Jump directly to the Content

Dropping the Mask

When I blow it, I let my church know it. And they respect me for it.

When Stephen Brown came to be the pastor of a new church, the first few months he would routinely say in his sermons, "Now I am not perfect—I sin regularly." One of the members thanked him for his honesty and Brown replied, "Haven't the previous pastors made that admission?"

"Yes," the member said, "but you're the first one we've ever believed!"

A preacher may have an incredible reputation as a spiritual leader, but if there isn't a humble admission of weakness with it, that preacher will never connect with the audience. The apostle Paul knew this. Remember his transparency when he wrote that he was "the worst of sinners," or in Romans 7 when he chronicled his struggle between the good he wanted to do and that which he did. That may be why he added the disclaimer in 1 Corinthians 11:1: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (emphasis mine). Paul's honesty concerning his vulnerability over his weaknesses isn't a turn off to me; rather it causes me to pay more attention because ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 2)
New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 2)
Tony Jones responds.
From the Magazine
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
Escaping Russian missiles, some exiled believers found a new sense of purpose helping refugees.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.