By Jeff Faull
Scripture urges church leaders to lead with humility and confidence. These two qualities are not mutually exclusive. Timidity is not humility, and confidence is not pride. The boldness of the apostles was often displayed and noted. Young Timothy was encouraged by Paul to abandon timidity and to lead with power.
Yet, so often as leaders we fail to exhibit the spirit of power and discipline God has given us, and we exchange it for a posture of fear and hesitancy. Consequently, we cripple the opportunity to lead well. Why do we sometimes lack confidence in ministry? Why do we struggle with spiritual leadership insecurities?
Leadership Confidence Busters
Consider these common leadership confidence busters:
- comparing ourselves to other people
- failing to discipline our time and energy
- listening to the wrong voices
- trying to be something we are not
- being involved in sinful or unwise behavior
- failing to spend time with God
- placing too much stock in human wisdom or in the flesh
- making it about us
- measuring success with the wrong yardstick
- lingering at the pool of negativity
- making leadership more complex than it has to be
- forgetting our pastoral purpose
- neglecting to care for our physical bodies
All of these can affect the flow of godly confidence into our spirits. Consequently, every offhand comment, every critique, every instance of second guessing, every disgruntled member, departure, or negative thought, real or imaginary, every dropped ball, every new demand, every perceived failure, underbudget offering, fluctuation in attendance, or unexpected setback, every personal insecurity or inadequacy becomes another blow that saps our leadership energy, confidence, and resilience. And on our worst days, even hearing too much praise of another’s leadership and interpreting that as a statement of our own personal deficiency or value sucks the joy and vitality from our hearts.
Leadership Confidence Builders
What if, instead, we chose to lead with confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit? What if we focused on what God is doing through us? Not closing our eyes to reality or ignoring our leadership weaknesses but choosing to address them and to lead with the kind of confidence and power that comes only from humble submission to the ultimate leader.
Then every act of generosity, every life change, every good work, every unselfish act, representation of Jesus, deeper look into self and Scripture, every move of God, every answered prayer, word of encouragement, budding relationship, every display of spiritual hunger and interest, every inquiry, every expression of love and imitation of Christ, every strengthened family, rededication, decision, baptism, every act of faith, confession and repentance of sin, every restoration and answered prayer, every gift of love, shout of joy, song of praise, tear of gratitude, every child taught, elderly saint blessed, kingdom worker encouraged, every sinner saved, every truth declared and promise claimed, every moment of conviction, surrender, and glory to the Almighty fills us with joy and restores our confidence in the Chief Shepherd himself.
We choose the mind-set. We determine our spiritual leadership posture. We choose where we live as leaders. Let’s choose godly boldness and confidence, and let’s do our tasks with joy.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, New American Standard Bible).
Jeff Faull serves as senior minister at Mount Gilead Church in Mooresville, Indiana, and as a board member with e2.