Enough with the False Humility

capabilityChuck Lawless recently wrote a great piece over on Thom Ranier’s blog. Entitled Seven Mistakes in Public SpeakingLawless hits on the things that we all need to review from time to time… but one of his mistakes was something that I feel like I have been seeing a lot of lately:

Inviting indifference – Maybe you’ve heard speakers do it:

  • “I’m sure this is not exciting, but it’s important.”
  • “I really haven’t had much time to prepare, so please bear with me.”
  • “This really isn’t my area of expertise. I’m sure there are others who are more qualified.”

I understand that humility may be the driving force behind these kinds of statements. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if the audience is uninterested after you’ve told them you’re unexciting, unprepared, and/or unqualified. Let your hearers make that assessment without your help. They might find you engaging and enlightening.

Over the last several months I have had a number of conversations where a pastor or church leader that has spoken this way about their own abilities. I have heard leaders describe themselves as “two-talent leaders“, as somehow substandard because they did not attend seminary, or just not “good enough” to do ministry well in their context.

Let me be frank:

If you are genuinely called to lead the church in which you are serving in, you are not lacking the skills, abilities, or tools needed to lead in your context. I am convinced that leading the Bride of Christ is not something that is entrusted to “two-talent leaders,” and while it may be a stretching experience, you have been created to pursue your calling with everything you have in you.

Whether you are trying to be genuinely humble, or trying to make people think you are humble, please stop limiting yourself and giving yourself a prepackaged excuse for not being the best leader you can be.

How do YOU deal with limiting self-talk?



About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.