Sometime ago, I was out of base to minister in another city. I had driven a few hours. Immediately I arrived, I was handed the microphone to minister. But I needed water badly. As I stepped up the podium, I took a pause, asked for a bottle of water, and patiently gushed it in. It looked unusual to the congregation. I began my teaching by telling them, “Leaders are humans, not angels.”

Friend, leaders are humans, not angels. I particularly have an issue with the leadership we practise in this side of the world. It is a leadership that does not show vulnerability. Most leaders want to look larger than life; infallible and superhuman. This is, perhaps, the reason followers would not spare you when you fall; you have postured as infallible.

Only God is infallible. Did you notice that Jesus showed us the human side of his leadership while on earth? He was hungry; he ate (John 4:6-8). He was tired; he slept while in a ship (Matthew 8:24-25). He ate with sinners (Matthew 9:10). He attended a wedding ceremony (John 2:1-2). He shared his burdens with few of his disciples (Matthew 26:37-38).

If Jesus our High Priest could stoop low to associate with the frailty of humans, what about you (Hebrews 4:15)? What qualified Jesus to save us was that He was like us. You are not qualified to lead people until you are like them.

This is the burden of leadership; to identify with the humanity and frailty of people and still be able to exercise leadership to help them out of it. A lot of leaders are disconnected from the realities of the life of those they lead. This is why they cannot truly and vitally help the people. This is why some people think pastors don’t have bills to pay. They don’t sometimes fall sick. They are not facing what others are facing.

Learning to balance vulnerability and leadership strength is a mark of growth and maturity. You identify with the people to understand them and also exercise the right leadership to help them. Like Jesus, you are not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:11). Be that kind of leader in your family, among your friends, in the Church, at your workplace, and indeed, everywhere! Lead out of vulnerability (Hebrews 4:15-16).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria