We don’t need more truth-tellers in the Christian community

There are several high-profile national leaders in Christianity whose posts I simply cannot like or share, and haven’t been able to for several years now. And that’s frustrating to me because these are people I align with on much of their theology.

Why? Because their TONE is continually so condescending, so arrogant, and so judgmental. How I wished we all realized that HOW something is said is just as important as WHAT is being said.

We don’t need more truth-tellers in the Christian community right now. 

We need more truth-in-love tellers.

We need more people who won’t shy away from telling the truth, but are at the same time extremely aware and cognizant of its delivery. People who are hyper-intentional about communicating their love and acceptance of the ones who happen to be in the crosshairs of that truth.

Truth-only-tellers tend to garner support from their “Christian fan-base” while simultaneous pissing off those on the edges and margins of the faith. They embolden the ones in the Christian corner while alienating themselves from the very ones they’re called to reach.

I believe that it is 100% possible to communicate your view of truth with someone who 100% disagrees with you, and still do so in a way that validates their experiences, intellect, and dignity. But if you shut them down and attack them as a person first, your message won’t be heard.

You’ll be known for who you’re against and what you hate, rather than who you’re for and what you love.

walking away

 

 

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4 Thoughts on Balancing Work and Family

a perfect balance between work and family: the ideal we’re all longing to someday experience, while secretly questioning if it’s even attainable. some say it’s a myth… and, while i’m not sure i’d go that far yet, i do think we at least have a goal to shoot for.

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here are 4 thoughts on balancing work and family that i hope can add value to the discussion.

1. we have an opportunity to lead up here.

balancing work and family is generally not something senior leaders are great at. they’re fantastic at setting the bar in so many other areas, but this is usually not one of the strong ones. if you’re in any role in your organization other than the top dog, this is likely one of your best opportunities to lead up and set the example. over the course of time, as your colleagues become more fatigued and burnt out, you’ll seem refreshed and renewed on a continual basis. the change will be evident, and your influence will be noticed.

2. busyness doesn’t mean success; busyness means brokenness.

why are our to do lists always so full? why do we always have to bring our kids 4 different places in the same night? why do we rarely eat dinner together at the table anymore? why do we have to make that presentation not just adequate, but over the top? why do we feel we can’t leave the office when we promised we would? why can we not give ourselves a day off from the gym every now and then?

when we honestly dig into these questions, i think what we end up uncovering is often pretty dark. it’s incredible how much insecurity drives our behaviors and actions. we try to prove our value and worth by our achievements and accomplishments.

this is brokenness.

the nice thing about brokenness, though, is that someone else came to fix it. jesus came to give us worth and value. we don’t have to keep trying to earn it.

3. God calls those who won’t work “lazy”, but those who won’t rest “disobedient“.

thank you, perry noble, for this line.

how soon we forget that the sabbath (a 24 hour period of intentional rest, every 7 days) was one of the 10 commandments. it seems pretty significant to be included in God’s top 10 list. if you think of it, there’s a lot of details to consider when putting up parameters on human interaction, and yet God made sure this was one of them.

if we truly observed this ancient practice of sabbath, i think this discussion on balance wouldn’t come up quite so much.

4. it takes strong accountability to keep a temporary season from becoming a permanent situation.

we all have busy seasons where our engines have to hit some higher rpm’s than normal. the problem comes when the season turns into something longer. do we have people who regularly hold us accountable as we try to phase out of a series of red-lining weeks?

the perfect balance between work and family may not ever be truly found and perfectly sustained, but we can move towards it and stay closer in it with some intentionality.

what else would you add to this list?

Successful With Family > Successful In Ministry

i want to be successful in ministry. when i’m in the office, i try to work harder than anyone else (though at our church that’s hard to do). i believe in the mission of the Church and i love seeing Christ’s transformational work in real people so much so that i could easily live an unbalanced life and never come home. i’m still detoxing from the workaholic tendencies that so naturally come out of this drive. i want to be successful in ministry.

but lately i’m sensing an even deeper desire to be successful with my family. a sense in which my leadership at home is more important and holds more weight than my leadership at church. i remember sitting in a workshop at the simply youth ministry conference in march, led by Cathy Fields. you can actually purchase the mp3 here which would be well worth the $6. it was all on this value of being successful with your family, and i still remember Doug wrapping it up at the end by saying something along the lines of: “i really don’t care what you get out of this conference or what skills you obtain, if you’re not successful at home, you’re not successful anywhere else.”

this in no way lessens or cheapens our commitment to our jobs, but instead what it does is it elevates our commitment to our families. so…

  • when push comes to shove, family wins.
  • when a conflict occurs and you can’t be both places, family wins.
  • when it’s time for a day off even though there’s still more to do, family wins.

when it’s all said and done and you release your kids to adulthood, how do you know if you’ve been successful?  are there specific markers to look for? my hunch is it’s based less on the “final product” than we sometimes think, but i’m curious of your thoughts…