You’re Not All That

I’m often surprised when I talk with someone or get replies on twitter about my honesty when I admit I struggle with a certain area of Christianity.

I guess people think because I work at a church or have the word ‘pastor’ in my title that I don’t struggle everyday with the same things everyone else does.
Or, maybe they’re more surprised with my willingness to admit that I don’t have it all together.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christ, I just struggle sometimes…

  • I’m impatient
  • I struggle with faith
  • I try to make things happen my way instead of relying on God
  • I go through dry periods in my relationship with God

To be honest, I think more people should admit their weakness.

I think more church leaders should admit it.

It’s in admitting it that they can begin to deal with it.
It’s in admitting it that people begin to feel a connection with someone that’s a lot like them.

Dont act like you have it all together.
You don’t.
I don’t.

Admit it father.
Admit it pastor.
Admit it student.
Admit it church leader.
Admit it mom.

It may help someone else too.


  1. Wow! You mean you’re human too?! I couldn’t agree with you more. When people put others up on a pedestal, they will eventually be disappointed. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Most certainly agree Jonathan. I have no trouble admitting to my struggles. I think we have to be careful that it doesn’t get into a victim mentality and even sometimes being exaggerated, but I readily admit to the church I pastor that I make mistakes, have questions, and struggle in certain areas. I think this needs to be examined even more in our “rock star pastor” era.

  3. Great post, Jonathan!
    It’s so true that we see church staff as “above” all the mere struggles of its congregation. but we’re all human and we’re loved and cherished the same by God :)

  4. So true, Jonathan. I think that’s why I really appreciated Ann Jackson’s “Permission to Speak Freely” because we need to be more honest about these things. Church is for the imperfect and broken, although most people think that they’re perfect and scare away those that really need to be there.

  5. evie

    Amen & amen! Thank you for being a honest pastor. I totally agree more need to admit we’re all human, fleshy & the same regardless of title.

  6. Melissa Pearson

    If we didn’t admit that we had struggles then we would be like the Pharisees. The Lord has really been speaking to me that being like a Pharisee is the last thing I ever want to be.

  7. Pat Thomas

    So true! Made me think of these words “I’m human, you’re human, we are human” from a recent song by Natalie Grant.

  8. I try to be as open and vulnerable about my struggles as possible. I found very quickly that college students can see through fake, “I have it all together” facades – and they aren’t impressed by it. My struggles have helped many of them face and deal with their own. I definitely didn’t like doing it at first. I think the church as a whole sets up this expectation that leaders have to be perfect, with no struggles, doubt, insecurities, but I found that once I got beyond those expectations (and shocked some people in the process), not only was I able to grow, but those around me were able to grow as well.

  9. Thoms

    I so appreciate your honesty. Life is not always hearts and roses. Life can be challenging and full of disappointments. If more people would admit their failures and shortcomings and not pretend to have it all together the better off we’d all be.


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