Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

“Take criticism, smash it into dust, add color, and use it to paint breathtaking images of unicorns frolicking thru endless fields of greatness.”– Matthew Gray Gubler, Author

There are some who went off in search of unicorns, but found only rhinoceros.– Laurent Binet, Author

Growing up, I was fascinated by stories like J.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, or C.S. Lewis’, The Chronicles of Narnia, in which the unicorn Jewel, is one of the last remaining loyal subjects of the lion Aslan (a type of Christ) in The Last Battle. Unicorns are depicted as beautiful mythical creatures like horses with a singular horn projecting from their heads. In the Middle Ages they were symbols of purity and grace that could be captured only by virgins. In figurative speech, a UNICORN is something that is highly desirable, but difficult to find or obtain. This kind of rarity is referenced by the writer of Proverbs when he asks, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies,” (Prov. 31:10) and, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?” (Prov. 20:6) It seems that faithfulness and virtue were as unique as unicorns, even in Biblical times.

One of my mentees has taken to calling me a unicorn. That colloquial phrase can mean someone is rare and holds a high value in your life. It is true that we hold each other in high esteem, but I believe she means that in her experience, it is hard to find Christian leaders who are genuine. I once had another mentee exclaim, “You believe this stuff for real!” It would seem these statements would be flattering, but for me they are perplexing. I know Matthew 7:13-14 clearly states that there is a narrow and strait gate that leads to life that few find, and a broad and wide gate that leads to destruction— but I have historically naively believed that everyone is truly devoted, particularly those who’ve invested copious amounts of time and energy in ministry. Luke 13:22-30 tells us some who’ve served in various capacities will try to engage the Lord in the end and He will say, “I never knew you”.

Being a pastor is challenging at times. We are caught in an atmosphere where folks say, “leave it to the professionals.” Whether it’s ministerial acts like evangelism or preaching, personal disciplines such as prayer or study of Scripture, or righteous responses like forgiveness or loving enemies; pastors are expected to always model Christ-likeness. Some believe it is easier for us to do so because we are clergy. I assure you it is not. It is just as difficult for us to die to ourselves and our emotions, take up our crosses, deny our flesh, hold our tongues, obey Scriptural commands, and walk in the fruit of the Spirit as it is for our members. We are tempted and tried just like you all. Sometimes we as pastors sin and fail, and we, just like everyone else…have to confess, repent, receive the Lord’s forgiveness, and try again.

I don’t want to be a spiritual unicorn. As a leader, I, like Paul, desire to have people follow me as I follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). I don’t think there should be special unicorns… we ALL should be unicorns. That’s what I believe our Father wants.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment



Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

More Reading

Related Posts


“To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” – Saint Augustine “I’m one extreme or the other. I’m not good at doing moderation,” said actress Margot Robbie who plays the protagonist