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Unlikely and Overlooked Leadership for Challenging Times

gail ficken

Gail Ficken shares some thoughts on leadership for these challenging times.

It’s a crazy, unprecedented time. For some reason, God has pushed pause on everything we know as “normal” in the church.

These days can crush HOPE. They can squeeze out COURAGE.

So it’s a season for pioneers, for people willing to assume the challenge of leadership and then living out the Mission of God. It’s a season for courageous bringers of hope. 

Not everyone thinks they’re ready for that.

Finding Unlikely and Overlooked Leaders

But here’s what I have noticed: In season after season, God uses the overlooked and the unlikely to do amazing things. 

Truth be told, we too often overlook ourselves. We check the unlikely “box” on ourselves!

What if you are overlooking yourself as a “hope bringer”? What if you’re overlooking yourself and what God has poured into you?

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14)

Take a look!

The Woman at the Well? Overlooked. Very unlikely!

Peter (Luke 5) “fished all night…but haven’t caught anything.” Unlikely candidate until: “But if you say so, I will.” 

David the shepherd boy. Eighth son of Jesse. Overlooked! Unlikely! …before he was anointed.

So, where are you on the unlikely and overlooked scale?

Are you overlooking yourself?

I obviously do a lot of work with leaders! You would never imagine how many start from the posture of having been the unlikely ones. They overlooked themselves!

I’ve come to expect God to move in amazing ways through the lives of people who overlook themselves!

Frequently, when I coach emerging leaders, I have to call out what I see in them that they can’t see in themselves. And I’m going to guess that you might be overlooking some of what God has poured into you.`

So I have to ask: “Have you been overlooking yourself?” Too many times people fool themselves. They limit what God wants to do through them. They let the pandemic steal their leadership.

Leadership for Challenging Times

Almost every article I read these days begins with “COVID-19” or “pandemic”! (Fortunately I saved those words until now!)

It’s in a season like this that God can develop our character and strengthen our identity in Christ. 

I know how quickly we can take inventory. To resign ourselves to accepting that we’re not enough or there is not enough. The disciples did that, too! 5,000 people! Food? Five loaves and two fish. And it was enough in the hands of Jesus!

What if you are enough? 

What if it’s right in front of you and you can’t see it?

So, what if you are enough? In the hands of Jesus, you are. What if you stop overlooking yourself and start investing in yourself? 

What if you’ve overlooked some of the folks around you, and it’s time you started believing in them before they’ve been able to believe in themselves? Multiply!

So, take a leadership step. Check out one of these three!

  1. Register here for PLI’s 3 Ways to Lead Millennials to Extend the Reach of your Church. It’s a one-time webinar that will give you practical insights and tools to extend the reach of the Gospel to a next generation.
  2. Leadership Essentials will be an investment in yourself. 
  3. Discipleship to Missional Community will train you to disciple and multiply.

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