authenticly transparent pastoring

djchuang asks a question of Brian McLaren >> How do those of us who have been trained in the modern mode of pastoring/ leadership (leader who is seemingly without struggle, got their life together) transition to be more authentic and transparent in our sermons and relationships? How does the honesty/ transparency look like in leadership and relationship contexts? How does “imitate me as I imitate Christ” look like, if I as a leader share my struggles with my congregation?

Brian’s response: The first thing that comes to my mind is 2 Corinthians. There Paul risks stepping out from his “cool apostolic persona,” and makes himself vulnerable in many ways. This is especially interesting because he does so when under attack. Most of us, when under attack, toughen up, but Paul makes himself even more vulnerable, which is very interesting.

You’re right … there really is a “conversion” of styles that we go through, from being “the answer man” to being “the fellow seeker.” In some settings, since people only want the answer man style, perhaps that’s all we can do. But I have a feeling that more people than we think are already sick and tired of the answer man style, and long for the same kind of community you and I do.

[I am most not an answer man, I’m a vulnerable and transparent seeker; cf. my online journal for more]

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  1. n craig johnson says:

    I appreciated this pastor’s genuine question for authenticity.

    May I recommend he/you visit Larry Crabb’s site; go to conferences; then click on small line ‘for your encouragement’. This will lead to a number of audio conference seesions that Crabb has hosted, on The Church, as a Healing Biblical Community. (Scroll to bottom of list for this 5 part series. In part 1 or 2, Crabb offers some excellent discussion and comments on this very subject: being in the pulpit, and being real. He gives examples from his own life too (being in the public eye, and being real).
    Am sure you will find this encouraging/helpful.

    God Bless – NJ