Recently I was asked to share my 3 greatest challenges as a leader. Well, I couldn’t stop at 3, so I shared 6. This certainly isn’t all the challenges we face as leaders, but here are some I have wrestled with over the years:
1. This is not my ministry but it’s HIS. Way too often “self” gets in the way, and I begin to feel ownership over “my ministry” rather than a steward of God’s ministry. This is when comparison and even jealousy can enter. I focus on whether or not what I did brought the right results. Remembering it’s not ours but His keeps us humble before Him, ever grateful He LETS us serve.
2. Balancing life and setting our priorities is not easy. At times we want to do it all and other times we do what is most urgent and not most important. Sometimes we have to just wait on God and not get ahead or lag behind Him. In setting our priorities (which depends on many factors), we must not strive for perfectionism since that is not possible anyway. It will also help us make good choices by narrowing down our purpose (what God has specifically called us to do) and making sure that what we are spending time on supports that purpose.
3. Spiritual growth must be a constant for leaders. If we are not continuing to grow as disciples ourselves, how can we expect those we serve and lead to grow? As we are growing, we must strive to live what we teach. We cannot live a sinless life, but our hearts must follow hard after God (see Isaiah 55) and that is what will influence others toward Christ.
4. I have a love/hate relationship with technology! Having not been born into the Internet age, I am on a constant learning curve. I have to intentionally choose to learn to stay current and connect with others. I don’t have to do it all, but I do have to continue learning. Overall it makes life easier once I learn it. And I work with a young woman who was born into the Internet age and has never known it any other way. She’s my go-to person!
5. Our adversary, the devil, is constantly seeking to trip us up, discourage us, bring disunity into the body of Christ, and he knows my weaknesses. In letting down my guard at all, he’s right there shooting an arrow I must choose daily to say no to his tactics, dig my heels in, stand strong in Christ, and never allow him a victory in my life. He can’t change my eternity, but he sure does seek to defeat me in the daily moments of life.
6. My heart so wants to leave well when it’s time or when God chooses a new direction in my call. I want to leave a godly legacy for those coming behind me. I need God’s direction on when and how to move out of one place of service into another. But I can fully trust God with who He brings to come along behind me. I must trust the future of the ministry to Him because, remember, it’s NOT my ministry anyway!
It is the greatest thrill of life to serve Christ, but it is not without challenges. Each challenge can be a learning experience as we submit it to God to show us how to overcome those challenges with His wisdom.