Balance between Vision and Transparency

Church Leadership

by Joel Comiskey

Winter 2012

by Joel Comiskey

A famous pastor in the U.S. was known for sharing his struggles. I once read an article in a well-known magazine about this pastor which said the reason people flocked to his church was because he “laid his soul bare” and shared exactly what was happening in his life. Then he crossed the line. He shared his “doubts” about God’s Word and whether hell even existed. Some might say he was simply being ‘transparent’ by sharing his doubts about God’s Word, but in reality, he had crossed the line and was now leading people astray by his doubtfulness.

A similar fine-line exists between transparency and maintaining an inspiring faith-filled vision. On one hand, it’s important for pastors to share struggles and let people see their humanity. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35). Often the best illustrations come from real struggles, so transparency is essential.

Yet, biblical, visionary pastors don’t share their doubts about God’s Word and His faithfulness to fulfill His promises. Rather, they inspire people to expect great things from God and to attempt great things for God (Isaiah 54:2). They encourage leaders to press ahead and believe that God will come through. They take advantage of public preaching, staff meetings, coaching sessions, and even personal leadership to proclaim God’s power and His ability to do all things. They help others to see the biblical base for cell ministry, which ultimately inspires people for the long-haul.

What about you? How do you maintain this delicate balance? How do you maintain a positive vision based on God’s Word, while continuing to share struggles?


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Further reading on leadership and related topics: Comiskey’s book Myths and Truths of the Cell Church. Buy HEREor call 1888-344-CELL.