I remember it like it was yesterday, I was laying in my bed and my heart was contemplating something that I couldn’t quite articulate. Over a period of weeks, I had been observing a shift in my practice. The weeks turned into months I continued to observe the same pattern. Eventually, the thought came to me that there are so many leaders who were trying to lead from a broken place. I quickly pulled out my phone, got on Facebook, and wrote some inspirational quote about broken leaders and thought no more about it. I often get hit with inspiration, or some kind of quote then I post it. Everything is not meant to be my next teachable moment or book it’s just a line or two of inspiration. My friend replied this seems to be the title of your next book. That’s when the light bulb hit me and I knew that I had to do it.
The truth of the matter is the quote had to do with something deeper that the Holy Spirit was burdening my heart for months prior. Let me explain, it will make sense in a minute.
I am a therapist; I have my own private practice Kingdom Creative Counseling PLLC. I have been in the counseling mental health field for about 13 years. I am known as a trauma therapist. Meaning I work with men, women, and children who have experienced any form of trauma, specifically sexual abuse. So, when I finally opened my private practice, I naturally transitioned to what I already did and was passionate about. I am a Christian based mental health therapist. That means I incorporate biblical principles into mental health treatment. That was that I thought, I had a clear purpose for my practice, a clear target group, and a clear message, but something shifted.
As my business began to grow, I started getting calls from a completely different group that was not my target audience. Don’t get me wrong I am completely capable of seeing whoever comes through the door. When you have been doing this as long as I have you learn a lot along the way, you learn how to treat people you never thought you would. I had previously worked at a community mental health clinic, and the superiors there had very little regard for your target or ideal client. You basically saw who came through the door and however many people your schedule could hold. As a worker, we would try to work with client’s who were in our specialty but most times it didn’t always work out because we always had very high demand and not enough therapist to meet the demand. Eventually, you rolled with the punches, you learned to keep learning, read, grow and treat people who you probably never thought you’d meet. In the end, I am grateful for the experience.
So, in my new role as a private practice owner, I anticipated seeing more of my target audience I never remotely thought or saw myself treating other ministry and business leaders. I started getting calls back to back from ministry leaders and business leaders. It started with a medical doctor seeking my counseling services. Some may ask were you intimidated? My answer no, you learn to see people as people not as what they do. The calls kept coming from there, next there was a probation officer, who wanted counseling services. I noticed it but again no big deal I was just happy that my business was growing, but it continued. Then I got another call from another accomplished musician who was also a licensed minister. This individual could literally preach me under the table with how well she could speak, yet there she was scheduling with me for counseling services. Then there was a pastor’s wife and the calls just kept coming and coming. Again, I started out wanting to focus my practice on trauma survivors but it started turning into a practice for emotionally wounded ministry and business leaders. I had no hand in it at all.
I am a bit hard headed I didn’t get it right away that God was shifting my practice to what He wanted it to be, it was not my plan. I still didn’t get it. I noticed it but remember I went from working in community mental health to private practice, with individuals who had private insurance or were private payers. I assumed that was normal and the calls kept coming. Now my practice is almost 90 % populated with me counseling business leaders and ministry heads, the others are my trauma survivors, that is a big shift.
I didn’t realize that God was shifting my practice, again I was new to the private practice world not to the mental health field. I assumed they were calling me because of the time I offered sessions. Most of my sessions were offered in the late evenings and Saturdays. Many of my client’s don’t have to take PDO to see me. A great strategy to increase your caseload.
God literally had to speak audibly to say that my business would be about transforming leaders. He was shifting my business to address the emotional wounds in leaders. In most things in life, I am not that hard headed, it is just this focus in my business came from left field for me. I do consider myself a leader in my field, as a woman, as an entrepreneur but I never thought of myself as someone God would use to minister to the hurt in leaders. I knew that God had called me to help develop ministry leaders and have spent over a decade studying and preparing for that assignment. I have written many books about the topic, but I never saw myself in the capacity God was showing me.
