Q: How are you? A: I’m doing okay.
If you are in youth ministry you know that okay is the cover against weakness. It’s the veil against a longer discussion or feigns against the more exhausting truthful version of whatever is really happening to you.
"I once had a Christian leader warn me against sharing my weaknesses. He told me it would be used against me.
He was right.
But I'd rather have some people reject an honest version of me, than applaud a fable that I cannot sustain and helps no one.” - Redeemed Youth Minister Blaine Bartel
Honesty’s Got Baggage
So can we talk? Honestly?
If we are, then, I need to tell you that talking honestly comes with baggage. It means that in our truth-telling there is some stuff that I won’t be able to carry anymore.
Telling the personal truth is difficult...
This must be named. It is not our normal stance in a position of influence to share the heartfelt from our own heart. For sure, you will share what is on your heart about those in front of you, but rarely do we share our own suffering, weakness, or failure.
Don’t wait for permission...
Not enough people are going to ask you how you are doing. As a person in a pastoral position, we cannot expect the questions to always first come to us. You need to have a plan, a person, maybe even a professional in your life.
Share before the care runs out...
Too many pastoral people wind up burn-out and it is because everything came heaping down and they had no way out until it was just too much. As true and as often as you would want a student in your ministry to share with their leader, you too need to be sharing with someone in your life.