I Openly Admit My Issues

The temptation for the Church is to think their pastor does not have problems. After all, he spends all day reading scripture, praying and thinking deep thoughts about God. How could someone like that have any struggles? Well, my answer is simple – “I am a fallen individual who struggles in his relationship with God and other people just like everyone else.”

I admit …

1. I struggle with my faith. I don’t have all of the answers. There are things in the Bible that trouble me, passages I don’t understand and concepts that are hard to grasp.

2. I continually battle sin in my own life. If you knew all that I have said and done in my life you would not want me as your pastor. I sin. I repent. I sin some more. Once in while I overcome some type of sin to have it replaced by another. My struggle against sin is a real everyday battle.

3. I love and hate the Church. There are many wonderful people in the Church who do wonderful things … and then there are the other people. I admit I have seen and heard things that make me want to the leave the Church and never return.

4. Some people drive me crazy. I have known people who are selfish, self-centered, mean, abusive and all other sorts of evil who call themselves Christians. Even more people are half-hearted in their faith while trying to convince the world of their strong belief. I often think that God is making me a better person by having me deal with people who annoy me.

5. My relationships are not perfect. I am not a perfect pastor, husband, father or son. I have not figured out every aspect of how to be the man I am supposed to be. I try to do my best but continually see my shortcomings.

These are just some of my issues. I could spend all day listing off my failures, shortcomings and sins. In the end it accomplishes very little to keep beating myself up in public. I simplly tell you these things for two reasons.

One, I am a sinner saved by grace just like all of you. I need the gospel to save me. I need people to help me become who God wants me to be.

Two, I want you to remember that you are just a sinner saved by grace like me. You need the gospel and you need people to help you become what God wants you to be.

5 thoughts on “I Openly Admit My Issues

  1. I hear and read so many ministers say things like this. But none seem to actually confess anything but general “I am a sinner” “I have thoughts and feelings” and “I struggle too”.
    I agree with you that the day church starts seeing the pastor as a person and human, then church will start to become real. I do think it starts with real confessions from the clergy.
    One of two things will happen : one, people will get to know the real man and love (or hate) him for who he is and not for who they want to believe he is…and the church will truly grow. Maybe not grow in numbers but grow in maturity…becoming real Christians. (this is very unlikely to happen)
    two: the church becomes rock throwers and either leaves or fires the pastor. Sad, but true. Confessions of real heart matters…can get you fired.
    A sad sad state of the ‘christian’ church today…is there a cure?

  2. I agree with you in a general sense. Most pastors do not openly confess their “issues” and “sins” publicly. But that does not mean that we do not confess them. I am open and honest with two to six people who I know love and care about me and my faith. I am very transparent with my elders, my spouse and a couple other people including a former staff member. I am very “real” with them.

    I do not believe a sin needs confessed publicly unless it was a public sin. If everyone knows about it, then it needs addressed. But if it is private then it can be confronted and handled privately. This is true for the pastor as well as every other member of the Church. The reasoning is simple, people who love me and care about me know the whole story and the whole struggle. People outside of that circle may only know in part and guess at the rest. They in turn will often guess wrong and that leads to people throwing rocks and pastors getting fired.

    If anyone only makes casual confessions in generic form then there is a problem. If anyone confesses openly to a few people who really care, then there is growth and maturity.

  3. I can see your point. Details are another matter.
    My real point to my comment was if you or any other pastor/minister tried to be real and transparent to the congregation you wouldn’t have a big congregation. You would be let go. The church today doesn’t want a flawed minister, they want someone who puts on a show, giving their masquerades credence. “I don’t want a flawed open honest pastor, because then I will be expected to live that way” mentatlity.
    I am glad you have a few that you can be open with, that is truly a blessing in the ministry.
    I would love a group of ‘christians’ who want to be real about growth, and life. the search continues.

  4. I totally agree with your point. A minister who tried to be open and honest with everyone would see his congregation reduced to the few people who really do love and care about him.

    I hope and pray you find someone to share your life with. May God help you to find at least one of those people this week. Blessings on you.

  5. Thank you for your kindness. I do have some great people who I can confide in, but they are not part of a church. I love the church!!! But it isn’t where people are growing, it isn’t where ‘god’ is moving anymore. Sure we can have a good sermon and a good show, sure we can have smiles and polite hugs, but yet have I found a church that really wants to love people for who they are. If you don’t fit the mold…sorry.

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