Who is your hero? Who is mine? Our choice illuminates the battles we choose to fight. It also reveals the deep yearnings we have for purpose, belonging, and hope in better world. Good prevailing over evil, it’s the human yearning. We cheer for the underdog. We sit on the edge of our seats hoping against hope that the good guy or girl will beat back the demons that seem to have the win all but in hand, in a desperate need to see the successful conquering of evil. For in the hero’s accomplishments, we have hope for our own triumphant win over the evil that threatens to take us down. We hope to be courageous enough to choose danger. Storytelling whether through written word, film, or music has been shaped by the archetypal monomyth that developed early in human history.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces written by Joseph Campbell, is a comparative mythology that looks through varied religious lenses. Joseph Campbell unpacks his view that humans understanding and value of “The Hero”, no matter the culture or time, is tethered to the definition of the archetypal hero found in the similar structure of myths. In Part One (and the portion that receives most engagement), Campbell outlines the Hero Journey moving from the ordinary world to the mystical/spiritual world only to return home as victor. This journey is separated into three rites of passage: separation, initiation and return. Through these rites, Campbell composes the hero motif from the 17 stages of adventure the hero must take, ending with the hero transformed. Although the particulars of the myth may differ, the essence of the hero and the journey are driven by the same structure. Part One of Campbell’s book has been the storytellers “go-to” for storyboarding the plot of the hero.
The Hero’s Journey resonates with humans because it illuminates the overarching truths of humanity’s experience, fears and timeless longings. Campbell’s “monomyth” informs us of the universality of the hero’s journey in our interpretation of reality. Peter Schakel reflects on the heart of this found in C.S. Lewis’s stories, “In theology as in science, myth supplies not answers but an experience of a larger existence than we can know cognitively. Such an experience touches depths the intellect cannot reach and conveys, to children and adults alike, the sense that this is not just true, but Truth.”
Who is my hero? The top of my list is Jesus. I pondered this in context of the Hero’s Journey, and I struggled. Campbell’s description, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man”, doesn’t profoundly connect to the Hero’s Journey of Jesus. This disconnect lead me to ask how does Campbell’s motif speak to the differentiated leader? Does the “myth” of Jesus and his journey deepen my understanding of my leadership? I performed a few internet searches: “Hero’s Journey of Jesus”, “the hero with a thousand faces and leadership”, “Hero’s journey and ministry”. It certainly was an adventure. But admittedly, in the end, I had no new wisdom.
My NPO engages worship, mission, and koininia. I have come to place to think that Jesus revealed a Deconstructed Hero’s Journey. Jesus deconstructs the definition of the “classic” hero. He deconstructs the understandings of worship, mission, and community. He deconstructs the concepts of power and love. Jesus deconstructs what it means to share his “boons”. Jesus offers humanity the boon of wholeness, while inviting others to the adventure, and our boon is to invite others on the same adventure. His journey is an embodiment of the “greatest love story ever told.” 
The biggest boon for me on this week’s journey of reading is that I have new language for my NPO. I have a Hero of deconstruction that is my mentor on this adventure. As Friedman talks about the early explorers…the risks taken to discover…having a sense of “adventure in thinking”…to cross equators, I understand more deeply the need to be a differentiated leader. I am called to challenge ministry leaders to have courage to deconstruct ecclesiology in order for a resurrection in church identity to be a place where the deep yearnings we have for purpose, belonging, and hope in better world becomes a reality, where the worlds greatest needs and God’s greatest passion intersect. Yes, it is the greatest love story told…nay experienced, and is definitely a choice of danger!
 Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds, pg 65
 Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, pg. 23
 A nod to the television show, Jane the Virgin which reveals several characters hoping to live the “greatest love story ever told.”
 Failure of nerve pg 55