How do we create a culture where growth can happen in people? Last time we talked through creating a culture of acceptance. But there’s another essential condition that needs to go hand-in-hand with acceptance and it’s authenticity.
Why? Because a culture of acceptance allows messed-up people to come in to your community without feeling judged. But confession is the path to healing (see James 5:16). If this person never speaks of their messiness, there’s a great chance she will stay messy. But if she feels the liberty to be real and to tell the truth, there is the opportunity for change to happen, and a likely chance that transformation will take place. It’s only when we speak honestly that we allow others to encourage, challenge, question, rebuke and really love us.
You know that expression, “Speed of the leader, speed of the team”? I’m not a big fan of it, mostly because I think it’s true. And I know it’s true with this. A culture of authenticity is created by an authentic leader. If you’re the Lead Pastor of your church, or the leader of your small group, or the leader of your quilting club, if you want it to have a culture of authenticity you create it by being authentic. You need to be real and tell the truth. Drop the mask and let people see who you really are, even the parts you’d rather they didn’t see.
If we do this, I think we’ll see an equation happen:
A Culture of Acceptance + A Culture of Authenticity = The Right Conditions for Growth
and then …
The Right Conditions for Growth = God Causes Growth. Lives are Changed.
And that’s what we want. Right?
However, there’s something we really fear in all this. We’ll hit it next time.
Until then, go skinny dipping – it will save you from having to wash your bathing suit and it feels oh so good.
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