Insecure Leaders

Wow–it has been too long since I have made a post. I am so sorry for any of you that have been logging on to see if there was anything new. My family and I have moved to Florence, Italy and life has been a little crazy. Here is a picture of the family in Italy just to prove we are actually here and alive.

Now on to today’s leadership post. Not too long after our arrival in Italy I had the occasion to sit in a meeting with one our ministry’s best leaders–he leads our efforts in one of the hardest parts of the world and it is a security conscious location for us–so I wont divulge his name or location. But I greatly admire him and what God has accomplished through him.

During a Q&A time I asked what he thought was one of the greatest risks posed to spiritual leaders in this day and time. Now that we are suffering once again through the trials of another U.S. leader and his sin–it is even more timely.

His answer was immediate–“Insecure leaders.” He paused and then offered more insight. He described the insecure leader as a “grab and hold” leader. This is the kind of spiritual leader who cannot give away power–they must hold onto it for themselves. If they are not in control of most situations and details they are fearful of the results and the reflection it will cast upon them. This response immediately rang true to me–I have been around these kind of people–so have you. You don’t feel empowered, you don’t feel ultimately trusted, you cannot flourish in this kind of environment, you will eventually give up and either slide into the background or move on to a different environment where you feel believed in, developed, and empowered. But I also had to be honest and admit that at times I have been that kind of leader. Whether it was a grab for credit or a fear of losing control–I have been a “grab and hold” leader.

I don’t know what kind of leader Ted Haggard was–he obviously was successful on many levels. But I have seen in my own life and in the lives of other “grab and hold” leaders that not only do they not empower people–they are usually not very open to the accountability of others and are not very authentic.

Insecurity can have many root causes–but it would seem that at the heart of all of this is some misgiving about the grace of the gospel for the leader’s life and for the follower’s life. It is not living as a loved person. It is still believing that God’s favor must be earned–and that our leadership is too critical to the mission.

God help us not to be insecure–grab and hold–leaders.

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