Monday, February 8, 2010

what does your parrot say?

I live in a fish bowl. That's the experience of most pastors...always on display, ever scrutinized. I'm not complaining; It's part of the calling. Every day, people peer into my life to see if my practice matches up with my preaching. That's good accountability.

As I think about this, two things come to mind. First, it's good to be normal. If you look close enough or long enough, you'll discover that most leaders are human. I get indigestion, bark unreasonably at my kids on occasion and forget to change the oil in my car. No one has reached the magical level of perfection [despite the way some preachers act]. Truth is, I love being a regular person because it helps me relate to all the other regular people around me. It's good being normal.

The second thought is, while leaders are normal, they must strive to be better. Respect is earned, never given away. And so, all leaders must live so that "they're not afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip" [I've always loved that saying]. Respectable leaders must arrive early, cheer loudly and stay late. They must serve those they lead. They should never read their own headlines. They must handle the resources entrusted to them with the highest integrity. And, they must humbly admit failure.

Ironically, it's this kind of exemplary character that gains a following of people who are simply looking for an ordinary person, living as an extraordinary example.


doctorb said...

Interesting blog. I have found that most Christian leaders that I know are quick to speak and slow to listen, very afraid to hear something different, and instantly give you the look that means "you are not on my task list for today so I am going to make our conversation as short as possible." Of course, this isn't a comment about you specifically. This is more of a comment on what constantly being in a fishbowl does to a person. I'm sure celebrities are the same way.

Suzy Finigan said...

Stay human, normal, ordinary and imperfect...we appreciate and respect you just as you are, David. You're right, we're just looking for an ordinary person...AND we aren't even expecting you to be an EXTRAordinary example to us. Just love and obey God. That's all.

Lizzy R said...

oh David--we miss you! This was a reminder of that spirit of true humility, transparency,"real-ness" that we admire so much in you!
Jon & Lizzy Richardson