At least I try to be.
That puts me in the crosshairs of anyone who may think differently than myself. It comes with the job. And, if I'm being honest, sometimes it sucks.
I hate the awkward emails that will consume an entire morning (or days) of my thoughts. I hate the insecurities that rise up within me. I hate drafting and redrafting my "formal" response. And I hate the anticipation of that next random encounter with the individual who fired off the email.
"Hate" is such a strong word....but I use it deliberately.
I've been criticized for many things over my ministry career. Wearing the wrong clothes. Praying incorrectly. Speaking too long. Missing a passage of scripture. Not having enough depth. Not being encouraging enough. Playing guitar poorly. Picking bad songs. Wearing sandals. The list goes on.
So in an attempt to enlighten you, here are a few things I'd like you to know about me before you hear me speak next:
You will not like everything I say.
I don't do this so that I can be liked. Yes, I'd love to be known as a great preacher. But hopefully that is due to my ability to communicate the truth clearly, not because everything I said made you feel good.
I will miss things.
I only have an allotted time to speak within. (One which I already regularly go over.) Please know that this is not my attempt to bring you a step further to enlightenment. You should leave with more questions and a desire to dig a little deeper on your own.
You will be able to live this out.
This needs to engage your life...not just your brain. I'd rather you and I were both able to live this stuff out than just tuck it away and pat ourselves on the back for just knowing more information.
I am intentional in how I prepare & present.
I study. I read. I pray. I angst. I doubt. I ask questions. I write. And rewrite. And then I repeat. This does not happen in 30 minutes on Saturday night. You should also know that I prepare in such a way that my students can understand what I'm saying. My favorite compliment (if there is such a thing) is when I find out my middle schoolers got it.