I just sat down at a coffee shop to begin working on my sermon for the week end…well it is a Tim Horton”s but I did just get coffee. I thought maybe I would connect with my inner-hockey player and not my inner-drink cool coffee person. I will re-connect with that guy soon;) As I walked to the door I heard myself saying to myself, yes I was talking to myself is that bad? Anyway I heard myself say something like, “ I am just a guy who…” Have you had those thoughts before like, “I am just a regular guy who happens to pastor.” “I am just this way and that is how it is.” It is good for us to know who we are for sure, but when we preface it with “just” we tend to down play who we are. I do like humility but downgrading ourselves usually means we are comparing ourselves to someone else…or someone else is doing that for you, comparing you to someone else. Pastor to Pastor…worship leader to worship leader…children’s leader to children’s leader etc. Then we stand back and say that we are just not good enough…obviously. My thought as I headed to the door was “I am just a factory worker who happens to pastor.” Can I tell you something? First of all, being a factory worker was good to me, real good. Second, I have not worked in a factory for almost 20 years! 20 years ago I left the factory and became a full time pastor, though I really despise the term “full time.”
I went through a period riding my motorcycle where I began to lose confidence in my ability. It probably was not helped by Barb asking, “Have you ever ridden a bike before?” Words of encouragement for sure;) But true words, from her perspective as a passenger on the back of the bike, my wobbly stopping and starting was a bit scary I am sure. I switched motorcycles and am getting the feel back…the problem is I did form some bad habits but they are being wrinkled out. Losing confidence riding does not make it a pleasant experience for anyone, the tension you feel is real. A leader that loses confidence in their ability to lead brings comfort and confidence to no one involved. When a leader is walking around like I am, thinking, “I am just” it is not humility, so to speak, rather they have listened to other voices speak and forgot Who called them. Being compared saps the confidence away…and you become “just” another person trying to make it to the end of the day.
My thought process was stirred up a bit by a friend we are going to visit and he asked if I would talk to his staff briefly about leadership. Right…I am just…you fill in the blank. Hear me…I am no threat to be writing John Maxwell type leadership books anytime soon and yet I am a leader. My task is not to lead to the best of someone else's ability, my priority is to lead to the best of my ability…and to continue to grow in my leadership. My friend, who is a great leader, recognizes something in me that he would like shared with his staff. It won’t be better than he could do but it will be different and that is what he wants and what I or you need to embrace. It is OK if our leadership styles are different. If we stop leading because we have lost confidence or we have heard too many voices telling us what a leader really looks like, there is no leadership in the place God has put you. That void will be filled by poser voices that God has not commissioned to lead…but are filling that void with noise.
I am not “just” anything…I am a child of God…the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. The God that called Moses, Peter, Paul and more…called me. I joke about arguing with Him about His calling…but reality is…He does the calling…it is His Church…I can hear Him say, ‘Lead Bill…lead. Share Who you know…not simply what you know.” Hmmm. I will think about that for a moment…maybe go practice riding my motorcycle and think…