Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Insecure

One of the first persons who is going to step up in your church to lead a ministry or a class or a service project or whatever is the insecure person.

That doesn't seem to make a lot of sense on the surface; wouldn't someone who is insecure want to stay in the background, not make a scene, not be noticed? Wouldn't they want to lurk around in the shadows of the church? 

You would think that, but the insecure person in the church is a bit different. They are already embedded in a community they don't feel entirely connected to (that's why they're still insecure) and in relationship with a God who hasn't affirmed their soul for some reason (usually by their own choice, because they haven't brought it to Him, which is why they're still insecure), so they are surrounded by promises and opportunities for security, but they haven't tapped into them. 

Thus, the best way, they think, to tap into those is to throw themselves in deeper. By doing this, they become a valuable thread in the community and build things in such a way that certain things fall apart without them.

That makes them feel secure.

Add to that the prestige of leading a ministry, a role where they are constantly receiving praise from others who are participating in whatever thing they are leading and also receiving praise for being willing to step up and lead in the way that they are. 

All of a sudden, the person surrounded by promises and opportunities for security has found it and woven themselves so tightly in that they are sure they cannot be pulled out. 

What's interesting about this person is that if things start to unravel at all, if persons get used to their leadership and stop praising them or if their ministry becomes so mainstream they are not recognized all the time for their willingness to lead it, most insecure persons will add another ministry to their leadership. They'll start a second class. They'll pick up a second project. Anything to renew the love and the praise that they're receiving. 

Anything so that they don't have to feel the weight of their insecurity again.

As I said above, the trouble here is that these leaders are usually not living lives surrendered to God or even committed to community. They haven't addressed the insecurity they're feeling; they're simply trying to fill it by using the church. It looks like they're serving the church, but they're really using the church. And the painful truth is that these leaders are prone to severe burnout because they add so many ministries to their plate, and if they reach a point where they are not receiving the praise they need in their soul for "all the things they do for this church," they end up just leaving the church and finding a new church in which to make a scene of themselves so that they can start receiving praise again and stave off the insecurity they feel in the depths of their soul. 

Again, this doesn't mean that we don't let these persons lead in our church, but it does mean that we need to work with them to help them understand their insecurity, bring it to God, establish real connections with our community, and come to lead out of a healthy place instead of this broken one. 

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