In the past several years, I have led and been led in many capacities at TNL. Those who I’ve led see me care for others, encourage with smiles, and attempt to provide answers to questions they have. What they don’t see are the tears of frustration, from me being consumed by doubt and self-criticism on a very regular basis.
I’ve often called myself a reluctant leader.
I remember watching Lord of the Rings a few years ago, and being struck by the character of Aragorn. Here’s this guy who cares for people, strongly desires to see good come to the world around him, but is reluctant to own the title of Leader, of King, and I thought, that’s me! I want people to feel cared for, to be the best they can be, to see goodness restored around me, and I feel called to lead in that capacity, but don’t feel like the title of leader belongs to me. I’m not mature enough, I’m not knowledgeable enough, I’m not cool enough, I’m just not ready.
And yet, God continues to call me to care for others by leading.
As I’ve led, I’ve been plagued by debilitating feelings of incompetence and insecurity. Sometimes I am affirmed in my ability to lead, and other times I’m unable to see the fruit of my labor and question whether I’m fit to lead at all. What helps me continue leading is finding encouragement from leaders in my life. They affirm me, remind me that failing is an expectation when trying something new, and that it’s ok to ask for help. Leading and being led go hand in hand, and we are all called to participate in both. It is unpredictable and scary, but it is also incredibly rewarding and necessary.
If you feel called to lead but are reluctant about how, I would encourage you to attend the Leading and Being Led Learning Community here at Acoma. It’s a chance for you to start a conversation about what it means to lead and be led.