you have permission…

Posted on September 24, 2009


What is the one thing you feel you can’t say in church?

I’ll give you time.

What would it take for you to feel the freedom – and the acceptance – to share this?

I would like to introduce you to my friend Anne. She wrote this book about overcoming the burnout epidemic within ministry using powerful words, powerful stories, and deeply personal connections. I read Mad Church Disease in less than 24 hours – not because of the simplicity, but because I just couldn’t put it down. I hadn’t read such truth in quite awhile concerning ministry & burnout, stress & pretenses, grace & perseverance, rest & restoration…

She’s writing another book, and frankly, I’m pretty excited about this one because it deals with something I take very seriously.


The idea of this new book came with one simple question: the one you were greeted with at the beginning of this post. Anne asked her readers one day “what is the one thing you feel you can’t share in church” – the response was absolutely deafening from both Christian circles & beyond; it was obvious she struck a chord. So, she started this website – Permission to Speak Freely & asked for anyone & everyone to submit their confessions – the one thing they don’t feel comfortable saying within church.

I think it’s absolutely beautiful.

On the website it says:

What are people afraid of? What’s holding them back? How do faith and brokenness coexist?  Why do bad things happen? Where is God in all of the mess? Where is evil in all the light?

You will hear me say this until I am blue in the face: everyone has a story.

And, I think one of the things we as Christians fail to remember is that these stories – these tales of redemption & fear & renewal & filth & cleansing are mindblowingly essential. Look around you. People are searching. They need something tangible. They need to know they ARE capable of being loved by Christ & their messiness & sin is nothing the cross can’t wipe clean.

But. How will they know if we try to hide those ugly sins? If we pretend everything is perfect & our brokenness isn’t that big of a deal…

They won’t know if we don’t share with them our own stains. They won’t understand if we don’t let them know we have our own fears of inadequacy or imperfection…just like they do.

I encourage you to go to the site – take a look around. Read some of the confessions. Submit your own. Go ahead – you have permission.

Posted in: Community