A Leader, Unplugged and Unabridged.

This past month, we hosted a Leverage event in Langley for 60 women-leaders. I was amazed and blessed to see so many of my ministry friends show up to connect with each other, be inspired from the Word, and be equipped with leadership tools to help them effectively influence the people they serve.

The evening was a whirlwind of connection, inspiration, and equipping. As I crawled into bed that night, I was elated with what I had been a part of. I had the opportunity to teach on the power of belonging, and challenged the women in attendance to build better teams through safety, vulnerability, and purpose.

Each woman in the room looked confident, put together, and happy. I know that’s how I looked…there’s video footage to prove it.

But here’s the thing. In the days following that great evening of connection, I struggled with feelings of insecurity, failure, and general fatigue that did not make any sense to anyone around me. The feelings that surfaced might not have made sense to those around me, but they made sense to me. Knowing how fragile I truly am resulted in unexplainable feelings of insecurity.

At that sold-out Leverage event, I told women not to give up on what God had called them to do and yet, there I was, just a few days later, fantasizing about “calling it quits!”

It wasn’t long before I realized something about myself and my amazing God:

My struggle is part of the growth trajectory that God has prescribed for me. He knows that I crave human approval more than I crave His approval. When my fellow humans don’t meet my inexplicable, underlying needs born out of my insecurity, my woeful, needy self is forced to fall on my knees and seek out the only approval that even counts for anything.

As soon as all the synapses in my brain began to connect and I realized what God was showing me, my needs were met right there in my little VW Golf on the Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge!

Leaders are not super-human. Leaders are susceptible humans.


My neediness is inevitable, just read the Psalms! David was the king of Israel and he refers to himself on more than one occasion as, “poor and needy”.

I wonder if when he wrote out how pitiful he was it was actually part of his healing process.

 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!

Psalm 40:17

I can only wonder if, as the connection between David’s limbic (emotions) and his frontal lobe (logic) got stronger, he was overcome with God’s generous infusion of safety, peace and purpose in the core of his being.

David did not write this Pslam out so that somebody would feel sorry for him. He wrote it out as an affirmation of his reality. Writing it out caused him to take ownership, and ownership helped him to experience deliverance.

I want to stay poor and needy because it’s the only posture that allows me to wrestle with the truth of who I really am and who HE continues to be.

By Krista Penner

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Krista enjoys life with her family in Mission, BC. She is actively involved in Leadership Development for Fellowship Pacific and in that role is privileged to travel across BC helping churches develop leaders. When not speaking or writing, Krista loves to spend time in her kitchen. Cooking is a passion that she pursues, even reading cookbooks like they are novels! She is married to Jerome and together they share three great kids, Linden, Erika, and Marty.

Fellowship Pacific