6. BE OPEN AND HONEST: Some people call it “being transparent” others use “vulnerable.” I like open and honest. Sunday in church our pastor, Pastor Thom, said one of the finest things I’ve ever heard a leader say, “Look, I’m a sinner, just like you.” In that brief remark he accomplished three powerful things: he identified with his flock; he revealed his own clay feet; he helped us get in touch with our own.
To keep their image intact, some leaders will admit past sins, but rarely current struggles. Fine for them, but what about us? It discourages us from admitting our own failures. Paul had no problems that way, “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin….for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Rom 7: 14-15 NLT). That’s as good a definition of an addiction as you’ll find. Yet one church leader argued that Paul was talking about past struggles, not present ones. Ouch. That attitude leads to denial and keeps us from getting free.
“I’m not perfect,” is as close as we feel safe to admit. It’s all due to a climate of judgment in the church, often cultivated by denial on the part of our leaders. In one of the most ignored texts in the Bible, James tells leaders what to teach their followers, “Confess your faults to one another, that ye may be healed,” (James 5:16 KJV) “We are only as sick as our secrets,” is how successful recovery groups put it. There is little hope for us to overcome sin unless leaders have the courage that our pastor has.
Does your church leadership have the honesty and courage to be vulnerable with their congregation? Let us know your stories.