I threw out a tweet last week asking leaders what was the top thing that they struggled with…and received lots and lots of answers; however, we took them and basically categorized them into nine things.
Before I list them and how to overcome them let me share a reality that God has been DRIVING into me over the past three months…
GOD'S WORD > HOW I FEEL!
If you are a leader (especially a church leader) then one of the things we are most guilty of is believing God's Word for other people but not for our own lives.
I can personally relate to EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things listed…and the way I fight/do battle with them is God's Word! I believe that by believing God's Word we can overcome these things…so with that in mind here we go…
#1 – Feeling Adequate – Every single church leader I have ever spoken to wrestles with this, the one thing that I always come back to is II Corinthians 4:1, God's mercy = my ministry! I am adequate not because of anything I have done, but rather because God had mercy on me and called me to Himself. You are adequate because God called you…period!!!
#2 – Pride – Every single leader I know is going to deal with this one at some point, for me anytime I am prideful I find myself being led to I Corinthians 1:26-31 and I Corinthians 6:9-11! (James 4:6 is a good one too!!!)
#3 – People Pleasing – Galatians 1:10 and Proverbs 29:25, plain and simple!
#4 – Delegation – One of the things that made Paul such a powerful and influential leader is that he delegated not just task…but ministry (see I Corinthians 4:17!) Jesus did the same thing as well (Luke 10:1-24!) If I want to be a leader like Jesus I must learn to trust people–period!
#5 – Jealousy Of Other Leaders – We deal with this because so many times we compare what they are doing to what we are doing, which is DANGEROUS because no one EVER wins the comparison game. The apostle Paul warns in II Corinthians 10:12-13 that we should NOT look at what others are doing but rather whether or not we are being faithful with what God has called us to do!!!
One more thought on this…in the parable of the talents one person received five, another received two and the last guy received one. If the two talent person had spent time complaining and comparing with the five talent guy then he would have been unable to produce any sort of harvest…but because he took stewardship of what he had been given he stepped into a bigger blessing…because he refused to compare!
#6 – Confronting People When Necessary – If you LOVE confrontation then most likely you are a rear end that nobody likes!!! Confrontation is not fun…but is completely necessary if a church is going to maximize it's potential and reach as many people as possible. Reality is that if you are at a leadership table and you disagree with something mentally then you have an obligation to disagree verbally–PERIOD! Not in a mean spirited or unkind way…but, with a humble and sincere approach.
The Apostle Paul had a pretty tough confrontation at one point…but we see in Galatians 2:11-14 that he did it. If you see something wrong with the church or with someone else and you do not confront them then you do not love them.
#7 – Insecurity – Every leader I know has dealt with insecurity at some point. One of the key verses that I've had to rely on during my most insecure moments is Philippians 1:6, that IF HE BROUGHT ME TO IT THEN HE WILL LEAD ME THROUGH IT!!! Insecure moments should not cause us to feel less secure about who we are but rather more secure in who God is!!! If He is with us (Isaiah 41:10) then we should lead and live like it.
#8 – Failure – There isn't a leader on the planet that rolled out of bed this morning and said, "Dear Lord, I would love to just blow it today, would you please allow me to make a mistake SO HUGE that I never want to show my face again, amen!" No one wants to make a mistake, but, we do…two things to keep in mind regarding this…
◦If you are going to fail, fail forward (John Maxwell wrote an EXCELLENT book on this, if you have not read it I highly recommend it!) Proverbs 24:16 says that one of the distinguishing marks of a righteous person is that when they fall they get back up!!! In leadership it's not whether or not we are going to fail…but whether or not we are going to fail forward!
◦ALSO…fear of failure is what holds most people back from taking a step of faith!!! But…Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!! I believe what holds most churches back is a leaders lack of faith, we fear looking back more than we desire for the church to move forward…and so we hold back. Most of the time the failure comes NOT as a result of trying and not succeeding…but rather not trying at all!
#9 – Confidence – All of us, every single one of us struggle with confidence in our leadership. Two things here…
The same God who was IN THE BIBLE performing miracles and overcoming obstacles IS WITH US TODAY!!! (Hebrews 13:8!) So many times we get so focused on who God was and what He will be like in heaven that we lose sight of the fact that HE IS AWESOME RIGHT NOW!!!
When it comes to preaching and leading…when we "do it by the book" then it will ALWAYS bring back a harvest (Isaiah 55:8-13).
If you want to dive into these things a little deeper then you can go to itunes and download the August edition of the Perry Noble leadership podcast for free…we took a look at all nine of these and broke them down in more detail.