You may be wondering what this title means, and truthfully it’s a consequence of being a nerd. I’m an accounting major so it's the best analogy I could come up with.
Often times as leaders, we’re asked what our assets and liabilities are. A concept that a good friend of mine brought to my attention is that we rarely look at how our “liabilities” or potentially bad qualities, can be made into our greatest assets if we approach them with humility rather than pride. Here’s what I mean:
For me as a worship pastor, some bad qualities I’m prone to are control, perfectionism, manipulation of relationships, and arrogance. Because I know these things, it can be exhausting to monitor myself all the time to make sure I’m treating people well and not grasping for the wrong things. In fact, self-regulating can keep us from asking important questions, like what's the common denominator amongst those liabilities? Pride. Pride is what keeps us from spiritual leadership. Pride is the little devil that drives us to depend on our own strength and ability, rather than the Lord’s. Looking at any leadership role zoomed out from 30,000 feet, it seems silly that we could be prideful enough to think that we can handle our lives better without the Lord's help.
The more you get wrapped up in the identity of your occupation rather than your identity as a Son or Daughter of Christ, the more prideful your leadership approach will be.
Here’s the gist of what I was saying before, what if, instead of exhausting yourself by self-regulating against your "liability" qualities, you took a humble posture and acknowledged your identity as a Son or Daughter first. What happens when you do that? If our identity is rooted in Christ, we become more like Him. What was Jesus like? He was a servant leader who equipped His people (see Mark 6:7). While there is much more to it, if you can be serving and equipping your people, that’s a solid start to humility.
If I inject humility into my liabilities, control becomes vision, perfectionism becomes high expectations to bring our best offering, manipulation becomes authentic investment in people, and arrogance becomes intelligence.
Don’t you want a leader that casts vision, has high expectations, invests in you personally, and has the intelligence to keep the boat floating? Bam, that's how to make a leadership liability into an asset.
And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)
Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall. (Proverbs 16:18)
But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites!” (James 4:6-8)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)