When interviews are taking place for a job opening, whether paid or volunteer, there are lots of questions which could  be asked to ascertain if there’s a good fit or not.

We want to know what the person’s skill sets are. We want to know about the potential candidate’s experience. We want to try and find out if they’d get along with the team they would join. How good are they with people? Do we think they would be on the same page with our values, purpose and vision. Yes, lots of things to consider and to discover before pulling the trigger.

I’ve been in Christian ministry for over 55 years. I’ve been on staff at 18 churches and worked in three different Christian organizations during those years.

There are skill sets I believe I’ve acquired. There are things I know and new things I continue to learn every year.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve recently come to:

The most important thing I bring to the table is not what I know or what I can do, but who I am.

What I can do and what I know at this point in my life is good, but not good enough, not the most important thing.

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

~ Galatians 6:4,5 The Message

These two verses speak volumes to my heart. I need to begin with who I am and allow the work (what I know and what I can do) flow out of my identity. Who I am in Jesus and who He is in me.

I believe with all my heart that this is what people are looking for today, especially younger people. They’ve been burned by gifted but prideful and abusive leaders. They want leaders they can trust!

Over time many people can and will know what I know, and can be developed to do what I am able to do, but these are not the most important things.

My deep, personal, real and abiding relationship with Jesus and allowing that relationship, that identity in Him, to be at the core of my leadership and the foundation for what I know and can do is most important. That’s what God values most, what people value most and what I want to increasingly value most.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

~ I Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

Many times when we hire and develop people, we focus too much on the outward and not enough on the inward as the above verse communicates.

God is more concerned with my heart (who I am), than with my hands (what I can do) or head (what I know). He always has and always will be.

More leaders fall over character (who they are) issues rather than competency (what they know and can do)  issues. I want to finish well and not fall or be disqualified. ( 2 Timothy 4:7)

For too many years I focused on knowledge and skills and not enough on growing in heart and relationship issues.

People want to know if I’m the real deal: genuine, honest, sincere, loving, dependable, good for my word; all inward qualities and traits. People are not especially impressed with my skills and knowledge.

It seems to me that when I get complimented nowadays, it’s because of my genuineness, my sincerity, my walk with Jesus—not so much my knowledge and skills.

By His grace, I will continue to grow in who I am—that’s the most important thing I bring to the team and to the  people I get to serve.