Recently, my husband and I were asked to step in as small group pastors at our church. It was both an honor and a privilege to be asked to fill this position and we happily accepted. However, I’d be lying if I said I had zero reservations. Not because I didn’t want to volunteer in this capacity, I truly have a heart for seeing people connect on a deeper, more intimate level within the church body. I did have a moment of panic when I thought of all the reasons why I am not qualified to be a leader. I had no doubts where my husband was concerned, just me and my hot mess of a self.
Thankfully God has a few words for moments such as these.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
This one verse helped me to realize a very simple truth, I am not afraid to be myself.
I am not afraid to tell you that I sometimes lose my patience with my kids. I can be a frustrated momma and use that to honor God by showing other aggravated parents how to take His Word and it apply it to their toughest parenting battles.
I am not fearful that you may find out that I’ve been known to argue with my husband. We’ve had some serious struggles in our marriage that made me wonder if we had any business helping other couples through their own hard times. But, every obstacle we’ve overcome by God’s grace has made us stronger and better equipped to counsel those who find themselves in similar predicaments. Besides, what a testament it is to God’s redemptive power on the days I wanna strangle my man and resist that temptation 😉
I choose to not shy away from admitting the mistakes that I’ve made, both in my past and the areas I continue to struggle with today. I could wallow in self-pity over my shortcomings but would rather use them as part of my testimony. The way I see it, if God hasn’t left or forsaken ME at this point, then there is definitely hope for you too!
Then there is the small matter of not “looking” the part. Hear me out…every time I see the leaders from our church, and other churches as well, they seem so pulled together. Half the time I leave the house wild eyed in my most fashionable pair of yoga pants complete with messy hair & yesterday’s makeup as coffee sloshes over my hand because of my refusal to use a travel mug. Doesn’t exactly scream “leader,” does it?! But you know what? God made me the beautiful mess that I am and He can use me to reach others just as I am. No need to put on airs and pretend to be something I am not.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that being a leader, at any capacity, doesn’t mean conforming to whatever preconceived image you have in your head of what a leader should look like. It means being comfortable in your own skin, in the life that God has given you, and using that to point others to Jesus.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)