My friend wasn’t sure if she should call me because she was supposed to be the strong one mentoring me. She cried about the lack of rent, health, and how to rest in the unknown provision of God. She apologized more than she breathed for having to call. “You don’t apologize to me for needing a friend. Ever.” I say to her through the phone. She didn’t realize at the time, but her calling me with a need for support was leading me.

Though my friend’s situation required one-on-one support, I couldn’t help but think about the many times I hadn’t been vulnerable in the place or with the community I should be vulnerable with. The dozens of times I needed to cry during worship or allow the prayer team to pray for me. Even though I was a Youth Leader, or even if I’m the Prayer Leader. Even if I was once the pastor’s-wife-shouldn’t-I-be-stronger-than-this?… I needed to be human in my faith. We all do. And while we need to understand wisdom in whom to be vulnerable with, there are certain areas of the faith community that shouldn’t be kept so private. I know what it is to need, and, to feel like you shouldn’t. 

Being a Child of God, we’re all called to leadership the second we put our trust in Him. This doesn’t mean a position in a church but rather a position of the heart. It is an understanding that we are not called to perfection, but the allowance of Christ perfecting us for the rest of our life here on earth. It means we show ourselves real, open, and in constant need of our Saviour.

Isn’t this how Jesus is too? He just wanted people to meet with God. He never made a priority of looking good for the camera lens of the public eye. For certain, he had many private moments to sort things out with God, as we all should. But, He also shared with His friends and community what God was doing in His life. He shared the suffering He was about to endure. He shared His weakness and need for friendship in the Garden. He publicly confronted his sadness, disappointment, and anger during His ministry season. He wasn’t concerned about stuffing His life, or hearing the opinions of others. He simply understood where He goes and how he goes, people follow. And He wanted us to know we can do that well by being real and working it out through Christ. 

It’s this way with prayer, healing, and suffering. It’s this way with parenting, divorce, community, disability, singleness, titles, marriage, purpose and position. We are this way with circumstances and emotions, and perhaps you don’t know it, but where you go, people learn to follow. And more so, how you go, they’ll learn to go too. Your vision for influence needs to be straight out of your character in Christ. If your vision to influence is big and ridiculous and outside of who Christ is in you, you’ve missed the point of Jesus entirely. God calls us not to be flashy so people see us. That’s pride leading to unimportance, not humility leading to influence. He’s opened the floor for us to need the alter, the prayer team, the openness in grief, pain, joy, and sorrow.

Operate as a church led mostly by good lighting and online presence, and people will follow the leading of a show rather than connected relationships. Take time to be alone with Christ and people will know it’s okay for them to do the same. Worship God in a way that says it’s all about Him, and people will belong to the same theory. Make your way to the alter, and people will begin to ask about their very own needs. Don’t show by your own life that it is okay to reach out, be upset, weak or in need, and know you are saying the same to others even in your silence (or pride).

How do others see our need for Christ or their need for Christ otherwise? God chose the leaders of scripture because they were able to show all of themselves: requiring faith in Christ rather than a can-do way of living on their own. They needed Christ, and that’s what Christ needed others to see. Show me what it means to wholly follow Christ. In both sadness and joy lead me into worship, lead me into prayer, lead me to the alter, because it’s a place your feet first dare to go.

Teach believers with your life:

by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. 1 Timothy 4