Any time we set out to accomplish something, we run the risk of failure. This can be extremely overwhelming and debilitating, but we cannot let the fear of failure keep us from taking leaps of faith. We cannot make our shortcomings our excuses for never beginning in the first place or our mistakes the reason we refuse to begin again.
Being a great leader does not mean you will never fail, it means that when you fail, you are humble enough to admit it and wise enough to learn from your mistake. You fail to recognize that your inadequacies point to your great need for Christ, and that it is only through Him that we are able to accomplish any and all things set before us. In every place where we are lacking, He sustains. We were never meant to do it ourselves in the first place.
This striving to be the best we can starts with resting in Who He is. We operate out of where our identity is rooted and our priorities flow from whatever it is we worship. If our identity is rooted in our successes and we worship our ministries, we will ultimately fall apart. If our priority is never failing, we will always be miserable. We must be rooted in Christ and operate with Him as our solid foundation. I become much more focused on actual ministry when I let go of the appearance of it.
I have learned two very important things in regard to failure:
1: Leading well at its very core and most simplistic form is loving well. I cannot bare the burden of changing peoples’ hearts. We are really good at overcomplicating things, which is why so many of us buy into the lie that we’re not qualified enough to “lead”. Really, the moment we profess Christ, we all become qualified. In that moment, we all receive the power of the Holy Spirit and the call to lead others to Christ. That is true leadership – the continual process of leading others to Christ. We all need that and we are all called to it. Sorry if this is news to you, but this whole making disciples thing, it’s not just for those of us who have “titles” and “experience”. It’s for every one of us who loves Jesus. And the call is simply to love others so much they end up falling in love with Him. No one is more qualified than another at the foot of the cross. We’re all leaders at some capacity and through Him we are all capable of loving.
2. I tend to hold myself to a much higher and unrealistic standard than I hold anyone else to. As leaders, we should always be striving to live above reproach, keeping in mind that we are held accountable for our actions in a different way because of the influence we have. As believers, while our hearts eagerly seek to honor Jesus in all we say and do, we must walk in the freedom of Christ’s victory. We can rise from defeat because He defeated the grave and rose again. We can overcome sin because He overcame it and it is He living through us. We experience true freedom when we stop relying on Christ in tough moments and become consumed with Him at all times. Though we may fill the role of a leader, we are always believers first. Allow yourself to be drenched in the grace of Jesus. When you make a mistake, confess it to Him. Repent. Learn from it. Then, Let. It. Go.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexis Judy is on staff at her local crisis pregnancy center, she has discipled middle and high school girls for 4 years, is involved with student ministry at Liberty Baptist Church, and is on the SBCV Women’s Ministry State team.