Identity is at the core of (Christian) leadership. It has been so clear to me over the past number of years that leaders need to be secure in who they are. When a leader is secure in his or her identity as a child and heir of God, it liberates them to be able to invest in others, to develop the gifts and abilities of other leaders, to enable others to become greater than they are. All too often when leaders strive for control, or engage in destructive practices and conflict it can be traced back to identity issues. To feeling insecure and threatened by the gifts and abilities of others. To being afraid of how others look in comparison to them. Knowing who we are as leaders is critical – not just for our own health, but for the good of those we serve.
Ed Dobson (originally from Northern Ireland and pictured right) was a megachurch pastor in the US who had huge influence politically as a leader in the Moral Majority. He developed Motor Neurone Disease and life changed dramatically. He has made a series of short films exploring some of his learning, including this one: my garden which you can view on Rachel Held Evans blog.
So often we find our identity in our job or role, or position of influence. What happens when all of that changes?
Watch Ed’s Story: my garden to hear some of his reflections
Ed wrote a fascinating book recently called the Year of Living Like Jesus