I have a couple of pet issues right now, and I know they come through in my preaching. One is that we Christ-followers are counter-cultural people. The other is that Jesus has called us to authenticity.
Yesterday, I preached on authenticity. But more powerful than a sermon -- we also got to witness it. One of our young men came and allowed the church to see behind his masks. He confessed sin, apologized to those he has hurt -- but praised God for a 2nd chance. We prayed for him, and then the church surrounded him with love and suport.
Here's what happens when we are authentic, though. Immediately after the "Amen," another young man came to me confessing sexual sin in his life. He said that as a result of what he had witnessed, it had given him the courage to be real. I was able to give him information that, if he will follow through, can lead to his healing.
This never would happen in a church of plastic masks. It can only take place where people are real. AUTHENTICITY! It's what the community of believers needs to be about.
Maybe we ought to adopt the motto: "GET REAL!"