I’ve fought being a leader for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in and out of different leadership roles over the past 7 years of my life and I always felt out of place. I didn’t believe I was qualified, equipped or able to handle what “leadership” looked like.
I have spent years being trained and taught how to lead both in general life and in areas of ministry and yet I always had this nagging thought in the back of my head that I was a fraud.
I just returned from my 8 week Discipleship Training School outreach to the nation of Papua New Guinea. We had an incredible time partnering with local pastors and missionaries for ministry opportunities as well as serving on board the m/v Pacific Link and assisting in medical clinics being held both in the city of Wewak and on different isolated islands in the area.
Along with all the incredible things my team and I saw God do through us and our ministry partners, I had a personal encounter with God that challenged some of my long held beliefs about myself.
On one of our last weeks of ministry, my team and I were able to host a leadership conference for the future leaders in the area as well as the pastors and ministry leaders.
All of our team had prayed about the direction and general feel we wanted the conference to go in and I had heard from God some qualities of leadership that I felt needed to be covered. I was under the impression, however, that someone more qualified than myself would simply work those points about leadership into their message.
You can imagine my surprise when it was announced that I would be one of two people covering the topic of leadership for the entire conference!
I began to panic the instant I processed that I would be the one responsible for encouraging, teaching and influencing a group of young people to be leaders in their lives. Doubt began to swirl in my head about my qualifications and my experiences along with the crippling fear that I was a fraud when it came to being a leader.
I knew standing behind the podium meant that what I was going to say would be listened to and meditated on; it was a huge position of influence and impact.
I was so frightened I was going to lead everyone wrong.
As I watched my team members prepare for their topics, I was envious of how easy it seemed to come to them. They were confident in what they were teaching and had the ability to speak with integrity and be authentic about their lives.
It felt like I was the only one who was struggling in my identity and ability to communicate clearly.
As I began to prepare, I sat down with my notebook and Bible. I heard God say to me, “Everything you’re not, I am. Everything you lack, I am abundant in. In your weakness, let me showcase my strength.”
I felt a wave of peace come over me as I took in those truths. Why was I worried about how qualified I was to be a leader when all I needed to do was point to God’s example of leadership? This message was not about me at all. I was simply a means of getting across what God wanted to speak to the people.
With my fears quelled and my confidence resting in someone greater than myself, I found it easy to finish my message.
When the time came for me to speak, it felt natural to champion those young leaders into following the Godly example of leadership I had had a revelation of. The conference attendants weren’t the only ones who learned a lot about leadership in those three days.
My perspective both on leadership and my ability to lead had forever changed.
Since I’ve returned from my outreach, I’ve felt a quiet confidence resting steady on me that I did not have before. I know that I still have leaps and bounds to go in my journey of being a leader, but there’s a peace I have that comes from knowing my qualifications aren’t resting on my own abilities.
God had shown up, come through and gone beyond any expectation I could dream of. He’s given me strength, confidence and even the knowledge that I am a leader and not a fraud.
Now that I’ve graduated my Discipleship Training School and am looking towards the future, I’m still filled with that peace. I don’t know exactly where I’m going to end up in this world or what leadership will look like in that place, but I know I have God in my corner championing me and covering my weaknesses with his greatness.
I’m not doubting myself anymore because I know at the end of the day, it’s not about me.
I’m following in the example I’ve seen in God and I know I’m going to do just fine.
by Brooke Everheart
YWAM Ships Kona DTS Alumni