In my time as a trauma therapist, I saw individuals in the depth of their pain and turmoil. The stories I have heard would make your stomach turn but God used me for that population. The youngest survivor of sexual trauma that I have ever treated was a three-year-old who was sexually assaulted by her mother’s adult boyfriend. The oldest client that I had treated for sexual trauma was 74 years old. The oldest client I have ever had in counseling for mental health was in her early 80’s, the point is I have witnessed and felt the depth of pain in individuals.
What I observed in the leaders was honestly shocking to me. In all the pain that I have observed in trauma survivors, when I began to meet with the leaders the depth of pain, emotional turmoil and pure brokenness was much, much, much, more. Mind you on paper these people are your heroes. These are the people who may drive nice cars, they may have influence, power, positions, what the world envies but the pain was rawer, more real than anything I had ever witnessed in the 13 years I had been counseling trauma clients.
Many of the leaders didn’t have a history of sexual trauma or other traumas but the pain was extreme, I mean beyond extreme. My mind couldn’t comprehend it. I like many had my own stereotype of what broken people looked like. I certainly didn’t think to even consider the pain of a pastor or the pain of a leader. These are the people that have what most want. They have influence, followers, money, and prestige yet they were broken. Then I started meeting other individuals outside of my counseling practice. I met other pastors in particular who were very broken. Their behavior towards me was odd is the best word I can describe it. I found other pastors who didn’t know me and I didn’t know them yet they had very low self-esteem, and the irony they appeared to be intimidated by me. Now that was a shocker. Call me crazy but there it was. As a disclaimer I don’t walk around as the counselor of the hour. I am just as regular as the next person. I don’t walk around with my head in the clouds, acting stuck up. I am genuinely a nice person.
For someone to be intimidated by me I found that quite odd. Then the Lord reminded me that when people are intimidated by you it really has nothing to do with you, but their own feelings of insecurity and feelings of inferiority within themselves. Intimidation is a symptom of an emotional wound. Sometimes your confidence alone is intimidating to someone who really is broken. I realized that God had changed my assignment, it took God some time to catch my attention but when He did, boy were my eyes open.
God began to speak and I began to take notes. God began to tell me that many gifted people seek leadership positions not because of their need to fulfill their God assignment but because of the need to fill a broken place. He began to show me how many people covet leadership positions, secretly believing that the position will heal their spirit of rejection or their hurt, not realizing that unhealed emotional wounds and being put in a position of authority is a recipe for disaster.
It is important to note that God didn’t change my strategy he changed my audience. My point is not to make this about me but rather to expose the heart of Father God towards His leaders. Just like God hears the cries of His people, He also hears the cries of His leaders. You can’t effectively lead from a broken place. God wants His leaders healed and whole.
I have a new heart and a new level of compassion to those leaders who God has called me to serve. Although I never knew God would use me in this arena, I now see what God is up to.
The truth is leaders come under great attack, great scrutiny, and pressure. Getting put in a leadership position doesn’t create emotional wounds it only exposes what is already there. Ideally, before being given a position of authority, a title, and a platform one should have been prepared and processed first. The fact is most often that is not the case. In church and in the secular arena people are promoted based upon their gift. We don’t really have a systematic mechanism in place where we deal with the persons emotional hurts and help them heal before we give them positions. In this era and time, people can make their own platforms via social media. You just talk like you may know what you are saying, and then you can have thousands of followers in an instance. I wonder how many leaders are willing to submit to a healed leader who in love says, “I know you are gifted but you are not ready yet.” With the whole church hurt movement, people will leave churches if they are not promoted. I have an acquaintance who said how she started going to a church where she was being fulfilled, taught and loved on. Yet, she decided she wanted to be a part of a particular ministry; well she was turned down. Mind you to my knowledge it was not because she couldn’t do what the ministry required. It simply meant she wasn’t ready. She became offended and left the church, not because it wasn’t ministering to her soul rather because she couldn’t do what she wanted to do in that church.
It is always easier to do what you want in a newly founded ministry. They are not concerned about your mental and emotional capacity, or your inner wounds they need you to go to work to fill a spot. Not being given a promotion within a church is never a reason to leave, that is a strategy we use in business, not in church. Sometimes you simply are not ready for the ministry yet. God has to promote you.
