Overcoming Fear and Insecurity in Leadership

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There are a lot of Christian leaders who experience extreme insecurity. Two ways you will notice it is that they either tend to downplay themselves or overplay themselves. They will either take themselves out of the picture as much as possible or they will make themselves the center of attention as much as possible. Both of those actions can come from insecurity. One is trying to make sure they have nothing to prove. The other is making sure that they are constantly proving themselves.

There are a few reasons Christian ministers struggle with insecurity. Here three:

  1. You can feel like you have as many bosses as there are members of the congregation as each person has a different expectation of what your job should look like.
  2. Your family, job, friends, and church are all wrapped up in the same group of people. When a person in secular work loses their job they don’t lose their church. They can just get a new job, often in the same town without a move, and keep their church home. When a minister loses their job they lose it all and have to uproot everything and start fresh. The family, friends, job, and church are all the same people.
  3. Often people who get into ministry are people pleasers. This is why they wanted to do ministry because they like making people happy. You learn very quickly in ministry this is impossible and so those who feel this way are constantly under pressure and feelings of guilt.

We live in a fearful and anxious society. Comparisons are constantly made and what is more we are constantly comparing the worst version of ourselves to the best Instagram, 1000 selfies until you get the “perfect” one, versions of others. That is all we know to compare because we don’t get to see the worst side, the 999 selfies in the garbage bin, of those we compare ourselves against. We know what we see when we look in the mirror in the morning but we never get to see that of anyone else. We compare our reality with someone else’s fantasy and we will always lose that one in our our own minds.

It turns out we are all messed up. But our security isn’t found in not being messed up. Our security isn’t found in coming out ahead on comparing ourselves with others. No. Our security is found in Christ and his faithfulness. As we have seen in recent news even preachers at megachurches can have some very dark sides to them. But for all these years these people were held up as the standard few could ever measure up to.

We can fool ourselves into thinking that we can compare ourselves with other fallible people. If we look around hard enough we can always find someone, in our most prideful moments, that we think we are better than. Then we can feel “good” about ourselves, secure. But isn’t that a nasty way to find “security”? The truth is, it is just one more dark way to feed our inner insecurity as we reflect on how many people we had to pass up before we found someone we could win out against.

Here is my point. Jesus won’t have any of that. We know that game doesn’t work with Him because when we compare ourselves against Jesus it isn’t us comparing the worst version of ourselves with the seeming best version of someone else. Jesus was and is perfect. He is incomparable. That is exactly why we need to compare ourselves to Him and not to anyone else.

We find our security in losing the comparison game not in winning it. Here is why. When we compare ourselves with others we can fake security through securing victory by rigging the game and coming out on top. But you can’t rig the game with Jesus because He really is perfect. When you finally lose that game…and I mean really lose it…you will have to humble yourself in that reality (no more room for fantasy) and accept the security that Jesus provides rather than the pretend security I have been manufacturing my whole life. Only then will you and I truly be secure and only then will we be in a position to truly lead others who struggle with these same things.

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