Leading from the Ragged Edges

Apr 1, 2009

“Everywhere I go, I meet people, old and young, from all over the world, and they tell me about their lives, their relationships, broken families, their addictions, shame, guilt, failures. You’ll never be able to speak into their souls unless you speak the truth about you own wounds. You need to tell them what our Lord has come to mean to you in the midst of your disappointments and losses. All ministry begins at the ragged edges of our own pain.”

~ Thomas, in Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron

Question: Are you leading from your strength or your weakness? And is there a place for both?


  1. Diane Shaw

    I find when I lead from my weakness and I tell all my messess and share the pain in my heart, past and present it seems to lift people. It shows them there is someone who understands. They will listen because I have been there. I find this especially true when I share about my bout of depression. Women are freed when they find someone they can talk to that knows their pain.
    I believe you also have to have strength to share these things. To put yourself out there for the possibility of judgement. So I would say there is a place for both weakness and strength.
    God does promise that all things work together for good to them that love God.

  2. Deana OHara

    I agree with Diane. There is room for both. – my broken places (the one’s I’ve allowed time to heal and surrendered to Christ) are my strengths. It’s taken me a long time to learn that. What our Ablaze team is trying to figure out right now, is how much to share. We are trying to find that balance between authentic transparency and the error of “letting it all hang out” and making our story louder than God’s, which I believe we can do if we are not careful.

    Women are freed when they find someone they can talk to that knows their pain – great thought and very true. I’m not afraid of other people’s pain today – and I think that’s a gift. I’m not afraid, because I’ve lived through it. Having someone who can say “hey I’ve been there. I know your hurt.” means the world to someone who’se hurting. It did to me, when I was anyway. I try to pay that forward – gently.

    The only places I avoid sharing – are the broken places that aren’t healed. I save those for my mentors and closest of friends who are part of the process and my growth.

    Great Question Michelle.

  3. Michele

    “…making our story louder than God’s…” That’s some serious wisdom, D. The moment we make our own story louder than God’s, our “authenticity” stops being a ministry and becomes little more than a glorified platform to draw more attention. Dangerous.

  4. Rebeca

    Thanks for the quote. It gave me courage to go forth in His ability and not my own. When I think of this in light of 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, I figure I’d better travel with this attitude or I’ll trip on the root of pride and enjoy a nice face-plant. Dangerous to me and any that follow me indeed. The leaders I most admire are those that aren’t afraid to let the transforming power of the Lord shine through their humanity. Genuine God-focused humbleness is rare and comforting in a world of “perfect” counter-fits. I once told someone it is hard to tell a cubic zirconia from the Diamond if you’re not very familiar with the Diamond. I want the Diamond to shine every time, not me.

  5. Michele

    Great scripture reference, R … 2 Cor. 12:8-10 is a perfect backdrop to this discussion.

  6. alece

    such a great quote. rich truth!


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