Over the years, however, God has granted me a complete change of heart. I’m now part of several small groups throughout the year, including leading a Bible study and an event called Basement Worship, where my friends and I commit our ‘hang out time together’ to worshipping the Lord instead of watching a movie or going out to eat. God has revealed to me not only the beauty, but the need for vulnerable community in my life.
Most of our lives are lived in non-vulnerable communities. In our work environment we usually commit ourselves to being as strong as possible. Don’t show any weakness, or else you may not be able to climb the business ladder. Amongst our friends it’s the same way. We don’t want to admit that we struggle with sin. We hide our jealousy, our pain, or our weakness from those around because God forbid if anyone should appear more ‘Holy’ or ‘successful’ then we are. We seem to be obsessed with creating an unhealthy, passively competitive culture in our businesses, our teams, our friends, and even our families.
Theses non-vulnerable communities require that everyone wear a mask of perfection, omitting any struggles or hardships and pretending that we have it all under control. The non-vulnerable community results in people who are so fearful and so closed off, that connection is no longer possible and every man is his own island of plastic, pretended treasures.
The vulnerable community, on the other hand, encourages openness about imperfection. It celebrates the reality that we are all imperfect and broken, and pursues the reality that both personal and communal restoration is achieved most effectively through vulnerability with God and with others.
I have tried to encourage vulnerable community in the teams I lead. It’s uncomfortable at the start, but it results in a team of people who truly trust and serve one another in humility. It puts everyone on the same level, so that we can begin the climb together with the strength of the whole team backing each other up. Nothing is more powerful then that kind of teamwork.
I want to live in vulnerable communities. I don’t want to hide my issues and imperfections anymore. I want to share them openly with my friends and I want them to share theirs openly with me. I want us to find brotherhood and sisterhood as we recognize and breath easier that every one else is just as human as we are. I was to pray with one another over the serious things and laugh with one another over the silly things and cry with one another over the sad things.
I don’t want to wear the mask of perfection, it usually doesn’t fit me very well anyway.