We got a letter last week from a friend of Time of Grace, who wrote in for a little advice and prayer. He was being encouraged to serve as the chairman of his congregation, and didn’t feel that he was a good enough public speaker. While he loves his church and would love to serve, he’s terrified of the thought.
Have you ever been pushed towards a leadership role that you really felt unequipped for?
One of the tricks, one of the insights into identifying your own spiritual gifts is not to rely exclusively on your own feelings. Just as we’re often wrong about other people, we’re often wrong about ourselves. Most people are not completely accurate about their self-assessments.
A trick of the evil one is to get people to be ineffective and depressed and he works on our self-hatred, our lack of self-confidence. Most people I know are insecure to some degree, some people profoundly so. Insecurity generally has no direct relationship to reality. It’s a mind game that Satan plays to put a dark cloud over your self-image. His ultimate goal is to get you to hate yourself, which of course will make you hate other people. His ultimate triumph is driving people to suicide. Most people who take their own lives would have tons of people who could tell them why their lives are worth living.
Which leads me to think one of the best ways to identify what you’re really good at is to listen to the people around you. If people come to you and say, “We have confidence in you. We’d enjoy following you,” listen to them. Grow into the job. Good leaders are not the ones who do it all, anyway. Good leaders listen first, and if you’re more of a listener than a talker, that might just make you a great leader. You pay attention to people and seek to serve their needs.
Don’t disqualify yourself from leadership roles. In fact, you might have the very tools that your group needs.