Leadership Checkpoint: Do you hide your flaws or confront them?
Our flaws are cracks in our character. Such character faults are much more serious than limitations. Limitations will prevent a person from being outstanding in a certain area. But flaws, if they are not properly dealt with, will derail one’s entire life or ministry no matter how gifted or successful it may be.
We previously dealt with how these flaws develop, now we will discuss how to deal with them in your daily life. They generally work secretly at the core of our being, creating weak spots. They can be covered up or managed until the stresses of life or ministry touch that weak spot so strongly that it collapses into some kind of moral failure. As we will see below, secrecy is the enemy to truly addressing our individual weaknesses.
Step 1: Identify Them
Recognizing (and admitting) your flaw before it occurs is half the battle. Since they often grow out of our unhealthy responses to painful situations, develop the courage to revisit those situations in order to change our ways of handling them. Learn to be ruthlessly honest with yourself so you can recognize when you are denying or rationalizing or shifting blame to someone else in order to protect yourself.
Step 2: Take Them to the Lord
Honestly acknowledge your weaknesses to the Lord, recognizing them before Him as well as yourself. Thank Him that His blood covers all those that are sinful. Ask for His strength to break they pattern when they occur.
Step 3: Be Alert to Them
Identify “trigger” situations in which your flaws commonly occur and stay vigilant. When you come upon one, seek God’s help and strength (essentially repeat step 2).
Step 4: Get Into an Accountability Relationship
Develop a few relationships in which there is a high trust level so that you can reveal your struggle without fear of rejection. Then commit in those relationships to hold each other accountable for specific issues and to support each other in dealing with them.
All of us have flaws; that is part of being human. Flaws are also part of God’s process of maturing us. However, we must deal with our flaws, facing them head-on, for these character issues contain the seeds of destruction of our effectiveness as church leaders.
This is an excerpt from Andrew Seidel’s work Charting A Bold Course: Training Leaders for 21st Century Ministry. For more information on this title and for many other leadership resources, visit our Resource Center today!
About the Contributors
Dr. Andrew B. Seidel served as executive director of the Hendricks Center at Dallas Seminary for fifteen years, which provides leadership training and development for seminary students as well as ministry and business leaders. A graduate of West Point and a colonel in the U.S. Army, Dr. Seidel was senior pastor at Grace Bible Church in College Station, Texas, for fourteen years. He left the pastorate to provide leadership training for pastors on the mission field in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Today he continues to work in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia with Entrust (formerly BEE International). The author of Charting a Bold Course; Training Leaders for 21st Century Ministry, Dr. Seidel and his wife Gail Norris Seidel have been married for more than fifty years and have two married children and six grandchildren.