Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church recently blogged about a session he taught at a recent conference on, “The Secure Leader“. Here’s what he wrote…
This morning I’m doing a session at the Evolve Conference titled The Secure Leader. I’m going to use Saul as a case study in insecurity. Two verses represent two defining moments in his life.
I Samuel 14:35: “And Saul built an altar to God; the first one he had ever built.” So far so good. Saul is building altars to God. But fast-forward one chapter. I Samuel 15:12 says, “Saul went up to Carmel to build a monument to himself.” Somewhere between those two verses, Saul stopped building altars to God and started building monuments to himself. There is a fine line between Thy Kingdom Come and My Kingdom Come. At some point, it was no longer about God. It was about Saul.
Here are seven habits of secure leaders:
1) Don’t play the comparison game.
No one wins! Comparison either leads to pride or jealousy!
2) Success isn’t numbers
Saul got caught up in the numbers game. And David had better stats. Listen, if my children grow up to love God and everything else falls apart I’m successful. But if NCC grows to 50,000 people and I sell 10,000,000 books it means nothing if my family falls apart. Jesus was successful because he poured his life into twelve people!
3) Celebrate your failures.
Insecure people are afraid of failing. Secure people laugh at themselves. They celebrate failure because it accentuates what God can do inspite of us!
4) Don’t panic
Saul panics when his men start scattering so he makes a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel. Insecure people get nervous. They give up. Secure leaders hang in there no matter what.
5) Don’t get defensive
How you handle criticism will make you or break you. You need tough skin and a soft heart. If you’re insecure your defense mechanisms will get the best of you. So instead of leading out of imagination you’ll lead out of insecurity.
6) Surround yourself with the right people
Who was Saul’s greatest asset? David. But if you are insecure, your greatest asset will become your greatest threat. And it will short-circuit your ability to surround yourself with a great team. And it will limit your influence.
7) Keep building altars to God
God often uses us at our point of insecurity because then He gets all the credit. I pray for the favor of God as much as anything else because I want God to do things for me that I cannot do for myself. And every time we experience God’s blessing we need to build an altar. That’s why we named our coffeehouse Ebenezers: hitherto the Lord has helped me. The blessings of God either turn into pride or praise.
Are you building altars to God or monuments to yourself?
Some of this stuff really hits home for me, especially the whole “success isn’t numbers” thing. We hear that alot, but as pastors, that’s a hard one to swallow.