Monday, August 24, 2009

Truth and Love

We had a really great leadership retreat this weekend at Hope NorthBranch. I will admit that I more or less rolled my eyes when I initially learned of this retreat because it's tough to give up a Friday evening and a good chunk of your Saturday - especially as a volunteer. So my heart may have not been in the best place going into this retreat.

However, within 10 minutes of kicking off the retreat, I was hooked. Dan Brunner, one of Pastor Scott's best buddies, came and facilitated our retreat and we covered a bunch of ground from Myers Briggs to what it means to truly follow Jesus.

One of the most interesting exercises he facilitated was regarding the Myers Briggs test in which we discover our profile based on a questionnaire we completed ahead of time. We then spent a while affirming our pastor's strengths and areas of growth.

I could tell that the team was a bit uncomfortable sharing his areas of growth. It's tough to give constructive criticism and admit that someone actually has a weakness. And I think this is especially true in the church because we have a distorted view of love, especially when it comes to our leaders.

I think most people are afraid to share the truth in love to leadership (especially pastors, preachers, ministers, whatever you want to call them) for a couple of reasons:

  1. We are afraid of feeling inferior or being put on the defense because of a pastor's Biblical credibility. The last thing a member of the church wants to do is to get into a Biblical debate with a pastor. I would imagine that most pastor's would handle constructive criticism with humility like our pastor did. And while I don't have the statistics to back up my point, my hypothesis is that people are afraid to discuss issues with pastors because they are Biblically illiterate.
  2. Another reason why people shy away from voicing concerns is because we don't want to offend our pastors. They DO pour a lot of their energy and time into shepherding their respective churches. It's personal. And a lot of our feedback is subjective. So we're afraid of stepping on toes and hurting feelings when it comes to bringing up issues and concerns with the church.
But if we don't have these healthy conversations with our pastors, how will they learn & grow and improve the overall health of their leadership and the church?

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