Monday, October 8, 2007
The God of All Comfort is Still at Work...
If you had been a visitor at Pinnacle Church yesterday, you might have been a bit confused. We sang our songs in worship. We took up the offering. And then something a little different happened.
The preacher and his wife got on stage, and told us their story. Not a sweet little "how we got be be in ministry" talk, but one about the struggles in their marriage, and the healing that is ongoing in their relationship, even today. They opened themselves up for the first time publicly, sharing their hurts, showing their human flaws. How many preachers do you know who will share their imperfections with their congregation?
Unfortunately, not enough. They realize that we may often put them on a pedestal of righteousness that they may not have earned, and they want to stay on top of it. We give them the benefit of a doubt because of their position. We don't want to see our leaders fail.
Or do we?
Many in ministry think that as spiritual leaders, they can't make mistakes. If they do, they believe they've failed the rest of us. How can they lead others to the straight and narrow when they can't stay on it themselves? They don't want to look like a hypocrite. They'd have to preach, "Do as I say, and not as I do."
They don't realize that we can learn just as much, if not more, from their errors in real life, than we ever will from their sermons.
But our preacher and his wife get it. They have seen so many desperate couples recently, that they knew it was time to share their own journey. God compelled them to do it, and they were obedient. Yesterday, they lived what Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
Instead of hiding their struggles and failures, our precious leaders shared them. And the comfort God granted them was allowed to spill over to others who needed it. You should have seen all the people that were touched by that message!
That's what our spiritual leaders are for! If only more were brave enough to lead by example...