One of the greatest things I can ever give to people is not actually my strengths. It’s God’s strength in me.
While spiritually we know this is true, as leaders it can feel counterintuitive. Instead, we want to project, “I’m good – I’ve got it together.” But the truth is, no one in your audience really wants to hear that, because (#1) they know either you’re pretending (as we do as pastors) or (#2) you’re flat-out lying. Instead, (#3) letting people into my story helps them write their story in a different way; for them to know that God still works in and through me as a pastor–even in my brokenness–means there’s hope for them, too. They consider, “Since he’s coming forward and saying in his weakness is where he sees God the most, maybe I can too.” It creates an opportunity for people to show their real selves and see that God still loves them, and still wants to use them for the Kingdom.
Jesus brings redemption. He brings light from darkness, good from tragedy, hope from despair, forgiveness for the unforgiveable. You demonstrate this light and hope as a leader when you come forward and admit, “I’m broken. But I’m broken for good. And in my brokenness there’s goodness.”
It starts with leveling the playing field. There’s a separation between leaders and those we lead – they look up to us, often physically on a stage. But what did Jesus do? He came down from his throne to walk on earth among people. As pastors, our job is not to draw people to our selves, but to point them to Him. And that means less of me, and more of Him. In this way my brokenness brings good and my weakness is my strength. Even as a leader – maybe especially as a leader – every piece of your story and every piece of your life matters. And God will weave all those pieces together for good – and the good of others, if you let Him.