So…as I was saying…

I’m getting a lot of feedback on yesterday’s post (which doubled as my weekly email to the church).  Kind of interesting to me.  Here are a few thoughts…

1.  It was personal and reflective, but I didn’t think it was earth-shattering.  I have to imagine most people feel the intensity of some of life’s seasons.  I’d be shocked if you didn’t.  And…I’d be shocked if you thought I didn’t.

2.  Of course, not everyone blogs about those seasons!  The purpose of me sharing it was that I think we should.  You don’t have to blog about it…but you shouldn’t fake your way through it.  Living authentically is your only hope for real relationships.  I’d be a mess if I felt like I had to cover up my struggles and doubts, wouldn’t you?  So, at it’s best, the blog is just me going first with a community of people I trust.  Your turn…

3.  Do I wonder what people will think?  Uhhh…Am I human? Yes.  The response has been kind of interesting to me.

  • The people who love me…got lots of nice emails saying people would pray for me.  I sincerely appreciate that because I sincerely believe it helps me. It has already.
  • The people who only see me on stage…there were a few “thanks for reminding us you are human.”  I guess the “Pastor” title still has some baggage on that front.  Hang out with one of us and you’ll see we are more normal (and more fun) than you probably imagine.
  • The people who are afraid I’m going to die…Did it sound that bad?  Really?  Like I tried to say…the season is intense, but not awful.  The last part about God being in control was not just trying to give the reflection a happy ending.  It’s what I know is ACTUALLY TRUE about life.  So joy and peace and gratitude are all very central to my life.
  • Other pastors who read my blog…Their theme was something like this:  “You said it.  I feel it.  I can’t believe you said it.  I wish I could say it.  Thanks for saying it.”  A few guys I really respect said some very encouraging things to me.  I appreciate that a lot.
  • My mentor…John Wasem called me and it was one of the best conversations I’ve had in a long time.  He loves me.  He’s been there.  My respect for him is off the charts.  He asked me some probing questions that were very helpful and it’s always good to talk to a great friend.

4.  I guess if there was a doubt in posting it, it was this:  I’m a leader to a lot of people and the conventional wisdom on leadership in the past has been something like this:  Don’t show your struggle.  Never let them see you sweat.  People need a leader who is always confident, always has life by the tail, can handle any problem without showing vulnerability.  Ultimately, the message is “fake it if you have to...your people need you to be unflappable.”  I get that.  And it may even still be true in some settings if success equals producing more “widgets”.

Overall though, I think that’s old thinking.  Even more, I think it would be toxic given our mission.  Since we are trying to build a community where truth meets life…and accomplish a mission that begins and ends with changing people’s lives — I’m pretty sure faking it or hiding a struggle isn’t the best leadership move. 

Is this an argument for weak leadership?  Not for a second.  It is an acknowledgement that my strength is not my own.  I’ll wrap this whole thing up with the best guidance I have received from another church leader…The Apostle Paul.  I don’t think you have to be a pastor to resonate with this:

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed…” (2 Timothy 4:17)

~ by Greg Lee on October 16, 2009.

3 Responses to “So…as I was saying…”

  1. Greg, even Christ let us see Him struggle in gethsemane
    Yo be authentic is to be real

  2. Thanks for being a mentor to me. We have spoken many times about vulnerability and open/honest self. I wish I could see more deeply into your life and the lives of so many that are important to me. People miss out on the love they could have if only they let other people see the real person behind the mask. Call me if you ever want to talk or get together when you visit family down here.

  3. All through the years of my marriage, whenever we were having hard times, my ex-husband didn’t want to let anyone know. He saw it as a sign of weakness. I can only imagine how things might have been different if we had shared with others before it got beyond help. We were definitely meant to live in community.

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