Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

Leading through brokenness

Posted on 24 Aug 2013 in Leadership | Comments Off on Leading through brokenness

As one of my ministry course requirements in seminary I had to read Dan Allender’s book Leading with a Limp. It was a great book that really challenged me to lead authentically, that is, imperfectly.

While many in my congregation would be surprised to hear it, I’m not perfect. I’ve messed up once or twice (daily). I have, in a variety of ways never thought possible, been broken and hurt by those around me.

It’s why I’ve come to love Allender’s perspective on being broken. In part he says,


LEADER (Photo credit: FMG2008)

[pullquote]”A broken leader is no longer driven by the need to impress people or to secure their approval. A broken leader has already known shame, so there is little fear of being out or futher exposed as a failure. This is not to say she doesn’t care what others think or is so self-sufficient that praise and delight are beneath her….She doesn’t live and die by the way others judge her.” page 73[/pullquote]





It’s refreshing isn’t it? A good reminder for all of us. Our status comes not from the opinion of others, but from Christ’s work in and through us.

My approval is not from those that I lead but from Christ’s approval and acceptance of me.

Ultimately, my leadership is not based on my strengths but on my weaknesses, for it is in those that Christ’s work manifests itself most strongly.

With those that I lead, whether in a public or private setting, whether in a group or individually, I highlight two things frequently: we’ve all got hurts (or in Allender’s words limps) and we all have a God who can work despite those.

A man walks with the aid of a walking stick.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all walk around with wounds.  Only when we acknowledge those and allow Christ’s love to work through those can we be leaders that are worth emulating.  Only then will those watching us be intrigued enough to hear of God’s transforming love, his work in spite of the limp.

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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