Insecure leaders scare me.
Before I tell you why, let me tell you what an insecure leader is. An insecure leader is…
Someone who name drops. They know everyone, they know the top pastors, top worship leaders. They are always talking about who they know.
Someone whose past is greater than their present. They always talk about what they’ve done. It is always about their last ministry, church or job. The grass is greener in their past.
Someone who jumps on the latest bandwagon. They are up on the newest, greatest fad in church leadership. Each week it is a new vision for their church. This creates turbulence in a ministry because no one knows what the win is.
Someone who goes to the latest conference, reads the latest book and gets a new vision each time.
Someone who won’t stop talking about themselves. They always have a story about how great they are, why they should be on your team, how grateful Jesus should be they are a Christian and on board to build the kingdom of God. They tell story after story of their exploits.
Someone who is about building their kingdom instead of God’s. This can be difficult to detect because insecure leaders are very spiritual and manipulative. But underneath their spiritual veneer is someone who is more about people following them instead of people following Jesus.
Insecure leaders scare me because they are hard to detect. They are “wolves in sheep’s clothes.” (Matthew 7:15) They come across as together, they know the right answer, they often have a lot of biblical knowledge, but they go about things and have goals that go contrary to scripture. I often call them the guns blazing awesome guy.
So what do you do if you’re an insecure leader or you encounter one?
1. Know yourself. All of us tend to be insecure in certain areas. We struggle to believe God will use us, or we don’t want to come across as prideful about the gifts God has given to us. So we need to be honest about who we are, what we can do and what we can’t do. You aren’t insecure if you say, “I’m not as gifted at that as you are.” That’s self-awareness.
2. Have a process. One of the best ways to weed out the guns blazing awesome guy is to have a process. This process also helps to develop leaders to help them grow so they aren’t insecure. A process tells people, “You won’t be a leader here right away.” This is good for people who are unsure, to make sure they are trained. This is good for people who think they are awesome because it guards the gate.
3. Always talk to their last pastor. If a leader from another church shows up at your church singing your praises and bashing his last church, be wise. Talk to the last pastor they served with. Cover your bases.
4. Trust your gut. I could spiritualize this and say, “If the Holy Spirit tells you…”, and that might happen with someone you are considering for a leadership position. Sometimes your gut and the Holy Spirit become one and the same. Sometimes your gut is wrong, but I’m never mad when I trust my gut. If something says “wait” or “no” on someone, stick to that. You don’t always have to have a reason.