Psalm 75:6-7 KJV)
6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one and setteth up another.
The point is you should be healed and whole before being promoted to a position of leadership, particularly within the church. Yet the truth of the matter is that is not the case. We promote gifts before capacity. What do I mean by that? A gift is freely given it doesn’t cost you anything. Though there comes a weight to the assignment that your emotional, mental and spiritual vessel must be healed and mature enough to handle the capacity for. The reason why we see so many broken leaders is that they were never healed from the beginning.
When God spoke this revelation to me, I was glad all the years God told me no and made me wait. Sometimes we think God is holding out on us, but He really is doing what is best for us by preparing us for the position before allowing us to be promoted. I now thank God for all the times I was rejected, overlooked and not chosen, I realized I had the gift but I was also emotionally wounded in my own hurt. God was more concerned about my emotional health than the platform. Now that I am healed, I can be an effective leader and minister.
With this new assignment from God, a great passion and fire for leaders has been ignited in me. God has had me in my cave doing much study and work. He began to open my eyes to greater realms of warfare as it relates to leaders. God began to speak to me even in my dream language about my assignment. All the while I still have to do life. My business continues to grow exponentially, and still, the same demographics continue to come. To reiterate all of them are not ministry leaders, some are business leaders, supervisors, other health care workers, business owners, and all of have emotional wounds.
With this great awakening, God has opened my eyes into the supernatural realm even greater. My discernment has become keener. I literally can be having a conversation about something random and I begin to discern the wound in that person. My prayer life increased, my study life has increased exponentially. God has really had me to prepare for a great increase in my counseling practice as He is preparing me to meet the needs of even more leaders. I am preparing some major moves in my life and business because the need is so great.
The message of healing for the nation’s leaders is the heart of the father. Preparing for the vision God put in me for leaders has been a major undertaking. When God first began to speak to me it felt like such a huge project I remember saying to God, how in the world in I going to be able to do all that? I was thinking about all the other responsibilities I still have including running a business. Before God responded I had to check my own self. Sometimes you just have to have a conversation with yourself to get you together. I rebuked that spirit of doubt and reminded myself how God would never give me a task to complete that He first didn’t give me the capacity to handle.
I have to reiterate this again; God hears and sees the heart of leaders. This is so important because we often hear of God hearing the cries of His people, the oppressed, widowed, orphan or wounded. We don’t picture the leader as someone who is wounded, oppressed or broken-hearted but the truth of the matter is they are. It is time for the healing to take place, it starts with the head and then goes to the body. An emotionally whole leader means a whole church, a whole business, a whole family. Yet, a broken leader means a broken church, a dysfunctional business being led by fear and dysfunctional families.
I have a new heart for leaders if you can’t already tell. God has called me to not only help them through the healing process but to develop those who are called to leadership. Don’t get me wrong I am not just another leadership development guru. Because I have a keen understanding of emotional wounds, my development assignment has a huge component where we work through the emotional wounds first.
Before we go on to the next chapter and begin our journey together, I will give you some basic principles about God’s heart for leaders. Of course, there will be other principles through the chapters of this book, but let’s begin with the basics.
Principle 1: God does not glory in the demise or downfall of a leader people do.
God is full of grace, mercy, and love, that doesn’t mean that He isn’t a God of judgment. Nevertheless, God does not glory when leaders fail or fall from grace. So, when you see people in life or on social media, gossiping about leaders, sharing hurtful information, making Facebook lives about their downfall, know that they are not representing the spirit of God. Rather they are representing the spirit of satan which is witchcraft by the way. Only an evil person would glorify or entertain in the downfall or demise of a leader.
Principle 2: God wants us to honor our leaders. Honor does not imply or mean agreement. Honor doesn’t mean our leaders are always right and should never be held accountable for their actions. Honor means to show respect regardless of the dispute. There is a way to disagree with someone and still respect them. When God put’s someone in a position of authority they should be honored. That doesn’t mean they have free reign to abuse us, nevertheless that doesn’t mean we have free reign to abuse them.
Putting your mouth negatively on leaders, sowing discord, speaking against their demise releases the judgment of God.
