When we think of a leader, we usually imagine someone who is charismatic, eloquent, and confident. Likewise, when we think of a discipler, Church pastors come to mind. In both roles, we immediately associate each with specific character traits, talents, and a general maturity.
The reality is we all have different personalities. Countless online tests give you a type of personality and place that type in certain roles in communities. Usually, those with presence, who are charming and command attention, and who work and move through a crowd with ease are labeled leader types.
Something we do know is that Jesus did not pick his apostles based on their personality types. He did not call on Peter because he commanded attention or could work a crowd. Peter was just fishing, and when asked to become a fisher of men, he got up and made a choice. As disciples of Jesus, we are all called to disciple (Matt. 28.18-20). Each of us is included in His grand mission to shepherd His people.
Chances are, though, that we may not know scriptures as well as the pastors, or we may not be as well-spoken as we would like to be. Perhaps we are trying to avoid the tricky questions that would put your faith to the test. One might even have a different calling in craftsmanship or administration. Perhaps you particularly may feel a shepherding role is not for you.
Interestingly, the Bible says God calls all of us, regardless of who you are, how you are gifted, and where you come from, to His Great Commission – to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28.18-20). In the Shift podcast ‘What Exactly Is Discipleship’, Pastor Albert raised 3 points Jesus said about discipleship in the book of John.
People will know we are a disciple of Jesus when we:
1. Hold to His teaching. (John 8.31)
2. Love one another. (John 13.35)
3. Bear fruit, glorify the Father, and show Him to the world. (John 15.16)
Jesus did not mention anything about the personalities or capabilities a discipler should have; He simply asks us to know Him, love our neighbors, and glorify God. Nicky Gumble, the founder of Alpha, once interviewed Sandy Millar, whom Nicky thought was ‘the greatest leader he [had] ever known’. In this conversation between the two seasoned Christian leaders, Millar confessed that he had struggled with God’s call to take up a leadership role until he heard God say, ‘All I want is you.’
God just wants you. God doesn’t mind you being too energetic, quiet, nerdy, dominating, or anything else. He created you the way you are. The world needs all types of characters. If you trust God’s wisdom and let Him use you, you are creating space for God to work in you – let Him surprise you! Don’t limit God’s power by the world’s standards for leadership qualities. It is okay even if you feel inadequate in a lot of places, you just need to show up. You – just you – are the type of leader God wants for His kingdom.
Will you accept God’s invitation to be a leader today?