes are often lonely.

Heroes lead staff meetings, small groups, Sunday school, ministry teams, new member classes, premarital counseling sessions, weddings, and funerals. Their phone rings at home during mealtimes, “me time,” and movies.

Heroes are still asked, “What do you do all week?”

Heroes spend their day off mowing the church lawn.

Heroes lead the youth group when there’s no money for a youth minister.

Heroes often marry other heroes.

Heroes write half their sermons in hospital waiting rooms.

Heroes earn less than most of their elders.

Heroes know how to listen, and when to keep what they hear to themselves.

Heroes are brave enough to speak the truth, and usually wise enough to pick their moment.

Heroes work hard to help other people with the hard parts of life, spending their lives pointing us to the One who can save it.

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