There is a reason most churches provide some sort of care or programming for the youngest members. There’s a valid need. My mistake back then was in throwing the entire concept out, instead of modifying it to fit our innovative vision. The truth is we need both: we need to create church cultures that welcome children in all spaces―in both words and actions―and we need to care for our parents who are worn thin. I believe both are possible, but it does take a change in culture, and it is a slow change.
Greer is not alone in seeing failure as a good thing. Read the Gospels―repeatedly, there remains a divide between the expectations of the Israelites and the human God sent to earth. Where was the purple-robed king sent to rule over all of the earth? Where was the great warrior-judge, the one who would “wage war against the idol-worshipping Gentiles and destroy the sinners among the Jews”? How, then, did Jesus, seen as a failure in light of their expectations, respond?
He just kept on going.
In Matthew 13:54–59, Jesus returns to his hometown to teach people in their place of worship. His words were met with questions and accusations, while his ways were met with negative and offensive reactions. As a result, Jesus continued to preach, but was unable to perform miracles because of their lack of faith in him. Although Jesus had failed to be who they thought he should be, he hadn’t failed in the least, for he continued to be true to who he truly was.
Although Jesus may have failed in the Israelites’ expectations of him, he was not a failure in the least. Quite probably, it’s the same for you. If you’ve recently been labeled a failure―whether by yourself or by someone around you―consider one of these three action steps:
- Seek to see failure as a good thing. If you’ve believed yourself a failure because of another person’s unmet or unspoken expectations of you, ask yourself the following questions: How might this experience make me a better leader? How might my failings bring me closer to God, and transform me into the most authentic and real version of me?