Part I: When You Cannot Let Go
What would you feel when God asks you to let go of your position, your title or the ministry you have built over many years?
How do you feel when you handover power to your disciple and take a step back?
How do you feel when you successor is more successful than you?
Your response to these questions will tell you whether you are a secure or insecure leader.
After 5 years of serving and leading life groups (community groups), I felt God calling me to empower young adult leaders to start their own community groups. A mentor of mine confirmed this calling and told me this: "Stop being the hero. Instead, be a hero-maker of the people God has placed in your community". It made sense to me and I knew this was a clear sign for me to start delegating tasks and raising leaders in order to multiply.
Something was holding me back.
The stubborn, micromanaging side of me was not ready to give in to the calling God had for me and our life group. Our attendance had grown from 12 to nearly 80 people in the past 2 years. I enjoyed seeing our group grow. A sense of accomplishment helped me grow in my confidence as a leader. As months passed, I realized in order to deepen our faith as a group it was important for each person's story to be known by others. In order to build a healthy community it was important to cultivate vulnerability and openness and this was hard to do in such a large group.
I began to reflect on why it was so hard for me to receive God's calling to empower leaders and split into smaller groups.
I realized there were 2 insecurities I had developed as a leader:
1. I am afraid of losing power and control
I was worried about the quality and depth of the groups if I was not the leader. I was worried that the new leaders were not able to carry out the same passion and zeal I had for the life group. I felt like if I was not present and in charge, something would go wrong. These worries were not about the abilities of the future leaders, this was more about my unwillingness to give up control and step down in order to give room for others to lead.
2. I am afraid of being forgotten
I was worried people would forget about how awesome of a leader I was (or I would like to think that I was) and like the new leader better. I was worried that this new leader would be a much better leader than me and his/her group would grow to be bigger than my original group. I was afraid I would no longer have a say and my sacrifice would be forgotten.
Both of these insecurities stem from one thing: PRIDE.
I made my ministry all about me. This community unconsciously became part of my identity and I realized this is a danger that can happen to followers of Christ who have committed a big portion of their life to ministry. I have realized that it is possible to be selfish about serving Christ. Pride can develop from desiring recognition from the church to as a good, strong, committed Christian.
God was calling me to the next step of leadership. God was calling me to develop and empower the next generation of young adult leaders. God was reminding me that everything belongs to Him and I cannot get overly attached to anything, even when it is a good thing like ministry. Often times we get so busy with perfecting our way of serving that we lose sight; in order to grow, we need to level up in our spiritual walk with God. We need to embrace the directional change that God is calling us to go. A good leader serves. A good leader realizes it is not about him/her. A good leader is able to discern when it is time to give up control and let others step up.
Grace Liu, Jakarta City Director
Part I: When You Cannot Let Go