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

30 Oct '08

Are You an Open Book?

One of the greatest gifts we can give to those around us is to be an open book. It is both a life of authenticity open to the scrutiny of others and it is one where we have no need to pretend we are something we are not or to hide the struggles we face. It is a "what you see is what you get" approach to life.

Authenticity is an all too rare commodity in the Christian world where we often feel a need to present a public face to others which looks like what we think Christians should look like. Simply listen to the level of candid conversation in many local churches and ask yourself - are people really being open with their joys, sorrows, struggles and challenges?


This past year has been an interesting one for our family as thousands have prayed for us in the aftermath of my forty two day hospital stay last December and January. Our extremely candid disclosure of our needs and situation was forced upon us by events beyond our control. But, it has been interesting how many people have thanked us for being transparent.


It seems to me that transparency is a gift we give to others because people can relate to real life struggles much more than they can to the facade that we can so often put up. I think that it is also a gift to unbelievers who can watch Christ-followers struggle with real issues of life balanced by imperfect but genuine faith.


Pastors give a gift to their congregations when they are transparent about their own struggles, fears, and doubts and how they integrate faith and followership with real life.


As a listener I can relate to that. I think that is the great attraction of the Psalms. When you read the Psalms you get the real David with his joy, fear, anger, discouragement and faith. Sometimes is is raw and uncomfortable but it is real life. And it is the Psalms that people go to more than any other place in Scripture when faced with difficulties. In the Psalms you find genuine transparency.


The more transparent we are the more approachable we are. And the more approachable we are the more true influence we will have with those around us. The cost to us is admitting that we are not perfect, that our families are not perfect, that we don't have it all figured out and that we need others. Of course, all of that is true anyway.


Give the gift of being an open book. You will be surprised with the response.