5. Expectation to Be a Role Model
Slide 8 of 8
There are certain positions in life that require greater responsibility and an obligation to serve as a role model. This is especially true for those serving in public office and/or a highly visible position where integrity and professional comportment are expected.
Millions of impressionable eyes are upon those called to serve in such a capacity. Unfortunately, many in such a position fall far short. Christian leaders are no exception. This could cause great stress, despondency, and despair. The self-talk is, “I let Jesus down.” A sense of unworthiness creeps in. Some question whether or not they should continue on in their ministry.
Let’s look at two tips for managing this stressor.
Tips for Handling Expectations of Being a Christian Leader Role Model
Role Model Expectation Tip #1: Remember Your Humanity
Although Jesus never sinned, he was still fully human and fully God. Therefore, he experienced human temptation (think the temptation in the desert leading up to his public ministry and the Garden of Gethsemane).
In both cases, he was being tempted to abandon his mission. Fortunately for mankind, he resisted his human instinct to “not drink from the cup.”
As mere mortals, Jesus understands that we all fall short. But like Peter, he expects us to be sorrowful, seek forgiveness, pick up our cross, and continue to follow him. Jesus forgives. You should follow His example.
Forgive yourself and carry on—just as Peter did.
Role Model Expectation Tip #2: Continuous Self-Improvement
Actively seek out feedback from trusted family members, congregants, mentors, and friends. I recommend the “Start-Stop-Continue” method. That is, ask:
- What behaviors of mine are you not experiencing that I should ‘start’ showing (such as being a better listener)?
- What behaviors do you observe that I should ‘stop” doing (such as interrupting someone when they’re speaking)?
- What am I doing (in the positive sense) that I should ‘continue’ to do (e.g. being present and in the moment)?
Being a Christian leader is a high and noble calling. It requires carrying a heavy cross—just as Jesus did. It’s my hope that you’ll recognize these five top stressors, take appropriate steps to alleviate them and carry on, to finish the “good race.”
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Scott Ventrella is a high-profile executive coach, professor, and Christian leader based in New York. He has served as an executive at the Peale Center for Christian Living, coached clergymen, and has served for 30 years as a Catechist in his local parish. He has been a featured speaker at numerous congregations of all denominations as well as national conferences including Harvard Business School’s “Dean’s Conference on Leadership, Values, and Spirituality.” His most recent book, The 3rd Power: The Faith Formula to Soothe the Soul and Restore the Spirit (CrossLink Publishing) was released in November 2019.