Ministers can be very fearful people and yet never acknowledge their fears.
Fear has a way of becoming the elephant in the room in ministry. A minister, out of fear and insecurity, finds ways of reminding others that he is an important person and is needed by the congregation. He may become fearful when he is not “in the know” about a particular family or issue.
Ministers can cripple their ministry and severely limit their influence by not addressing their fears.
Ministers can be imprisoned and bound by fear:
- What if people see how inadequate I really am?
- What if the people in the congregation stop liking me?
- What if I fail in this congregation?
- What if my ministry peers see that I am not as competent or skilled as they are?
- What if I lead this initiative and it fails?
- What if people find out that sometimes, as a church leader, I don’t know what to do?
- What if I remain in obscurity for the rest of my life?
- What if I am never seen as significant, important, or competent?
- What if I never move beyond my fears and my insecurities?
- What if I should be doing something else with my life besides “full-time” ministry?
- What if I’m fired?
- What if others see me as fearful instead of a person of faith?
Maybe you identify with at least one of these thoughts. I wish I could say that I’ve only had one of these fears.
If not met head on with the power of God’s Spirit, fear has a way of taking over one’s life.
The following has been helpful:
1. God can and will deliver us from our fears (Psalms 34:4).
2. Pray, trusting in the Holy Spirit, for God to give you the power and courage to take the next obedient step. This is critical. After all, fear can be paralyzing and cause you to be immobile and unresponsive to what God wants you to do.
3. Thank God for his powerful presence. Throughout Scripture, he reminds his people (and his leaders in particular): “I will be with you” (Genesis 31:3, Exodus 3:12, Joshua 1:5, Judges 6:16).
4. Voice your fear aloud to God. ”Lord, I am afraid that ….” Sometimes we allow the restless rumblings in our hearts to dominate. Articulating your concerns to God in prayer instead of quietly brooding can sometimes help in claiming the promises and power of God’s presence.
What has been helpful to you in dealing with your fear?