The Secure Leader (final in series)


Secure leaders are not afraid for team members to be better than them. In their mind it equates to overall success not personal competition.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. (Galatians 6:4 MSG)

Sadly many leaders are short sided or small minded. They find it hard to see the big picture because they refuse to look beyond themselves.

Secure leaders see far beyond themselves and even their organization to the greater cause of why they exist.

A secure leader surrounds himself with talented, skillful people high in character and competence. He is not threatened by them but embraces what they bring to the table, knowing that if everyone puts their best foot forward it benefits the whole team and is not a hindrance or harm to his own personal success but rather contributes to it.

The truth is being threatened by team members will stifle success. Hiring people that are far less gifted then you may make you feel big but will ultimately make your organization small.

Are you cooperating or competing with your team. Cooperating wins competing loses.

If you want to be successful surround yourself with people of high character, competence and consistency. Then enjoy them and turn them lose to use their skills and together you will build something worth having. You’re the leader you know it and they know it You don’t have to prove it. Just lead.


1. Know you who are.

If you’re confident in who you are then you’re free to let them be who they are.

2. Cooperate don’t compete.

You’re on the same team, work together, and allow your skills to sharpen each other.

3. Celebrate them.

Realize their strengths cover your weaknesses they don’t expose your weaknesses. It proves you know who you are and are comfortable with yourself.

4. Be the leader.

True leaders don’t have to remind everyone all the time or put others down, or hold others back to prove their leadership. They simply pull the team together and lead. If you can lead big people it makes you a big leader.

I would love to hear stories about secure leaders you’ve worked with or insecure leaders you’ve worked with and what it was like in either case.

If these secure leader blogs have been helpful to you feel free to share with others.

No Thank You

I’ve learned and regularly learn that success in life requires focus, and in order to focus distraction must be a thing of the past.

Especially in the area of attitude. Having a good attitude requires us to say no to wrong attitudes. To focus on thinking right, we have to say no to wrong thinking?

No thank you is a proper response in developing right attitude.

Say no thank you to…

1. Constant negativity
2. Being drawn in to inappropriate conversations about others
3. Making assumptions
4. Pity
5. a victims mindset
6. people pleasing
7. Insecurity

Sometimes the best response is “no thank you”.

The Big Event…

It seems, as Christians, and especially church staff’s and Pastors, that we spend our lives, our time, our thoughts, on the next big event. The next conference coming, the next outreach, the next growth opportunity, the next global trip, or just the next big day at church. I have come to a realization, somewhat slow I guess, since I’ve been in ministry full time over 20 years, that living life waiting for the next big event, or strategy, or opportunity is no way to live. It seems to create a vicious cycle in our lives that in a lot of ways is unhealthy.

It forces us to compete with ourselves, one upping ourselves each time we do something. It creates a dissatisfaction with life, a discontentment. It makes us feel as if the day to day is mundane, boring, and insignificant. As I get older, I am realizing that the day to day, carries the most weight, and the most power for successful living. Its what we do in the day to day that breathes life into the rest.

Why do we do this? Many times its because we don’t have an ongoing vision or direction for our lives really, so we replace it with events, hoping that when tied all together they create something purposeful. Truth be told the only way the big event has purpose is if its merely a piece of the pie. If it is merely a stepping stone to the purpose and vision God has given you.

Another reason we do it, is because it gives us a sense of security, a sense that we’re doing something, we’re not just setting on our hands. Some of us need to sit and be still for a minute and really think about why we’re doing some of the things we are. How much money is spent on doing something “big” because thats what we think is attractive to people, or is the symbol of whether or not we are succeeding. How much time spent preparing for things that have little or no value in the long run.

Now, some of you who know me, will say, “you’re always going from one thing to the next” and that may seem true, and it also may seem that I don’t like events by what I am writing. That is not at all what I am saying. The point I am making is this, what is the purpose of all that you’re doing? What difference is it making in the lives of others? Is it contributing to the over all purpose that God has for you, and your organization?

