Thursday, July 12, 2007

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The only answer to vulnerability

Being honest and vulnerable with others is tough. It is especially tough if you are ministry. But I have experienced the best kind of ministry when I have allowed people into my life in real and honest ways. That is why I appreciated Mark Batterson's thoughts on the necessity of pastors to be vulnerable, honest and real with those in the church. In Mark Batterson's blog, he shared 10 Thoughts on Vulnerability in Ministry.
....I just think that spiritual leaders really struggle in this area. We feel like we have to have this holy persona that is beyond sin. What we really need is the courage to share our failures and foibles!

Here are 10 Random Thoughts on Vulnerability:

#1 People will only be as vulnerable as their leader!
#2 Embrace your imperfections!
#3 The happiest and healthiest people laugh at themselves the most!
#4 The greatest freedom is having nothing to prove!
#5 Cry in public.
#6 The best apologetic is authenticity!
#7 Quit trying to be a pastor and try to be yourself!
#8 Jesus was holy, but he wasn't holier-than-thou.
#9 Be open to correction!
#10 Hang out at wells (Go here to read the entire post)

I appreciate Mark's exhortation on this. As a leader I need to be real. I need to be real in my relationships. I need to be real with my wife. I need to be real with my kids. I need to be real with my friends and with my church. I agree with Mark that I need to be real and authentic, AMEN to everything he said. But I know myself and and I know my heart. Is it really that easy to just "will" it to happen?

What will give me the power to be vulnerable? What will give me the courage to step out of the darkeness? What will give me the freedom to risk showing others my weaknesses?

It has got to be the Gospel. Pure and Simple. I like the way Tim Keller puts in the recent issue of the Journal of Biblical Counseling:
The gospel gives you psychological freedom to handle the wrong things that you will do. You won’t have to deny, spin, or repress the truth about yourself. These things don’t make it impossible to know who you are. Only with the support of hearing Jesus say, “You are capable of terrible things, but I am absolutely, unconditionally committed to you,” will you be able to be honest with yourself.
The Gospel allows us to be not only honest with ourself but also honest and vulnerable with others. The only answer to vulnerability is the Gospel.

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