I went into full-time preaching ministry in 1995 and worked at two different churches in Illinois until 2002, when I went to work at St. Louis Christian College (SLCC). I’ve always struggled with the idea of “not being good enough” to lead a church (probably one of the reasons I took the job at SLCC). Obviously it’s a good thing to not think too highly of yourself. But, on the other hand, it’s not always so good to be down on yourself. A healthy balance needs to be struck.
Now that Lisa and I have started The Merge, the same question bugs me … “Am I good enough to lead? Am I an adequate model for others to follow?” Well, once again the answer is found in the balance. Of course I’m not good enough. Is anyone? But I guess I’m doing something right. I mean, I feel like I’m growing in my faith. And I’m still learning about the Scriptures and love sharing God’s Word with people. The bottom line is that I’m getting past being internally harassed by that question of worthiness to be in ministry, and I think I know why. It’s because of one of the values we hold at The Merge: being real.
Being given permission to be real is a tremendous freedom! Being real enables “me to be me.” Yeah, I’m not perfect (far from it). But being real means I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I just have to be true to myself and do my best for the glory of God. I’m writing this because my gut tells me that many Christians need the liberating powers of realness to help them in their Christian walk too. If you feel guilty too often, if you don’t like feeling like a fake or hypocrite, or if you feel pressure to live up to the lofty goals of the Gospel call … well, how about praying about becoming real!