2 Peter 2:10-13 The Message (MSG)
10-11 God is especially incensed against these “teachers” who live by lust, addicted to a filthy existence. They despise interference from true authority, preferring to indulge in self-rule. Insolent egotists, they don’t hesitate to speak evil against the most splendid of creatures. Even angels, their superiors in every way, wouldn’t think of throwing their weight around like that, trying to slander others before God.
12-13 These people are nothing but brute beasts, born in the wild, predators on the prowl. In the very act of bringing down others with their ignorant blasphemies, they themselves will be brought down, losers in the end. Their evil will boomerang on them.
Again, so when you have someone who is always speaking against this pastor, another person’s ministry, another person’s church or business. They are bringing accusations to spread before others know, they are not being led by God. We will talk about this further in a later chapter.
Principle 3: Leaders are targets. I know that is simple but if you don’t remember anything in this book remember, leaders are targets. Say it again, leaders are targets. Let’s say that one more time, so it gets in your spirit leaders, are targets. Every platform or elevation you obtain as a leader triggers a greater level of attack.
Principle 4: Leaders need our prayers. As a leader yes, I should be praying for myself but I also should be praying for other leaders, whether I know them or not.
Principle 5: A godly leader starts with having a heart for God, not a heart for the people first. This is completely opposite than the secular world. The secular world believes that a good leader must have a heart for the people, but not God. In, Christendom you must have a heart for God first. God is the one who has the ear of the people. I know I messed you up on that one but keep reading the book I will explain as we go further on.
Principles 6: It is God who selects His leaders, not man.
Principles 7: Leaders may appear to be untouchable to man but they are never untouchable to God. Therefore, God doesn’t need the assistance of man to bring a leader down or to humble them. Again, I have to go back to social media apostles. God does not give you a ministry to despise other leaders or to bring them down via your social media. These are the people that think leader XYZ should be stopped so they use social media in an attempt to corrupt their influence and despise their platforms. When you read the scripture, God did send people like prophets to correct leaders but most of the time that was done in private. God hand selected one man to confront kings and priest in their wrong. Again, I am not saying the leader should never confront leaders in public I am saying God’s pattern was always in private first. If you want to understand God’s ways you simply have to understand His pattern. When you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations God was not messy in how He did things.
So, when your favorite apostle or prophet, evangelist, teacher, preacher whoever takes it as their mission to get on social media to openly speak against another leader and some accusation they have against them whether it be true or not, know that they are not being led by the spirit of God. They are being led by a spirit of competition, and a spirit from the enemy satan which is witchcraft.
As a warning, it is going to get heavy in the text to come. I pull no punches and I always use scripture to justify what I say. The purpose is so that your discernment increases and if you are guilty of any of these tactics you get free.
There is a spirit of dishonor released in the land and we have to deal with that spirit. This book will give you hard truths. Before we close this chapter let me give you a final story from my own life.
Many years ago, I was a member of a different church. The church was very well known, with an international following. One day the leaders made some poor decisions or what I felt like were poor decisions at that time. The decision was not the best and the church gained worldwide news after the decisions the pastors had made. It felt like the world was talking negatively about my pastors. I was very hurt and honestly disappointed.
One day a long-time friend called. She knew I was a member of the church. As we began to talk, the topic of my church came up. I began to talk about my disappointments and what I felt was wrong. The conversation ended and that was that. I didn’t think too much about the conversation and went on with my life.
All chaos started breaking out in my life. I felt the conversation was so minuscule I literally forgot I even had the dialog with my friend. Sometime after that, I remember being under such pressure, it was like the floor came from under me. I remember being in emotional, mental and spiritual turmoil. I remember crying out to God asking Him, “why was this happening to me?” God reminded me of the conversation I had with my friend. I quickly repented and the storm although not over began to ease. God heard my conversation and He had to check me. We should never think it’s okay to speak evil of dignitaries. A dignitary is a person considered to be important because of high rank or office.
