The older I get the more I realize that most (and maybe even all) pastors are hiding something from the world. How ever small or large of a secret it is; that secret is eating away at their insides. They are desperate for someone to confess to. They have read the books about the need for transparency and a group of friends that they can be open and honest with, but most of them are too terrified to even approach an idea like that.
I would also imagine that for most of these pastors the secret sins that they are hiding aren’t really as horrible as they think. I would imagine that simply bringing them out into the light of day, admitting they are a problem, and hearing someone else say, “you know what I struggle with that too,” could make a world of difference.
I know this was true for me. A few years ago I had a group of men that I was able to be open and honest with. Those days were some of the most liberated days of my life. But then Nathan, life, and a million small things drove us apart, and now I long for those days again. It isn’t that I am holding some deep, dark secrets, but there is something right and true about tearing down the pastor facade that we all build and revealing your heart to someone else.
But most pastors don’t do that. They hold these sins inside as they build and build. Finally they reach a breaking point and the whole nasty thing comes spilling out into public. But is it any wonder why that happens. We are all, each of us, terrified of being seen as less that perfect so we hold this stuff inside.
I find myself looking for a way to help this process along rather than just lamenting it. Telling you to go and find someone to be honest with is a good truth, but I know that you aren’t going to do it. Trust me, most of us have been exactly where you are. So here is what I propose.
I am starting a new project called “Confessions of Youth Pastors”. What I would like for you to do is to send me whatever secrets you are hiding. I want you to “confess” not for forgiveness or absolution. I am not a priest, but so that you can finally have someone who you are honest with. I am offering to be the person that you are able to come clean with. If you would like I will offer some advice, but mostly I want to be the person who you know will ask you the questions that need to be asked every week.
Here is how it will work.
- Go and set up an anonymous email account (I love gmail just for the record)
- send me an email with the subject line: confessions
- Make up some sort of nickname for me to call you
- Send me whatever you feel like you need to send me.
- Give me a little background on you, such as age and how long you have been a pastor etc.
- Let me know if you would like a response or if this is just a one time thing for you.
Just so you know if I find things that I feel need some more immediate attention I will ask you to speak to someone who is involved in your life, but as these things are anonymous I will not be able to track you down or anything. Also I would like to place a post of everyone’s confessions here at Nailscars.com at a later date. These will be without any information other than the things that we are holding inside. I think this will help future visitors to know they aren’t alone.
I don’t know if this is a really stupid idea or a really great one. (It is funny how often they live right next door to each other) But I have seen this problem; I have lived this problem; and I want to do what I can to help.