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.

06 Oct '13

The church is often a place of lies rather than a place of truth

Posted by T.J. Addington in church culture, grace, transparency
No, I am not talking theology, especially in the evangelical world. I am talking about how we pretend we are "all together," the struggles we hide and the huge lack of transparency about our lives because it is not safe to tell the truth: That we are broken, struggling, hurting people, deeply in need of grace and deeply in need of the support of other believers if we could only tell them our need.

But in most churches, telling others our need can be dangerous. People talk, people can subtly condemn and in truth, being transparent is a threat to the system as most churches are not transparent. After all, as believers we must have our lives together.

We forget what drew people to Jesus: His indescribable grace and acceptance and love. That is also what draws people to us (if they are drawn to us) and should be the biggest magnet in the church. But that means we must major on God's grace and that those who walk through our doors will feel that grace no matter what their background or their struggles.

And this is what we cannot forget. I can know Jesus for many years and still desperately need His grace and forgiveness. The fact that I have known him does not exempt me from my need of Him. If we all understood that in the church it would be a far more transparent and grace filled place. 

Ironically, our struggles are common struggles so pretending they are not there is silly. It is also a lie. And it keeps us from supporting one another, praying for one another and doing what God does so well, extending grace to one another. 

What would it be like if our churches were the safest place on the face of the earth to be transparent rather than the most unsafe? What would it be like if rather than lying to one another (by not admitting the truth of our need) we were truthful with one another? I suspect we would be healthier people because through the grace and support of others many would get whole. And I suspect many would be drawn to us because they see in us a transparent honesty, grace and the truth that brings healing.

And it is healing that we all need.