The big event is not the next big opportunity you have. The big event, is not the next thing you pull off, or your next service, or conference or outreach. The big event is your whole life! Your day to day, minute by minute existence. The whole thing in total is truly the big event! If we try to replace the meaningful with the meaningless because of a feeling of adrenaline or excitement, then we miss the point of life, purpose, and success all together.

So welcome to the big event, the main event! Live it well.



I love Paul’s words in Philippians 4:13, I press toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He said I forget the past. I look forward to the future. I press.

To succeed in life we must learn to press. I can’t stand mediocrity. I dislike it very much when people do things half way. Especially Christians, I think we as Christians need to leave the world a strong message.

Paul Said, I forget the past. We must learn to walk in Gods grace, and quit pilfering through the past. Whether good or bad, our past can paralyze us because its easy to get stuck there.

Paul said, I look forward to the prize of the high calling. Two words that denote great value. Prize, and High Calling. We should see the things of God, the dreams, and goals, and passions He places in us should be seen as a prize as a high thing. Something of great value.

He said I look forward. People who are mediocre or do things half way are people who are wallowing in the past or can only see what is right in front of them.

Remember to reach the prominence of purpose, you must press. You can’t go at it half way. It must be apprehended. It must be pursued, it must look in the face of obstacles and pressed through.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of change, or involved in lots of areas of ministry, we just look at each other and go wow, we have a lot to do, isn’t it awesome! Then we just press until its done, and done well.

value the press, and press for the value.


Reality Check

Let’s face it. Most of us, well, all of us are subjective when it comes to evaluating ourselves. We can easily see and criticize the weaknesses in others, but not ourselves. We don’t usually say, “I need to change to make my marriage better.” It’s more like, “if my spouse would change our marriage would be better.” We don’t usually say “If I would manage my money better I wouldn’t have so much financial stress.” It’s more like, “if my boss would pay me more, I wouldn’t have the financial troubles I have.” A reality check is realizing that we need to take personal responsibility for our lives.

I think of King David, after he committed adultery and conspired to commit murder. He seared his conscience by doing what he wanted, not what God expected. He didn’t change until the prophet Nathan looked him in the eye and said, “You’re the man.” That is what you call a “reality check.” A truth that broadsides us back into reality.

A few years ago Pastor Kirk (my friend and mentor) did that for me. I had planted a church, with a group of friends whom I loved and still love very much, each of them are now doing some kind of ministry in church and several of them in full time ministry. No doubt, it was a great experience, but it just wasn’t working. In hind sight I can see I chose to plant a church for convenience, not that there’s anything convenient about it except, it was the only available opportunity that fit with what I thought I should do. Needless to say, and I won’t go into the whole story, we weren’t doing well.

When I was in the middle of this project, my wife, Janae kept saying to me, “you need to call Pastor Kirk.” To be honest the last person I wanted to speak with was Kirk Pankratz. I was embarrassed and felt like a failure. I didn’t want to tell Pastor Kirk, “my church is not growing, I’m depressed, we’re broke, my wife is mad at me. So I just wouldn’t call him.

Out of the blue, Pastor Kirk calls me. He invites us to come up and hang out with his family. Hesitantly, (meaning I couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough) I said yes. Now, the rest of this story is a divine reality check.

Kirk, asked me, “So, how’s it going?” I, the paragon of virtue that I am, begin to spill the truth. “Everything is great!” I said. I don’t even remember what else I said, but it was just more nonsense. Then, Pastor Kirk turned to Janae, as if I hadn’t said a word, he asked Janae, “how’s it really going?” She blurts out with no hesitation at all, “It’s horrible, and he is working himself to death. We are not growing, we are struggling financially, (code for Broke!) and he won’t stop!” all the while I am kicking her under the table.

There I am, in a heap, officially “reality checked.” I knew it was all true, and that my stubborn pride was hurting my destiny, my family, my team, and myself. Kirk and Nancy said something to me that was life changing. “…as long as you don’t give up on Gods plan for your life you’re not a failure.”

So here is a reality check for you. To change is not to admit you’re a failure but it is the true path to success. Don’t let pride and arrogance hold you back from your purpose in God. What ever needs to change, just admit your wrong, and change, and God will move quickly on your behalf. Consider yourself “Reality Checked.”

-David Gadberry