If I had the opportunity to give advice to the leaders of a new faith community, I would stress the importance of both giving and receiving honesty. Living in honest community has been one of the biggest struggles for me this past year, but also life-giving in so many ways.

Honesty is hard and most of us suck at it. It’s much easier to brush issues aside or get angry and shut down. As humans, but especially as Christians, we are taught that it’s best to be polite and nice and never cause any trouble. But transformation doesn’t bloom from affability and Jesus was rarely polite.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s of the utmost importance to treat people with kindness and respect, but if we don’t challenge each other and hold each other accountable, following Jesus becomes quite difficult.

There have been several times through out this journey with RISE that my friends within the community have called me out or questioned my motives or held up a mirror to show me my own brokenness, and to be blunt, I hated it. Their honesty sliced up my stubborn pride and caught me a bit of guard at times. But after letting their comments simmer, I was moved with complete reverence. How much they must love me to stick out their own necks and call me on my junk.

It’s truly a glimpse of Jesus. Out-of-control love meets out-of-control honesty. It’s crazy and up-side down and backwards from anything we’ve been taught before. But it’s necessary. And it can only happen when we ask for God’s grace each and every day.

So my advice would be this: Be Honest. Love Boldly. And don’t forget to ask for grace.

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