Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. Heights, public speaking, snakes, spiders, the dark, flying and dying are all common fears.
We can all relate to the feeling, power and impact of fear. It’s a very common theme in the Bible. Most of the ‘big names’ in God’s story struggled with fear. Even Paul, the great and bold missionary wrote about “…conflicts on the outside, fears within.” (2Corinthians 7:5)
For Christian leaders, there are some common and specific fears connected to the role of leadership. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of man, and fear of success are just a few. The spectrum of symptoms can include:
- Leadership paralysis and confusion
- A control and command approach
- Workaholic and drivenness mindset
Do any of these symptoms resonate with you? Our fear buttons are usually pushed during times of challenge – and leadership is often about leading in the midst of challenge. So, how do we live a life of faith in a world of fear?
Here are some best practices:
- Rest – Fear is often magnified when we are weary. As football legend Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Simply getting some deep sleep can bring greater stamina and a renewed perspective.
- Identify Your Fears – Name your fears. By simply identifying and naming them, you bring the fear into the light and break some of the power.
- Confess and Choose to Trust – Confess the specific fear(s) or disbelief to God and ask forgiveness where fear has replaced trust. Then, by God’s grace, choose to trust God in that specific area – i.e. “By God’s strength, I choose to trust you with ______”. Pray the aspect of God’s character that counters the fear.
- Know Your Buttons – Are there specific situations or people that press your fear buttons? Once you identify your fear buttons, you can better prepare. One of our Arrow trainers often repeats a simple prayer ahead of and during these situations: “Fear of _______________ leave me. Peace of God fill me.”
- Get to the Roots – Fear can be rooted in disbelief or distortion about God’s character, lack of skills, limited experience, misinformation, spiritual attack, lack of perspective or past trauma. A trusted mentor, experienced spiritual friend or godly counselor can often be a significant help in addressing the roots.
While fear is common, it shouldn’t have dominion over us. The good news is while “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7). May the hallmark of our leadership be Who we trust.