Leadership and Vulnerability, Part 1


I feel completely inadequate to be writing this. Seriously. I am not saying that as a “look how humble I am” pity move to get you to think I am some super-humble Christian– trust me I’ve done that before. I want so desperately to impress you with some leadership cliché and a Bible verse to create a clean and inspiring blog post that would be completely and utterly unhelpful.

I’ve been reading a lot of John Mark Comer recently. He’s the pastor of a church in Portland, Oregon called Bridgetown and is an AMAZING author. Like seriously his books have reshaped how I see my faith and the way I read Scripture. Really foundational stuff. 

There is nothing more I want to do than just copy his writing style and blow you away with some Jesus-y words about leadership. 

As I sit here, I am realizing a theme that runs through the heart of both of those examples. A string, that if you pulled on it would unravel a long history of hiding. Because that’s what I would ultimately be doing by writing either of those articles. I would be hiding behind something I already know would “work” so I wouldn’t have to risk putting my real self “out there.” That way the rejection wouldn’t cut so deep. 

I want to hide. I want to hide behind words and writing styles and leadership platitudes I reword to make them sound original. All in an attempt to keep my true self away from you.

Oh, I’ll show you a little bit. I’ll polish up my words. I’ll run this through Grammarly and the wonderful blog editor Bailey Dingley. I’ll let you in just enough to see what I want you to see so you feel like you know me. But that’s it. 

Not enough for you to hurt me. Only enough for you to admire me.

What does any of this have to do with leadership? What does any of this have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven? Well. We’ll get there. Hopefully. 

But first, let’s talk about Moses.

I hate him. But what a baller, am I right? I mean this guy’s just a few thousand years shy of being on the Forbes 75 Most Powerful People list.

But I hate him. I hate him because we both share a very particular disability– we can’t speak eloquently. And everyone reminds me of it.

I have a stutter. It’s not as bad as a lot of people’s and I acknowledge that. It’s the kind of stutter that is least-noticeable or obtrusive in conversation.  But I notice it. Everyday. Every word.

And there’s that beautiful little section of Exodus 4 where Moses says, “Oh Lord I am not eloquent, either in past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)

I hate this verse because literally everyone quotes it to me when I tell them about my stutter.

“You know Moses had a speech impediment.”

“Don’t worry, Ben. you’re in good company.”

“If Moses can do it you can to!”

“Moses gave God an excuse and he used him anyways!”

Seriously, if we ever talk about my speechplease, for the love of Martha, do not tell me Moses had a stutter.

I know.

But for all of my saltiness against Moses and people who tell me his story, you know what it doesn’t make it?

Untrue.

I hate Moses because his story takes away any excuse I have, and that you have, that God can’t use us. 

And I love that.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

What most people don’t realize about this first encounter between Moses and God is that Moses denies God four separate times. First in 3:11. Again in 3:13. A third time in 4:1 and then finally our passage in 4:10. And all while God’s glory is on full display in the Burning Bush.

The most interesting part to me is how Moses denies God. From reading 4:10 we know the real reason Moses doesn’t want to serve God– it’s his speech. His vulnerable side. That bit of himself he’s so insecure about so there’s no way he’s going to let the God of the Universe see it. So why doesn’t he just come out and say that in chapter 3? Why does it take him a whole chapter and a half to get to the real reason he keeps saying no?

Cause he’s hiding.

Sound familiar?

Yeah me too.

This is a story about God pursing Moses into the most broken aspects of himself. It’s about God loving Moses enough to push into the pain until Moses is honest with the Father about why he is so scared. But this is just the beginning. Check in next week for Part Two to see how the story unfolds.

Benjamin Lawrence Walker is a junior business management major from Snellville, Georgia. Ben loves photography, single origin ethically sourced fresh ground pour over coffee and the Sabbath. He is very passionate about high quality pomades and only uses one specific brand. He understands this makes him “bougie” and accepts this label with enthusiasm. Ben serves with Common Worship and hopes to pursue a career in nonprofit ministry after college.

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