Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Authenticity

I hope that our generation really engages the people of our culture with authenticity. I can think of nothing that turns a person off more than pretending to be something that you are not. Now, we don't know the extent of Rafael Palmeiro's steroid use at this point, but on the surface it kicks you in the gut because he gave such a spirited defense of his behavior before Congress. I think there would have been repercussions if he had said before that he used steroids, but now he just seems like a cheater and a liar. Everyone who knows him doesn't think that it is possible that he could have lied before Congress (and it may yet turn out that he didn't), but it just destroys his credibility as a person if he did. When someone pretends to be something that they are not, it simply causes everyone around him to question everything he says from that point forward. It is really about a lack of trust.

For those of us in the ministry, nothing could be more important in my mind that our credibility. We want everyone that hears us to put stock into the words that come out of our mouth. And yet, when we stand in the pulpit and present our lives and perfect and flawless, we begin to lose that credibility. I think personally that a major shift is happening in this area between generations. For the previous generation, I think they wanted to hold their pastor on this separate level of holiness that they were turned off by any mention of his own struggles and imperfections. This has definitely changed today - my generation responds positively when a man of God can stand before them and admit his own sins and flaws. This creates credibility with people because it comes from authenticity. We desire authenticity in our leaders. I do anyway. I want to know that those that I follow are human and real and living through the same desires and hurts that I am living through. I want to be that kind of leader. I want to stand so confidently in my identity in Christ that I can show people the real Keith, not pastor Keith.

Have we gotten to the place where we can show this kind of authenticity? I think it will take great humility from us as leaders to be this real. We may have to lay down our desire to be seen as greater than we actually are. Or we may actually have to become what we want people to see. Either way, authentic leaders are crucial for the future of the church if we desire authentic Christ-followers in the church.

1 comment:

Darren Bravenec said...

hey keith I agree that steriods aren't good and all but in some guys defense you need them to recover from an injury. I didn't have to but I was considering getting a steriod shot to help my shoulder recover and I wouldn't have seen anything wrong with that especially since I use my shoulder quite often. now I don't know if Rafeal di or didn't or if he did if it was for health reasons such as mine but all I know is that baseball doesn't really matter anyways when you compare it to football.