I am in my 23rd year of pastoring and through the years I have learned a lot about myself and about leadership. Being in leadership in our modern culture has a way of exposing our weaknesses and making them seem greater than our strengths. With the help of Social Media and the constant posting of the good side of the leader's life, we often compare our weaknesses with other people's strengths.
Therefore, we find that we are constantly trying to be like someone else or at least wishing we had the "gift" sets that others have. A friend and I were talking about another preacher we know that has it all. His preaching is powerful and anointed. He is a mighty man in the pulpit but on top of that, he is an incredible musician and singer who can bring the house down. I know as I talk about this preacher I have said on many occasions, "God, why couldn't you give me just a little of that talent?"
Yet, the older I get the more I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I understand my weaknesses and I do everything I can to improve those. Every leader should seek to better himself or herself, but at some point we must understand, we are who God created us to be. Improve our weakness, yes, but do not focus on your weakness because it will make you think you have no strengths.
I have come to realize that there are certain things that I am not gifted to do. I try my hardest and frustrate myself trying to be something I am not. I have tried to live up to the expectations of others and the unrealistic expectations that I have put on myself, but it all ends the same. Therefore, in recent years, I have decided to surround myself with people who can help where I lack.
Many leaders and pastors, feel the peer pressure (that we thought we grew out of as teens) to achieve and be what the church culture or business culture tells us. We then drive ourselves and our churches to be what we think that success is, but if you are striving for these things for the wrong reasons, we fail. We might be a success in our peer's eyes, but what about God's eyes?
I am for growth personally and in ministry, but I want to be what God has called me to be. I believe we all do. Let's pray that we become what God has gifted us to be and see what He does through us with what He has given us.
I end with a great quote by Og Mandino in his book, The Greatest Mystery In The World.
"To do what I can is my problem; not what a Napolean or a Lincoln could do, but what I can do!"
Leader, seek to grow but always be yourself!
Danny and his wife, Sonya, have been lead pastors at Rogers First Assembly in Rogers, Arkansas since 2008.