At times I feel like the preacher in the pulpit is telling me all his hero-stories, and he seems to be his own marketing guy saying “This is what Jesus does, so do what I’m doing and you’ll make it.”
But I always lean in when the pastor tells me about his failures. When he’s really for real. That time he blew up on someone in traffic. When he really lost it with his wife and kids. When he quietly refused to help a homeless guy. His sudden shopping spree. Those seasons when he stopped praying and reading the Bible because he was so jaded and burnt out. When he shares his frustrations with the church culture, not in a mean way that points out any one person, but really grieving over our collective lack of passion. The times when he doubted himself, when he doubted God.
I don’t want the act. I’d love it for a pastor to just straight up rip the mic and tell us how much he’s hurting right now and how much he still trusts Jesus to get him through all this and even tell us he’s barely holding on by a thread of his beat-up faith. Hero-stories are okay, but I want to know we’re in this fight together.
I can realize then that the pastor is a human being, and it makes me a little more human too, and this points to our need for Jesus and for grace. I want to meet inside our mess-ups, because God is there. With Him, we’ll make it.