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A True Spiritual Community

April 24, 2013

“We feel safe with folks who are: (1) broken yet strong, (2) vulnerable with hope, and (3) respectfully curious. They worship God and, because of what they know about Him, they celebrate us. We feel more solid in their presence.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 171

Questions for Reflection:
Can you think of anyone in your life that fits these characteristics?
What does your relationship with them look like?
Which of the three things do you need the most work on so that people can feel safer around you?

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2 Comments
  1. I like the thought about relationships with others being rooted in a worship and knowledge of Him. I remember back to the ’60s, and the large motto emblazoned on the wall at Columbia Bible College in South Carolina: “TO KNOW HIM, AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN”.
    Of the three areas, perhaps one of the greatest is that we be a people of HOPE, and in that hope to be open in our vulnerability, showing others the possibilities that perhaps the didn’t know existed. This is an area that without attention may slip away from us.
    I remember an instructional series from you, “Counseling Through Encouragement” that we got “back in the day” through CBC. (Is it still available, perhaps in DVD format? We wore our VHS tapes out!) In it you discuss the problem of “layers” which divert Truth. These are caused by attempts to deal with fears.
    In my experience, one “layer” can be a lack of hope that sneaks in when we are not attentive to our responses to disappointments. We may fool ourselves to THINK that we are open and “vulnerable”, but we have actually slipped into self-protection from those disappointments. Brokenness and strength will soon leave us also. The first step in the path of return is to remember that He IS the “God of all HOPE”. Apart from that, we will not see any reason or expectation of successful return. Nor will we be ready to help others into His Safety.

  2. Susan Huntley permalink

    My Pastor at Lumen Dei in Jacksonville Oregon – Patrick Doyle. He is all three. I came to him last fall (he is a counselor also) when I had a meltdown around shame. I was at the bottom and didn’t know where else to turn – since he is my Pastor I was afraid of being honest with him. He shared with me that he wanted people like me at church – who were broken. He is absolutely amazing – I have tried many churches in the 20 years I have been a Christian and just struggled with them all due to lack of openness and honesty about difficult situations like shame, hurts, addictions of all kinds and just life’s struggles.[
    Patrick is very open and honest with his congregation – about his past struggles with addiction and other things – which draws people who have been broken and find it refreshing – which helps them open up and not feel the shame of what the majority of Christians want to hide and are dying inside because of it. Last week he announced that Lumen Dei has acquired a reputation as the “church where broken people go” and myself included there were hoots of approval:)!
    For the first time in my life I felt truly “heard” by another human being about a lifelong struggle in not feeling like I was “enough” and “worthy” to be a human being.
    It’s been about 5 months since I started seeing him in his counseling practice Veritas, and although it has taken time I am healing from the shame and so grateful God sent him into my life.
    I would say that this week I am feeling #1 – broken and stronger. #2 – I really had to be vulnerable to go to him, but it has taken time to be vulnerable “with hope” and I still struggle with sharing my true story with more than two good, trustworthy friends. #3 – I am much better at being respectfully curious about others’ situations than with sharing mine.
    I hope someday to speak openly about it and help others.
    I thank God for Patrick every day!

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