Broken leaders are the best leaders

Ihave always been fascinated with the topic of leadership and love to study how great leaders operate and execute vision. However, the longer I have been on my journey of learning to lead, the more I realize the best leaders are broken leaders. 

The leaders I have come to love and desire to follow are those whose strength is in their brokenness. In fact, after a little more than two decades in ministry, I have come to a place where I don’t trust a leader who has not walked through seasons of brokenness. As I read Scripture, I believe a pattern we see in great leaders is that God calls, He breaks, and then He blesses. 

To be clear, brokenness in the life of a leader looks different for everyone. Noah’s brokenness was different than Moses’. David’s valleys were not the same as Paul’s. All these men went through seasons of brokenness, yet they experienced God’s favor and blessings. The lessons I have learned through great-yet-broken leaders in the Bible have forever been seared into my mind. Allow me to share the top three lessons with you:

Don’t equate brokenness with weakness

Often when we see someone experiencing a season of brokenness, we assume that person is weak. We question their mental and emotional capacities and default to the notion that the person can’t handle their circumstances. However, this is the refining process the Lord uses to grow people to be next-level leaders. When leaders come to grips with their humanity, they begin to realize their deep need for God every moment of every day. Brokenness has a unique way of creating a new sense of dependence on the Lord. 

"I began to desire to be that type of leader, one who knows his brokenness and embraces the Lord’s ability to use me in spite of me."

Broken leaders become humble leaders

We have all been in a room when a leader speaks and we are immediately put off by his or her lack of humility, overconfidence, or arrogance. I was once that type of leader until the Lord blessed me with seasons of brokenness. It was in those valley experiences that I began to watch leaders who led with grace and humility. I was so encouraged and immediately drawn to leaders whose confidence was in the Lord, not in their own ability. I began to desire to be that type of leader, one who knows his brokenness and embraces the Lord’s ability to use me in spite of me. 

Broken leaders have nothing to prove

Some people spend much of their lives trying to “be somebody.” They feel like they have to do everything they can to prove themselves. While there is nothing wrong with working diligently to do the best job you can, broken leaders realize they have nothing to prove. A leader who understands and embraces brokenness realizes that anything good and worthy comes from the Lord. I love what Paul says in Acts 20:24: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord.” Paul knew he was broken and that the only one he needed to please was the Lord. He knew his value was in the Lord and the ministry He had blessed him with. Leaders, when we understand our brokenness, we embrace His strength. When we lead in His strength, we have no need to prove anything to anyone, but only to please the Lord.

Broken leaders are the best leaders. They don’t have to hide their fears and insecurities behind big voices or influential positions. They simply depend on the grace and goodness of God every moment of every day. I pray as you lead forward, you would not be ashamed of your brokenness but embrace His strength in you. I love you, I believe in you, I am in your corner!

Executive Director
Nathan Lorick
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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