Leadership is both a calling and a gift, but it doesn’t need to be perfect.
God will use your leadership to build his kingdom, even when your offering is a bit dinged up.
I love the Gospel stories about Peter. He was often the spokesman for the disciples, and he put his foot in his mouth more frequently than he spoke with eloquence (ask me how I know!). The gospels record more of Peter’s blunders than any other disciple. Yet Jesus told him, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV)
Jesus chose Peter to be the leader of the church despite his blunders. He wasn’t ignorant of Peter’s imperfections. Rather, he saw Peter’s potential as a leader, and he saw the faith in Peter’s powerful statement: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16 NIV)
Do you have faith as small as a mustard seed? Then God is calling you to serve in his kingdom. More likely than not, he is calling you to be a leader in some area, maybe even behind the scenes. Is fear of failure holding you back from leading where God is calling you?
The Bible says, “‘If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” (Eccl. 11:4 NLT)
Have you pushed pause on leading because you are waiting for the “right” season to arrive, the “right” Bible study to come along, or the “right” people to gather? I’ve used all those reasons as excuses, and I missed out on blessing, fellowship and service opportunities because I chose perfection over imperfect action.
Choose imperfect action over no action at all. #leadership #risk #faith @sarahgeringer – TWEET
Why You Don’t Need to Be a Perfect Leader
Years ago, my church did a congregation-wide small group study of Rick Warren’s famous book, “The Purpose-Driven Life.” I underlined many quotable quotes, but one that still stands out in my memory is this one: “Less-than-perfect service is always better than the best intention.” This quote helped me lay my perfectionistic tendencies aside. I have learned that “good enough” is better than “perfect” in God’s eyes.
After studying this book, I was inspired to try leadership positions at church even in areas I wasn’t sure I had mastered. One year I led crafts for vacation Bible school, and I discovered I felt more confident and relaxed as an artist in private than I did while teaching crafts. Another year I led the kitchen crew, and I found that to be a satisfying role because I enjoy delegating tasks and chatting while serving.
I tried leading a children’s Sunday school class—that was a total bomb. I tried volunteering in the nursery—another major dud. But leading Bible studies for women—that was a match made in heaven for me and my friends. They wanted someone to organize the group, set the schedule, and facilitate the discussion. I wanted to serve without feeling pressured to teach.
It took some messy failures to find where I could lead best, but now I know how and where to use my leadership skills. In a few weeks, I’m serving as a local Bible study leader again. I’m simply showing up, presenting the material, and shaping the discussion. God will do the rest. He’s ready for me to lead so others can be blessed and so his kingdom will advance.
Questions for you:
- What leadership roles have worked well for you in the past? Which ones haven’t worked?
- Where may God be calling you to serve in the next few months?
- What is holding you back from a position of leadership? Are you willing to commit the matter to prayer?
- If you don’t feel comfortable in the spotlight, how can you use your leadership skills behind the scenes?
Sarah Geringer is the author of three self-published books and writes about Finding Peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com. She serves as the graphic designer for the Grit ‘N’ Grace Podcast, which teaches her how to live an imperfect life with peace and joy. Sarah lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children.
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