Often leaders are not true to themselves or to the call of God in their lives. The following are signs that you have been leading from your true, authentic self and not from false expectations.
I. You have a godly rhythm in your personal life
Authentic leaders pace themselves and don’t overreach regarding their ministry schedules because they are not taking a yoke Jesus never gave them. (Jesus’ yoke is easy; read Matthew 11:28-29.) Often, overworked ministers are trying to prove something because of an identity crisis or insecurity. Thus, even when they are doing the work of the Lord they are not doing it for the Lord!
II. You look for deeper relationships
Authentic leaders not only care about their work but also about connecting to the hearts of the people they serve. They do not look at people as a way to gain a platform for ministry, but honor them with the love of God that gives them in a heart-to-heart connection.
III. You are not always quick to give your opinion
Authentic leaders have learned through trials that they don’t have the answers to all the tough questions in life. They are not “answer men” but view themselves as people traveling on a journey through life’s processes and seasons with those they are in community with. They attempt to get into the world and context of a person before they offer quick solutions.
IV. Your priorities reflect your core beliefs
Authentic leaders live and preach in public about what they actually practice and believe in private. Not only that, they also schedule their lives around the things they value as based on the assignment received from above. Inauthentic leaders live outside of their core values because they don’t practice what they preach and/or they are driven to perform tasks to please others, even if they themselves have no calling from God to do so.
V. Your preaching includes the whole counsel of God, not just pet passages
Authentic leaders don’t just preach messages about prosperity and blessing, but also include the sufferings of David, Paul, Job, and other great saints who grew the most while being tested. Since we are attempting to live risen lives in a fallen world, there will be setbacks and pain in vocation and relationships. Authentic leaders embrace this reality and reflect it in their preaching and counseling while inauthentic leaders preach only what gets the most excitement and attracts the biggest crowds. When our motives are to please people and not God, then we cannot be true to ourselves and our calling.
Joseph Mattera © 2010 For information about the author: www.josephmattera.org