I am by no means an expert leader. I wish I was. In fact, for me, this is one of the hardest parts of being a pastor. It is the constant temptation to feel like a failure. I read the Bible and see the kind of leader I should be, I look at the people in our church and think about the kind of leader they need me to be, and then I think about myself and the kind of leader that I am being, and it is very easy to get discouraged.
Sometimes I become discouraged because there are responsibilities I should be fulfilling that I am not. Other times however I become discouraged because I am taking responsibilities upon my shoulders that I am actually incapable of ever fulfilling and I think it is very important to be able to tell the difference.
If I am not doing something I should, then by all means I should get to it. But, if I am feeling overwhelming sorrow because I am not able to be Jesus and the Holy Spirit to the people I am leading, then that’s actually a kind of pride, isn’t it? It also can reveal a lack faith as well, not trusting that God is at work when I am not.
I understand this may sound a little theoretical, but it actually has many practical leadership implications.
If I am feeling guilty for people not being saved for example, I need to look at my leadership and ask am I doing what I should? I need to put down all my excuses and defenses, (who needs them anyway when I am justified by the work of Christ) and look carefully at the way I am living out my life. If I am not doing what I need to do, I need to change. But if I am doing what God has called me to do and people are not falling flat on their faces in repentance and I still feel guilty about it, I need to stop feeling guilty like that. Because if I do feel guilty about that, I am going to start trying to be the Holy Spirit in my evangelism or my preaching, and when I try to take on the role of God, I will do damage to people and to myself, because I am just not equipped for that kind of responsibility given the fact that I am not.