Is pandemic conflict and uncertainty making you feel inadequate? Insecure?
Let’s be honest. Pandemic conflict and uncertainty is taking a toll on the best of congregational leaders. Hope is maybe on the way but it’s still a ways away…if you’re thinking vaccines.
You’ve probably identified with
- Elijah’s “I’m the only one left.” OR
- Abraham’s “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me…?”
When I reflect on my own seasons of ministry, I’m too personally acquainted with feeling inadequate and insecure!
It’s not fun.
- I’ve worked harder and longer, not necessarily knowing the right direction but knowing that I’d get “there” if I redoubled my efforts. It’s a bad idea in terms of life balance, Gail and family!
- I’ve played for the approval of one or a few in the congregation. When it seemed like “everyone” was contrary, I’d steady myself by knowing that this one or these few that I respected could still give me an emotional “thumbs up.” The “you’re OK” signal. It’s a bad idea in anxious times to entrust my sense of well being in what could be a fickle few.
- My worst? I’ve simply descended into the pit. Desperate. Uncertain. Not trusting any past competencies I may have mastered. Mistrusting my own decisions. Feeling too foolish or too vulnerable to admit my inadequacy to anyone. Questioning past convictions of direction. It’s a bad idea to be alone, to drown out the graceful whisper of God.
So…if the seemingly endless drumbeat of COVID has taken its toll, here are 5 solutions to inadequacy and insecurity that I recommend.
- Remind yourself that you are a child of God! Deeply loved. Baptized. Dearly cared for. Accepted. Forgiven. For the sake of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, you are adopted. No matter what….
- Allow someone to walk with you and remind you whose you are. Allow someone to encourage you that you are not the product of your pandemic performance.
- Embrace growth. Allow the imbalance and the inefficiency of the present to shape your confidence in God and your character for the future. God is still a God who rattles valleys of dry bones to life. Use “now” to form you for what’s “next.”
- Remember that the God who has led you to this point will not abandon you and will lead you beyond the present.
- Find freedom. If you feel trapped, stuck, yoked to a path that has enslaved you—lift up your eyes and explore. It’s a task of first leading yourself. If the future cannot be an extension of the past, assume responsibility for discovering a new direction, as difficult as it might seem.
The LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward!”
While Joseph was in prison, the LORD was with him, he showed him kindness and granted him favor.
It’s easy to say that our ministries need to be nimble, clear on purpose and calling, not rigid in what we do or how we do it! But none of that happens if we haven’t wrestled through our own insecurities and inadequacies as leaders!
Let me suggest 3 things:
- Reach out to someone in your current or past huddle or collegial group and let them remind you of a few of the solutions to inadequacy and insecurity above.
- A “closer look” at Discipleship to Missional Community on February 1-2 (online) gives an easy entry to two days to refuel and possibly find redirection.
- Leadership Essentials Immersion 1 on April 15-16 (online) will give you all of the tools to do a full reset for your future by examining your Core and your Competencies, in your Context.