Are you trying to be like someone else? How is that working for you? Stressful isn’t it? It is also very sad, for trying to be someone other than yourself keeps you from discovering the person God made you to be.
When I was in my young twenties and a seminary student training for the ministry, I was enamored with a particular well known preacher in our denomination. He had an amazing way with words, but with it he had a booming deep voice that was powerful to hear.
I wanted to be a great preacher like that man. I wanted a voice like his. I wanted it bad.
So I sought to emulate this man’s preaching. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in having mentors. I even believe in learning from and emulating qualities of people who have gone before you. That is one way we learn and grow. But in this situation I was being ridiculous.
I was called to a small little Texas country church and I started my preaching career. I began to preach like this man. I would speak normally to everyone I encountered in the church and community, but when I got into the pulpit I would transform. I would force my voice to go deep and I would speak with a booming loud voice.
I think about it now and shake my head. I was foolish, immature.
At the end of every Sunday, I could hardly talk. My throat was sore and my voice was raspy.
It would take about a year for me to realize what I was doing. I was projecting a very poor copy of someone else’s voice and I was not finding my own. It was then I made a change.
I started to preach with “my voice.” Funny thing, I stopped having sore throats on Sunday nights and most importantly people responded to my ministry more. They saw me as real and that drew them.
What is my point? Be yourself. Sure, learn from others. Glean lessons and even some stylistic things from others who are successful in ways you wish to be successful. But be careful! Make sure you are still being you, that you are leading with your own personality and gifting.
After all God made you to be you, to minster to the world around you with who you are and who God made you to be.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
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