5 Ways to Fight Insecurity as a Pastor or Leader

I was talking with a young pastor recently. He is overwhelmed with the responsibility he’s been given. His church expects a lot from him…leading the church, preaching great messages, and seeing the baptistry consistently in use. He realizes the weight of his position, but much of it he doesn’t feel qualified to deliver. He accepted the position knowing there would be challenges, but now he’s wondering if he’s in over his head.

I realized he was dealing with a huge dose of insecurity. I previously wrote “7 Traits of an Insecure Leader“.

It caused me to ask myself, so I could counsel him:

What’s the best way to deal with insecurity in leadership?

Here are 5 ways to deal with insecurity as a pastor or leader:

Avoid comparisons – Insecurity often develops when a person compares his or herself to another. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself. Realize that who God designed you to be is not a mistake. Obviously, someone believed in your abilities as a leader. You need to stop comparing and start living in your own skin.

Concentrate on your abilities – What are you good at? Make a list of your good qualities. You probably have more than you think you do. In times of feeling insecure we often forget. Keep your list handy. It will help you to feel more confident if you focus more on the positives than the negatives.

Surround yourself with people who complement your weaknesses – Part of having a healthy organization is the strength that comes from different people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are probably people who can do things you don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s not a sign of weakness to get others involved. It’s actually a sign of strength as a leader. (And its a more Biblical model of the church.)

Keep learning – Seek wisdom from other leaders. Read books. Take additional classes. Knowledge is power. The more you grow in information the more competent you will feel in your role. (By the way, when I feel overwhelmed or insecure, I read the stories like that of Gideon, Moses, Joseph, David, or Joshua repeatedly. Great encouragement.)

Ultimately, find your identity in what’s really secure – You have a relationship with Christ. Remember, “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength”. If you are facing insecurity in leadership you may have to simply get better at walking by faith. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Insecurity will weigh you down and hold you back as a pastor or leader. It will keep you from doing all you were called to do. Don’t let it!

That’s my advice.

What would you add?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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31 thoughts on “5 Ways to Fight Insecurity as a Pastor or Leader

  1. Identify the possible causes of your insecurities, such as new situations, fear, kids bullying you in school, a lack of money, or your appearance. You can't conquer your insecurities without first knowing from where they stem. Thanks.

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  8. Good and helpful ideas. But do you really mean you want someone to "compliment" weaknesses (praise you for them), or did you mean "complement" (to enhance or improve)?

  9. I will like to add to this post: When God calls you to be a pastor or minster, He equips you by giving you what you need to succeed. However, the enemy tries to steal this from you. Pastors should not be too busy praying for others, but should also constantly seek God and pray for themselves.

  10. In the times I feel the most overwhelmed, i try to remind myself that God is never surprised! No one snuck up on Him, caught Him napping and put me in the place I'm in! He actually does have a plan. I don't always understand it, don't always see all of it, but it is never too big to handle. Sometimes it specifically designed for me to learn my limitations, , but even then, He is still there to hold me me up, even to just hold me! He may be God, but He's still my best friend.
    Twitter: bryankr

  11. Remembering… Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane! He came to earth in human form, felt everything we felt as human beings. He was overwhelmed! BUT…. He silently submitted, to the WILL OF GOD Whose purposes in play were greater than the challenge at hand. I know the greatest gift God gave us at Christmas was Jesus, but another gift was AWE and WONDER. It is time to develop that once again, because we have lost it, the AWE and WONDER of the life of Christ, beginning with HIS birth to His Resurrection. It is in this AWE that a God-Strengthened confidence will undergird our naturally weak self images with His supernatural edge!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  12. Don't pretend to be someone you aren't. If you don't know the answer say so. But then say "i will try to find out for you." Don't be afraid to admit shortcomings to the other leaders. Find a leader you can trust and who will get your back. I missed all of those when younger and tried to be someone i wasn't. It only hurt me. Good advice Ron.

  13. I would add, balance your time focus. To often an insecure leader is focused only on the mistakes of the past, the circumstances of the present, or the fear of the future. We need to spend time considering all three. Not an even 1/3 on each. An example for some: 15% on studying the past to learn, 60% working on present tasks and 25% seeking clarity on the vision for the future. Others it might be 5%, 45% & 50%. A leader finds hope living in vision not circumstances.