I’d never met him before and I wasn’t fully sure why we were getting together. I had posted that the church where he served as an elder was looking for a preacher. the previous few had left under, not the best of settings (no, you can’t figure out which one it was. If I had a dollar for every situation that matches that I could pay my mortgage a few months). He could want to read me the riot act on keeping my nose out of churches business. I’ve found not everyone wants posted, though that makes no sense to me. Why would a church not want to get the word out to as many potential guys as possible? A bigger pool should also expand choices. Turns out he wanted to talk to me and tell me what they were looking for in a preacher and get some ideas on how to find that person. He was a very nice man, very considerate and very caring about people. He obviously is a shepherd to the sheep of “his flock.”
I liked what he said so much I tried to write it down when after we parted ways that evening: “We want someone who is authentic...genuine...we’ve had loud and gregarious and we’ve had deep and introverted, we really just want someone who will love us and love the Lord and be a part of our Family.” Beautiful.
Sometimes in our desire to find next, bigger, better, flashier, more, bestier (yeah, I know) - we miss faithful, content, dedicated, and good. We may just be missing the best - one who loves God and His People and with determined persistence strives to help us do the same. Authentic wins.
Here are five good reasons why authentic wins:
1. Being authentic brings something “new” to the culture: There is so much fake in our world that genuine has become treasured (see: Romans 12:9). Rachel Meeks offers this advice: “Everything you could possibly write about has been written about before, but none of those ideas have been written about from your perspective. Nobody else has that special combination of life experiences which influence the way you think. You can weave a unique, personal thread into every story.” Authenticity brings it!
2. Getting a little personal can help you get your point across: Don’t be a clone of your favorite preacher - though that is hard because you think he is so much better and has so much more to offer than you. Try to bring your knowledge, experience, wisdom garnered to the pulpit. It was God who determined His Message would be brought by people of clay (2 Corinthians 4:6-8). When you tell people a little about yourself and your experiences, it’s easier to convey your message. It helps them relate and gives them context. Don’t make the mistake of thinking THE STORY is about you. But some of His Story is how He has intersected with your story in Him! What He has done with you. That was often what Saul who became Paul did.
3. Being authentic inspires and engages people: If God could do that with “him” what might He do with me? In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul is saying that very thing. It is in my weakness and inabilities that His grace shines and that I am made strong. When Felix or Agrippa heard the story of Christ’s effect on Paul it moved even the powerful. People are engaged when they know that what God has said to do works and it is obvious in your life! I heard a preacher say years ago that the greatest testimony of Christianity is the changed life. Ken at Mildly Creative says: “the more honest you are, the more people seem to respond. I guess there’s something about being human that attracts other humans.”
4. You’ll learn about yourself in the process: When you are authentic you will not only help others grow but you will also grow.
Lord, make me, keep me - authentic. This thing we do called life seems to call us toward trying to be something we are not and it diminishes Your imagine being seen in us. And, may we value this in others.
*My thanks to ProBlogger Website for the germs of the four points in this post (their article was on blogging) and the quotes from Mildly Creative and Rachel Meeks.