The Problem with Insecure Leaders

Everyone knows one. No one admits being one.

Well maybe not no one (and yes I know that is a double negative).

The reality is that every leader, and every person, has some insecurity. It doesn’t have to flesh itself out in the same way others are insecure, but if we are being honest we all have it.

I was recently reading a book where the author talked about his own insecurity. However, he described it in a different way. He referred to not following up with great leaders who made themselves available to him. He claimed it was insecurity that served as the roadblock to being able to connect with these successful leaders. A friend and coworker, wrote about this same book and his challenges with the passage.

I was recently reading the story of Moses and read a familiar passage. It comes from the story where God is speaking to Moses from inside a burning bush. In this conversation God is calling Moses to go and set the Hebrew people free from their bondage at the hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. We pick up the conversation in Exodus 4:10-13

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Eventually God relents and agrees to send Aaron along with Moses to be his mouthpiece.

Now flash forward approximately 35 years. Moses is still leading the Israelite people on the worst road trip ever through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Let’s jump back into the story in Numbers 20:7-11

The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

If you know the story you know that Moses would miss the Promised Land because of his disobedience. Despite God’s instructions, instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it with his staff. Interestingly, way back in Exodus 17 the people had also been thirsty and God told Moses to strike the rock with his staff. But not here.

I don’t want to pull something from scripture that isn’t there, but…

It appears to me that God was revisiting Moses’ insecurity of speech here. God wouldn’t have forgotten that Moses was uncomfortable with the way he talked or that he had the ability to speak in the way God needed him to. So why not just let him strike the rock again with the staff? It worked before. Why ask him to speak?

I can’t speak for God, and I sure can’t speak for Moses. So I’ll just speak for me.

One of the ways God continues to grow me is by pressing into the things I’m insecure about until I’ll trust Him enough to obey Him in spite of them. I wish he would challenge my insecurity about whether or not I could handle millions of dollars…(not everyone will think that’s as funny as I do while writing this)

Instead he pushes into the insecurities I have about leading at a high level, managing staff and volunteers, preaching on subjects out of comfort zone, and being around people who are much more successful than me.

Insecure leaders is a little bit like the Department of Redundancy Department. Every leader is insecure.

The real question is

Are we willing to allow God to grow us through them, or will we miss our Promised Land because we refuse to deal with them?


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Jeremy Isaacs

Lead Pastor at Canton Church
Jeremy is husband to Corrie, father to Cooper, Branson, Tucker and Kinley, and Lead Pastor of Canton Church in Canton, GA. He enjoys reading, writing, speaking, coaching Pastors and leaders, playing golf and watching Netflix with Corrie after the kids go to bed.

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