One of my great joys in ministry is overseeing the 12Stone Residency Program, training up the next generation of church leaders. Anna Phillips, a resident who serves in our Creative Arts Ministry, will be sharing her leadership wisdom on the blog today.
“People will like you best when you are yourself”. I first heard this about a year ago from Dan Reiland, the executive pastor at 12Stone Church. Something inside me clicked when I heard him say that. Your personality is not a limitation, it is a resource. For the past year, I’ve dug into this idea. I found that there are three steps that help us lean into the man or woman God created us to be.
1. Embrace who you are.
I love personality tests. Most tests provide a helpful framework for understanding how people think and interact with each other. Personality tests come with flaws though. One that’s become evident in American culture is the preference for extroversion over introversion. Any given personality is not more valuable than another. Susan Caine said in her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” that there are strengths in every personality. What matters, is utilizing those strengths in the way God intended.
2. Fortify your strengths.
There is wisdom in cultivating your strengths. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 that each believer is given a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit. These gifts are intended to be used in their own time for a specific purpose. Everyone has strengths, and everyone has a responsibility to their creator to put these strengths to good use.
3. Strengthen your weaknesses.
If I could summarize the entire book, “Spiritual Leadership” with one phrase, it would be: ‘strengthen your weaknesses’. J. Oswald Sanders writes, “The first steps toward improvement involve recognizing weaknesses, making corrections, and cultivating strengths.” We all know that humans are sinful creatures. Thankfully, we serve a God of grace. Our God redeems us as conquerors. Understanding your weaknesses requires brutal honesty with yourself. But it requires courage to overcome them.
“People will like you best when you are yourself.” This phrase offers me hope, and it opened the door to a journey of self discovery and improvement. God hasn’t created us to stay right where we are. He invites us on a journey towards holiness. It’s a winding, narrow path, but one that leads to immeasurable joy. What step will you take to becoming who God meant you to be?