By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Honesty, Integrity and Pastoral Sensitivity

Holding these three in balance is not always easy, and for sure, I don't always get it right.  In my lovely, crazy, diverse church finding the right balance is especially tricky as I try to help people think afresh without being a stumbling block in their path and without denying my own hard-won convictions.

The apsotle Paul in amongst all his many and varied, sometimes more helpful than others, writings spoke of being 'all things to all people' in order that he might 'win some'.  So I am left wondering what that looks like as I endeavour to lead this community of disicples in a way that is authentic.

I find myself picturing a group of people on a hike - some rush on ahead, some lag behind and most are somewhere in between.  So how do I determine who is where?  How do I help the stragglers to catch up without holding back those moving more quickly?  How do I restrain the eager without quashing their energy?  In the coming weeks we will be thinking about growing in maturity, about moving from being spiritual babies who need to be bottle or spoon-fed to adult disicples who can chew over complex issues and discover new insights from God.  I think one of my challenges, is to work out just what kind of solid food people are ready for, and that might mean stepping back along the path a bit in order to meet them and lead them forward gently and sensitively.

I've a feeling I've been a bit ham-fisted of late, well intended but not quite getting the balance right.  It is important to be truthful but not every truth has to be told, or at least not yet.  Integrity is vital, but it does not mean walking over some one else in the process.  Pastoral senstivity, awareness that hurts arise easily and damage is not repaired wihtout effort, is essential.

So, in being all things to all people in order to win some, maybe I have to say different things to different people, not in a way that is dishonest or contradictory, but in a way that helps us all move in the general direction of 'forward'?  Answers on a psotcard!

The comments are closed.