1

Your cart is empty.

Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

12 Feb '14

Truthful disclosure in ministry settings

Posted by T.J. Addington in communication, truth
One of the hallmarks of Jesus was his commitment to truth. It was not a hard truth for it was almost always delivered with grace (Pharisees excepted on occasion) but it was truth. Falsehood is one of those things listed in the Proverbs as detested by God.

Yet, ministries are notorious for delivering half truths, non-truths and outright falsehoods when dealing with issues that are unpleasant. This breeds predictable and appropriate cynicism among those who know the full story and is at worst no different than the spin control we see all the time from governments and at best is disingenuous. 

I am not suggesting that in every situation we disclose all that we know or could disclose. That is neither necessary nor appropriate in many cases. I am arguing that what we communicate must be true and accurate and that if someone knew all the facts they would be satisfied that what we communicated was not misleading. It is a matter of integrity, of truth and of the character of God who is the father of truth as opposed to Satan who is the father of lies.

This applies to situations where we might be tempted to spiritualize as a method of spin. Here we blame God for the situation we find ourselves in rather than taking responsibility for our own actions. I remember a time when an organization I was a part of lost a great deal of money through poor decisions and the leader talked about God wanting us to become more dependent on Him. I suspect that God actually wanted better management practices and I didn't buy the line. 

When we choose not to tell the truth we are also communicating that God's people cannot handle the truth. The truth is that we learn how to handle difficult situations by wrestling with them, not by avoiding them. It may not be a pleasant conversation but it should never be an untrue conversation.

I have elsewhere shared some principles for those instances when we need to have difficult conversations with our staff or congregations. One of the things that should separate us from the rest of the world is that we are people who worship the God of truth whose character is true and therefore our words must also be true and righteous and straight. Falsehoods are lies and lies do not come from God. Make sure that your words are always truthful even if you are not sharing all the truth you know.