I think Tim has got a point.
I want to be honest.
That requires two things, honouring the good and owning the bad.
It means being vulnerable and positive, clear and down to earth.
Hopefully this blog is honest.
Hopefully you realise I don't have it all together.
Hopefully you see our Church is not perfect, nor is our movement of churches.
This may sound really cheesy, but I actually want the only "promotion" on here to be promotion of the grace of God. For grace to work there must be reality as to the pain, trials, sin and restoration in my life.
Two of the most dangerous areas I think are introductions for visiting speakers, and introductions of the author of a book. Both of them require a certain "spin" on who they are, how great a friend they are, what a great Church they have, how many souls they have won, in order to vindicate the message.
I wonder what the consequences would be if I introduced a visiting speaker like this. "Hi, this morning our speaker is XXXXX XXXXXX from XXXXXXXXX. Although saved and on a path of discipleship he still clearly bares marks of his fallen nature, in both personality and actions. Some of his mistakes have scared me, others make my toes curl. In fact, of all the people I know, the grace of God is most evident in him. And through him, his failures, I have seen God's ability to use fallen man for his glory. Just looking at him you won't really guess why we have invited him here this morning, but give him a chance."
The scary thing, is that I could be introducing the Apostle Paul, maybe Peter, who knows.
I certainly get really uncomfortable when I hear other people describing this Church as it always seems really great and does not represent some of the challenges. I think deep down most of us compare ourselves to that great Church up the road or in the next town or in the big city. I am almost certain if I went to that Church I would find the same problems, the same broken people, the same misunderstandings and all the things that make Church messy, because that is what life is like.
So there we go: honesty it is. Thanks Tim.