Do leaders ever have fear? Should they? As a leader, I’ve often faced situations that scared me to death. God does not call us to serve Him and then throw things at us to make us afraid to obey His call. Read this post by guest blogger Becky Badry, founder and director of Women in Leadership Coaching to learn 5 practical ways to face our fears as we lead.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
I have to admit I hate to write. In fact, I have spent two weeks procrastinating contemplating writing this blog. In order to write I have to deal with the voice in my head that says, Why are you writing a blog? What makes you think you can write? I mean, who would want to read what you have to say? You know what I mean? The conversations and arguments you have with yourself in the shower? And the bully named Fear wins again.
Why do we fear critics, embarrassment, losing influence, ridicule, disappointing others?
Fear isn’t new; it isn’t caused by the increased stress on the 21st century leader. Fear is as old as creation. Remember Adam and Eve hid for fear of God’s response to their disobedience. The Bible is full of less-than-courageous individuals. In fact, the Bible references fear 600 times.
In his book, The Character of Leadership, Dr. Jeff Iorg lists the following 5 ways to help ministry leaders overcome fear:
Remember you are saved. Your salvation experience with Jesus breaks the power of sin in your life. (Romans 8:15) Because of your salvation in Jesus Christ, you can face your fears and lead when you still feel afraid.
Practice! Practice! Practice God’s presence. You are not alone! (Psalm 118:6) There is something very comforting and reassuring about knowing we are not alone in difficult situations. Experiencing His presence takes practice.
Confront fear with Biblical truth and Realistic truth. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Does this verse apply to confronting fear? Absolutely. Truth is Light! Each time we read, in scripture, about a less-than-courageous child of God, we also see the Spirit of God show up, not to condemn but with a gentle, encouraging reminder Do not fear, Do not be afraid, Be of great courage.
Several years ago, my husband and I were in need of leadership counseling. Each time the counselor perceived we were making decisions based on fear he would lead us through a series of reality busting questions: “So what? What if? What is the worst thing that could happen? Why is that so bad?” This process helped us to remove the debris fear had placed in our path, discouraging our journey as courageous leaders.
Pray. . . hard! When you have worked through the first three steps and you are still paralyzed by fear, fervent prayer will always lead to breakthrough. (Psalm 34:4)
Take Action! Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. . .
Boom! Knock-out punch to the bully named Fear. And now, this blog has been written. faith wins! Faith Wins! FAITH WINS!
Becky is the founder and director of Women in Leadership Coaching. She formerly served as Director of Women’s Resources and Missions Mobilization for the Colorado Baptist Convention before moving to Wewoka, OK where her husband is pastoring. Becky is a minister’s wife, women’s ministry leader, speaker, conference leader, LifeWay Ministry Multiplier and author. She has a passion to see women’s ministry leaders’ and ministers’ wives find the encouragement needed to faithfully fulfill God’s call in life. After completing her Women’s Ministry Certification at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and graduating from Golden Gate Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, in 2012 she received the Educational Leadership Service in Ministry Award. Becky is also a contributing author to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level. Jay and Becky have two adult sons, Jeremy and Justin, a wonderful daughter –in-law, Rochelle and one grandbaby.