Just Trust Me (2)!

(Part 2 of 2)

You can have almost everything going for you, but if people don’t trust you, you are stuck. Trust is the glue that keeps us together, and we are torn apart without it. Lack of trust may be the biggest factor in failure.  

As I mentioned last time, this headline was so startling to me: “Public Trust in Pastors Falls to Historic Low” For the third straight year, trust in pastors has dropped according to a Gallup poll — it’s down to 32% (Lifeway Research).

The good news is that trust can be regained. Yes, it takes time. No, it isn’t easy.


So how do we build trust? One of the leading experts in improving trust is David Horsager. In his book,  The Trust Edge, he identifies eight pillars of trust. Each of the pillars is needed, and trust wanes if you lack even one. Here are the eight pillars and some of my observations.

Pillar #1 Clarity People trust the clear and distrust the ambiguous. When we are unclear, others feel uncertain. When I miscommunicate (and I often do), I must be the first to take responsibility for it. The old saying is true, “Mean what you say and say what you mean.” Vagueness breeds uncertainty. Never assume anything. Build trust by being clear!

Pillar #2 Compassion The Bible says to look to the interests of others, not just your own (Philippians 2:4). If people don’t think you care about them, they won’t trust you. David defines this as “to have intent beyond yourself.” One of the best ways to do this is to slow down, listen, and learn from others. Let others know you love them, and they will start trusting you.

Pillar #3 Character This includes one’s moral compass and reputation. Research shows the people who best exemplified this pillar all had one thing in common: they did what needed to be done, when it needed to be done, whether they felt like it or not. The little acts matter. “Your small acts become your habits, and your habits become your being. Make sure your small acts are above reproach, and you will become a person of influence and trust” (David Horsager).

Pillar #4 Competency Being able to do the job well is part of trust. This means people will not trust in every situation. For example, you would never trust me to remove your appendix. I’m not even sure where it is! Also, even though I’ve had years of ministry experience, you may not trust me unless I’m learning and growing.

Pillar #5 Commitment “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” (Who said that?) This is one of the litmus tests of trust – hanging in there despite problems and setbacks? People won’t trust you if you quickly become discouraged and throw in the towel. Commitment and a lack of commitment are contagious. When you stick with it, others will join you because they trust you more.

Pillar #6 Connection This has to do with moving forward with others and working together as a team. Horsager points out that the best ideas and products weren’t brought into being by one person — even though we might think that’s how it happened. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone. A team of 2,000 engineers and designers did. We are better together. We need each other. That builds trust!

Pillar #7 Contribution People trust people when they see results. You have to come up with the goods. Trust is always never about our “talk.” That’s why “Just trust me” sounds so shallow. Trust is built when others see our walk – delivering what we promise. “Contributors make good things happen and give valuable outcomes,” Horsager says. “You must deliver results to build trust.”

Pillar #8 Consistency “Whatever you do consistently is what people will trust about you.” You can’t do something once and expect to be trusted. That’s why trust takes time. Consistently following through. Consistently keeping a confidence. Consistently caring. Consistently being honest. That’s how trust grows.


So, here’s the question, can you be trusted? David Horsager defines trust as “a confident belief in someone or something to do what is right, deliver what is promised, and to be the same every time despite circumstances.” Are you trustworthy? Are you building trust in your family and job (ministry)? Which of these pillars are your strong ones? Which ones are your weakest?

I’d love to help you build trust! Please contact me if you need someone to talk to or some formal coaching. You can make a free appointment with me on my website: https://ascentpathways.com.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bill Vermillion says:

    Thanks Brother. May we continue to build trust; nice list and good reference.

    And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed II Corinthians 9:8 NASB


    Bill Vermillion Team Member, Theological Education, [_OMS_Logo_Tagline] Empowering Leaders for Ministry through Theological Education Home Phone 503-266-9337 Cell Phone: 503-453-7146 1441 South Ivy St #503, Canby, Oregon 97013


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