Dodging the Ministry Leadership Mind Trap

In today’s distressed economy, bleak unemployment rate, and the ups and downs of simply living life, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have what it takes to be a leader in ministry today. You see, that’s the funny thing about our thoughts. If left unattended, they slowly become our beliefs.

While it is true that a critical component for any ministry leader is to be an example in times of pressure, stress and uncertainty; these aren’t the only ingredients of success. In fact, the skill of leading in crisis can only exist if the other bases are solid first. What does that mean? Well, the skills required to be an effective leader can be compared to a baseball game. I can’t make it to home plate if I haven’t rounded first, second and third base. There are prerequisites, or skills that build on one another that prepare us for being a leader under pressure.

So, where do you start? If false thinking is the trap, then it starts in our mind. A person with the desire to be a leader must first believe he or she can be a leader—that example to others. What does your internal dialogue sound like? Do you allow yourself to dwell on negative messages or those internal comments that criticize your every action? If it were possible to replay the tape inside your head on a given day, what percentage of your thoughts are critical versus encouraging? It starts here. We so often sabotage ourselves without saying a word. That’s first base.

So what about second and third base? That’s where we truthfully and realistically assess our strengths and weaknesses. No one is created nor has the capacity to be all things (skills) to all people and situation. In these stressful days, slow the world down (you’ve gotta be intentional with this) and acknowledge what you bring to the table— good and not so good. For those areas of good (strengths), leverage them. Find ways to activate your strengths and use them.

If you are naturally innovative, get involved in problem solving sessions or blue sky thinking opportunities. That’s where you naturally shine so don’t stay in the workplace shadows. And what about weaknesses (we all have them)? Admit it. Know where your gaps are and look for opportunities to offset them. If you are not a detailed person, then add someone to your circle who gets a natural high from checklists. Complement your shortfalls.

So much of our battle in the workplace is with ourselves. Feeling stressed about your circumstances? Afraid you can’t handle it? Don’t believe the lie. Will it be easy? No. Can you do it? Absolutely.

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