Blessed and Broken: Leading as an Imperfect Person

By Stephen A. Macchia

I’m dearly loved by my heavenly Father and I’m deeply sinful—how can the two go together?

I’ve been a leader myself for nearly four decades. I’ve had the privilege of serving others in local church, parachurch, and nonprofit environments. I’ve experienced great success and a few embarrassing failures. I’ve seen incredible highs and a handful of deep lows. I’ve considered myself effective, and I’ve watched myself tire into utter exhaustion. I’ve brought others a lot of joy, and I’ve both dished out and received from others my share of disappointment.

In essence, as much as I like to view myself as a good or even a very good leader, I’m more truthfully a blessed and broken leader, one who is daily in need of being restored and renewed, refreshed and redeemed by the Spirit of God who resides in me.

Basically, I’ve come to grips with the reality that I am who I am. I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. I have made many positive contributions as a leader.

I’ve served faithfully as a pastor in a large and healthy church. I’ve experienced effectiveness as a leader of a one-hundred-year-old organization that grew significantly in my tenure. I’ve mentored many young and aspiring leaders. I’ve even founded a ministry that’s been richly blessed by God.

But I also make mistakes. I blunder. I think horrible thoughts. I’m an internal quagmire more often than I desire and in continual need of God’s grace. I know what it feels like to be a manipulator, and when not kept in check I can drive myself and others crazy with my perfectionistic tendencies.

I’ve been deeply hurt by past failures. I’ve been disappointed by the attitudes and actions of others. And I see these same things in many others who are in leadership positions in the body of Christ.

I’ve discovered that when I’m authentic, honest and transparent about all my realities as a leader, I can relax more in the presence of those who previously intimidated me. I can laugh more at my own imperfections. I can live in a deep place of freedom and joy.

Most importantly, I can embrace my brokenness, befriend it, and watch and wait in trust for God to birth hope in my heart for the redemptive way forward. In essence, by living in this reality I can experience the fullness of a loving God and the richness of an emancipated consciousness that leads me into genuine freedom and joy.

I’m willing to embrace my own blessed and broken reality. I know that my God Almighty sees me as His dearly loved, graced, and gifted child, and He sees me at my worst when I’m a disheartened follower or a disobedient sinner. And He loves me no matter what state I’m in.

I can trust his Spirit to redeem the reality of my brokenness, and I can live in the hope of the resurrection, willing to die to myself, live fully for God, and offer myself as a living sacrifice to all who cross my path in life and service. There’s no better way to live and lead.

Taken from Broken and Whole by Stephen A. Macchia. Copyright (c) 2015 by Stephen A. Macchia. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA.

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