Regardless of your vocation, you’ve probably heard someone say “I’m not ready to lead.” Sometimes, that is absolutely true. After all, one of the qualifications of an overseer in 1 Timothy 3 is that the person not “be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.” Other times, the person may just not be wired as a leader, and that’s alright.
But, I believe that it is indeed possible to prolong your move into leadership too much. I considered not even beginning this personal trainer thing until I was at an elite level of strength. A lot of people seem to have the feeling that they can’t help others grow in a particular area until they have it all together in that area themselves. I can’t deadlift 493 yet (the “elite” level of strength for the 170 weight class), but I am very close to deadlifting 403 (the “advanced” level), and two or three years ago, I probably couldn’t even get to the “novice” level of 244. If I’d had someone come alongside me when I started my fitness journey and teach me the ways to quickly and safely get me to this level, I would have capitalized on that for sure. So, why do I feel unqualified and insufficient at times? Why do some people think that a person shouldn’t pastor a church until they have an 84 hour MDIV or even a PhD?
I think a lot of it comes from a culture that is no longer our’s. When our parents were growing up, they needed a college degree or certification to be considered an expert in their field. While this is definitely still necessary in many fields (I wouldn’t have wanted my wife’s OB Youtubing how to deliver Maura), there are many areas in which this is simply no longer the case. We live in an age where someone can be an authority because they have 5k Instagram followers. We are becoming a more efficient culture where people can cut through all the uneccesary junk and focus on what is important in their occupations. A culture where people who are good at something can direct their efforts to the right places and thrive.
I just want to encourage you to not let other people’s expectations hinder you from achieving your goals. I’m not saying don’t prepare, but I am saying that our time is limited. Spend your time on the things that will actually help you reach your destination, and not on the detours that others think will.