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The Deeper Benefits of Failure

Last week I wrote a post “Thank God for Failure”.  As leaders I believe we have to embrace the benefits of failure more. Failure is fertile ground for leadership growth because it cuts deep into the leaders emotions. Think about it, most of life’s long lasting lessons are typically tied to a strong emotion, and very little stirs our emotion more than failure.  I’ll never forget the day I when I was a rookie minister our executive pastor walked into my office and said,” We’re going to let you go”.  WHAM!!!  That moment of failure, produced an emotional crisis that led to healthy self-examination and a dependence on God for the development of my ministry giftings.

I’ve discovered that processing failure the right way eliminates an unhealthy self-confidence and replaces it with God confidence in the spirit of the leader.  Part of the sanctification process for a leader is eradicating that self-reliant, ego-driven leadership and coming to a place of realizing, “I am weak but he is strong.” It’s assessing what went wrong and allowing the Holy Spirit to convince us, “Without me you can do nothing.” It’s evaluating self in light of Truth and coming to that place of knowing “Not by might, not by power but by my Spirit says the Lord”.

The self-reliant leaders impact is restricted to results that he alone can produce.  But it’s the humble, God-confident leader that God longs to display His power through. And it typically takes a series of failures to see that produced in our character. As mentors we must nurture not just the development of our protégée’s competence through failure, but nurture the God-reliant attitude the Holy Spirit wants to produce in their life as well.

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Mac Lake is the Development Pastor at Seacoast Church, a multi-site church with 13 campuses, where he oversees leadership development, small groups, missions, communications, and internships. He is a popular church leadership conference speaker and the author of the training resource Growing Small Group Leaders. Learn more from Mac at MacLakeOnline.com.