I was talking with a young pastor overwhelmed with the responsibility he's been given.
His church expects a lot from him—leading the church, preaching great messages, visiting the sick and the well, managing a budget, and seeing the baptistry consistently in use—just to name a few things. He realizes the weight of his position, but much of it he doesn't feel qualified to deliver. He accepted the position knowing there would be challenges and he would have to walk by faith, which he wanted to do, but now he's wondering if he's in over his head.
I realized he was dealing with a huge dose of insecurity. I previously wrote "7 Traits of an Insecure Leader." It caused me to ask myself, so I could counsel him: What's the best way to deal with insecurity in leadership?
Here are five ways to deal with insecurity as a pastor or leader:
1. Avoid comparisons. Insecurity often develops when a person compares himself or herself to another. Don't try to be someone you're not. Be yourself. Realize who God designed you to be is not a mistake. Obviously, someone believed in your abilities as a leader. You need to stop comparing and start living in your own skin.
2. Concentrate on your abilities. What are you good at doing? Make a list of your good qualities. You probably have more than you think. In times of feeling insecure we often forget who we are and how God has shaped us through experiences of life. We would never tell a church member they aren't gifted—why would we believe this about ourselves? Keep your list handy. It will help you to feel more confident if you focus more on your positives than your negatives.
3. Surround yourself with people who complement your weaknesses. Part of having a healthy church or organization is the strength that comes from different people. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are probably people who can do things you don't feel comfortable doing. It's not a sign of weakness to get others involved. It's actually a sign of strength as a leader. And it's the more Biblical model of the church.
4. Keep learning. Seek wisdom from other leaders. Read books. Take additional classes. Knowledge is power. The more you grow in information the more competent you will feel in your role. By the way, when I feel overwhelmed or insecure, I read the stories like those of Gideon, Moses, Joseph, David, or Joshua repeatedly. Great encouragement.
5. Ultimately, find your identity in what's really secure. You have a relationship with Christ. Remember, "You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength." You can do all He calls you to do, because He will equip you for His call—and strengthen you when you need strength most. If you are facing insecurity in leadership you may have to simply get better at walking by faith. "Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:24)
Insecurity will weigh you down and hold you back as a pastor or leader. It will keep you from doing all you were called to do. Don't let it!
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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