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Vulnerability – A good or bad thing?

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A friend called me recently. A mega-church pastor has offered him a senior position on the staff. “But,” he said, “there’s one problem. We have a fundamental disagreement on a philosophy of vulnerability. He thinks it’s bad and I think it’s good.” If you’re a leader, I hope that statement …
By Seth Barnes

A friend called me recently. A mega-church pastor has offered him a senior
position on the staff. “But,” he said, “there’s
one problem. We have a fundamental
disagreement on a philosophy of vulnerability.
He thinks it’s bad and I think it’s good.”

vulnerability 1If you’re a leader, I hope that statement explodes in your
spirit. It does in mine. It takes a secure leader to be vulnerable. By showing his weaknesses, he gives his enemies potential weapons with which to
attack him. Expose your underbelly to
someone and they might shoot you – it goes against our self-protective
instincts. My guess is that maybe 10% of
leaders practice this.

The problem is, self-protection isn’t Jesus’ way of leading. He said, “The first shall be last and the
last first.” When you’re weak, you’ll be
made strong. In essence, “Show your
underbelly to the people who might hurt you and let me take care of protecting
you.” And, of course, he modeled this
for us right to the end.

Only by making ourselves vulnerable do we truly empower our
followers. A great majority of people
live with truck-loads of self-doubt.
They are well aware of how they regularly mess up and live in prisons of
fear.

The key to unlock the jail door and liberate them from this
prison is vulnerability. “You’re not
alone,” it says. “To be human is to mess
up. Here’s what grace looks like. I’ve got prison clothes on, too.”

Vulnerability is a good thing. It allows us to take the enemy’s weapons and
use them against him. Do yourself a favor
– never follow a leader who doesn’t regularly model vulnerability. Any gospel that doesn’t include large
measures of vulnerability is not a true gospel and any leader worth following will wear his humanity openly.

See another blog on vulnerability here.

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