Kansas City Lesson #4: Transparency
I met an awesome man in Kansas City by the name of Steve “The Preacher Man” Grant. Steve was an NFL linebacker for 7 years (and a beast in pickup basketball) and is now the Chaplain for the Texas Tech football program in Lubbock, Texas. Steve speaks all over the country and upon speaking at a men’s conference in Tennessee once opened up with this: “Godly men who are on the track for heaven have two sins that they struggle with more than any other. Struggle #2 is lust. Many men nodded and chuckled. Steve asked if anyone knew struggle #1 and no one did. Steve, the professional entertainer and speaker deadpanned, struggle #1 is admitting struggle #2. The men burst into laughter and once the tension was cut, Steve stated, now let’s really talk about ourselves and dive in the Word.”
Steve felt the tension in the room and the inner walls being put up. Steve knew that he needed the group to open up, relax and realize that in order to grow, the men needed to be honest with themselves. This is a tough topic for me. As I begin writing about transparency I immediately feel the pressure of being open, honest, and therefore vulnerable. One of the things that makes ministry work well in my opinion is humility and transparency. As leaders, if we are to require our students and coaches to be open and honest while leading their FCA Huddles on campus, how can we not turn the spotlight back on ourselves? In Kansas City, it became apparent to me that while transparency may be one of the toughest lessons I was reminded of, it’s something that I need to always strive for.
I’ve learned that a lack of transparency in churches and ministries drives me crazy. I love hearing people’s prayer requests, the pastor admitting he struggles and with this transparency I believe we grow as a body within and outside the church walls. You all deserve to see my ministry in a transparent way and I strive to provide that.
Know that where my heart is today, I’m humbled and honored to serve in this ministry and love the interaction with coaches and students every day, but I’m scared about financial support. God willing, I have my first child arriving in early October and I feel the stress of providing for my wife and child. I love the responsibility and know that God’s plan is working right now, but again, I’m an active participant. Being transparent to me is sharing in the best of times and the worst of times, but most importantly, it’s sharing.
Opening up with those around you is not easy and definitely is not for everyone. But I challenge you to share and be open and accountable with someone. We can do an awesome job of faking out the world around us, but there’s no faking out God. Find that person, be honest with them and share your joys and struggles and watch the Lord work through your transparency.
Posted on Fri, May 6, 2011
by Matt Clinton