Embrace the Mess

One criticism that has been vocalized against me through the years is that I share too much of myself. I tell stories about my brokenness. A pastor is supposed to have everything figured out and live in a way that shows I no longer have issues. The question is usually asked something like, “How are we going to show people the beauty of faith when you are such a mess?”

Two things I have learned in 25 years of ministry.

One is that all pastors are a mess behind the scenes. We all struggle in our faith, family and with insecurity. We can paint on a happy face, write articles about how we have overcome sin and sing about our victory in Jesus, but is a façade. We are broken people in need of the grace of God at all times.

The second thing I know is that the people we lead are a mess too. Their lives are filled with junk that they try to ignore, avoid and deny. This is true of the good ones who seem to have it all together while leading Church ministries. It is also true for the ones who linger on the edges never letting anyone get close enough to know about their life. The Church is a bunch of broken people in need of the grace of God at all times.

I believe God allows me to lead to that I can use my mistakes to help others. No one is helped in their faith when I am fake. No one is helped when you deny the existence of problems. Everyone finds grace when we are both transparent about our struggles.

The only way we will find healing for our souls is when we bring all our hidden junk into the light. Sin and shame grow in darkness. Healing is located in the light of God’s grace.

It is possible that I share too much, but that is how I have best found to help people while cleansing my soul at the same time. Maybe you should try opening up to someone. Sure, it is embarrassing and messy, but it is the only way we can all find help and healing together.

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