Transition Thoughts - How Transparent is TOO Transparent?

I have always been a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" kind of guy. No secrets. No hidden motives. No agendas. Emotions right there on the sleeves. It's easy to know what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling and what I'm passionate about because it's all right out there for all to see :-)

Bill Hybels says it best that "the local church is the hope of the world". I believe that. And I am more and more convinced that if the church is going to be effective in bringing that message to a hurting world we church leaders need to step up and out of our comfortable church worlds and be real and transparent with people... those in and outside our churches.

I believe we live in such incredible times. Technology is INCREDIBLE. Information on everything is EVERYWHERE. And with more and more and more information it seems like people actually have less and less answers to life's big questions. People are no longer simply looking for truth... but need to know and trust the person that the information is coming from.

What I find VERY interesting is this tension in churches on being authentic and transparent... especially the pastor. In an average church you will have people from every generation (builders, boomers, busters, gen x'ers, nexters) and each one is looking for something completely different from their pastor. And usually it's just one guy trying to meet all those different needs. Talk about an identity problem :-)

I decided that in my ministry I would err on the side of being too transparent and too real. Why? Not because I don't respect the more traditional view of the pastor... it's just I'm more passionate and concerned for the people who think that the church and its message is completely irrelevant in our world today. I want the person who have never set foot in a church to see how my faith is lived out in a real world. And I want to get Christians in my church to be excited and passionate about doing the same thing.

So... sure... maybe that means I'm going to open myself up for some criticism. Maybe something I share will come back to to bite me in the butt. But, for me, that's all a part of the deal :-) If I'm not causing some controversy then I'm problem not living out the life that Jesus calls me to. After all, I don't know of anyone who has stirred up a hornet's nest in religious circles more then Jesus. No one crucifies a Mr. Rodgers type guy with a message of "love your neighbors"... you crucify the guy who rocks your comfortable religious routines :-)

Comments

Robin said…
Really really well said. I think the world needs to see more Christians being open and real instead of pointing our fingers at them. People need -- and want -- the real thing, not more religion.

By the way, I love how you're taking so much time to reflect on your experiences as you go into this transitional period. It's great that you're sharing it with the rest of us, too, speaking of being transparent!
Kevin said…
Thanks. This part of the journey has been very interesting indeed :) Everyday I'm learning more and more.

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