Busted! My wife and I have caught our children doing something wrong on multiple occasions. Getting them to fess up to it follows a similar pattern.
“Did you break the dish?”
“Sweetheart, I want you to tell the truth, did you break the dish?”
You can see the inner struggle growing on their face as they say “No.”
“It’s important to always tell the truth, did you break the dish?”
Here come the tears, “Yes daddy, I’m so sorry.”
I don’t know what it is about this line of questioning but it works. So much so that when someone asks me something a few times I begin to question whether or not I may have committed the act. Maybe I did say I would pick her up from practice.
In John 21:15-19, Peter is asked by Jesus 3 times “Do you love me?” Each time Peter answers in the affirmative. Guilt or doubt would have shown up in my answer by the second time I was asked, but Peter shows a fierce confidence. This confidence is showcased when Peter says “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” In spite of his faults and failings, Peter, in that moment, was certain that he loved Jesus.
Confidence, like this, is contagious and captivating. Every leader should lead with confidence. In the noise of ministry, you can find yourself surrounded by a sea of other people telling you how to minister. These voices can have us running in circles. Confidence gives credence to your mission. This will draw others to support your actions and trust the processes in place. Below are 4 strategies to increase your confidence as a ministry leader.
Know your gifts. You are created by God in a way that will lead, love and serve uniquely. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, loud or quiet, humorous or serious, God wants you to use the qualities He has given you to further his kingdom. Be confident in these gifts/traits and build your toolbox around them. You already have what it takes to succeed. Use it.
Know your mission. Be ready to give the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ you are doing. Let others know how this activity fits into the bigger picture of the ministry, whether they ask or not. You are not a wanderer. People who know their destination take each step with more purpose, more confidence. Share your mission and others will be able to more confidently follow.
Trust the Holy Spirit. It’s easier to step out on the high wire if you know there is a safety net below you. In ministry, the Holy Spirit is that safety net. Yes, plan and prepare, but know that there are times when the Holy Spirit works through you and there are times when the Holy Spirit works in spite of you. Instead of allowing doubt and negative talk into your ministry, just ask the Holy Spirit to pick up anything you may drop or fail to plan for. Up on that high wire, you’ve got enough to worry about.
Seek Counsel. There are times when ministry can feel like marching into battle. When this is the case, bring a large army. Share the vision God has given you and the plans you have. Then allow others to share the work God is doing in their lives. Allow the counsel of others to refine and, then, fortify your vision. This action can turn God working in the heart of a few into a movement in your church community. Soldier on!
Lastly, I want to encourage you to be confident in your calling. Burnout in ministry is all too common. Have the long view. If things are difficult now, stay the course and know that it was the most difficult journey that bore the most fruit, that is, when Christ carried his cross and won our salvation.