Embracing Imperfection: A Key to Healthy Church Growth

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Church Growth, Church Health, Church Revitalization

As pastors and leaders in the church, we often find ourselves striving for perfection. We want the perfect sermons, the perfect music, the perfect programs, and the perfect attendance. But what if this pursuit of perfection is actually hindering the health of our churches? What if embracing imperfection and vulnerability is the key to true church growth and health? In this post, we’ll explore why vulnerability is important in the church and offer practical ways to embrace imperfection in order to foster church health.

Vulnerability builds authenticity


Churches that are authentic, where people feel free to be themselves, are the ones that thrive. And vulnerability is the key to building that authenticity. When pastors and leaders are vulnerable about their own struggles and imperfections, it sets the tone for others to do the same. It creates a culture of trust, where people know they can be honest about their own struggles without fear of judgment or rejection. Gone are the days of the fake Sunday smile. Embrace real-life ebbs and flows, and as leaders… be real!


Vulnerability fosters empathy and connection.


When we admit our struggles and imperfections, it allows others to see us as human. It makes us relatable and helps others feel less alone in their own struggles. This fosters empathy and connection, which is essential to building meaningful relationships within the church. And when we have meaningful relationships within the church, we’re more likely to stick around and invest in the community. Gone are the days of the “Holy Man” (or woman) syndrome, where the preacher and their family are viewed as perfect. Embrace this reality and see it as a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Vulnerability breeds growth


When we’re vulnerable about our struggles and weaknesses, it allows others to come alongside us and offer support. This support can take many forms: prayer, practical help, words of encouragement, or simply a listening ear. And when we receive support in this way, it helps us to grow. It allows us to acknowledge our weaknesses and work towards overcoming them.

Embracing imperfection creates room for God to work.


When we’re constantly striving for perfection, we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have to be the ones to make everything work. But the truth is, God is the one who does the work. When we embrace imperfection and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, it creates room for God to work in ways that we never could. It allows us to let go of control and trust that God is in charge.

Practical ways to embrace imperfection in the church


So, how can we embrace imperfection in the church? Here are a few practical ways:

  1. Be vulnerable about your own struggles and imperfections in your sermons and interactions with others
  2. Create a culture of authenticity by encouraging others to be real!
  3. Celebrate small wins and progress instead of perfection. I have a saying – “It’s about progress, not perfection.”
  4. Focus on building relationships within the church through small groups and mentoring.
  5. Trust that God is in charge and allow space for the Holy Spirit to work.

As leaders in the church, it’s our responsibility to create a culture of authenticity and vulnerability. By doing so, we can cultivate healthy church culture and help people to experience the love of Christ in tangible ways.

Read more blog posts by Jeff Hoglen

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