Friday, October 16, 2009

Feeling Intimidated

It’s weird. I can stand in front of a crowd of hundreds and preach without feeling the least bit uncomfortable. In fact, it fires me up. I love to preach. I would do it every day if some of you knuckleheads would come hear me. Some would look at my confidence and aggressiveness as a public speaker and think that I must always feel that way. But the truth is I don’t always feel that way. While I am very relaxed and at home speaking in front of a crowd, I often struggle being in smaller circles, especially if it is with people that I consider true leaders. In fact, as loud and boisterous as I am when I preach, I am just the opposite in smaller circles. I tend to just sit, listen and learn without saying a whole lot. Why? Because believe it or not, I am easily intimidated.

It happened again just recently. I was invited to participate in a meeting with four very effective leaders. I have to be honest. Good, bad or indifferent, I was intimidated. I did not say one word for the entire two hours. I sat in amazement at the dialogue that was going on in the room. I took four pages of notes of phenomenal questions that were being asked and answered. It was awesome to participate in this. But then again, I really didn’t participate…I just listened.

Seriously, I am intimidated being in a small group with businessmen and leaders. My hands were sweating and my mouth was dry and all I did was listen. I mean these four men could run circles around me when it came to leadership. The more they talked the more I soaked up what was being said but the more intimidated I became.

Finally, at the end of the two hours I decided that I better say something. I mean, what would these guys think if I was the only one who didn’t say one word in the entire 2-hour meeting. So, I swallowed hard and spoke up. It started something like this…

“Well, you obviously realize that I haven’t said anything. That’s mainly because I am really intimidated…”

Wait a minute. Did I really say that? The only feeling that is more uncomfortable than feeling intimidated is publicly admitting it! I went on to give my one nugget of wisdom, hoping that it would actually make sense to these amazing leaders that sat around the table. Now don’t get me wrong. I loved being in that meeting. I’m not sure I really fulfilled the purpose for why I was invited but I learned so much and I have found that its being in those times when I feel intimidated that I find myself being stretched and grown.

So, why do I share all this in my blog for the world to read? Simple. It was a great reminder that what you see on the outside of a person may not always be the case on the inside. I may look like a confident leader when you watch and listen to me preach on Sunday morning, but the truth is that I struggle with insecurity when it comes to my own leadership. I really do. I may be comfortable in front of a crowd of hundreds, but put me in a room around a table with a handful of real leaders and it’s a whole other story.


Andy Spade said...

Oh, sure. Post this the day AFTER an Elder meeting...

Craig said...

Thanks for your honesty Scott. I believe that is one of the marks of a true leader, and why I believe God is blessing your ministry.

One of your sheep in Schaefferstown

Anonymous said...

Ah, you can learn so much just by listening, in this case reading your blog; this may help in the future in similar situations; just approach these small groups of leaders or whoever they are with the attitude that they are the same bunch of KNUCKLEHEADS that you wish would come to hear you speak everyday. See how that works.

Main Entry: knuck·le·head
Function: noun
Date: 1942
: dumbbell 2

See you on Sunday, I'll be the one in the second row, to your right with the "dumb" look, but I might be a little hard to discern from all the other knuckleheads around me.

Anonymous said...

Sure don't appreciate being called a knuckle head. And it isn't the first time, I heard it either. And I was not impressed when I did hear it the first time. Sorry

Pastor Scott said...

You would have to be a knucklehead to come hear me preach every day, Anonymous. Obviously, I am jesting.