Listen, leading is not an easy task. It requires tons of effort, time, scheduling and stamina. It can keep us up at night. It can drain even the strongest of the strong. And it can cause a person who started out excited and passionate, to plummet into a place of complete and utter defeat.
Have you been there? I have. In fact, I’ve been in each of the above places. Leadership has given me some of the most rewarding moments in my life. And leadership has thrown me some crazy curve balls—in fact, there were times I didn’t have the power to swing the bat, let alone hit the ball.
Maybe you’ve been in one of those places like I have. There were days, weeks and even seasons when I didn’t feel I had the strength nor the power to lead. I felt power-less. But the Bible reminded me that “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). So in moments when I feel power-less, it’s God who gives me what I need to get the job done—to lead with power, influence and strength.
Power, by definition, is the ability that you have to influence or direct others. So we are given power, in essence, to influence. Not to stronghold people. Not to pull rank. Not to bully or get our way. God empowers us to be able to influence and lead others by our example!
So although you may not feel you have power, you really do! How do you know? Because God has put it inside of you. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and sound mind.” So let’s talk about how to know you are power-full even when you feel power-less.
1) There is Power in Your Position.
Senior pastor’s wife, worship leader, campus pastor’s wife, administrator, women’s ministry director and really ALL leadership positions in ministry are influential. While you may feel intimidated by your “title” or you compare yourself to someone who has a similar role, remember that you have been placed in this position for “such a time as this” to lead and influence those around you. Your position has power because God has given it to you! Know that this power given to you is intended to build up, to encourage, to direct, to create unity, to teach, to love and to lead the vision—all of the same qualities that we see in the leadership of Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:12, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” You have the power to lead. Why? Because Jesus said so! The more you believe it, the more you will walk in it.
2) There is Power in Your Prayer
Not convinced you have power? Then just take a minute and remind yourself of the many prayers that God has answered for you. James 5:16 states, “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Our prayers truly have power. And there’s something about being persistent and continually praying. I’m not sure how everything works with God, but I do know this: When we pray, things happen. The results may not always be what we expect, but 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to continually “pray without ceasing”. When there is conflict in your leadership team—pray without ceasing. When your marriage is struggling because of your time at church—pray without ceasing. When you’re not sure of the next step in the direction of your ministry—pray without ceasing. Keep reminded that your prayers have great power.
3) There is Power in Your Perseverance
There have been a few definitive times in my years in ministry when I have been ready to throw in the towel. About seven years ago, I told my husband, Tim, that I was going to quit ministry and stop leading. It was too hard. People were too critical and opinionated. I didn’t have it in me to stay the course. I wasn’t willing to go through the tough moments anymore. And then God spoke into my heart. He simply said, “If not you, then who? Linda, how can you stop when I’ve called you? How can you give up when there are still more to reach?” And I realized in that brief moment that one of the most significant and powerful aspects of leading, was persevering. Through my example and ability to persevere, to keep going, to not stop, to continue on—I would show and influence others to do the same! It was an “a-ha” moment for me. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.” We can’t give up because there is power is in our perseverance! Remember that changing course or changing direction is not giving up. Giving up is giving up. Keep going. God believes in you!!
This resource written by Linda Seidler for Leading and Loving It