Whether you lead a classroom of kids at church, a group of kids ministry volunteers, or a staff of paid ministry leaders, you may feel the burden of perfection. After all, we’re leaders. We think that when those we lead see us make a mistake, they will think less of us. Even worse, we may think that they will not respect us as leaders. We’re afraid that if people notice that we’re “off our game,” then our influence as leaders will diminish. Moses appears to have succumbed to this sort of thinking, too.
Moses, like many of us, probably thought he had to be the perfect leader. This resulted in Moses’ attempting to judge the people and solve their problems, without assistance. Fortunately, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, helped Moses see that he was hurting both himself and the people he was trying to help. (See Exodus 18.) Through Moses’s experience, we can learn some truths:
- Leaders are always “on,” but there are times when it’s okay to let others see your imperfections.
- Leaders who try to be perfect exhaust themselves and those they lead.
- Leaders who trust those they lead are more apt to be transparent.
- People respect leaders who allow others to see who they really are.
- People will follow imperfect leaders who lead with integrity.
- People benefit when their leaders admit their own imperfections and make needed course corrections.
Taking Jethro’s advice, Moses made a course correction. Is it time for you to do the same? Stop trying to be perfect and start being who God has created you to be.
Landry Holmes leads Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Publishing Team and is a kidmin volunteer at his church. He is a husband, dad, father-in-law, and dog person.