Are disciples looking for perfect leaders or authentic leaders? As Christian leaders, it is tempting to want to put on a mask that hides the fact that at times you struggle with sin and fail in your faith too. Now I must never give glory to my sin, but glory in the grace I have in overcoming sin. Here are some biblical ways we can build trust and increase deeper counsel with those you are discipling:
Transparent prayer. Our prayers can be vague and lifeless. Learn to pray honestly and humbly. Pray expresses our neediness of God and that He is the only One able to meet our needs. Psalm 32 and 52 are great examples of transparent prayers that express need for God.
Share your life story. I am sure you have been through some valleys and climbed some mountains. Like the apostle Paul we have a story dotted with dark spots [cf. Acts 22:1-21], but those times make God really big. Sharing how you have been transformed by the power of God and continue to battle against sin take be a tremendous encouragement to those you are ministering.
Ask for Help. You are never self-sufficient or independent of your need for accountability and ministry from others. It is helpful to get others believers to pray for you and hold you accountable. You have not arrived yet, nor are you invincible. I need your help in the partnership of the gospel [cf. Philippians 1:3-18].
Admit you don’t know it all. What do I do if someone asks me a difficult theological or practical questions I do not know how to answer. I say, “That is a good question, I do not know, but I will find it out for you. I believe the Bible has the answers. Can I get back to you on that question?” [cf. 2 Tim. 3:16; Isaiah 55:9]
Be real. Do not hide your pain, sorrow, joy, heartache or frustration [cf. Romans 12:9-21]. God gave you emotions to use for His good [cf. Jeremiah and Lamentation]. Real men cry.
Point to the promises of God. Putting on the mask of sinlessness fails to help others to see the God’s faithfulness [Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9]. Whatever good I have in my life was put their by God. I am not holy, but He that is holy has helped me to become Holy by the Power of His Spirit [cf. 1 Peter 1:13-25]. People need to see and hear that from you. Pull off the mask and let people see how God is at work in and through you.
True followers are seeking other genuine followers who are following hard after God.