How Inadequacy Can Be A Good Thing
August 17, 2007, 1:31 pm
Filed under: leadership

The other day, I was asked by a budding church leader, “Do you ever feel overwhelmed?”. And, not trying to be overly dramatic, I replied, “ALL the time!” As a church planter facing the task of leading a new church, that’s exactly how I feel. I feel the task is huge. I feel my abilities are inadequate. I feel people will be impatient with me. “ALL the time!” Somehow, my feeling overwhelmed in and of itself seemed to be encouragement to this leader — perhaps because I could empathize with their own feelings of being overwhelmed. But is that encouragement enough? I think it helps a little, but it is insufficient in bringing about the necessary perseverance in this leader during times of deep trial and testing. So then what? I came across the following while reading a book on Gospel-Centered ministry :

Do not fear weakness, illness, or a sense of being overwhelmed.
The truth of the matter is that such experiences are often the occasions when God most greatly displays his power. As long as people are impressed by your powerful personality and impressive gifts, there is very little room for you to impress them with a crucified Savior. “I came to you,” Paul confesses, “in weakness and fear, and with much trembling,” (1 Corinthians 2:3) — so much so that he needed special encouragement from God himself (Acts 18:9-10). But Paul knew that God’s strength is most greatly displayed in connection with our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). Although he suffered fears, illness, weakness, and a tremendous sense of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, he did not fear the fear; his weakness was not compounded by focusing on his weakness. Far from it! He could write, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:10). That is the testimony of a man who has learned to minister under the cross.

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