Earlier this week, when I learned of Pete Wilson’s resignation from Cross Point Church, I was devastated, yet proud (I know, seems a little twisted). I began following Pete and his ministry during my time on staff at People of the Second Chance. Cross Point and Pete were huge advocates of being second chance champions. They stood in the gap for those who had experienced setbacks in life and believed that God could do through them and for them immeasurably more than they could ever ask or imagine.
In his final address to the church, Pete shared…
“Leaders who lead on empty don’t lead well. For some time, I’ve been leading on empty…I really need your prayers and I need your support. We’ve said that this is a church where it’s OK to not be OK, and I’m not OK. I’m tired. And I’m broken and I just need some rest.“
The honesty, brokenness, and humility that Pete shared with his congregation was one of the bravest, most courageous things I have ever seen.
It’s Ok To Not Be Ok
Rob Shepherd, Pastor of Next Level Church, recently wrote on his website, “Loneliness comes from multiple places. Because relationships can be fragile a pastor has be incredibly careful who he trusts. When a pastor struggles there aren’t many who he can confide in. Often what is confessed ends up being ammunition against the pastor…”
Shortly after starting my first job in ministry, I realized I had some skeletons in my closet stemming back to my teenage years that I had never confronted. I was battling an addiction behind the scenes that no one knew about, even those who were closest to me. While I was aware of the addiction and my need to find help, I didn’t feel I had anyone to safely confide in. Consequently, my addiction began to slowly chip away my character and integrity, resulting in numerous lapses in judgment when it came to the decisions I was making. It got to the point where I lost all control and felt I didn’t have a choice to make. My addiction made the choice for me.
But how would I have confessed this as a young man in ministry? At the time, I felt as if I had only two options: (A) stay quiet and pray it goes away or (B) confess it, get help, and potentially lose everything I had (job, relationships, friends, reputation, etc). Like most people, I made the choice that would seem to cause the least amount of damage. I chose to continue hiding it. Unfortunately, that decision came at a high price. Everything that I thought I would lose with option B was lost with option A. And to make things worse, the addiction still remained.
But it was in my darkest moments that I experienced God closest. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could share my struggle. I didn’t share it with the world. In fact, it was just one person. In confessing, I released a burden that I had carried for years and made room to begin the healing process.
Throughout the next few months and years, I experienced redemption and restoration in ways I never thought I could. Where the enemy was stealing, killing and destroying, my God made a way to give me life. What was once my misery had become my ministry.
I say all this to say: Thank you, Pete. I believe your transparency, bravery and courage to admit your brokenness will open the door for other leaders to feel safe knowing that it’s ok to not be ok.