Safety, mediocrity, and fear are the enemy of courageous leadership and the pursuit of bold, God-inspired dreams. In his book, Just Courage, President and CEO of the International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen talks about “Death in the Cul-De-Sac.” Haugen uses the cul-de-sac as a metaphor for “the world of suburban monotony and triviality that so many Western Christians find themselves trapped in.”
Haugen says that years ago people began moving into cul-de-sacs for safety, increased property values, and to avoid high-speed traffic. But research has shown that cul-de-sacs are actually more dangerous for children–not because of forward-moving traffic, but rather cars backing up–which is what cars do in cul-de-sacs.
Haugen makes a great comparison to the cul-de-sac when he writes, “many Christians and churches in the West, seeking safety from a dangerous world, a threatening culture and personal weakness have turned inward to the prosperous cul-de-sac, only to find a spiritual atrophy, mediocrity and boredom that is lethal to the soul.” God is calling us out of our cul-de-sacs of comfort where safety, mediocrity, and fear dwell. He is calling us to pursue bold visions that make a difference in the world.
Do you find yourself confined to the cul-de-sac of comfort? Are you afraid of what will happen if you, or your church, steps outside your dead-end street? While you may feel “safe,” life in the cul-de-sac often ends with disobedience and regret. Perhaps Haugen’s question states it best “Am I being brave, or am I being safe? In the end, it depends on whether we think God can be trusted.”