Who Is Your Truthteller?

Pilate famously asked, “What is truth?” at the trial of Jesus and it’s an excellent question especially in 2017.

When the church I was serving planned to install a new pipe organ in the sanctuary balcony, the organ builder asked me, “Who is your hoister?”  I had no hoister, nor did I know our church was supposed to have one.

If I asked, “Who is your truthteller?” would you have someone to name? Would you know that you were supposed to have one?  We are in the Truth business as professional ministers.  But there is a tremendous need in each of our professional and spiritual lives for someone to safely share the truth with us too.

This article about Donald Trump got me thinking: this administration needs someone on staff who can speak “truth to power without fear of being sacked.” We in the Church need this as well.

I’m increasingly aware that the world needs safe spiritual spaces and this is not possible without safe spaces in leadership.  And – if we are talking about Church again – the leadership cannot be safe if those who supervise and evaluate them do not allow for safe truth telling.  In other words, a healthy personnel committee = a healthy staff = a healthy congregation.

Imagine a Pastor who has lost his way.  He works to bolster his own reputation. She is threatened by the gifts of others.  He can no longer work with those with whom he disagrees.  She sabotages those who quetion her.  This would not happen if there was a truthteller on board who was respected by all and could share difficult information fearlessly.

This kind of relationship comes from trusting and being trustworthy.  It comes from assuming the dignity of each team member.  (Note:  This book is a must read for all leaders.)

So . . . who is your own truthteller?  I believe we all need one.

Image is Finding the Focus © Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com   Used with permission.

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