Leaders feel pressure to be confident.
Some of those forces are external. After all, we are taught early on that no one will follow a leader who lacks confidence. Confident leaders have a way of instilling confidence in those they lead. These external pressures to feel or at least convey confidence are real, but they are not the only ones. The internal need to feel confident, to feel sure, is an ever-present one in the heart of a leader.
But confidence is a fickle thing. Confidence can easily become an outward projection of pride and deep insecurities. In other words, the “confident leader” is not always the “secure leader”. Some of the most insecure leaders portray confidence externally. Perhaps the biggest issue is not whether a leader possesses and projects confidence but what exactly that leader is resting in as the source of that confidence.
For Christian leaders, confidence is an indispensable part of their walk with Christ. But it is not a confidence in self that creates healthy confidence. Trusting my abilities, achievements, and efforts as the source of my confidence is unhealthy and unstainable. No, what the Christian leaders need in order to walk with God is a deep abiding confidence in Christ.
John Owen, the great Puritan pastor/theologian puts it this way:
“If we would walk with God, it is necessary to be strong. We need strength to walk in the way of holiness. In ourselves, we have no strength. All strength comes from Christ. Our sufficiency is in Christ. In Christ, we are more than conquerors. If we would walk with God it is necessary to walk with confidence. We need confidence to walk with God who is a ‘consuming fire’. Only in Christ have we boldness and confidence to walk with Christ”. Communion with God
Ultimately, the leader who has placed their confidence in themselves will only lead others to misplace their confidence as well. But the leader who has placed their confidence in Christ will not only find rest for their weary souls, they will lead others to do the same.