i have the honor of serving on the Launch Team for Rachel Held Evans’ new book, Searching for Sunday. She recounts her journey of “loving, leaving, and finding the church” through the lens of the seven sacraments. This book has been a marvelous and real look at her crisis of faith and her adventures in finding it again. As I read chapter fifteen just now, I was struck by this sentence: “I often wonder if the role of the clergy in this age is not to dispense information or guard the prestige of their authority, but rather to go first, to volunteer the truth about their sins, their dreams, their failures, and their fears in order to free others to do the same.” (Searching for Sunday, p. 112)
If one takes this idea and considers (all) school leaders, we have a powerful concept. If we want to build authentic relationships with our school communities and model for our students, we simply must be real and we must “go first.” Transparency should be the norm and honoring failure should be a source for growth. By accepting our own humanity, our own authenticity, and allowing the vulnerability to lay it bare, we serve our communities better in the long run. For a glossy facade can only last so long before it chips away.
So I’ll go first. Want to come along?