To this day I don’t talk against, speak negatively of or gossip about anyone and definitely not someone in a position of leadership. I had a supervisor who was working on my last nerve, she just didn’t know what she was doing. I didn’t speak against her, but the Lord told me to not disrespect her position of authority. God didn’t tell me my opinion was wrong when I spoke against my leaders, in fact, I believe my perception of how they behaved was right. He said I was wrong to speak against them. God told me in the case of my supervisor I had to honor her even though I technically knew more than she did
The point is God wants us to honor our leaders, it is never okay to dishonor them even when they are wrong. It doesn’t say we have to agree with them. I have scripture to prove it. Before I go there, I have to mention this was way before I ever knew anything about the assignment God had for me. This was probably ten years ago. Since that time God can trust me with the secrets of leaders. Sometimes God will reveal to me the emotional wounds in leaders because He wants me to pray for them. They may never sit in my office for counseling, but they will have someone praying for them whether they know me or not. I believe this is why God can trust me with the assignment He has called me to, He knows I will honor His leaders, while still giving them the truth and holding them to a standard. That chaos God allowed to be released in my life was a hard place, but I am grateful for the correction it indeed unknowingly to me prepared me for this assignment. An assignment I didn’t know would be mine. We all have a responsibility to honor leaders whether we are assigned to help them heal or not.
As promised, I said I’d prove what I say by scripture so let’s read an example. I am going to give you one example in this chapter but know there are many others we will discuss in our chapters to come.
Numbers 12 Living Bible (TLB)
12 One day Miriam and Aaron were criticizing Moses because his wife was a Cushite woman,[a] 2 and they said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?”
But the Lord heard them. 3-4 Immediately he summoned Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to the Tabernacle: “Come here, you three,” he commanded. So, they stood before the Lord. (Now Moses was the humblest man on earth.)
5 Then the Lord descended in the Cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam, step forward,” he commanded; and they did. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Even with a prophet, I would communicate by visions and dreams;
7-8 but that is not how I communicate with my servant Moses. He is completely at home in my house! With him I speak face-to-face! And he shall see the very form of God! Why then were you not afraid to criticize him?”
9 Then the anger of the Lord grew hot against them, and he departed.
10 As the Cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, Miriam suddenly became white with leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened,
11 he cried out to Moses, “Oh, sir, do not punish us for this sin; we were fools to do such a thing.
12 Don’t let her be as one dead, whose body is half rotted away at birth.”
13 And Moses cried out to the Lord, “Heal her, O God, I beg you!”
14 And the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face she would be defiled seven days. Let her be banished from the camp for seven days, and after that she can come back again.”
15 So Miriam was excluded from the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back in before they traveled again.
16 Afterwards they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran.
Let’s make it really plain. Moses was not in the room when Miriam and Aaron were having this conversation about Moses. I believe Miriam and Aaron were jealous of Moses. He is the little brother and there they are having to serve him. He is the leader with the ear to God. Moses never went to God about their gossip. It didn’t even say Moses was offended. They offended God by speaking against Moses. I believe God focused on Miriam because she probably initiated the conversation. I don’t mean to corrupt the text; this is my opinion. The punishment was focused on Miriam, God knew who to punish. That’s why I believe God singled out Miriam.
Have you ever had someone call you out the blue and wanted to gossip about someone else? You don’t have a problem with the person the other wants to gossip about, but you appease the one initiating the conversation as a way to not appear mean or insensitive. That’s what I believe happened here. Aaron had a position of leadership right next to Moses.
The point is don’t talk about leaders, but don’t allow someone else to ingest that poison into you. When you listen to gossip, rumors or sow discord God still holds us accountable as if it were you spreading it. In fact, I had someone to do that recently, they called me up to talk negatively about a church and a pastor that I know, but this person does not. I said it nicely I wouldn’t be entertaining this conversation, they got it however trust me if it continued, I would have shut them down abruptly and unapologetically. I do not play games when it comes to stuff like that. I honor leaders and the heart God has given me for them is just that profound. I aim to be successful as I continue this assignment. Yet, I will hold them accountable as God increases my influence within my private practice but I will never dishonor them. I will walk in integrity in the open and behind closed doors.
There is much more to learn and grow from let’s continue on. Get your copy today. Click the link: