Joe McKeever writes that one of the things that can build our relationship with the congregation is allowing it to see our humanity: “I sometimes say to friends, ‘If you ever find yourself sitting among two or more preachers and want to get something started, ask them about their most embarrassing moments. Every preacher has had a dozen, and some are pretty hilarious.’

“John Ortberg says: ‘Sometime ago a psychology journal published an article titled “The Effect of a Pratfall on Increasing Interpersonal Attractiveness.” The surprising conclusion: “Seeing someone you admire do something stupid or clumsy will make you like him more.”‘

“Part of the reason for that is we do like our leaders to be human and to show their humanity from time to time.

“Now, we know they’re human. The problem comes when they don’t seem to know it.

“Earlier in the same chapter, Ortberg writes, ‘A friend of mine says that one of the hardest things in the world is to be right and not hurt anybody with it. If you have any doubts about that, remember some time in school when you sat next to the smartest kid in class. Did you enjoy it? Being right (or more precisely, having the need to be right) is a terrible burden. An amazing thing about Jesus is that He was always right and never hurt anyone by it.’

“I’m thinking of two churches I pastored, one in the 1970s and the other in the 1980s. In the first, we had a lot of laughter in church. It was the spontaneous, unplanned kind from things that happened on the spur of the moment. The congregation grew to love the staff, and they still talk about the four men who led the church through those years as some of the best.

“The church of the 1980s, however, knew very little laughter. Looking back, I’m not sure why that was. Perhaps it was the tension among the leadership that eventually resulted in several of us departing earlier than we had planned. It may have been a factor of the architecture of the sanctuary, with the congregation sitting far removed from the staff. Maybe it had something to do with the staff of the 80s being new and the staff of the 70s church staying for many years.

“To this day, the church of the 70s speaks of the church staff with fond remembrance. The church of the 80s, I wager, can hardly even remember who their staff was back then.” (Click here to read the full article.)

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