With Security Comes Strength

For many years in my teaching and preaching I have talked about the importance of security in a leader.  Most every local church situation that gets sabotaged is the result of insecure leadership. 

An insecure leader is a fearful leader.  They run when no one is chasing.  They quickly develop an “us and them” syndrome.  When challenged, they are on the defensive, often resulting in poor people skills.  They have a fight or flight response.  Either is destructive. They end up reacting often in anger, causing irreparable damage to themselves, others, and their cause.  Or, because of their fear, they avoid dealing proactively with important issues that absolutely need to be dealt with.  The result is that the cancer spreads and the whole church becomes even more unhealthy and may even die.  They don’t know how to confront with respect, understanding, compassion, clarity, and candor.  They look upon criticism as a threat rather than a gift. 

For the secure leader criticism can be like gold.  They dig for more and learn more, making them stronger and even more secure.  To the contrary, the more insecure people are, the more resistant they are to the truth that could make them secure and consequently, they become even more insecure.  Insecure people don’t see things as they truly are.  Their lens is distorted because of their fears and insecurities.   Often, they have poor self-esteem, a poor self-image, and poor self-respect.  If people cannot respect themselves, they tend to not respect others.  The tendency is to be judgemental, critical and want to blow the other person’s light out to make their own shine; only to blow their own light out.  They depend upon external affirmations because of their own internal weakness.  They are slow to give encouragement because of this fear and their own desperate need of encouragement. 

It is impossible for an insecure person to be objective.  Their emotion of insecurity blinds and distorts.  Because of this, they tend to make simple things complicated and confusing.  How tragic in light of the complex, complicated issues that need to be dealt with objectively.  Is it any wonder that so many churches are at a standstill, in decline or imploding?

Subjectivity in dealing with the complicated issues we are faced with is like trying to get around Boston with a map of Toronto.  Imagine the frustration and confusion.  I can hardly get around Boston with a map of Boston!

A potential leader can look good, sound good, seem personable, but when push comes to shove, they end up being dictatorial, “my way or the highway” syndrome, or take on a passive aggressive martyr complex.  Either response is equally damaging.  The consequence is pain for all concerned and no progress. 

No matter the talent, gifts, education, experience, or work ethic and even what appears to be good people skills, too many sabotage all of that because of insecurities that destroy the morale of the team.  They bottleneck the great abilities and gifts of the many because of their fear of the few. 

There are at least two factors when considering and evaluating effective leadership.  The tendency is to judge by what is seen on the surface which can be a serious and unfortunate deception.  It is like considering a great cruise on a ship offering everything, but the motor malfunctions.  No one pays much attention to what kind of motor the ship has when deciding what cruise to take.  The motor is the most important part.  Similarly, when choosing a leader, very little attention is given to the spiritual motor which makes everything else run smoothly and be effective.  That is where the power lies. 

The two major, often hidden, hard to detect, factors are security and strength.  Security leads to strength.  Insecurity is weakness which will end up draining everyone and keeping leaders from maximizing their potential. 

The good news is that anyone can become secure and consequently strong in order to deal with the pressures of leadership.  Next time we will share clear steps to being secure enough to be proactive and effective. 

May God bless you as you lead!