Do you ever feel completely inadequate? No, okay, stop reading. For the rest of us honest people, I’ll continue. That feeling of inadequacy can be rooted in a lot of different things. Sometimes it’s because you’re not trying. Other times it is because you’re overwhelmed and you just don’t have anything left to give. In some cases, you’re feeling inadequate because you just don’t understand that you are fully equipped and capable. Yeah, time for a pep talk.
I remember taking a job in Media Ministry. I have no formal training in this area. Please note, I said “formal” training. I’ll get to that later. I can’t tell you much of what many of my colleagues can about the distance an audio wave travels with this amount of resistance and this sound pressure level for so many doodlydads and tiddlywinks. I can’t get into a detailed discussion about the impact of your f-stop and aperture blades when you’re shooting video or taking photos. I can’t get deep in the woods about color grading and the benefits and drawbacks of shooting raw. Does that make me bad at my job? Well, the answer is no, it doesn’t. But I used to think it did. I used to feel like an imposter in a world of geniuses.
It’s true, I sat listening to people talk at a conference once just mesmerized by the brilliant statistics and scientific detail that they were uttering. This was all stuff I knew enough about to know what they were talking about, but I couldn’t have ever carried on a conversation with them about it. I would have likened it to a toddler trying to discuss physics with Einstein. Entertaining maybe, embarrassing yes, pointless indeed. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with these people being brilliant. What I’m saying IS wrong is my failure in measuring myself against them as my standard. There are areas that, when I step back and objectively evaluate myself, I can run circles around them. I can tell you that it doesn’t discount my belief that they are brilliant and incredibly smarter than I am. I just know now that I don’t need to be self-shamed into thinking I’m less than because I’m not the same.
This was a hard lesson to learn. I don’t know when it happened either. If I could pinpoint it, this post would be much shorter. Sorry. What I do know is that along my journey, God tried repeatedly to point out to me that I was the professional. I was the person that I wished I could be, but I just couldn’t see it. I was at a church where we did a lot of visual aid stuff for our sermon series. I do mean, A LOT of stuff. We made a catapult, put a car on stage, giant monopoly décor, a fake 100″ iPhone on a huge display screen, a fake luggage scanner that was actually a giant display on screen… I could keep going. But the point is, we did a lot. It never occurred to me that someone else might be looking at that and thinking “man, I wish we were as good as them.” But, it was happening.
Fast forward a few years. I was in another season of doing something that I have learned is my ultimate sweet spot. Project management. I am not so proud that I have to be the best person at anything related to what my team does. No, in fact, I’d rather I’m NOT the best person at all the details of the technical side because there are people that are way better at that than I am. The church I was at was a great concert venue. I loved the idea of all the publicity of our church hosting concerts. So, I learned what the artists and promoters wanted and started to figure out a system and process to make us the best at it. I’d get their contracts, act as a central point of contact, distribute tasks to the teams responsible and empower them to do their jobs. I’d then check in with them to make sure they didn’t have any obstacles and help them overcome any challenges they faced without involving the “customer” in the hassle. At the end of a day we provided everything for the concert and the promoter and artist had to deal with me and the caterer directly. We took care of everything else for them on our end to make it easy for them. I was told repeatedly by artists and promoters how great of an experience that made it for them. So much so that when I moved churches, to another part of the country, they wanted to know if I was still hosting in my new church.
Somewhere along the way, my lack of confidence was replaced with a realization that I was the professional. I was capable and equipped. I didn’t need to feel inadequate because I didn’t have that skill or that knowledge or experience. I had been given many opportunities along the way to amass a wide variety of experiences instead of formal training. Those collective experiences game me something more than technical training and knowledge ever could. It gave me exposure to multiple facets of ministry and allowed me to develop leadership skills. God had designed me to be who I am and He appointed me to be where I was. He ordained me to serve Him as a leader where He put me. That should have been enough all along, but in my sin of pride (albeit self-deprecating) I couldn’t see it. I was failing to believe God knew what He was doing when He decided to use me. Shame on me.
Do you struggle with that? Are you concerned that you’re not good enough or capable enough because you’re playing the deadly and very sinful comparison game? Do you realize the incredible blessing you’re missing out on by reveling in what God is doing in and through you? I promise you that, if you’re pursuing Him and doing what He has placed before you to do, you’re in the right place. Not only that, but stop thinking you’re not as good as or capable as or as valuable as or any other comparison you want to try to make against the next guy. You’re you, you aren’t supposed to be him or you’d be him. Look at me… YOU are the captain now.