Monday, April 16, 2012

A different kind of church (open, honest, and real)

I'd have to say, that I have been to many different types of churches.  They range from legalistic, ritualistic, and programmatic to loving, relational, and structured and many combinations in between.  I have heard pastors who regurgitate sermons from other people or themselves from many years ago to pastors who preach without much prepared in advanced.  I have sang songs in churches that were stuck in the music from the past to churches who performed as if it were a concert.   I have been to churches where I didn't understand a thing (either to do poor preaching or in another language all together) to a church where every word resonated with my soul. Again I say, I have been to many different types of churches.

I say all this because, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about something new I encountered yesterday.  I have many pastor friends who I have talked to and been close friends with.  Some have even shared about who they were and the struggles they have. However, I have never had a pastor share his pain and suffering from the "pulpit."  Never have I had a pastor admit that he had struggled during the week.  I have had them be honest before, but never like this.

It was comforting.  It was challenging.  It was refreshing.  It was inspiring. 

A lot of my blog comes to life for me when I decide to be open, honest, and real with who I am and how I struggle.  I believe God called us to that and that one of satan's biggest lies is that he tells us we are alone and that we are not as good as everyone else.  I feel that if more people would just be willing to be open and real with each other, far fewer relationships would be destroyed. 

Relationships are severed many times do to a miss-understanding or failure to communicate.  Marriages fail because one or both spouses hide things from the other.  Friendships are shattered...lives are lives become broken.  

I think that this is part of the reason Jesus calls himself the truth.  Truth restores, truth breaths life, truth revives. 

Sometimes truth hurts.

Anyway, I just couldn't stand not sharing my admiration and respect for someone who is willing to take a stand and to be open and honest about who he is.

Many talk of wanting to see a revival...this is how it will person at a time....being open, honest, and real.

There are a lot of great pastors out there and a lot that are still missing the point.  Maybe you don't agree with everything he says, but one of the biggest things I ever learned as a pastor is how hard it can be.  It is up to us to strengthen and encourage them.  All too often they are taken for granted and  left with very few people who really understand how much of their life is consumed by being a pastor and what toll that takes on a pastor and their family.

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