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Insecurity in a pastor has damaged countless people. A man who has been given the privilege of leadership in God’s Church, who tries to protect himself and his image, will do just about anything. That’s very dangerous and does not at all represent Jesus.

Mark 10:42–45 (NKJV) “But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Before we jump in, let’s be sure to distinguish between the type of insecurity motivated by a place of newness and fear of failure and the kind of insecurity inspired by jealousy and envy. When you start something new, especially in spiritual leadership, a fear of failure almost always hurts the person feeling it, not others. You don’t want to fail. You don’t want to hurt others. It’s a huge responsibility, and you think it, so you automatically turn inward, looking for stability. That’s not what this article is speaking of. That’s for a different note. However, for now, take those insecurities to the Lord in prayer. He’s put you in that position. He will be your strength!

Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) “So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.”

We are talking about the type of insecurity that resides in an unrepentant person for years, wrapped up in pride, motivated by jealousy that creates havoc in others’ lives. Let me say upfront that person has no business being in the position of a pastor or leader.

The dictionary defines insecurity as “uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.” In other words, there is an over amount of thinking about yourself. You’re leading from a place of self, worrying about how you look, what people think, etc. Now know that there are times when you are overwhelmed by the task at hand; that’s normal. Even as you deal with feelings of insecurity from time to time, you do not need to lead from that place of insecurity. No, you can lead from the position of love, God’s agape love, thinking of others more highly than yourself.

Philippians 2:3–4 (NKJV) “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Insecure leaders and pastors tend to be some of the most manipulative, self-centered, and hurtful people. You don’t have to put up with that type of self-centered behavior. It’s wearying and exhausting. You are under no obligation to be bullied or belittled.  For a view on bad leadership, I wrote this not too long ago.

Signs of an insecure pastor often include:

-trying to control everything and everyone

-finding fault in others

-being threatened by other’s success

-needing to be the center of attention

-gossiping and spreading rumors

-manipulating people to get their way

-constantly putting others down

-refusing to take responsibility for their actions

-having a quick temper

-being jealous of other’s relationships

-trying to control the conversation

-never admitting they’re wrong

-making everything about them

-being self-absorbed

-having a sense of entitlement

-only caring about themselves and their own needs

-always trying to bully you into making decisions their way.

These are just some of the signs that you might be dealing with an insecure pastor. If I missed one, you’re right; there are many more! You don’t have to feel like it was just you. We could even add that to the list as well. Insecure pastors have a way of making you feel like it’s all your fault and what you are really seeing isn’t at all what you’re seeing. It’s a form of gaslighting. Don’t fall for it.

If you see these signs in someone you are following, beware. Pray for that person; if they refuse to repent and seek help, you might need to consider finding a new church home. Insecurity is never the way to lead. We must lead from the place of caring for others and servanthood. Insecurity hurts so many people. Insecurity in a leader does so much damage.

If an insecure pastor has hurt you, I’m sorry. There is healing available in the Lord. Go to Him and ask for His comfort. He’s ready to help you. Don’t give up on God, the Church, pastors, or religion because of the pain. Stay strong in His grace. He is faithful.

2 Corinthians 1:3–7 (NLT) “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”

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