Friday, June 16, 2006
The 'TMI' Pastor Asked to Set Some Boundaries
This just in from LarkNews... NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Brentwood Community Church's congregation has asked its pastor to stop using the pulpit as his public confessional and to set boundaries on what he's willing to share.
"Every week he confesses another personal weakness," says one member. "You get twitchy wondering what's next."
The personal confession streak started after Pastor Greg Ott attended a pastors conference in Chicago. He returned and told the church he was embracing a "new vulnerability" with them.
"That sounded great until we realized it meant he would dump his dirty laundry on us every Sunday," says one church member.
In the rhythm of his sermon, Ott's confession usually comes a third of the way through, his people say. On a recent Sunday morning the congregation seemed to collectively cringe as he stepped around the pulpit and said, "Let me be real transparent with you ..."
"I brace myself until he spits it out," says Jocelyn Garnet. "It makes for a tense service."
One week Ott admitted he was sometimes tempted to claim Starbucks food purchases as ministry-related tax deductions. Another time he said he "struggled with angry outbursts," and occasionally "barked" at fast food drive-thru employees. He even said he sometimes walks "a little too slowly" by the Victoria's Secret store in the mall.
Lay leaders decided to broach the matter with Ott because the church was getting a reputation as the home of the "TMI pastor," (short for "too much information").
Ott says he just wants to be real with his people.
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Yikes, this guy is my neighbor!!!! As long he confesses his stuff and leaves mine alone - I am good with that.
Posted by: Kent | Jun 16, 2006 11:52:06 AM
As funny as this is, my pastor is alot like this.
It okay to be transparent, but a leader needs to get a grip.
Posted by: Ed Mooneyhan | Jun 16, 2006 12:36:15 PM
This sounds like something I would do. Hear good advice about being transparent, and then take it a little too far... Thankfully his congregation has the common sense to tell him they don't need to know everything.
Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16, 2006 1:51:19 PM
Transparency does need boundaries. Specifics are not always necessary. One can say, "We have all struggled with this type of temptation." If the pastor uses himself too much in sermons, the congregation may get the wrong idea about what or who is important. The congregation is wise in reigning in the pastor with TMI.
Posted by: Dan Moore | Jun 16, 2006 4:08:51 PM
Just for the record and I think we all know this, this article is fiction.
Posted by: Ed Mooneyhan | Jun 16, 2006 4:20:19 PM
This is so typical. most pastors today dont think for themselves, they dont think at all! they go to some conference where they hear some half cocked half baked idea (on the church expense) and come home to torment the church with them! pastors need to start thinking for themselves!
Posted by: Oliver | Dec 16, 2006 6:17:20 PM
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