Confession: Sometimes my perceived worth of leading finds itself driven by performance rather than calling.
Truth: If I am called by Christ, I am called to lead.
It’s funny how God uses back to back conversations, a few different speakers, time spent in the Word, and other various means to beat truth into my stuck stubborn train of thought. The past few years God, through faith in Christ, has done an incredible work in my heart. He has taught me that I was chosen before the foundations of the world to be adopted as His daughter, redeemed and transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. It has given me incredible strength and freedom! No longer defined by what I do, but rather defined only by unmerited favor and the love of God. It’s given me boldness to live more like me. The real me. Not the me that the world says I should be, not the me I think I should be, but the me that God has created me to be! A leader.
Here’s the thing. Though my perceived worth as a person has grown beyond being performance driven, I have come to realize that there are times my perceived worth as a “leader” is still greatly influenced by my performance. I forget that God has chosen and placed me in a specific situation with specific people to influence not on a merit based system, but on an unmerited based system. That system is called Grace. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, a GIFT from God so that no one can boast.” If my very person is defined by grace, than who I am as a leader is also defined by grace.
The world defines leaders based on what they have achieved: athletically, politically, financially, scientifically, reputably. So naturally I fall into step, defining my leadership worth based on what I have or have not achieved. God defines leaders by their service. Christ, the night before He dies, stoops down and washes the disciples feet. Serving them. And He says unless I (your leader) wash your feet you have no part in Me. He says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He flips the coin, saying that you are not a leader by what you achieve but by how you serve. The disciples that were present that night (except for one) all went on to become great LEADERS of the faith. Leaders because Jesus called them to be leaders. “Go! Make disciples! Baptize! Teach!”
If you have placed your faith in Christ you have become a leader. You’re a leader because He commands you to go and make disciples of every nation. Baptize and LEAD them He says. Your life is now His life. Your opportunities are His opportunities. You may be called to lead one, you may be called to lead thousands, but you cannot escape the call of leadership.
Throw aside your hesitations, your doubts, your fears about being a leader. You were not called because of your merit. Your worth as a leader is found in unmerited favor. Too weak? Too shy? Too uneducated? Perfect. You have been chosen. Too broken? Too messed up? Too far gone? Perfect. You have been redeemed. Unloved? Unwanted? Discarded as less than? Perfect. You are adopted! Jesus actually chooses the weak things to shame the strong, the foolish to shame the wise. The beauty is that when you lead out of unmerited favor, you allow others the freedom to become leaders as well! You do not need to be an Olympian to be a leader. You do not need to be a millionaire. You do not need a PhD, a fortune 500 company, or a blockbuster hit! Grace alone has made you a leader. (Yes He still uses those with a PhD, Fortune 500 companies, and Olympic medals to be leaders <– but not because of those things). He is ALWAYS about grace.
I can be a leader in lives around me because I am Mallory, chosen daughter of God, follower of Christ, receiver of unmerited favor! Worthy of the title leader by grace alone. If you find yourself constantly battling the ups and downs of performance based worth, can I ask you to find your value in Christ alone? There will always be someone who seems more capable than you. And there will always be someone who actually is more capable than you. But GRACE! He chooses you not because of your performance, but because of His love. You will become a worthy leader because Christ is the most estimable leader of all!