“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.'”
For those of you who do not know: I’m pregnant. In fact, I’m currently in my final trimester. As the due date of my baby nears every day, I have been constantly wondering what she will be like, what traits she will have, and what goals she will set for herself. This in itself has reminded me about how uniquely made each of us are; and looking back on my last couple posts (which can be read here and here), I have been thinking more about leadership in the Christian society as a whole – specifically, what traits make up a leader.
Growing up, I always had the belief that everyone was created differently, and that regardless of one’s personality, they were still made in God’s image. I can’t recall if this was ever taught to me, but it was my general thought process for quite some time. Somewhere along the line, it appears that I either forgot this thought or completely disregarded it. I think this was due to my growing desire to be a leader in the church because I had noticed that there had been an increased idea of what traits make the best leaders.
It made sense at the time, as any group that continues to grow eventually moves towards a different model of efficiency. As Christians, we desire to be equipped with the best tools in order to grow spiritually, and how can we ensure that we were equipped with those tools? With the best leaders, of course. This, however, has lead to a lack of variety in our leaders. It has also, unfortunately, lead to the forgotten word that shows how God called the “unqualified,” for he in fact made them qualified – just maybe not in how we believe people should be qualified.
Take a look at Moses for example. While speaking with the Lord at the burning bush, Moses was unsure of himself. Specifically, in Exodus 4, Moses begs for God to send someone else to help the Israelites as he is not an eloquent speaker. While God did provide Aaron as a helper, He still managed to work through Moses through the course of getting the Israelites out of Egypt, and throughout their time in the desert.
Let us also look at Jeremiah. In the first chapter of this book, God speaks with Jeremiah and appoints him to be a prophet. Jeremiah, however, does not believe he is qualified due to his young age. Yet the Lord encouraged him and told him not to worry, as He provided the words and visions that Jeremiah was to prophesize.
These are just two examples of God qualifying the “unqualified.” We may think we know what is best for us as Christians, but the reality is that we don’t. Only God knows that. Some of you may argue that God only uses people like Moses or Jeremiah to throw things for a loop, to show that He can use anyone for what He needs but doesn’t do it often. I just don’t think that is the case. In fact, I feel as though God does this more often than we tend to believe.
I leave you with this verse today:
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
-1 Peter 4:10-11
While it may be more efficient to have specific traits or personalities in leadership, we have to remember that God has an infinite amount of traits, gifts, and personalities to give and is more than able to use those to shape a capable leader. In fact there are likely trait and gift combinations, personalities we have yet to even see or fathom in this lifetime because He is likely waiting for the right time to use them. We are made to be in his image, and I think that requires a need for humans and leaders to be different.
For those of you who are current church leaders: Please remember that while you may think you know what is best for a church, God may bring something else entirely different that is necessary for change. Do not allow yourselves to be stubborn.
For those of you who feel called to leadership, but have yet to secure a position: Don’t give up. If this is God’s calling for you, He will get you there. Do not forget that there will be trials and continual growth. You may be like me, and don’t match what most churches want, but God will use you in the way that He sees best.