I think the two hardest times to remain authentic as a leader are either in times of great success or in times of great trials. When I find great success I’ll cover that topic (lol), for now I am learning that life and ministry can get very hard. Several years ago, shortly after the birth of our 6th child, my wife got very sick. She became gravely ill and very rapidly went from being an active wife and mother to now being disabled. Between medical bills and time off work to care for her, we face extreme financial hardships. At the same time as all of this, I went through a very unexpected and difficult ministry transition. It seemed that every single area of my life was crumbling, leaving me to grapple with the fallout inside of me.
I’m writing about authenticity—but what does that look like when you can barely get out of bed and face your life? What does that look like when you are contemplating quitting ministry? How can one authentically lead others closer to Christ when you yourself are grappling with who Christ is in your life?
We live authentic lives by continuing to do in dark seasons what we learned to do in the light. By continuing to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how long it takes or how small the step. By being honest about the toxic feelings within you and going to see a counselor. By understanding that leadership is NOT about having perfect circumstances nor is it about “having it all together.” It’s about acknowledging that I need others to come along side me or I won’t survive. It is about being led through this journey daily by the LORD Himself even while you’re sorting out the broken pieces. It’s about letting God change you THROUGH the pain. It’s about opening the Bible every morning until God breaks through for you.
The day will come when everything you faced will be a part of your very backbone, and the way you chose to live during these times will be the difference between not recognizing the face in the mirror, or being able to look yourself square in the eyes.
Jeffrey Tyler serves as Lead Pastor at Kingsboro Assembly of God in Gloversville, NY. He has been married to the love of his life Ashley for over 12 years. They have six children—Anthony (10), Joey (8), Natalie (7), Johnny (6), Ryza (5), and David (4) as well as a 2 year old bullmastiff named Lincoln.