Don't Go Changing To Try To Please Me.....

This is PETE WILSON.  He's the Pastor of Crosspoint Church in Nashville/Dixon, one of the fastest growing churches in the Middle Tennessee region.  I'll be worshipping with Crosspoint on Feb. 1 when I'm there for Re:Create Conference.
Although Pete and I have never met, we've dialogued enough through emails and blogs and Twitter for me to know that when I'm there--it will be as if I've known him forever.

You see, his blog WITHOUT WAX, is named for the latin word for Sincere, meaning there is no pretense or pretedning with Pete.  That's what I love about him.  He shares regularly from the heart and about his family and has an amazing wife.
Pete is doing a series now called "Paralyzed" and this past Sunday he shared from his heart one of the struggles in his life.   He blogged about it on Monday and found great comfort in those who were moved by his authenticity.  But there's always one who finds it uncomfortable and they expressed it to Pete in this email:
Today’s service was the second time you have talked about your personal challenge with certain internet “sites”.
I understand that we’re all human. I also understand the concept and principle of confession. However, I found it very uncomfortable and more than a bit unsettling that you feel it’s relevant and acceptable to remind the congregation of such worldly ugliness in a house of worship and safe haven.

We don’t attend to be reminded of the world and it’s pitfalls. We attend to be cleansed and “not of the world”.
We all know that this entraps some people, but perhaps your “confession” would be better suited to professional contemporary or one of your “community groups” for those who are similarly challenged. 
Wow!  Talk about a misunderstanding of what church is.  
A service is different from church.  Church is where the body is "authentic"--sharing the struggles and joys of life.  I wrote Pete and told him that I couldn't find anywhere in Scripture where it says that church is a car wash where we bring our dirt in and come out clean. (Wax on..wax off Mr. Miagi!)  I do find in scripture (Isaiah 6) where it says when we encounter a Holy God, we realize how undone and how unclean we are and we must confess--that's worship.

Many found Pete's confession to be healing to them.  I have no doubt that when he shared it that it wasn't because of's just who Pete is?   I told him the line from Billy Joel came to mind--"Don't go changing to try to please me.. I love you just the way you are!" You go Pete!

So--what do you think?  Can Pastors, Ministers and Leaders genuninely share about their lives and struggles?  Must they always preserve the "mirrors" that Ministers have it all together?  What do you think?


pete wilson said...

Great post Jim. Really looking forward to some hang time with you in a week or so.

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

I think that it is way more important to be authentic than to pretend to be perfect.
My pastor shared about his problem with certain internet sites and it lead me to talk to him about my previous issue about the same.
I was lead to blog about it on my other blog (
Now, I am helping other women who deal with this issue.
We as a church must...
be real, be safe...
which will lead to lives being changed...