Ministering with low self-esteem

It’s not often spoken, but it’s a reality for more than most of us know. Hidden behind the bass of a triumphant sermonic voice and the genuine excitement of God’s revelation to his people, many church leaders, clergy, musicians and worship leaders may be battling with low self-esteem and distorted self-worth. The irony of it alone is silencing. How can the tools of God, doubt their own importance? The person who is pushing encouragement like an illegal product is the one who doesn’t get high from their own supply. I didn’t even consider this could be the mentality of those who preached, sang and shared the gospel until I became one. I mean, they’re supposed to be in God’s face continually. Between praying, counseling, worshipping and studying, how can they walk around feeling burdened by their own person?

Unhealthy sources of gratification cause delusion.

Simply put. We begin to compromise our assignment when we become focused on pleasing people and ourselves. This happens despite knowing our identities or not. We all know a larger audience can birth better opportunities and it becomes easy to compromise our identity and style to appease to an audience who’re ignorant of the information God has given us. We’re aware of being compared to the latest preacher they’ve heard, maybe even their favorite or least favorite mega pastor or worship leader. We began to reach for the straws of “more”, thus we add more; trying to become what we expect everyone else to accept. when God never called us to our expectation, but His. (Jeremiah 29:11) We’ve built an idol of what success looks like, even what “good preaching” sounds like and we’re off to build something God never approved of.

We aren’t called to appraise ourselves

We know this as a fact, but it doesn’t make application any better. GOD called you and no matter how many disqualifications you tally up, you’re STILL called. Again, this we know, but it isn’t our job to simply know, but to be persuaded as in Romans 8:38-39. To be persuaded is to be sold, convinced on the worth, functionality or value of something. Being sold on the idea of YOU isn’t blissful, at least to most people. The insecurity of incompetency lingers over us, looking for proof of our inadequacies; yet, it’s amazing that we cut the knowledge of God short, as if he’s clueless of our mistakes and the mindset that creates them. Our quick temper and lack of a MDIV degree hasn’t shocked him in the least. Our breath alone, qualifies us to tackle each day.

Know that God hasn’t given anyone a day, they couldn’t conquer with Him.

The call of anyone in leadership is to relate to who you’re serving without being influenced by the same audience. Whether it’s your business, family or congregation, we have to be close enough to understand and discern between the needs and wants of the people while executing the discipline. It sounds easy, always does. I think for many of us who’ve started out with smaller platforms, it becomes a fight between our desire to gain the trust of a larger audience while ensuring our authenticity. In order to gain popularity, one usually must conform to the liking of the people or be so out of the margin, their approach becomes novelty. We end up becoming the gimmick, the all-star, the celebrity instead of Christ.

Time to heal

Being aware of our unworthiness to called by God isn’t the issue. We are all unworthy and will always be. The danger is in focusing solely on that and embedding that into our individuality, based on issues that are already there. Having an issue with self-worth is a much deeper issue and likely started before your work in ministry. I’m not a therapist by any means, however I do highly suggest going to one. There are plenty of great therapists out there including Christian therapists. God works just as much through professionals, secular and sacred alike.

Keeping a journal can be helpful, Being truthful about your feelings and self talk will uncover more than you think. Read your Word, read what God thinks about you. Everything he gives you to pour out to your audience, he also meant for you to partake of as well. So, don’t forget your portion.

Learn your portion and what drains you. Have people around you who pour into you, invest in your tribe. At the end of the day, your tribe will steady and carefully pour encouragement, life and wisdom back into you. Man and Woman of God, keep fighting. I know it can be hard. As, prestigious of a place it is to be in, it’s not always pleasant, ask Jesus, but it’s worth living through.

I’m praying for you, your ministry and impact. If anyone is contemplating suicide, please know there are options out there to help. This is not your only option. Reach out to the National Suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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