Let’s talk about vulnerability—a deeply sacred place, but also a necessary venture for all, especially those in ministry. It’s hard, messy, and at times, it hurts.
Perhaps you’ve opened up and let someone in, only to be betrayed. As a result, you’ve kept people at a distance out of fear of further rejection. Or perhaps you’ve poured into a young person only for her to wander. You question whether it’s worth pouring yourself out for another. In addition, vulnerability within ministry is a struggle because as a leader, we want to appear strong for the sake of those we lead.
However, this is not a tightrope you are meant to walk. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV),
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
We have a misconception that weakness should be avoided, but, in fact, it should be embraced. It’s here your life and others’ lives are changed by the power of God. It’s here, in the sacred place of vulnerability, that God is most glorified and ministry thrives.
I challenge you to expose yourself for the sake of the Gospel to be proclaimed more powerfully. I’ve found the most effective ministry is birthed in the vulnerable. When you open up and share your struggles, trials, and lessons learned with others, people will connect with you and find hope in their own situation. Point to God’s faithfulness in the storms.
These three areas of vulnerability will prove beneficial to you, and to the Body:
One-on-One. Whether with family, friends, a mentee, or someone in the church lobby, we can always find opportunities to be vulnerable. It’s time to let down the wall and share yourself with others. People will feel more connected to you if you will take them there and will themselves open up in return.
With Your Team. Often, leaders will distance themselves from their team, perhaps for time’s sake, busyness, or because of an introverted personality. Furthermore, the larger the team grows, the harder it becomes for the leader to connect. However, isolation is a dangerous place to live in. I would encourage a leader to make herself available to her team on a regular basis, whether that’s in a monthly block of time sitting together so that team can ask questions, or through a private Facebook group, or another option. The size of your ministry will only dictate the depth of vulnerability if you allow it to.
On a Platform. Whether on stage or on social media, your platform exists first and foremost as an opportunity to point to Christ. Don’t be afraid to open up and show your humanity in order to do this. Remember: God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness. When you share from a place of authenticity, people will take notice. This world craves authenticity—and yours can be a wonderful conduit for grace to abound.