Growing as Authentic Leaders
Trueface provides content, relational experiences, and leader development to help people and teams live authentically and experience freedom. Robby loves Trueface because he believes Trueface has created such a unique and effective way for teaching complex biblical principles of truth and grace, and moving people from pleasing God to trusting God with their new identity.
Prior to serving at Trueface, Robby served for more than seven years at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia, founded by Andy Stanley. In his role, Robby utilized Trueface resources through his various positions as Director of Adult Ministry Environments and Director of Men’s Groups.
Prior to joining North Point, Robby and his wife, Emily, both worked in professional counseling and aid work, where they served with Samaritan’s Purse in Pakistan and Myanmar overseeing international disaster response teams.
Robby and Emily each received a Master’s in Community Counseling from Appalachian State University. Angle also holds a business degree from the University of Florida, and a Certificate in Bible/Biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Robby and Emily live in Dawsonville, Georgia with their eight wonderful children.
Our edition theme is “Growing” as leaders. Trueface seeks to help Christians live into their “true identity.” What does that mean?
Identity really just means how we see ourselves. This is extremely consequential because it encompasses how we think about ourselves, and ultimately, how we see God. This has big implications for leaders because it affects every relationship we are a part of, and relationships are central to leadership. As sad as it is, many of us view ourselves through a lens of shame instead of a lens of grace, and this has devastating effects on both our own lives and how we lead others. We experience shame as the voice in our heads that says:
- “You'll never be enough.”
- “Do more in order to deserve their love.”
- And, “If they really knew, they would never follow you.”
Our true identity is rooted in how Jesus sees us, instead of how we see us.
Imposter syndrome is rooted in this shame and it wants to derail us from achieving our potential as leaders. However, 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that in Christ we are new creations, that we are now sons and daughters of God. Our true identity is rooted in how Jesus sees us, instead of how we see us. He says that we are saints who occasionally sin, not sinners striving to be saints. When we live out of this true identity and trust Jesus with who we are, it frees us to love and lead others out of our authentic selves.
Trueface often talks about “living beyond the mask.” Can you unpack that concept for us?
So many of us feel unloved and unlovable at our core. Because of this, we put on masks. In other words, we hide. We twist ourselves into a person we think others will accept and love. We present ourselves in a way that's more favorable in order to experience, receive, and earn love. Unfortunately, with our masks on, we remain isolated and alone because people receive, affirm, and love the mask instead of the person hiding behind it.
For leaders seeking to grow, living beyond the mask is vitally important. It allows us to live out of our authentic selves. When we take off the mask, we lead with a greater vulnerability because we're not afraid of being “found out.” I personally believe this raw vulnerability is one of the greatest leadership attributes because it creates an environment of trust. Without the mask, we let others see the real us. Without the mask, we can finally experience love.
In a recent Outcomes Conference workshop, you shared practical principles for discipling others. What are some key takeaways?
The principle I shared at the conference was that more time with fewer people equals greater kingdom impact. This concept is difficult because as leaders, we're held accountable for reach, scope, scale, and efficiency. However, reaching the most people as quickly as we can actually contradicts the leadership Jesus taught and modeled. He created high trust relationships with a small group of people that he directly served, loved and discipled. Captured simply, Jesus believed that more time with fewer people equals greater kingdom impact.
Are you intentional and consistent with others?
Now, there are two attributes of building high trust relationships around that principle and they're pretty simple. The first is intentionality and the second is consistency. Are you intentional and consistent with others?
For our purposes, intentional means being purposeful when you spend time with others. Consistent means, is it on your calendar? Are you showing up for others over and over again? These two attributes are the building blocks of our relationships.
Now, you may be wondering how we can be intentional with others. One of the greatest discipleship and leadership skills that Jesus modeled was the power of asking a good question. A great benchmark of our intentionality and consistency is whether we are present, patient, and able to ask good questions to those we are in fellowship with. If we want to be strong leaders and disciple-makers, we need to develop the art of investing in others through asking questions.
Some great questions that have helped me reflect on how I am engaging in discipleship are:
- Who am I investing in with intentionality and consistency?
- Am I loving them by walking with them?
- Am I asking good questions?
- Am I praying for them?
What has helped you grow in your leadership journey from global ministry, to serving in a church context, to your role as president and CEO of Trueface?
The first thing that comes to mind is not what has helped, but who. I have been blessed to serve with some amazing men and women over the years. The chief hallmark in those who have had the most impact on me has been their humility. Their humility is rooted in their trust of God as being a good and loving father and in their security as being sons and daughters of the King. Watching and learning from them has been the biggest growth factor for me.
There are a couple of attributes my mentors have modeled which have provided a framework that I have tried to model. The three attributes that stand out the most are:
- A teachable and curious spirit, consistently looking to learn, be stretched, and grow.
- An ongoing prioritization of experiencing a loving relationship with God.
- The prioritization of being fully known in an authentic community. Having people in their lives that they are consistent and intentional with and who fully know them.
I have been blessed with these mentors who have invested in me, and these attributes consistently show up in the men and women I look up to the most.
My wife, these mentors, and a few close friends have made all the difference in my leadership journey. They have helped me see when I am off track, where I am missing the mark, where I am not living into my potential, and have helped me process the dynamic struggles of leadership as they arise. They have protected me from my weaknesses and supported me in my strengths.
What are you most excited about at Trueface as you help leaders grow?
There is such a rich opportunity to share Jesus as our culture shifts into a post-Christian society.
There is such a rich opportunity to share Jesus as our culture shifts into a post-Christian society. There's a deep, raw hunger for discipleship. In the past, many Christian institutions have focused on knowledge acquisition, thinking this would lead to spiritual growth. However, individuals from this new generation, who are daily inundated with limitless content, aren’t saying, “Teach me.” They're saying, “Show me.” They're hungry to experience something. I think that is making our Father in heaven smile.
We have the opportunity as Christian leaders to create a framework for helping them experience truth applied in the context of community. At Trueface, we develop grace-based relational discipleship resources for people to pour their cup into others and experience deep relationships with both God and each other. I believe this is what the next generation is looking for.
Our central offering for relational discipleship is called the Trueface Journey, and that’s probably what I’m most excited about right now. It is a nine-month group initiative that dives deep into how we see ourselves, how we see God, and how this affects every area of our lives. Churches, parachurches, and individuals have been using it as a way to develop healthy, grace-based leaders, and we love getting to support and partner with them in that process.
Learn more at trueface.org
Listen to Robby Angle on The Flourishing Culture Podcast as he discusses “5 Components That Create High Trust and High-Performing Groups”
Learn more about Outcomes magazine.