Beccy Oliver recently pointed me at the blog of a lady called Rachel Held Evans (I'm not sure I'd endorse everything she has to say, but I love some of the conversations and thoughts she provokes). In one of her blogs she writes a letter from the congregation to the pastors, asking them to be real and tell the truth. It so resonated with me, and so described the church leader I long to be. Hopefully some of you feel like this is how you'd like me to be too!
Tell us the truth.
Tell us the truth when you don’t know the answers to our questions, and your humility will set the example as we seek them out together.
Tell us the truth about your doubts, and we will feel safe sharing our own.
Tell us the truth when you get tired, when the yoke grows too heavy and the hill too steep to climb, and we will learn to carry one another’s burdens because we started with yours.
Tell us the truth when you are sad, and we too will stop pretending.
Tell us the truth when your studies lead you to new ideas that might stretch our faith and make us uncomfortable, and those of us who stick around will never forget that you trusted us with a challenge.
Tell us the truth when your position is controversial, and we will grow braver along with you.
Tell us the truth when you need to spend time on your marriage, and we will remember to prioritize ours.
Tell us the truth when you fail, and we will stop expecting perfection.
Tell us the truth when you think that our old ways of doing things need to change, and though we may push back, the conversation will force us to examine why we do what we do and perhaps inspire something even greater.
Tell us the truth when you fall short, and we will drop our measuring sticks.
Tell us the truth when all that’s left is hope, and we'll start digging for it.
Tell us the truth when the world requires radical grace, and we will generate it.
Tell us the truth even if it’s surprising, disappointing, painful, joyous, unexpected, unplanned, and unresolved, and we will learn that this is what it means to be people of faith.
Tell us the truth, and you won’t be the only one set free.