"Everywhere I go, I meet people, old and young, from all over the world, and they tell me about their lives, their relationships, broken families, their addictions, shame, guilt, failures. You'll never be able to speak into their souls unless you speak the truth about your own wounds. You need to tell them what our Lord has come to mean to you in the midst of your disappointments and losses. All ministry begins at the ragged edges of our own pain," he said.
I couldn't figure out who Thomas knew about my relationship with my father, much less that I was a pastor trying to fool people into believing he was perfect. For years I'd felt this pressure to convince everyone that I had the leadership skills of Bill Hybels, the pastoral gifts of Henri Nouwen, and the teaching acumen of John Stott. I'd never thought sharing my brokenness with people was an effective church-growth technique.
"Do you know the story of Rabbit Zusya? he asked. "he was a Chasidic master who lived in the 1700s. One day he said, "When I ge to the heavenly court, God will not ask me 'Why aren't you Moses? Rather he will ask me, 'Why aren't you Zusya?'"
Thomas let that thought hang in the air for a moment, then continued, "Churches should be places where people come to hear the story of God and to tell their own. That's how we find out how the two relate. Tell your story with all of its shadows and fog, so people can understand their own. They want a leader who's authentic, someone trying to figure out how to follow the Lord Jesus in the joy and wreckage of life. They need you, not Moses," he said.
from Chasing Francis, A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron NavPress 2006
I'm only to page 77 and the reader can tell that this is a first book but so far, I'm entralled.