We’re seven months into 2020, and due to Covid we probably haven’t been able to do all the things we’ve wanted to do this year yet. But Covid might not be the only thing that’s stopping you from becoming the leader you want to be! See this blog as a kind of stocktake of other possible areas that are hindering your growth. There are also five more months left in this year – so let’s make the most of them 🙂
I’d recommend before reading below to get out your notebook/ journal ready,(or even print out this blog). Ask God to point out the points which are either consciously or subconsciously a hindrance for you or an action point He’d like to help you process. In different seasons of my life, each of these areas has been points I’ve needed to face, remember or chose to initiate.
To go deeper in your relationship with God, others and yourself. Ask the deeper questions, taking you below the surface and into honest vulnerability. You can only take people as far as you’re willing to go.
Seize those opportunities
Sometimes we think we’ve just not had the chance to try, so ask God to give you opportunities to step up and lead. It is a dangerous prayer as God is only too happy to answer it. – So expect them to come, perhaps from unexpected places. Choose today to say Yes to doing them. My DTS outreach leader said to us that we can’t say we don’t like something until we’ve done it twice. You might discover things you like which you never thought you would. But you won’t know unless you try.
Silence the little voice in your head
We all have that whisper bringing caution, doubt, lies… The voice that brings these negative words which don’t give your spirit peace isn’t a voice to listen to. It’s the enemy, Satan who’s trying to limit you from becoming all that God wants you to be. To stop you for being effective for God’s glory. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be wise, cautious or safe – these we also need to take into consideration. But if you have a voice in your head saying “you can’t do it” or “someone else is better at this than you”, this isn’t God speaking. So stand up, pray out Ephesians 6:10-18 silencing these lies in the name of Jesus.
Ask for help
We all need help to learn. If you haven’t already checked out my recent blog on Mentoring. This will help you process what kind of help you could get. Your leaders can assist you in understanding what your strengths and weakness’ are. Only yesterday, one of my leaders sat me down to remind me of one of my biggest weakness’ and asked to help me work through a situation we have here. She knew I wanted her help and that this situation was a good opportunity to aid my growth. It’s great when your leaders offer guidance, but it’s part of a bigger conversation we’ve had where I’ve asked for help in the things I know I’m weak in.
Yes being humble means not being proud. But it also means being who you are. A King can be humble but also know’s the position and authority he carries. It’s an inner character quality where you desire the best outcome, God getting the most glory, others also being blessed… We put God first; we see our place in the team and what we can contribute alongside others. We need to not be selfish: to only think about what we can get from the situation; or if it’s going to be harder for us; or we’d prefer others choose the boring or yucky jobs that need doing. We model servant leadership like Jesus, who knew who He was but washed stinky feet anyway (John 13:3-5).
Be you, not someone else
Often when we start leading we want to lead like those leaders we admire. But we are not them. Our personality, gifting and style mix makes us unique. Yes, it takes time to figure out what that looks like, but you need to get comfortable with who you are. It can look weird or even funny to see someone copying someone’s mannerisms, voice, phrases. Those aren’t the recipe for success. It’s being confident and comfortable in your own skin and knowing who God has made you to be that brings trust, loyalty and receptivity from others.
See mistakes or failures as opportunities for growth
Personally as well as for others. How to model humility and what to do when you’re wrong. [my latest Feature Article – What to do when you think your leader is wrong, try reading it from another viewpoint – being the leader who’s in the wrong]. We don’t want to be a leader who isn’t approachable?
How is your level of faithfulness and integrity?
Are you trustworthy for others? When you say you will do something – do you do it in the time you’ve said you would? Or do others need to remind you or give you grace because you’re late or forgot? Luke 16:10-12 If you can be trusted with little then you can be trusted with much. If you want to see your level of responsibility grow, then you have to be trustworthy with your current level of responsibility and your attitude towards the ‘little’.
Jesus has faith in us, do you have faith in yourself with God?
Jesus said in John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am doing to the Father.” We’re not doing things alone, the Holy Spirit is with us, helping us. Therefore we can do more than what Jesus did while He was in physical form. This continues to blow my mind when I think of all the things Jesus did. But I need to at times put aside my human frailty and raise up my spirit to believe that God will help me do more than I think is possible – even to move a mountain!
Choose to put the effort in
It takes time, money, effort, patience, diligence… to learn and grow. When we make a conscious choice to do this and then keep doing it in all the little decisions we make daily – we will grow. Check out the blog on Transformation through the drip, drip effect to help you with this too. This helps you build your character, as you become stronger on the inside it will produce more visible fruit on the outside. But it starts in the hidden places of your heart, mind and spirit. So make a commitment with God and ask for His help to live it out daily.
Face your fears
What are your fears? What circumstances make you freeze or raises your blood pressure? What do these circumstances have in common? Are these fears tied to lies that little voice is saying? E.g. “what do I know”; “they won’t listen to me, because I’m just like them” or “what if I fail? Sit down with your leader and share what your fears are. Often bringing them out into the light makes them so much smaller. You’re not alone in this, all of us have had to face our fears and deal with the cause of them. Once you face them, you will feel so much freer and stronger.
Are you comparing yourself to someone else and feel like you’re always coming up short? If you are, stop it. You are a different person from them, you are on your own development journey. They are human too, with weakness’, fears and strengths. God isn’t comparing you to them. He wants you to be faithful to what and who He’s asked you to be. Is our motive for doing things to receive attention and praise from others? Or for His thanks and to give God the glory? Appreciate what others do, ask them to show you how they do something so you can learn to get better in that thing. But you are a unique and gifted individual and therefore can’t be compared to others to figure out how successful you are. Again it’s a tactic of the enemy to try to put you down or divide a team so he can prosper in the disunity caused. That bad fruit can be stopped when we champion and encourage one another on instead of putting ourselves or others down through comparison.
Some of these points have blog posts attached to them already. Others are seeds of ideas for future blogs and chapters in my book. If you’ve checked off several as ones you recognise in yourself, don’t feel disheartened. Ask God which one or two you need to focus on dealing with in this season. Trust Him that He know’s when to help you work through the others. In taking the time to read this blog, talk to God about how you feel in response and commit to talking with your leader about how you can grow is the first huge step. Well done – now go do what you’ve got in your mind to change. God and I are cheering for you 🙂