Nobody likes a faker. We have all heard the mantra “fake it ’til you make it.” I think that statement is a lie. When I first got into ministry, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I remember sitting at my desk on my first day as a pastor thinking, Okay, what do I do now? I have been on staff at three churches since that first day, and at the beginning of my time at each I would always start it the same way . . . with a prayer:
“God, I have no clue what I am doing or how I got into this position. The only thing I do know is that I will fail horribly if You aren’t there to lead and guide me. So, please help me glorify You in this role.”
Our culture today is full of fakers. It’s so full of people who are faking it that it takes us back a few steps when we bump into someone who is actually genuine. Over the years, I have met a lot of people. It can really be heartbreaking how many people are out there trying to be something they aren’t. I want to encourage you to be genuine in your ministry, show people who you really are. I’m not saying not to strive to grow and become better, though. What I am saying is be a real person! People connect with you better when they know you are just like them. Here are 5 ways people will know you are a fake.
- You hide all your personal struggles from the general public. People want to know that you struggle and need a Savior just like them.
- Don’t be a “know-it-all.” Everyone knows that you don’t know everything. Stop trying to convince them that you do.
- Be comfortable with saying “I don’t know.” I have found that many people don’t necessarily want you to give them a solution. What people actually want from you is insight so they can find a solution. It is impossible for us to know everything, but we are connected to a Source that has the answers. Be okay with not knowing the answers to everything.
- Ask for people’s input on important things. People feel like you care when you ask for input on important decisions. They really feel important when you genuinely listen to their thoughts.
- Share REAL life stories from your home with people. I am not saying to air all of your dirty laundry with the entire population. However, the people you serve closely with will benefit from knowing what your life is like. It will also put less stress on your family when they may feel like they have to put a church “face” on at times.
Bottom line, people respect authenticity. Be real. Be transparent. It will go a long way!
What are some appropriate ways to remain authentic as a leader?
Joe is the Pastor of Share at Northbrook Church. Northbrook is a growing church just outside of Milwaukee WI. He has been in ministry for over a decade, serving in staff leadership at churches ranging in attendance from 500 to 7,000.
This post originally appeared December 4, 2013, at JoeMcAlpine.com. Used with permission from the author.