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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Too Christian to Tell the Truth

High anxiety and the tyranny of the urgent is what I'm feeling because I have just opened all of the Advisory Response Forms about potential pastoral moves. Clergy exist for churches, not the other way around, but I want what is best for both. Sometimes I feel the adage as truth: "If I could buy someone for what they're worth, and sell them for what they think they're worth, I'd be a millionaire." Some of us clergy have unrealistic expectations about the appointments or churches that we deserve. This lack of realistic expectations sets us up to be disappointed or disappointing.

Part of the problem is we're "Christian," which means we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. Pastors tell SPRC's that the DS is making them move. Some even tell their families that it's my fault. Then there's the lack of truth-telling that SPRC's do. They don't really want to tell their pastor what they think, and they end up giving an innocuous non-helpful hail-fellow-well-met do-nothing evaluation without "speaking the truth in love" about what makes us clergy more effective in that given context.

I'm doing SPRC training this weekend, and I'm going to lay it on thick about SPRC's doing their job so I can do mine for their church's sake and the clergy's sake. It is going to be an interesting year to say the least. Pray for wisdom, grace, clarity, and truth on everyone's part. It's all about Jesus and growing the Kingdom, not a "protect the fishbowl" for the churches or a "take care of each other" mentality for clergy. It's about effective Kingdom-building.

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